Virgin Active has launched its latest training innovation – Swim. Developed by Olympic Gold medallist, Ryk Neethling and endorsed by Commonwealth Games and World champion Chad le Clos, Swim is a coaching programme designed for just about every one - young, old, fit or unfit.
Based on the health club’s popular ‘Colour Me Fit’ system, which uses colours to segment workout genres, it guides members how to optimally train for their individual fitness levels.
Ceri Hannan, Head of Programme Development and Innovations, Virgin Active says, “Swimming is a great way to work-out as it is non-impact. This makes it ideal for everyone, including pregnant women, older people, even athletes wanting to cross-train. Yet few know how to swim properly for their unique needs so we joined forces with two of the most experienced swimmers in South Africa and developed Swim.”
How the programme works
The programme works by guiding members through one of three types of workouts: red (cardio), orange (strength) and yellow (balance). These are then divided into three levels of difficulty catering for beginners, intermediate and advanced members and given an effort rating between one to five where one is easy and five is maximum effort.
“Decide what kind of workout you want – colour – and how hard the workout should be – level – and that is the programme,” says Ryk.
And results will follow – providing the programme is used diligently. “To be consistent I recommend aiming for at least two workouts a week. This way small improvements will happen every day and after a while this can add up to quite a bit,” suggests Ryk.
Benefits of swimming
The benefits of swimming are broad: It builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness; reduces stress on the body; helps maintain weight; tones up muscles; alleviates stress; improves coordination and flexibility and offers low-impact therapy for certain injuries. (* Consult your doctor first should you have an injury)
“As a four-time Olympian I’m really passionate about swimming as it’s not only an essential life skill; it’s an easy way to improve overall health and fitness. It adds a whole new dimension to an exercise routine – without having to be competitive like me or Chad,” adds Ryk.
Chad le Clos, the first ever South African to compete in six different events at one Olympic Games, will compete in the 400M and 200M individual medley; 200M and 100M butterfly and 200M freestyle. If all goes well, he could be swimming a grueling 15 races over seven days - heats and semifinals included. Chad helped Ryk test the SWIM techniques ensuring users were equipped with all the basics and are comfortable in the water.
“My best advice to those swimmers starting out is to take it easy: Focus on technique and build a good base to work from. Keep it up and the rest will follow – just like Ryk and me. Even Olympic champions had to start somewhere!” says Chad.
Where to get the programme
Waterproof copies of the SWIM programme will be available for club members at all pool sides or can be downloaded from Virgin Active. It can be used independently, or with the added guidance of a swim coach. Users must be able to swim first before using the programme.
“Members who’d like to learn to swim can book lessons with our Swim Coaches – they offer one-on-one lessons to adults as well as toddlers and babies. Virgin Active Swim Coaches also offer lessons on stroke correction and improving technique. For more information on Swim Coaching please ask at any Virgin Active Club,” concludes Hannan.
SWIM will be launched across the country’s clubs throughout May. For more information about SWIM and swimming coaches at the Virgin Active clubs, visit Virgin Active or call 0860 200 911.
(Press release, May 2012)
Swim yourself slim