Coach Keith Watson shares key workouts for the Vasa SwimErg

male triathlete exit swim race

Keith Watson exits the swim at Boulder 70.3

It’s very fulfilling to learn about the successes of athletes and coaches resulting from training with Vasa products. After all, it is our mission to design and produce premium quality training equipment & support that improves athletic performance, functional fitness, and injury prehab / rehab for our customers worldwide!

It’s especially rewarding to learn from our customers, including their great workouts.  Recently, we received some excellent workouts from Keith Watson, who has used the Vasa SwimErg as a triathlete and coach.

We had just posted our 30-20-10 Power Building Interval workout on the Vasa blog, and Keith added his insights and experiences about that.


power based interval workout30-20-10 Vasa workout

The 30-20-10 workout consists of doing seven one-minute intervals in a continuous “round” or set. Each work interval consists of doing 30 seconds at easy pace / power, 20 seconds at moderate pace / power, and finish with 10 seconds at near max pace / power. Learn more about the 30-20-10 workout here.

Adaptations may be made to this workout by modifying duration and/or intensity. For example, some people like to do functional exercises in between each 30-20-10 interval, such as planks, goblet squats with a Kettlebell, or shoulder strengthening moves for prehab.


Keith’s key Vasa workouts


Keith shared an excellent modification that builds great strength, form, and endurance all at the same time in a very time efficient workout. Of course, focusing on using proper stroke technique and form are essential to getting the most from these workouts. He reported doing the following version of the workout 1x per week.


In his own words..


“I apply the 30-20-10 concept but execute it a bit differently.

Warm Up: 10 mins resistance door 2. Easy but building in a few 20″ efforts to get things going.

Main Set:
– 10 mins at damper door setting 3, done as 1 min 30-20-10 followed by 15 seconds rest.
– 10 mins at damper door setting 4, done as 1 min 30-20-10 followed by 15 seconds rest.
– 10 mins at damper door setting 5, done as 1 min 30-20-10 followed by 15 seconds rest.
– 10 mins at damper door setting 6, done as 1 min 30-20-10 followed by 15 seconds rest.

Cool Down: 5-10 mins door 2 easy

The key thing I do, however, is the 30-second effort is done as butterfly (two arms at once) with the 20 second and 10-second efforts completed doing freestyle.

My other key workout is a 10-10-10 effort where I go 10 minutes easy, 10 minutes moderate, and then 10 minutes hard prior to one of my bike sets.

I then hit the chlorine 2x per week. My swim times have never been faster!

I would like to emphasize that I am a very time constrained athlete with a demanding job and a busy family and the Vasa Swim Erg helps me be very efficient with my training without losing any swim fitness.

The Vasa Ergometer has been the most effective training tool that I have purchased in my 20+ years in the sport. And yes, I purchased it in full on my own dime. A lot of athletes will promote products because they get paid to in some way. The Vasa Erg is a premium product. It is about as authentic to open water swimming as it gets. Nothing replaces the real thing. But this comes pretty darn close.”


White Male in black shirt

Keith Watson’s Bio:

Keith Watson is a triathlon coach, triathlete, husband, father, and the COO here at Vasa.

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