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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Swimming Fastest Hardcover – February 28, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ernest W. Maglischo coached swimming for 38 years, working at four universities and two swim clubs. He has won 13 NCAA national championships at the Division II level and 19 conference championships. In 1996 he was honored as the Pacific 10 Conference Swimming Coach of the Year, and he has been named NCAA's Division II coach of the year an unprecedented eight times. He has also received the highest coaching award, the National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy.

Maglischo holds a PhD in exercise physiology from the Ohio State University. He's a member of the College Swimming Coaches Association, the American Swimming Coaches Association, and U.S.A. Swimming, where he serves on the Sports Medicine Committee. Now retired, Maglischo lives in Phoenix, Arizona.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 3 Revised edition (February 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736031804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736031806
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 2.2 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donal Fagan on February 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Swimming theory has advanced significantly since Dr.
Ernest Maglischo wrote Swimming Faster 1982 and
Swimming Even Faster 1993. He opens Swimming
Fastest with an acknowledgement that his views on
propulsion have changed significantly with each
successive book. He writes this book in a more
personal voice than the 'third person authoritative'
style of the previous weighty tome, and I find it
much more readable.
In the largely rewritten and well-illustrated
section on Technique, Maglischo describes his latest
beliefs on effective swimming technique. In some
cases, he allows for differing techniques or styles
of swimming, but general favors one method.
Although he generally agrees with the drag-reducing
fundamentals and front-quadrant stroke timing of the
very popular style coached by Bill Boomer, Emmett
Hines and Terry Laughlin and exemplified by the
efficient, long-reaching front crawl styles of Alex
Popov and Ian Thorpe, he offers much criticism of
what he calls "Stretch-Out" swimming, in which he
says that the emphasis is on stretching forward too
long, and swimming a catch-up style, to increase
stroke length rather than speed.
His less-revised section on Training includes
improved illustrations and sample training routines
used by Janet Evans, Susie O'Neill, Brooke Bennett,
Kieren Perkins, Mike Barrowman, Alex Popov, Penny
Heyns, Tom Dolan and Summer Sanders. It includes
the most thorough look at breathing strategies I
have ever read.
His brief Racing section presents numerous splits of
races by the swimmers mentioned above, at various
distances and strokes.
Essentially, Maglischo has vastly improved what was
already the most thorough and highly-regarded book
in the field.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a novice swimmer. I can swim breastroke, but poorly and I got this book to improve. Mistake.
This book is very advanced. You can see that it is well documented, researched to a level close to academic style. The book is really concerned with speed, and is directed to coaches and swimmers who are starting to compete.
Although you could potentially take this book without having ever swum before and learn from here, in practice I don't recommend it: there are far too many details and seeing the forest is terribly hard because of the trees.
I found particularly hard to understand the movements from the drawings and pictures. I would expect drawings to show the whole body at different stages, instead you get the arms in one drawing and the legs in another drawing. Each drawing is subdivided in three quadrants: 1) seen from the front 2) seen from the side 3) seen from below. The WHOLE movement is depicted in ONE drawing: the only thing depicted is the path you should be following with the hands (respectively, legs). It is left to you to figure out how to achieve the movement puzzling together the three quadrants and the (very detailed) explanations in the text.
You can then read the section on how put the legs and arms together and you have the whole thing. But it is too hard for a novice, in my opinion.
Being a graduate student myself, I see how such a precise description could be invaluable to athletes, but in the same way as you would not start studing physics from a PhD level text book, you are better off not starting to learn swimming from this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a master's swimmer, been swimming most of my life. In the last two years I've been relearning swimming techniques for all of the strokes and am very interested in both theory and latest ideas. It was on a friend's recommendation I bought this tome.

I was very disappointed, and just returned the book for a refund.

The lastest research results reviewed are dated 1999 --- this is not acceptable for a book published in 2003. I don't mind that he recycled much of his old material, but to be 4 years out of date on a rapidly moving topic won't work. Again, for a supposedly state-of-the-art book published in 2003, this is far out of date.

His theory section doesn't include the mechanics of Thorpe's and Hackett's front quadrant swimming. I was expecting to see a thorough explanation of why it works. Instead, he says he doesn't think front quadrant with a long glide will work (Thorpe and Hackett indicate he's wrong here), but doesn't include any models for why it would or wouldn't.

The theory sections of the other strokes are very thin. Mostly he shows a picture of a fast swimmer and writes, "You should swim like this." But unlike freestyle, there is no substantive theory backing up why 'this' is supposed to be good.

I was most disturbed by the backstroke, since the patterns of movement he says one 'should' do seem to violate the hydro-physics principles he spent so much time on in the first chapter. Without any theoretical backing, he repeats that one should do like the fast swimmers. I came away from this chapter not understanding at all why fast backstroke swimmers swim with a stroke that has a strong downward component, which he clearly advises against in the first chapter.
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