Bon Jovi. For some of us, this rock band conjures up a quite a bit of nostalgia. Hair bands were a staple during my adolescent years in the ’80s and ’90s as a competitive swimmer. Many of Bon Jovi’s songs could be found on the mixtapes I played on my Sony Walkman while rocking out poolside between races.
The mid-distance events I specialized in, the 200 individual medley, 400 individual medley, and 200 fly, were power races that were both mentally and physically challenging. I often found myself needing extra motivation for these events, and Bon Jovi was there for the mental and emotional lift I needed.
When I got to college, I was a small fish in a big pond—a meek 18-year-old trying to find my way around campus and in the pool. For me, adjusting to a different style of coaching and training was my biggest challenge. In my previous 10 years of being a USAS competitive student-athlete, I put in over 25 hours a week in the pool. Nothing was ever fun; it was a grind. With my new coach, there was an overarching theme of training smarter, not longer—and practice could be both work and fun. One Saturday morning, I was enlightened to this new methodology with Bon Jovi 100s. This workout was such a breath of fresh air and everything I didn’t know I needed.
Workout of the Week: Bon Jovi 100s
800 as 200 swim/100 kick/100 pull (× 2)
Make sure to mix up your strokes to challenge different muscle groups and energy systems.
6 × 100 as 2 free/2 choice/2 free
The first person in the lane swims race pace to the end of the pool, gets out, turns around and yells, “Bon Jovi rocks the world!” and sings a line from a Bon Jovi song. If the lane mates can hear the song loud and clear, they cheer and the swimmer dives back into the pool and swims back at race pace. If the lane mates can’t hear or understand the singing, they boo, and the swimmer must repeat the singing until they get applause. Once the swimmer has gotten the applause and is swimming back, the next swimmer in the lane leaves the wall. Repeat this until everyone is done with their 6 × 100s.
As you can see, Bon Jovi 100s are most fun done when done with a group of people. The more the merrier with this workout. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add a little extra—perhaps dancing while singing? If you want more of a challenge, maybe it’s poolside jumping jacks, push-ups, or lunges while belting out “Livin’ on a Prayer”? Lots of variations here, so make it your own and have fun!
200 easy while humming your fave Bon Jovi tune