The swimming workouts below are introductory sessions that can help you get your time in the pool off to a great (and manageable) start.
Rest times are prescribed via work-to-rest ratios, which are meant to consider swimming proficiency. If the swim takes one minute to complete, and the prescribed work-to-rest ratio is 1:3, you would rest after the swim for three minutes.
1. 50 yard Repeats
Swim 50 yards as quickly as possible (within reason), followed by the prescribed amount of rest.
Intro: Two sets of 10 reps, rest 1:4 between reps, rest 5 minutes between sets
Progression: Three sets of 10 reps, rest 1:3 between reps, rest 5 minutes between sets
2. 50-100-200-100-50 yard Pyramids
Begin your session with a 50-yard swim, followed by the prescribed amount of rest. Next rep, swim 100 yards followed by the rest time. Continue with each distance until the final 50-yard swim is finished. If performing multiple pyramids, always complete all five segments.
Intro: Two pyramids, rest 1:3 between reps, rest 5 minutes between sets
Progression: Three pyramids, rest 1:2 between reps, rest 5 minutes between sets
3. 5 Minutes On, 3 Minutes Off
Swim for five minutes continuously at a moderate pace, followed by three minutes of rest.
Intro: 32 total minutes (four sets)
Progression: 48 total minutes (six sets)
4. 50 yard Pull, 50 yard Kick, 100 yard Stroke
“Pull” indicates using only your arms during a given stroke, while “kick” employs a kickboard to kick only for the prescribed distance. “Stroke” is the full version of that given swim stroke. Feel free to mix it up here!
Intro: Five sets, rest three minutes between sets
Progression: 8-10 sets, rest three minutes between sets
5. 200 yard Repeats
Swim 200 yards of any stroke at a moderate pace. Rest for the prescribed amount of time between reps, switching strokes each set if desired.
Intro: Five reps, rest two minutes between each
Progression: 8-10 reps, rest two minutes between each
Distances are prescribed in yards, but simply replace yards with meters if you have access to an Olympic size pool. Select your volume and rest period based on your swimming proficiency, progressing toward higher volumes with lower rest intervals as you gain confidence in the water.
Swimming can be an intimidating activity to take up if you don’t have a strong background in it. These workouts are a great introduction to the pool and help kickstart a whole new workout weapon in your arsenal!