EDITOR'S NOTE: The Breaking Muscle Swimming Workouts are programmed by Jake Shoemaker, an elite athlete in his own right and highly experienced swimming, cross-country running, and triathlon coach.

 

The swimming workouts are designed for those whose swimming skills are bringing the rest of their game down. If you're a CrossFitter or triathlete, it's no longer acceptable if your swimming isn't up to par.

 

Swimming can also be used to condition all the systems of the body for endurance without beating it up the way some other modes of exercise can.

 

Breaking Muscle Shop

Note: Distances are in yards.

Week Two

Workout One - Aerobic Strength

Warm up:

  • 400 choice

 

2x

  • 3 x 100 @ :15sec rest build by 25 to strong last 25
  • 4 x 50 @ :05 sec rest descend 1 - 4 by approx 1 second per 50 so that the last is a pace you could sustain for no more than a 200
  • 100 back smooth

 

Main Set: work straight through - endurance and strength focus

  • 8 x 100 @ :05 recovery - find pace that you can hold for the entirety without building up lactic acid, but also one that challenges you and fatigues muscles
  • 12 x 50 @ :10 recovery - pace should be 3 seconds faster than half of your average pace for the previous 100s (recovery after last 50 should be just enough to get buoy on for 200s)
  • 2 x 200 strong pull with buoy @ :20 recovery - focus on high elbow pull technique engaging core and body rotation

 

Cool down:

  • 2 x 200 smooth 50 free/ 50 back/ 50 kick on back/ 50 elementary back w/ :20 between each 200

 

Total: 4000

 

Workout Two - Heart Rate, Active Recovery, Strength

Warm up:

  • 300 freestyle swim, 200 choice swim, 100 kick
  • 8 x 75 @ :15 seconds rest descend 1 - 4, 5 - 8 while building within each 75 

 

Main set:

3x

  • 25 quick, touch & go
  • 25 smooth recovery, touch & go
  • 50 quick, touch & go
  • 25 smooth recovery, touch & go
  • 75 quick, touch & go
  • 25 smooth recovery, touch & go
  • 100 quick
  • 25 smooth recovery
  • 20 seconds rest
  • 200 steady pull with buoys, focusing on technique

 

Cool down:

  • 300 - 2x (50 backstroke, 25 easy free, 25 kick, 25 elementary back, 25 free)

 

Total: 2850

 

Workout Three - Max Effort, Active Extended Recovery

Warm-up:

  • 600 as 3x: (100 free smooth, 50 kick build, 50 back relaxed)
  • 2x: 5x100 @ rest interval :25, :20, :15, :10, :05 - first should be relaxed with technique focus, descend pace of 100s by about 2 seconds per 100 so that 5th and 10th are strong) [goal is to raise heart rate, warm-up muscles, get body prepared for hard main set]
  • 8 x 12.5 sprint, 12.5 SUPER easy with an extra 15 seconds on wall

 

Main Set:

  • 100 max effort for time; 200 super easy; 15 seconds rest
  • 150 max effort for time (goal for pace to be less than 1 second per 50 slower); 150 super easy; 15 seconds rest
  • 200 max effort for time (goal for pace to be: [100 time + 2] x [2]); 100 super easy; 15 seconds rest
  • 4 x 50 max effort @ :60 seconds active recovery (swim 25) - goal to maintain best time for all, definitely faster than ½ of 100 time

 

Cool down:

  • 400 choice very relaxed with backstroke and kick

 

Total: 3200

 

Workout Four - Recovery and Technique Focus

Warm up:

800 smooth, focusing on technique and body position as:

  • 100 freestyle
  • 50 kick on stomach with head facing bottom and pressing chest (body position)
  • 75 backstroke easy
  • 75 elementary backstroke

 

Main Set:

  • 4 x 250 freestyle @ :15 rest - focus on staying aerobic, maintaining good technique and a steady yet relaxed pace, thinking about good body position
  • 10 x 50 kick/drill @ :20 rest as 25 kick on stomach with hands by side focusing on body position; 25 left arm/right arm by odds/evens focusing on breathing away from arm as hand enters, good high elbow pull
  • 300 swim as 50 backstroke thinking about fast arm turnover and good rotation, 50 freestyle thinking about rotation

 

Cool down:

  • 300 easy choice

 

Total: 2900

 

Click Here to Download the Entire 12-Week Cycle

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