Build power and speed and even improve body position in the water with this hour-long advanced HIIT swim workout.
Interval training is a staple for swimmers looking to get in better shape and get faster in the water.
In the below swim workout, we are going to cover a lot of ground, including:
- Working on “easy” speed with moderate resistance.
- Master proper body position.
- Strengthen the catch.
- Reap the conditioning benefits of HIIT.
- And have some fun with some overspeed swimming.
Let’s dive in!
Advanced HIIT Swim Workout for Power and Speed
This is a great swim practice for building a strong foundation of better technique, more power, and lots of speed for more aggressive training later in the season.
And, of course, the HIIT element means you are getting the conditioning benefits of this type of training.
We will also use swim fins for almost the entire swim workout, so warm up those calves and ankles.
600m alternating 100m swim and 100m kick
Fifteen minutes of sculling and speed play with fins and swim paddles.
? x 25s (no interval)
- Odds: Front sculling (hands and arms extend above you, warming up the “catch” of the freestyle pull)
- Evens: 10m at 85-90% speed, 15m cruise (change which 10m of the 25m to do fast each round)
Note: I like not to use an interval for these 25s. Instead, do a couple of bobs in the water, catch your breath, and get your mind right for highly focused swimming. One of the benefits of a quality “pre-set” is that it gets you in a psychological space for peak performance in the main set.
100m kick easy with fins
30×25 freestyle swim fast ~90-95% effort on 1:00
- Focus on swimming with *easy* speed, not hard. If your stroke starts slapping the water, or you can feel your traps tightening up, gear down. The focus is swimming fast and with excellent technique. Build the foundation!
Use swim fins and a medium to large swim parachute.
- Nail the catch and body position. Treat this set as a strength-building exercise for your catch and body position (because it is!).
- Breath bilaterally. Swimming with a parachute naturally lends itself to a more balanced stroke, so take advantage of this and power up both sides of your pull.
Note: This set is based on a type of interval training known as repeated sprint training (RST). RST is characterized by near-maximal efforts of ~10 seconds with around 60 seconds of rest. A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Sports Medicine (Taylor et al., 2015) showed RST to improve speed, power, and endurance.
Take an extra 1-2 minutes rest…
4×25 freestyle swim BLAST on 2:00
- Some overspeed swimming to close out the workout!
- Take off the chute; losing the resistance will feel like you are getting fired out of a canon.
- Drop the hammer and unleash full, unthrottled speed on these bad boys, and see how fast you can go.
200 easy mixing swim and kick
Total meters/yards: Around 2,000, depending on how many 25s you perform in the pre-set.
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And that’s a wrap!
In this swim workout, we build some power. Some speed. A stronger catch. Swimming fast with excellent body position. What’s not to love?
The next time you are at the pool, give the practice a go and reap the speed and power benefits.
More Swim Workouts Like This:
8 Best Swimming Workouts for Speed. Are you looking to kick the tires and light the fires? Here are eight swimming workouts for speed to help you swim faster and more efficiently.
How to Develop Easy Sprinting Speed: The “Look Good, Feel Good” Set. Being able to swim fast isn’t just about swimming hard; it’s about swimming fast and mastering speed. Here’s how to establish easy sprinting speed.