Olympian Mike Alexandrov’s Favorite Set for a Faster and More Powerful Breaststroke

Want to power up your breaststroke? Two-time Olympian Mike Alexandrov stops by with one of his favorite breaststroke sets.

The breaststroke is something swimmers either seem to have or don’t, and Mike Alexandrov certainly has it.

The two time Olympian (2004 & 2008) broke the 100-yard breaststroke US Open record in 2007 in a time of 51.56 while swimming for Northwestern at the NCAA Div 1 championships. He won his first US national championship in 2010, and was a member of the gold medal winning relay team at the 2010 FINA World Championships.

For Mike the breaststroke is family affair—his father also raced the 100m breaststroke at the 1980 Olympics for his native Bulgaria.

Here is a quick video of Mike’s powerful breaststroke in action in a recent training session at the University of Southern California, where they use an Endless Pool to vary up their swimming workouts:

Mike, who is now based in Southern California working as a personal trainer with Lynx Fitness, stopped by to share this breaststroke set for swimmers who are looking to swim faster breaststroke.

Take it away Mike!

Mike Alexandrov’s Favorite Breaststroke Set

Hey guys!

My favorite sets in breaststroke cover a mix of pulling, just paddle work, and ending up with swimming: all in several super-sets.

Just like in the weight-room, I like to start with a heavier (or to translate in the water, a longer pulling set for example), and as the set progresses, I decrease the distance and increase the intensity/speed (& as in the weight room, during the super-set I decrease the weight and increase the intensity/speed).

Here is a sample set:

  • 300 pull (buoy and paddles) 25 choice, 50 breast @ :20 seconds rest (4th gear breaststroke)
  • 2 x 150 1st and last 50 breast, middle 50 choice @ :20 seconds rest (4th gear breaststroke)
  • 3 x 100 breast with paddles descend 1-3 @ 30 seconds rest (build each one and 5th gear on the 3rd one)
  • 4 x 75 swim (no gear) @ 40 seconds rest (1st 75 = last 25 5th gear, 2nd = last 50 5th gear, 3rd 75 all fast, 4th = find way to go faster)
  • 6 x 50 paddles descend 1-3 @ 30 seconds rest
  • 8 x 25 no gear 1 easy, 2 fast @ 30 seconds rest


3 rounds through:

  • 1st round, do the 300, 2 x 150s, 3 x 100’s and then JUST the 4 x 75’s.
  • 2nd round, do the 300, 2 x1 50s, 3 x 100’s and then JUST the 6 x 50’s.
  • 3rd round, do the 300, 2 x 150s, 3 x 100’s and then JUST the 8 x 25s.


A big thank you to Mike for sharing his time and knowledge with this breaststroke set.

Give it a shot the next time you are headed down to the pool practice and let us know how it went!

You can follow Mike on Twitter, or hit him up at Lynx Fitness if you are looking for personal training services in the Southern California area.

More Like This:

How to Fix and Prevent Breaststroker’s Knee. The ultimate guide to avoiding and dealing with breaststroker’s knee. Two of the world’s top physios stop by to drop some knowledge on everything breaststroke knee related.

How to Improve Your Breaststroke Pull with Olympian Mike Alexandrov. Mike stops by with a 3-step drill progression that will help you develop a monster breaststroke pull in the water. Includes video of Mike demonstrating each stage of the drill.

How to Improve Your Breaststroke Kick. Unlike the other three strokes, the kick is the main propulsive force in the stroke. And it’s also the hardest to master. Here are two breaststroke kick drills from 2-time Olympian Mike Alexandrov to help you improve your kick.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of YourSwimLog.com. He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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