Swimming: Recommended Program


I am a swimmer and I was wondering what type of workout routine I should do to increase my speed.

Would I do a full body workout or a upper/lower body split?

What are the recommended exercises?

How would my sets/reps look like?

Right now I am doing Max-OT and my routine looks like this:

(These are only work sets, I do about 5 warm-up sets for each muscle)

Monday - Chest & Triceps

  1. Bench Press 3 sets 4-6 reps
  2. Incline Press 2 sets 4-6 reps
  3. Weighted Dips…1 set 4-6 reps
  4. Skull Crushers 3 sets 4-6 reps

Tuesday - Legs

  1. Squats 3 sets 4-6 reps
  2. Stiff Leg Deadlifts 2 sets 4-6 reps

Wednesday - Back & Biceps

  1. Pull-Downs 2 sets 4-6 reps
  2. BB Bent Over Rows 2 sets 4-6 reps
  3. Standing Bicep Curls 2 sets 4-6 reps
  4. BB Olympic Lift 2 sets 4-6 reps

Thursday -Shoulders & Traps

  1. Side Lateral Dumbbell Raises…3 sets 4-6 reps
  2. Military Press…3 sets 4-6 reps
  3. Shrugs 2 sets 4-6 reps

Friday - Abs, Calves, & Forearms

  1. Leg Raises 2 sets 8-12 reps
  2. Weighted Crunches 2 sets 8-12 reps
  3. Standing Calf Raises 2 sets 4-6 reps
  4. Wrist Curls 2 sets 6-8 reps

Saturday & Sunday - Off

Thank you

P.S. - I swim the 50 free, 100 free, and the 100 fly

yikes…a lot of issues with overhead presses…what are your times? What is your build? What is your swimming program like? You must give us more info besides your weight scheme. I am coaching an athlete that does the exact events.

Why max-ot for swimming? Why not a full body strength program?

Yeah, I like those overhead presses! :smiley:


My 50 free time is 25-26 secs
100 Free 1 min
100 fly 1 min 17 sec

This is after my FIRST year of EVER swimming completely!
Coming in, I did not know how to do dives, flp-turns, butterfly…


My build is small if that is what you mean.

Swimming season hasn’t started yet, but when it does it is 6 days a week, 2 hours a day.

Would that be more effective and why?

Do you have an example of one?

Thank you

What is your frame? Height, weight, and body fat % please.

LC or SC meters…or yards?

Stop the overhead pressing!

Is frame the same thing as Body Mass Index, if so, it is 22.1, so my frame is small.

Height: 5’10"
Weight: 155 Pounds

50 & 100 free are yards
100 fly is meters

read my article…


what state are you in?

Interesting stuff, even though I’m not a swimmer…

I think it would be more effective because it allows for more frequency for each lift. Some of CT’s stuff are some good examples of full body workouts, along with lots of basic split David W has written up.

I have come across that article before. So you recommend I don’t lift anything over 6 reps?

I’m in Ohio.

Anymore help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you :slight_smile:

What is your pool training like? Fuck the lifting since popov didn’t do ANY weights…still everyone has different needs and so perhaps you can go over your fall swim program.

As Clemson just stated, no lifting program will ever bring you where a good program in pool will. By this, I would just make sure your only one priority is the work in pool. Any other work has to be based off that,if you want to improve your SWIMMING performances.

This said,you may try to organize the lifts in the program above,again establishing priorities : possibly a few main lifts with the others considered supplementary work. Once you’ve done this you might decide which lifts you want to limit to the 6 reps range intensities and why,and which to keep in different ranges.

After several sustained injuries I have sworn the blackest oath never to lift anything over my head again. Not while I’m swimming, at least. The shoulders are in a fatigued state already. Adding overhead lifts just increases the danger. I know - 3 years ago I was out of training for over two months with a serious shoulder problem. I took weeks of chiropractic work to correct.

Mikeh,deeply agreed.
It seems there are already a few good points to start with out here…!