View Full Version : Wanting to swim (also doing weight training)

July 6th, 2005, 10:59 PM
I am looking for a good swim workout. I am completly out of shape - I weigh 300 pounds and am 6-2. I am doing weight training right now, but would like to start swimming six days a week. Could anyone offer advice on workouts. I'd be eternally grateful. I'm looking to see results by 8 months.


Fred Johnson
July 6th, 2005, 11:47 PM
Go to Coach Mo Chambers' workout thread on this website, print out the workouts for the week, modify them if necessary to match your swimming fitness level, and hit the pool.

I started with these workouts last year about this time. Since then I have built up my endurance, increased my overall fitness level and lost weight (215 down to 194 as of this morning).

Good luck.

July 7th, 2005, 06:00 AM
How do you read those workouts?


July 7th, 2005, 10:40 AM
Hey Chris,

In the interest of helping you start off on the right foot...Did you swim in the past (high school team) or is this your very first experience with structured swimming workouts etc.

There is a wealth of info on here, but some of those workouts listed are a little more advanced.

July 7th, 2005, 11:01 AM
I've noticed the workouts. No, I've never swam competively.

Please help a newbie out. :)


July 7th, 2005, 04:33 PM
Well, I'm always interested in encouraging someone to get involved with swimming...but it's a little more complicated than just handing a workout to someone who's never done it. I swam in high school and more recently in Masters., but.. I'm not a "coach".... I'm sure there are more qualified people who can help and hopefully they will chime in here.

You'll need to establish a starting point on which to build. It's hard for me to tell you "how far" to go and what "sets" to do, because everyone's ability, technique, stamina and health is different and you'll have to establish your own benchmark. I suggest trying a simple workout first for a week or so and then come back and post the results of how you felt (too easy, too hard, etc) that way the other swimmers and coaches in this forum have something to work with and reference.

Here's some preliminary info:

sets are usually expressed in Yards (or Meters) The average health club or YMCA pool is 25 yards
1 lap = 25 yards
2 laps = 50 yards
4 laps = 100 yards
8 laps = 200 yards ... and so on

(so when you see 5 x 100 in these workouts, that means the set is made up of 5 - 100-yard swims with a rest interval (RI) inbetween each of the five)

The goal is to break your workout into "sets" as opposed to just jumping in and swimming for a 1/2 hour or an hour straight. You'll get more benefits out of doing sets and be less likely to get bored over time.

***keep in mind YOU NEED TO SET YOUR OWN PACE initally. If it's too much, then don't do it. If it's just a little "challenging", then do it for a couple of weeks. If on the other hand, you can laugh this off, then you may be ready for a different workout.


2 x 25 EASY (EASY) Freestyle

Main set - this is called a ladder
adjust the rest interval to your ability

a) 25, 50, 50, 25 (yards)
1 lap - rest (? try :45 rest or adjust from there)
2 laps - rest (? try :60 rest or adjust)
2 laps - rest (? try :60 rest....)
1 lap - rest (? try :60 rest....)

If a) is too easy then try b) the next time

b ) 25, 50, 75, 100, 75, 50, 25 (yards)
1 lap - adjust rest as needed for each.
2 laps - ...
3 laps - ...
4 laps - ...
3 laps - ...
2 laps - ...
1 lap ...

4x25 EASY Free or Backstroke

One last thing... I see more people get in and feel that they have to race to the other end, arms flailing and sucking wind. The idea is to PACE yourself and try to keep your stroke consistent.

well, That's all the time I have. That should help you evaluate a starting point.

good luck,

July 7th, 2005, 07:28 PM
Thanks for the detailed answer, though I have no idea how long to rest for. I think I understood the rest of it.


July 7th, 2005, 07:35 PM
Keep it simple at first although I am sure most will not agree. Swim long and slow to get fit. When I returned after a long lay off I started with 1000 meters then 2000, then 3000. First it was once a day then twice a day, always take 1 or 2 days off a week. Once you can handle the distance then the work begins. It usually takes 6 weeks to get back into condition to start the hard work.

jean sterling
July 7th, 2005, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by Bohemian
Thanks for the detailed answer, though I have no idea how long to rest for. I think I understood the rest of it.


The harder you swim, the longer you should rest. If you swim 5 X 100 easy, you might rest for only 10-15 sec. However, if you swim hard the rest in between 100s might be a minute - maybe even more.

July 8th, 2005, 08:48 AM
This is new to you....
Your lungs will tell you how much to rest when you are first starting out.

I would say you should be a little winded when you reach the wall. Then allow yourself to catch your breath and go again.

At first, you should probably reference the clock only to tell you how much time you needed to recover for each distance, rather than letting the clock dictate when to go again. Then you use those times to improve upon.

Just using the short set that I posted as example... let's just say... If you need 45 seconds between distances today, The idea is to set a goal to only need 40 or 35 seconds to recover for the same set "2 weeks from now" and so on. Once you acheive that, then you can increase your distances using the same model.

keep in mind, there are numerous ways to approach your training. I'm just trying to assist you in getting you started.