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A young boy swimming in a pool.

Watching elite swimmers compete at the highest level always makes me want to dive in the pool and give it a try myself. If your kid watched the Summer Games and is motivated to up their swimming game, this workout designed by Tyler Fox, a senior swim coach at Life Time in Scottsdale, Ariz., offers a fun challenge.

“One of the cool things about this workout is that it can be completed by swimmers of most ages and abilities,” says Fox. “I would advise less advanced swimmers to start by doing a 25-meter version of the workout, while super advanced swimmers could perform the 100-meter version. If you’re somewhere in between, complete the 50-meter version (described below). Simply choose the distance and intensity that matches you kids’ current swimming ability.”

Fox recommends swimming the freestyle stroke for this workout, but you could switch to the backstroke, breaststroke, or the butterfly, if desired.

The Warm-Up

Remember to adjust the distance based on your child’s comfort and experience.

Swim 50 meters a total of six times, taking 30 to 40 seconds for rest between each round. Increase your effort gradually as you go through sets one through three, then repeat that sequence to reach six total sets.

  • Set 1: 50 meters at 50 to 60 percent effort. Your breathing should become heavier, and only require pausing to catch your breath now and then. You’ll likely start sweating after a short amount of time.
  • Set 2: 50 meters at 60 to 70 percent effort. Your breathing will become even heavier.
  • Set 3: 50 meters at 70 to 80 percent effort. You will start to feel less comfortable at this pace.
  • Rest for 30 to 40 seconds.
  • Repeat sets 1 through 3 one additional time, making this workout 6 sets of 50 meters.

The Freestyle Workout (Pace Set)

Remember to adjust the distance based on your child’s comfort and experience.

Swim 50 meters a total of six times, varying degrees of effort and rest with each set. (You’ll notice you’re actually swimming a total of 300 — not 200 — meters here. The reason for that is to train you for pace, so if you were in a race, you would’ve trained to have the ability to propel yourself beyond the actual race distance.) Keep all of your 50 meters strong and smooth as you increase your effort level this way:

  • Set 1: 50 meters at 60 percent effort. Your breathing will become heavier and you will likely start sweating after a short period of time.
  • Rest for 40 seconds.
  • Set 2: 50 meters at 70 percent effort. Your breathing will become heavier, and you will start to feel less comfortable.
  • Rest for 30 seconds.
  • Set 3: 50 meters again at 70 percent effort.
  • Rest for 20 seconds.
  • Set 4: 50 meters at 80 percent effort. You’ll likely notice that you’ll feel the need to start breathing through your mouth when you raise your head for air.
  • Rest for 30 seconds.
  • Set 5: 50 meters again at 80 percent effort.
  • Rest for 30 seconds.
  • Set 6: 50 meters at best effort. This effort is only done in shorter periods of time with the purpose of increasing VO2.
  • Rest for 20 seconds.

The Freestyle Workout (for Time)

Remember to adjust the distance based on your child’s comfort and experience.

  • Set 1: Swim 50 meters strong and smooth at a pace that feels easy to you.
  • Rest for 40 seconds.
  • Set 2: Swim 50 meters, increasing your effort level by 50 percent from the first set.
  • Rest for 30 seconds.
  • Set 3: Swim 50 meters at the same effort level you completed for set two.
  • Rest for 20 seconds.
  • Set 4: Go all out, swimming 50 meters with your best effort.
  • Rest for 40 seconds.

Cool Down

Swim 50 meters a total of six times with 50 to 60 percent effort for every set. In between each set, allow 30 to 40 seconds for rest. Your goal is to relax your stroke, release the tension placed on your body, and be proud of the workout you just completed.

Callie
Callie Chase

Callie Chase is a content editor at Life Time.

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