Swim Session

Saturday Swim Session: Michael Phelps’ Favourite HARD Workout

I’ve come up with these workouts from watching a Facebook Live video from Michael Phelps where he answers the question about his favourite workout. This is NOT Michael Phelps’ favourite workout which is in fact easy swimming, but this workout is based on his favourite HARD set. I’ve given Option C as the full set and Option B I have cut out some of it and Option A reduced the number of reps. But they are all based on his favourite hard set.

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Each Saturday I will post a Swim Session, most weeks I will load three options up for you to do. Option A is for swimmers who are after a workout between 1,000 & 2,000 metres. Option B is for swimmers who are after a workout between 2,000 & 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 2 x 50;
  • 2 x 100;
  • 2 x 150;
  • 2 x 200;
  • 200m Cool Down (2,000m)

Option B

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 4 x 50;
  • 4 x 100;
  • 4 x 150;
  • 4 x 200;
  • 200m Cool Down (2,800m)

Option C

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 4 x 25 10sec RI;
  • 4 x 50 10sec RI;
  • 4 x 75 10sec RI;
  • 4 x 100 15sec RI;
  • 4 x 125 15sec RI;
  • 4 x 150 20sec RI;
  • 4 x 175 20sec RI;
  • 4 x 200 30sec RI;
  • 200m Cool Down (4,600m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 400m. During the warm-up feel free to stop and stretch as needed. It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

Next up is a set of eight reps 50m Drill/Swim, where you do a drill for the first 25m of the repetition and then normal swimming for the next 25m swimming. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill/swim set. Do the drills below twice through:

  1. Kick On Side (left side)
  2. Kick On Side (right side)
  3. 6/1/6
  4. 6/3/6

Take your fins off for the next set.

Michael Phelps’ favourite hard set is a progression of distance from 25m through to 200m, progressing 25m in distance after every four reps. So four reps of 25m, then four reps of 50m, four reps of 75m, four reps of 100m, four reps of 125m, four reps of 150m, four reps of 150m, four reps of 175m and finishing with four reps of 200m.

Tri Training NZ

For Option C I have scheduled four reps at each distance as you work through the set, with ten seconds of Rest Interval (RI) between reps of 25m, 50m, and 75m; 15 seconds of Rest Interval (RI) between reps that are 100m and 125m long; 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between reps that are 150m and 175m long; and 30 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between the 200m reps.

For Option B I’ve removed the 25m, 75m, 125m, and 175m reps from the set. Complete four reps of 50m, 100m, 150m, and 200m with 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, and 30 seconds between the reps respectively.

For Option A, I’ve reduced Option B a little bit more, but reduced the number of reps to two for each distance and kept the Rest Interval (RI) the same.

All three workouts have a 200m cool down. Feel free to pause and stretch when needed and /or include stretching as part of each break until the distance is covered.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi Coaching.

I specialise in assisting first-timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729.

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If you enjoyed this workout, I published a similar session 6 months ago.

Saturday Swim Session: 150 Paddles

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