I'm looking to create myself a good swimming workout schedule and need some advice. What is the best schedule to get optimum results? How often should one have rest days? I'm currently looking at approximately 5 30 min swims a week (totaling about 5k in distance) but this could increase in the future. Am I better structuring my routine for longer workouts or more frequent?

I already do swim fairly often but without a fixed schedule. My main goal is fat burn.

  • Have you checked out sites like www.swimplan.com?
    – FredrikD
    Feb 17 '13 at 19:46
  • Yeh, it just gives guides on how to structure one session (as far as I can see) Feb 17 '13 at 20:19
  • 2
    Since you want to burn fat, ill just remind you that you might want to train in a inteval/hiit way and you should remember that 80% of weight loss success is proper diet.
    – K.L.
    Feb 18 '13 at 10:10
  • Swimming is pretty much non impact, so you can work out as much as your body will allow. Many swimmers do two workouts a day, 6 days a week. 5k for 5 workouts is not very much, so you should be fine swimming every day. Rest if you feel you need to. One thing: If your form is poor and/or you haven't swum much before, pay attention to aches/pains, you don't to introduce a form or overuse injury.
    – JohnP
    Apr 9 '13 at 15:30

I used to be a swimmer and what my team did was that we had a set schedule from monday through friday; monday, wednesdays, and friday we would be in the pool working on building endurance and tuesdays and thursdays we would do on-land workouts such as running, ab workouts, push-ups stuff like that we did not use any weights when we worked out. That was basically our rest days from swimming. Having a set schedule does help, I've lost a good amount of weight, toned my body and it's a great cardio workout!


I swim for endurance as part of triathlon training, but have never looked at it from a fat-burn perspective. My swim sessions are 1-2h long, 1-2x per week.

From running though, I really noticed the difference in fat burn once I started my long(>20km, >2h), low intensity runs(70%-75% MHR), as opposed to short(<5km, intervals, sprints) high intensity(85%-99% MaxHeartRate). I went from 85kg to 80kg over 3 months, once I added long runs regularly. I read the medical explanation for it: that endurance work-out gets a higher percentage of energy from fat, whereas power-training (intervals, sprints) gets most of it's energy from somewhere else (carbohydrates? sugars?).

So I would suggest longer trainings. I read a study that endurance running burns more fat than endurance swimming though, so I'm not sure by how much you would see the results in swim training.


Increase the duration and reduce the number of days; that should give you the most result, just like in any other exercise.
You'll build endurance and burn more fat this way.

Hope this helps.

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