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, 2013 at 19:46
  • Yeh, it just gives guides on how to structure one session (as far as I can see) Feb 17, 2013 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, 2013 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, 2013 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


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.


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!

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