EPC Tips - 3-Stage Swim Set

Jul. 16, 2015

The following 3-stage swim set is a great addition to your sport-specific strength building phase.

There are three parts to this set: the long extended reach for strength with all the gear (100s), the increased turnover & core 'taughtness' pull with legs tied and no buoy to translate the strength from previous set to power (50s), and the regular swim (sans gear) with emphasis on high turnover rate to translate the power from previous set to speed.

The 100s are long, balanced, and strong focusing on a big reach, solid catch and strong pull. With the 50s the buoy is removed which forces you to keep your core tight to resist your hips dropping with feet still tied together. Your cadence must increase to prevent you from sinking and all the propulsion comes from your upper body. Then when you remove the band for the 25s, you regain the balance and propulsion from your lower body and with the increased tension of your core and and strong pull you move seemingly effortlessly through the water at a high turnover rate.

Be sure to warm-up well with a 800-1500 yards of swimming and finish the session off with a warm-down of choice. Good luck and have fun!


  • 6x100 buoy & band at 70% @ 0:20 rests  (paddles and/or snorkle optional)
  • 12x50 band-only at 80% @ 0:15 rests (snorkel optional)
  • 24x25 swim  at 90% high stroke rate @ 0:10 rests (no gear)
Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. XTERRA Athletes, if you’re going to XTERRA USA and/or XTERRA Worlds this year join our XTERRA Championship Training Program that contains all the key training sessions that will have you in peak condition leading up to these two great events.  
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EPC Tips