Archive for the ‘Swimming’ Category

Swim Boot Camp

Posted: October 7, 2011 in Swimming, Weights

This week I had the opportunity to put together two of my favorite things…swimming and weight training!  Rather than run between sets, participants got in and out of the pool.  Super safe and effective way to work out.  Holy cow calorie burner!

I had all different levels, so this work out really can be for anyone! 

Parenthesis is the advanced work out.

Warm up- swim several times down and back to get used to the water (400 easy)


  • 50 kick with board (100)
  • 20 bicep curls
  • 20 weighted squats


  • 25 freestyle, 10 push ups, 25 freestyle 9 push ups, down to 1


  • 50 freestyle swim (100)
  • 20 overhead tricep extensions
  • 20 plank back rows


  • 25 freestyle swim, 5 push ups, 25 freestyle swim, 4 push ups, down to 1

Easy swimming to cool down.




Run & Swim

Posted: July 1, 2011 in Swimming, Treadmill/Running

What better way to enjoy the summer AND get a great cardio workout!  Enjoy the outdoors then hop in the pool.

Unless you are lucky enough to have low humidity…make sure you get up early to run.  Many outdoor pools open their lanes in the morning for swimmers to get laps in before work.

You don’t have to be an olympic swimmer to enjoy the benefits of a full body, low impact work out.  Swimming burns just as many calories if not more than a run, so why not hop in for a few laps after your normal jog?

First, RUN

  • 1 mile easy
  • 4x.25 @ 75% with 15 sec rest between
  • 1 mile easy
  • 4x.25 @ 85% with 15 sec rest between
  • 1 mile easy
  • = 5 miles

Then, Swim

25= 1 lap


  • 4 laps easy freestyle
  • 8x 25s freestyle kick with board (15 sec rest b/w)
  • 8x 25s 3+8 drill (3 strokes, kick on side while breathing for 8 seconds) (15 sec rest b/w)
  • 8x25s freestyle swim (15 sec rest b/w)
  • =700 yards


  • 200 easy freestyle (8 laps)
  • 8x50s freestyle kick (15 sec rest)
  • 8x50s 3+8 drill (15 sec rest)
  • 8x50s freestyle swim, 1st 25 easy, 2nd 25 fast (15 sec rest)
  • =1400 yards


  • 400 easy freestyle
  • 400 kick, 100 fly 100 free 100 breast 100 free
  • 8x50s free swim, get faster 1-4, 2x (15 sec rest)
  • 400 kick, same as above
  • 4x100s free swim, get faster 1-4 (15 sec rest)
  • 200 easy choice
  • =2200 yards



Posted: February 28, 2011 in Swimming, Treadmill/Running

As the warmer weather approaches (or teases us!) exercisers start to chatter about “triathlons”!   If you have never done one before, what better time than now.  With more sprint and olympic distance tris on the calendar in most major cities- we have no excuse to get out there and “tri” :) Consider signing up this season!

Sprint triathlons are typically 250-750M swim, 10-20M bike, and a 5K run.  Olympic distance is 1M swim, 24M bike and a 10K.  Both distances are do-able for anyone willing to train!  Some of you are already so fit, you could wake up tomorrow and do either.  (You may not do it at your maximum potential, but you could finish!)

So what’s the hold up?

  • Swimming? Hop back in the pool!  Get comfortable swimming on your back, each side, and on your front to feel most prepared.  Look for a local masters program or private instructor for pointers on stroke technique. is a great website for customized workouts!
  • Biking?  OH if you could have seen me on my shiny new bike today (thanks to all of my Charlotte clients!)  Let’s just say I ate some dirt, twice, in the first mile of my 16 mile ride :).  Clipping in to pedals is no joke- but so easy as you get used to it.  Foot cages or hybrid bikes would be fine for the sprint distance events, just a little more work.  Most likely, you have a bike store in your neighborhood.  Check to see if they rent bikes for races- or ask around- you probably have a friend who would let you borrow a road bike.  Its a big investment to buy, but totally worth it!
  • Running?  You all can run. Period.  Use sites like– great training plans and advice for all levels.

Want to get a great “tri” type workout at your gym?  Tri this!  (You don’t always have to train in the order of race day.  You also don’t have to do all three on the same day)

  • 45-1 hour indoor cycle class/outdoor ride if possible
  • 1-3 mile run on treadmill or outdoors
  • 500-1,000M (or yards) swim indoor or outdoor pool (depending on the season)
  • **or any combo of the three!

Looking for a customized triathlon training program this season?  Email me at with questions!

Don’t forget to “Like” Iron-Mamas on Facebook!  Click here!

I am sure all of you gym-goers have experienced it by now.  Full parking lots, every treadmill taken….what to do?!

Don’t lose your cool!  You have been going to the gym forever…you know where everything is, and these are just visitors.  We hope they will stay but over the years I have learned it thins out, week by week, until only a few remain at the end of February.  So if you can’t get on your normal piece of equipment, or stand in your normal place in class, no worries.  Try something new, do a no equipment workout, or take your work out outdoors :) (but dress correctly!)

Here is a “no equipment workout” just in case you run in to this problem.  Also included a swimming workout- if you want to get out of the weight room away from the crowd!

“No Equipment”

Warm up: 1 min, 45 sec, 30 sec, 15 sec each

  • Plank on elbows
  • Mountain climbers
  • Full sit ups


  • Squat jumps
  • Push ups (knees if needed)
  • Hip dips in elbow side plank (ea side)
  • Lunge to knee up (ea side)
  • Squat thrust
  • High knees (2=1)
  • Booty kickers (2=1)  (kick your heels back towards your rear-end!)

Rest and repeat through all 5 sets, decreasing reps.

SWIMMING: focus in this workout is sprint triathlon distance training (approx 250-500yds)


  • 8×25’s warm up, trying to keep stroke count under 22 per lap
  • 8x50s kick w/board
  • 4x100s w/ 1 min rest- try to get faster each 100


  • 12x25s warm up, trying to keep stroke count under 20 per lap
  • 8x100s kick w/board 50 fly kick 50 free (if you cannot do fly, do breastroke)
  • 4x200s w/1 min rest- try to get faster each 200


  • 500 easy warm up- check stroke count periodically keep under 18
  • 8x100s kick w/board 50 fly kick 50 free kick
  • 4x100s 30 sec rest descend 1-4
  • 4x200s 30 sec rest descend 1-4

Introducing: Swim Section!

Posted: November 30, 2010 in Swimming

Many of us need to hit the pool more often.  Swimming is a low impact sport with huge benefits!

  • No impact on hips, knees, feet
  • Uses all major muscle groups most of the time
  • Major core workout
  • Burns the same calories if not more than running, biking, etc

So why is swimming avoided?

  • Hair gets wet
  • “I’m not a good swimmer”
  • Lack of knowledge/what to do

Iron Mama to the rescue! The swimming section will start to grow with water workouts to give you some variety and injury free ideas!

This can also be used if you are training for a triathlon. (Many sprint triathlon swims are done in a pool!)

What do you need?

  • swim cap, goggles
  • speedo (yep! cute, I know)
  • a plan

Swimming Lingo:

  • most indoor pools are 25 yards or 25 meters one way- this is called short course
  • Olympic size are 50 meters one way- this is called long course
  • so a 25=1 lap, a 50=2, 75=3, 100=4, etc
  • circle swim- always keep to the right side of the lane in the direction you are facing, or swim in a lane like you are a car.
  • 2 person shared lane, pick one side of the lane and swim back and forth on that side only (this is how many swim at the Y)

Beginner workout: (I am not sure I can finish a lap)

  1. 4×25’s freestyle, breathing every 3
  2. 4×25’s freestyle kick with board
  3. 4×25’s kick on back, arms by side
  4. 8×25’s 3+8 drill (3 arm strokes, then kick on side for 8 breathing the entire time)
  5. Repeat as many times as you can for an hour

Intermediate Workout: (I can finish a lap or two with no trouble, but breathing is difficult and I swallow water)

  1. 200 freestyle warm up
  2. 8x50s free kick with board
  3. 8×25’s kick on back- streamline or arms by side
  4. 8×50’s 3+8 drill (see above)
  5. 8×25’s backstroke swim
  6. repeat for an hour

Advanced: (I can swim over 100yds without trouble, I swam growing up, I know all of the strokes)

  • Warm up 400 easy freestyle
  • 4×100’s kick, 50 free 50 breast
  • 4×100’s 3+8 drill
  • Main Set:50, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100, 50 (pyramid) last 50 of each swim is always fast. i.e. 50 free is fast. 100 free is 50 easy 50 fast. 150 is 100 easy 50 fast, etc.
  • 4×50’s backstroke warm down
  • repeat main set twice if time

Let me know if you have questions!