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Vasa Swim Build Your Own Swim Workout Series (BYO #4)

Swim Power + Push, Pull, Core

Build Your Own Swim Workout #4: Increasing Effort Swim Intervals

With Coach Eric Neilsen

Build Your Own Swim Workout #4: Increasing Effort Swim Intervals with Push, Pull, & Core Circuit 

(7 to 10 minutes per round)

NOTE: This workout will be done using the Vasa SwimErg (or Vasa Trainer Pro or Vasa Swim Cords) and light dumbbells (or sand bells, filled water bottles, or soup cans).

• Do the swim intervals using either Freestyle or double-arm pulling. It’s OK to alternate between those strokes.

Swimerg crossfit

Vasa Trainer Pro In Home
  • Increase the intensity & effort with each swim interval.  For SwimErg users, open the damper door one level as you progress to the next interval.   For Vasa Trainer Pro users, raise the incline of the monorail or add a stronger power cord.  If you are using Swim Cords and have more than one resistance, change to the higher resistance cord on Interval #3.

Warm-up for 10 to 15 minutes 

Swim Interval #1 

45 seconds, with 15-secs rest 

PUSH – Squat into a streamline, 8 – 12 reps

Dan Daly

Swim Interval #2 

45 seconds with increased intensity, with 15-secs rest. 

PULL – Dumbbell Row from a push-up position, 8 – 12 reps

(Variation: use a Vasa Trainer, SwimErg, or swim cords to do upright rows, too)

Vasa Trainer Upright Row

Swim Interval #3 

45 seconds with increased intensity, with 15-secs rest. 

CORE – Bird Dog, 8 – 12 reps

Improve fitness dryland training

Swim Interval #4 

45 seconds with increased intensity, with 45-secs rest before starting the next round. 

  1. Repeat this circuit up to 5 rounds, depending on your fitness level;
  2. When swimming on the Vasa, always maintain a long and taut bodyline;
  3. Avoid using a “monospeed pull” – Accelerate your pull from Catch to Finish;
  4. Rest 1 – 2 minutes between Rounds.

Cool down for 10 to 15 minutes 

Vasa Build Your Own Swim Workouts use this format: 

Imagine a wheel with a hub and spokes. The “hub” will be swim-specific training at the center of each workout. You’ll come back to the center (hub) for each set of swim-specific intervals in between each Push, Pull, and Core exercise (spokes). 

Use a Vasa SwimErg, a Vasa Trainer, or a Vasa Sport Bench with swim cords to do the swim-specific intervals. The “spokes” will be comprised of a combination of Push, Pull, and Core exercises you choose from a variety of bodyweight calisthenics or functional training tools, such as dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, free weights, or suspension training. If you have a Vasa Trainer or a Vasa SwimErg equipped with the Trainer Strap System, use that. 

There are nearly unlimited variations for these workout configurations. You can create a workout using only upper body exercises or you can create a full-body workout with a balanced mix of the upper body, lower body, core, and swim power intervals. Variations also can be created by changing the intensity level, interval time, or the number of rounds. If you need an easy day, just do it at a lower intensity, with shorter intervals and fewer rounds. Here is a link to the original BYO Workout article. For more workout videos, be sure to check out the Vasa Video library.

You Can Also Check Out Our Vasa BYO Workout Video Library For More BYO Workouts!

Check Out These Articles For More Options & Ideas:

Build Your Own Swim Workout (BYO)

Dryland Swim Circuit – by Tim Crowley

Developing Core Control, Stability & Strength

How-To Training Advice From Olympian Alex Meyer: Preventing Swimmers’ Shoulder Injuries with 4 key External Rotator Exercises

Shoulder Maintenance for All Swimmers

About Coach Eric Neilsen:

Eric Neilsen is an exceptional Masters Swim Coach & Multisport coach from Loveland, CO.  He holds an ASCA Level 4 swim coaching certification and was named Colorado masters swim coach of the year. As an athlete, he’s competed in over 100 triathlons since 1986 and has been coaching swimmers & triathletes since 1991. In his coaching business, Train Smart Race Fast, Eric works with athletes of all abilities providing personalized training programs and technique coaching that empower clients to achieve their full athletic potential. Coach Neilsen coaches athletes worldwide on how to train with the Vasa SwimErg, including technique instruction, training plans, and performance testing.

For a complete listing of coaches who train athletes using Vasa SwimErgs and Vasa Trainer Pro, refer to our  Coach Locator Page!