In swimming we typically classify aerobic work as long sets of medium to high intensity swimming with little rest between each set repetition. Aerobic sets serve to condition swimmers and build endurance by keeping heart and respiration rates elevated over a period of time.
In swimming we typically classify anaerobic work as short sets of extremely high intensity work with lots of rest. Anaerobic sets are used to increase strength, speed, and power while swimming.
Alternate between the listed swims / drills / strokes ect.
During an ascend set the swimmer should swim each repetition slower than the last, thereby "ascending" the time it takes to complete each repetition. Ascend sets should start out at a fast pace at near 100%, and end at a medium pace that allows the swimmer to make the stated interval.
Aliases: Build-Up, Buildup, B/U, B.U.
During a build set a swimmer gets progressively faster during the course of a single repetition. For instance, if a swimmer is asked to perform 5 X 100 Freestyle Build, that swimmer would start every 100 at a medium pace, and end the 100 at a fast pace of close to 100% effort. Build sets differ from descend sets in that the increase in speed happens throughout each rep (starting the rep slow and ending fast) instead of over the course of the entire set.
When you see "breathe" in a set description followed by one or more numbers the goal is to breath every X strokes. Often times a distance will be specified such as "by 25". This means that the workout author wants you to breathe every X strokes on the first 25 yards/meters then Y strokes on the next 25 yards/meters and repeat until the repetition is complete.
"By" signifies that the workout author wants you to alternate what you are doing during a repetition after each distance specified after "by". For example "1x100 Swim / Kick / Drill / Swim by 25" means that you should swim the first 25 of the 100, kick the second 25 of the 100, drill the third 25 of the 100 and swim the fourth 25 of the 100. Sometimes the author will leave out the "by" if the total repetition distance is divisible by the number of changes listed. IE - "1X200 Swim / Kick / Drill / Swim" means you should do a 50 of each. "1X400 Swim / Kick / Drill / Swim" means you should do 100 of each and so on.
Aliases: Build-Down, Builddown, B/D, B.D.
During a build down set a swimmer gets progressively slower during the course of a single repetition. For instance, if a swimmer is asked to perform 5 X 100 Freestyle Build, that swimmer would start every 100 at a fast pace, and end the 100 at a medium pace of around 70% effort. Build sets differ from descend sets in that the increase/decrease in speed happens throughout each rep instead of over the course of the entire set.
Do whatever you want within the set type (swim, kick, drill, ect). If the set type is also Choice you've got absolutely free reign! Enjoy it while it lasts - the next set is probably going to hurt.
During a descend set the swimmer should swim each repetition faster than the last, thereby "descending" the time it takes to complete each repetition. Descend sets should start out at a medium pace that allows the swimmer to make the stated interval, and end at a fast pace where the swimmer is performing at a near 100% effort.
Aliases: DPS, D.P.S
Sets marked Distance Per Stroke want the swimmer to increase their stroke efficiency by elongating the glide portion of the stroke and focusing on the catch, pull, and kick rhythm to travel as far as possible per stroke.
Short for Drill
Aliases: FSD, F.S.D
Ball your hands into fists while you swim. This drill promotes catching the water with your forearm instead of just your hand. To mix this up swim with only one hand balled in a fist and switch sides.
GOLF is a swimming set where swimmers add the time it takes them to swim a distance (25, 50, 100, ect) to the number to strokes it takes them to complete that distance. The goal of a GOLF set is to reduce that total number on every repeat of the set so that by the end of the set swimmers are swimming faster while taking less strokes. GOLF sets promote efficiency and speed and help train swimmers to retain proper technique even while swimming fast.
Aliases: IMO, I.M.O
Cycle between Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle each repetition. After Freestyle, restart at Butterfly.
Short for Kick
During Long and Strong sets a swimmer should work on blending distance per stroke with stroke power. The goal is to have long and powerful strokes.
Try to complete the distance without breathing. If you have to breathe, takes as few breaths as possible. Do NOT force yourself to pass out.
Aliases: Neg Split
A "negative split" or "negative splitting" refers to a swimmer swimming the second half of their race/set faster than the first half of their race/set. If a swimmer was to negative split a 100 meter freestyle they would swim the second 50 faster than the first 50.
During recovery sets a swimmer should swim at a very easy effort. Recovery swims are used to flush lactic acid from the muscles so that a swimmer may continue to perform at an elevated level for the remainder of a practice or circuit.
Short for Swim
Swim, Kick, Pull, Swim in that order
During Under Over sets swimmers will swim one 25 (yards or meters) completely underwater, trying not to breath. On the next 25 they will swim freestyle, again trying not to breath. The purpose of Under Overs is to teach breath control and stroke efficiency while swimming.
Aliases: Warm-Up, Warmup, W/U, W.U.
Warm up swims are done at a very leisurely pace and serve to simply warm the muscles of the body up so that they can handle the stress of later sets without becoming injured. Warm up is a very important part of practice and should not be neglected.
Aliases: Warm-Down, Warmdown, W/D, W.D.
Warm down swims are done at a very leisurely pace at the end of practice and help flush built up toxins such as lactic acid out of the body. Warm down swims promote faster recovery after intense training and should not be neglected.