Coach’s Intel: John Nelson of Piedmont YMCA Shares a Workout Measuring Kick, Speed and Conditioning

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.

Today’s Coach’s Intel was submitted by John Nelson, head coach at the Piedmont Family YMCA. Here is the workout:

This is a great test set I use every month or during training to measure current performance vs past performance in three areas; top end sprint speed, Kick speed, and aerobic condition. The set is colored by the focus point. Below is a key and a quick stream of thought on the set as it flows.

Warm up smooth with lots of freestyle. The first set focuses on the kick rhythm with a kick beat progression. The next set is all about terminal velocity on the 75s. Be sure to call out the swimmers times and record.  Next test the swimmers core strength and leg speed by a 2,000 yard kick set.

Last have them sprint a 500 yard freestyle for time and record their pace. Get heart rates throughout the entire set.

600  @ 10:00    75 freestyle/25 choice


2 x 50 @:40 free with 2 beat kick

2 x 50 @:40 free with 4 beat kick

2 x 50 @:40 free with 6 beat kick

1min rest

4 x 100  @1:45 backstroke swim (3rd wall super)

1min rest


4 x 50 @:40 free with paddles

4 x 75 @:60 free pull

1 x 25 @:30 free swim with fists

1 x 75 @ 2:00 free sprint for time

1min rest

3 x 100 @2:00 back progression drill

1min rest; put fins on


6 x 50 @:35 free kick w/board

4 x 50 @:45 butterfly streamline on back

1min rest; fins off

1 x 500 @6:00 for time

4 x 50 @:50 choice warm down

* workout is done in yards

* approx. 2.0 hours completion time based on provided intervals

* total yards: 7,600

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Got a workout or set you’d like to share with your fellow coaches? Send it on it to Olivier at [email protected]

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hail to the cheif

Good workout… Thanks for posting.

About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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