Michael Phelps Describes Favorite Hard Set

In Michael Phelps‘ latest Facebook live post he discusses a wide range of topics while taking on questions from fans, one of which was ‘what is your favorite set?’. Phelps initially says his “favorite” set wouldn’t be good for him training-wise, as he enjoys easy swimming the most. However, he delves into his favorite ‘hard’ set, done when he was younger.

Phelps mentions that he did a lot of crazy sets when he was younger, and then discusses this one specifically. It goes something like this:

  • 4 x 25
  • 4 x 50
  • 4 x 75
  • 4 x 100
  • 4 x 125
  • 4 x 150
  • 4 x 175
  • 4 x 200

Once the 4 x 200’s are completed, you repeat them and go back down, doing the set in reverse order to end with the 4 x 25’s.

Phelps says during the first round of the set on the way up the pace times average from around 1:01-1:05 per 100 yards, and then the times get quicker coming down. He mentions the 4 x 50’s being on 28 or 29 and the final 4 x 25’s on about 14 seconds. The set totals 7200 yards.

Watch Phelps discuss it in the video below (he starts talking about it at the 13:30 mark):


In a previous Facebook live video Phelps discusses another set he has done more recently that brings the pain. 30 x 100 as 50 free (under 35 seconds), followed by getting out, hopping on the blocks and doing 50 fly looking to hold under 28 seconds. Each repeat is on 1:30.

Read about the set here (at #1) and watch Bob Bowman discuss it.


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Super Richie
4 years ago

Uhhh the 30 x 100s is CRAZY! I dont think i could do more than 10! Especially doing them on 1:30 i really would have cried lol i dont see how anyone can swim with him?!

Reply to  Super Richie
4 years ago

college days – 100*100 on 1:10. In fact at 40ish, I know someone who does the 100*100 for his birthday set… with slightly slower intervals!

Reply to  CBswims
4 years ago

100 x 100 was the Thursday of hell week at my high school. Senior year did it in sets of 10 alternating between 110 & 105

Reply to  CBswims
4 years ago

30×100 on 1:30 is done in LCM not yards lol. That would be too easy…

Mark Mulligan
Reply to  YouKnowWho
4 years ago

University Florida – 100 x 100 meters on 1:10. Very, very few ever made the full 100. I got up to 82 and bowed out.

4 years ago

There was this guy Juan Veloz who did 100×100 fly LCM. He average 1:10… I dont know if the send off was 1:30 or 1:40 or 1:50. I believe Kelly Kramer was Assisting Coach Rose at the time.

Reply to  someone
4 years ago

I really don’t think that is possible, sorry I just don’t believe that.

4 years ago

@cbswims cool story bro.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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