The Vols’ Sprint and Power Workout

Tyler Fenwick, associate head coach of the Tenneessee men’s and women’s swimming and diving program, dropped in to share a sprint and power swim set that he did recently with his distance athletes.

Fenwick has been at the University of Tennessee since 2012, and has served as head coach for the 2015 US World University Games team and sent multiple swimmers to the 2015 FINA World Championships in open water events.

Prior to coaching with the Vols Fenwick was the head men’s national team coach with the legendary Mission Viejo Nadadores where he placed numerous athletes on the US National Team.

This particular swim workout is designed for you speed-heads out there, or for you distance swimmers looking to ramp up the speed, and features a little bit of everything from high resistance work to speed assist with some running dives.

It also includes some video footage they were kind enough to put together for SwimSwam readers.

Here is the workout:

• Introduce high speeds to primarily distance based athletes
• Short bouts at high speeds to expose weaknesses
• Maximum time for feedback and teaching

Technical Objectives:
• Long neck
• Throwing into line
• Give up back of stroke to move center of mass forward
• Lock hips
• Feel stretch with shoulder rotation
• Race tempo
• Low stroke count

The Sets:

1. 4 Rounds of 4 sprints on Power Rack into 2 x 25 yard sprints without racks.

  • Athletes must sprint against resistance. Challenges include maintaining body position and keeping a low stroke count while trying to hit high speeds. Coach times athletes from when they push off wall to when weight reaches the top of the pulley. Athletes count strokes.

2. 8 Runners.

  • Athletes run and dive into a streamline then sprint 25 yards. Challenges include dealing with free speed. They do not have to create initial speed, but must put their bodies in a position to maintain it. Underwater video on delay helps them review each other and learn from what they see.

3. 2 Rounds of 25’s on :40 with Tempo Trainer ([email protected] .70, [email protected] .65, [email protected] .60, [email protected] .55)

  • Athletes set tempo trainers at descending tempos. Object is to build into high speeds and challenge comfort zones. Coaches monitor body position, mechanics and time 25’s while athletes count strokes. We’re looking for low stroke counts, great body position and fast times!

Here is some video of the Vols swimmers doing the workout, including some practice on their race celebrations:

  • Morgan Dickson
  • Maddy Tegner
  • Caroline Finkbeiner
  • David Heron
  • Ben Miller
  • Evan Pinion
  • Sam Rice
  • Alex Meyer

A big thank you to Tyler, the Vols’ swimmers and Elaina Lanson and the media staff at the University of Tennessee for sharing this workout and video footage! You can catch up with both Tyler and the Vols on Twitter.

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Captain Ahab
6 years ago

The young lady at 1:55 pulls with the wrong arm after her flip turn.

Reply to  Captain Ahab
6 years ago

you con pull with whateverr arm feels comfortable

6 years ago


John j
6 years ago

Nice variety for the D group. Good vid.

6 years ago

Nice to see them copying Michigan’s practiced celebrations….Go Big10! 😉

6 years ago

Is Alex Meyer allowed to train (at the same time and in the same lane) with the collegiate athletes?

Reply to  swimfan
6 years ago


Reply to  swimfan
6 years ago

My understanding is that per NCAA rules, he can not train with the college athletes at the same time, unless he is a registered volunteer assistant or has graduated from Tennessee… so I’m not sure how they are making it work.

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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