Get Into Olympic Shape With Michael Phelps
Credit: Victor Spinelli / Getty Images
Michael Phelps's "endurance with an edge" approach will make you the fastest Speedo in your pool. Plus, it's a lot more fun than miles of laps. This made-for-mortals edition of Phelps's workout will rev up your endurance by training you to optimize your available oxygen. And even if you're not a great swimmer you can reap the endurance-boosting benefits by following Coach Bowman's beginners instructions at first.

POOLSIDE WARM-UP
Jackknife Crunches
From an on-your-back position, keep legs straight and raise them about 45 degrees off the floor. At the same time, reach for your toes while raising your upper body off the floor. Hold for a beat and return. [Three sets of 20, followed by three sets of 25 to 35 push-ups and three sets of 25 bodyweight squats.]

IN-POOL FIRST SET
For Beginners
Start by swimming laps in a standard junior Olympic pool, focusing on good form and resting as much as you need to. When you can do 14 laps per workout, cut rest stops to 30 seconds between laps, then 20. Then string together two laps without rest, then three. When you can do 14 without resting you're ready to graduate to the following workout your next time out. Stronger swimmers should repeat the following circuit three times.

• 50 meters freestyle
• 50 meters holding onto a kickboard to isolate legs
• 50 meters holding a pool buoy or kickboard between your legs to isolate arms

PHELPS'S FREESTYLE PYRAMID
Do the first four reps of the following at a moderate pace. Do the last four at an all-out pace. Rest 30 seconds between reps.

Moderate Pace
• 50 meters
• 100 meters
• 150 meters
• 200 meters

All-Out Pace
• 200 meters
• 150 meters
• 100 meters
• 50 meters

BREATHING/RELAXATION DRILL
Do 12 laps with a pool buoy between your legs, breathing only four times on each lap.

INTERVAL SWIM
Sprint for a lap, then return at a relaxed pace. Repeat five times.

Related Stories:
Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte
The Ryan Lochte Short List
On the Cover: Ryan Lochte's Mellow Gold