The Pyramid of Pain

Ryan Woodruff

This set provides some incentives for fast swimming.  The picture below explains the process of the Pyramid.  All swimmers begin with a 200 for time with the goal of being within 6 seconds of lifetime best (girls) or 8 seconds (boys).  100 easy for all, and then those that failed will do a broken 200 (75-50-50-25 @:10 rest) while those that succeeded in reaching the goal will do a broken 100 (50-50@:10rest).  The goal on the broken 200 is a lifetime best.  The goal on the broken 100 is within 2 seconds of lifetime best.  The second swim is followed by another 100 easy, and based on a swimmer's success or failure he then completes either a broken 200 (75-50-50-25@:20 rest), a broken   100 (50-50@:10 rest), or an all-out dive 50.  The goals are a lifetime best, a best +3 or faster, and the starting 50 split for a lifetime best 100, respectively.  Success or failure on the 3rd swim leads to 10 push-ups or a "Hooray!"

We performed two rounds and saw many season-best practice swims.



  1. Had my elite group go through this workout this morning and had great results. I had a few go the flat 200 faster than they went in the meet this past weekend. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Did this last Saturday - the better you are the harder it is - well done!

  3. Please send this set to coachsquires@gmail.com.