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Swim workout schedules (with fins or mono)

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Sep 5, 2001

Since it is still wintertime (read: pool time) for some of us I figured it might be handy to set up a collection of training schedules for finswimming...to use by those who feel an urgent need to...ya know: use their fins! :)

Here's one from me: (for bi-fins)


2 *100m freestyle no fins

4 * 25m kick
no fins, alternating dolphin and flutter kick per 25s

200m freestyle with fins
work on technique, don't go swim yourself to death because it's still the warm-up !

Core: a 'pyramid' (sorta):

6 * 25m apnea
try to minimize the number of breaths between the 25's

4 * 50m dolphin swim
1 normal
1 swimming on your back
1 on your left side
1 on your right side

3 * 100m freestyle
accelerate per 25m (so the 1st 25 is slow: 50% effort, 2nd normal aerobic pace: 70% effort, 3rd @ 80% and 4th: 100%, full sprint)

2* 200m freestyle
negative split = the 2nd 100m is faster than the 1st

1* 400m freestyle endurance

2* 200m dolphin swim

3* 100m
1st dolphin swim with a kickboard
2nd dolphin swim on your back
3rd dolphin swim with a kickboard

4 * 50m dolphin swim
1 normal
1 swimming on your back
1 on your left side
1 on your right side

2* 25m swim on your back: relaxed pace, dolphin/flutter kick with fins

And a short cooling-down:

100m freestyle, no fins (easy pace)

You might find this workout quite long (2500m in total) and complicated but I personally like some variation when grinding laps in a tiled pool, and 2500m is a nice distance for about an hour's swim. Not too long and not too short for getting fit. That's what we do all this for, right? :confused:


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I have done a lot of warm ups / training sessions for underwater hockey - and for monofinning :

For bi-fins (UW hockey) I like to to 5 to 10 minutes of the following:

Bleep testing - basically a conconi test increasing the speed gradually every 100m, until you can't hold the pace.

1 breath every 12.5m, conentrating on maximising the breath volume

1 length underwater, 1 length on the surface (fitter people swim back using their arms, less fit people legs only).

1 length, 1 breath (can't keep this up for a long time!)

The last one is interesting - I can almost do it indefinitely in the local 18m pool, but find it hard to do more than 5 lengths in a 25m pool.

For monofinning:

I tend to stick to technical issues still since I am not 100% happy with my stroke yet. This is all with a long distance fin.

I do 50m underwater in a 20m pool which varies in time from about 20 seconds (sprint) up to about 36 seconds (dynamic apnea speed). I just try and tweak every 50m by trying to alter something slightly.

My technique has improved massively in the month or two that I have been doing this - but as far as i am concerned - there is always room for improvement. I intend to keep doing this until I can swim with perfect technique without any focu whatsoever. I can mange this with Bi-fins, but not with a mono or without fins. My wife is the opposite - she finds swimming without fins the easiest because it is ingrained into her through decades of swim training.

Hopefully it won't take me decades to master the monofin! I feel as though my technique must be OK to mange 20 second 50m apneas in a 25m pool with a Long distane fin. I am getting a medium stiffness waterway next week and hopefully I will get faster. I think world record pace for 50m apnea is 14.51 so I have a long way to go!
What is your take on dynamic turns with the monofin. For apnea I push of with my hand and turn stomach flat to the floor and for sprints I do a somersalt (is that how you spell it, I've been in Spain too long) but I find if my timin is just slightly out I end up kissing the wall floor or my ass....
Luckily there aren't any taps at the end of my pool and my bath isn't big enough to stretch my legs never mind put on my fin

I do the same: flip turns (or somersaults) for sprint and horizontal turns for dynamic apneas.

The trick for flip turns (if there aren't any crosslines at the bottom of the pool) is to calculate the mean number of kicks you need for sprinting one lap (let's call it K), that is: till your hands touch the opposite wall. Substract 1 to 2 kicks and take your flip turn at K-1 or K-2. After a while you'll get a feel for the distance to the opposite wall and you usually won't get in trouble.

I'll have to re-learn this too: I've been swimming in yards pools in the US for 10 months and now I'm back in a meters pool I often don't make it to the wall. The rather painful opposite happens when going from meters to yards, often resulting in painful fingertips, black heels and bumps on the head... :blackeye

Good luck!

Long lost monomaniac!

Hi Lynn!

Long time no see...:eek:
Is it true that you are back in c-c-c-cold Europe. That's too bad. I hope you had a good time working underwater and playing with the fish.

Wondering what kind of bi-fins you use for your workout. I'm thinking of getting a pair to supplement my monofin training. Maybe a pair of waterway fins. Do you use the monofin at all in your workout. If yes, how do you fit it in?

What do you recommend? I'm a little nervous, it would be my first bi-fin purchase ever. I think I might faint from the blasphemy of it all :duh

talk to you soon,

Vancouver, BC

Pete there is a thread about waterways new fibreplastic bi fins I think its the power blade model. Scott turgeon is using them and says there better than carbon blades and dont break like carbon. If you interested its in the hunting forum under hunting equipment.

Is the sky falling down?

Pete! What's got into you man! Get a grip of yourself!

You can't, you just can't......:waterwork

Whew! I managed to overcome my deadly double. He was trying to ruin me with all this "I wanna buy bi-fins talk." That was a close one! (Be on the lookout for a furtive bi-fin-clutching laminar look-alike running around naked at the North Pole--that's where I left him!)

I have indeed followed the Waterway bi-fin thread, Ivan, and am considering a pair sometime in the future to have a pair of bi-fins to give to people who aren't comfy in a mono but want to try freediving.

I did use bi-fins for a few weeks when I first started diving. They were blue Gara 2000s. I'll never forget making my way up from 50 feet with too much weight and in a bulky semi-dry, thinking, "Oh man, is this gonna be a long way up."

Ben, did you ever use bi-fins? I think the deepest I've ever been is -30m, but that was long after I had been a monomaniac. And I think I used dolphin kick on the way up.

Vancouver, BC

Cmon Pete bifins are the best :D . But I would love to try a mono one day, on the ascent with my bi fins I dolphin kick up so I guess I would like the mono for that.

If anyone sees Pete's Doppelganger - shoot him quickly!

I still have Bi-fins. Although I only tend to use them for spearfishing now.

I have always found that on descent the monofin is a great advantage as you can drive yourself through the positive buoyancy phase more quickly.

On ascent, however, I don't really care whether I use Bi-fins or a Mono. I don't feel much of a difference.

I am physically quite biased over the two towards Bi-fins as I have decades of conditioning to use bifins - but I am slowly beginning to change that and create a monofin stroke that rivals my bi-fin technique, mechanically as well as mentally (in terms of relaxation and kicking without the slightest bit of concentration).


I have never tryed a monofin.
To me just by the look of it it seem to be clumsy


Zipy I reckon a Monofin would be cool to try, they would be useless for spearing but just to have that power would be cool.

fuss about monofins

The difference between (swimming with) bi-fins and a mono is the difference between driving a car or flying an F-16 ... if you have the right technique.

I like to fly.

Besides, the monofin is an evolutionary design that has proven its efficiency. I bet you haven't seen any fish or marine mammal flutter kick yet. ;)

Here's another workout: make sure you take some rest between sets!

50m kicking on your the side: no fins, switch side by 25's (balance drill)

100m freestyle (watch your technique!)

50m kicking on your the side: no fins, switch side by 25's

100m freestyle (focus on distance per stroke)

200m freestyle with fins

200m kick: alternate dolphin/flutter kick by 25's

50m on your back (easy pace, active recovery)

100m mono @ the surface (easy pace, focus on position of shoulders and arms)

4 x 25m mono under water: focus on distance per stroke, streamline and correct undulation ('feel the water')

4 x 50m ditto

technique drills on monofin (surface):

1st 50m: swim on your side with one arm outstretched, parallel to the pool wall, swim as close as possible to the wall without touching it

2nd 50m: on your back, try to stay right below the surface (unless you have to take a breath) , try to keep your head still (it should be wedged between your upper ams)

4 x 25m: increasing speed up to full sprint without losing streamline, take enough rest

4 x 100m: swim at the surface and increase speed every 25m up to full sprint for the last 25, take 10s rest between the 100's (CO2-tolerance)

50m on your back, easy pace (active recovery)

I bet your feet are killing you by now...

So slip on your bi-fins and do 200m to 1000m of freestyle at 60-70% effort (endurance)! :duh

And last but not least: 100m cooling down (= easy pace), no fins.


Last edited:
hi man i am laith ishaq
i am sending you from israel, i am interested in your way of monofins swimming way can you send me more trainings on my email which is pistons_champins@hotmail.com :cool:

and thx
your fan Laith Ishaq
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