Combos – Cardio

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Stressing the cardio system is something we try to include in 80+% of our dryland and in-water sessions. Constant improvements to the cardiovascular system is essential for any swimmer to improve and go faster. The trick that is essential for Train Savage is to organize circuits that are difficult to ‘cheat’ and ‘hold back’ so we can get the most out of each swimmer. Some of our best cardio sessions involve competitions in various ways. This may be a race or it may be to record the number of reps each swimmer can do in a given period of time. Ideally we then combine various swim-specific muscle movements for any part of our swim races.

Digging Deeper with Articles on this topic:

Combined In-Water + Dryland Circuit Examples:

  • Here we crank up the heart rate with dryland exercises before they race freestyle.
  • Products Used: Battle of the Beast Ropes, Dryland Kicking Assembly

    • A combo session with a nice mix of upper body work unbalanced push-ups, Streamline jumps which are far more of a leg workout than they first appear, and a 50 yard butterfly for time. Get them ‘warmed up’ with a mix of dryland just before all out swimming… great to simulate the back half of 100 Fly.

    • 100 Fly is hard to swim seriously when you share a lane with several people. We like to wear out their bodies with dryland functions while we swim Fly for time whenever practical. Here we have a circuit on battle ropes (alternating arms while on unbalance bosu). Another Circuit is on our Track Start with our stretch cords doing ankle extensions. And the 3rd circuit is our Battle of the Beast Ropes with a 1 arm plank.
    • Products Used: Battle of the Beast Ropes, Track Start

    In-Water Only Examples:

    • While you probably can’t run a ladder over you pool for pull-ups, hopefully this will give you some ideas of what might be possible. We love our ‘flip outs’ in which you do a 360 flip turn at the wall and then straight into a wall out. Combining that with pull-ups is a great way to get the most out of a mere 100 yards.

    Dryland-Only Examples:

    • Again one of our favorite way to build the most important muscle (the heart) is to focus on dryland exercises that require constant effort. Here we are using the Battle of the Beast Ropes as Skaters while others are doing straight-legged flutter kicking (for the recovery kick muscles), and jumping rope.
    • Products Used: Battle of the Beast Ropes

    • Diversifying your dryland sessions is a great way to keep kids engaged. Here we start with one on a rowing machine, 1 doing bag kicks while hanging on a chin-up bar, 1 using our Battle of the Beast Ropes (stretch cords), 1 using our TRS suspension with 1 legged jumps, and 1 doing roundhouse kicks on a kick bag.
    • Products Used: Battle of the Beast Ropes, TRS

    Circuit Components (Ideas to help Build your own):

    • jump rope
    • Dryland Kicking assembly
    • Battle ropes
    • Battle of the Beast Ropes
    • TRS squat jumps
    • TRS frog jumps
    • TRS single leg jumps


    • Vertical kicking
    • Kick sets