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HIIT Workout Routine:High Intensity Swimming Workouts To Torch Stubborn Body Fat

HIIT Workout Routine:High Intensity Swimming Workouts To Torch Stubborn Body Fat

PinExt HIIT Workout Routine:High Intensity Swimming Workouts To Torch Stubborn Body Fat

It has been an extremely brutal winter so far and there is no reason for me to even think about going outside.  I am anticipating summer so much that it is driving me crazy. It also doesn’t help that I am addicted to HGTV’s House Hunters International “Beach Destination.” It’s like pouring salt on an open wound. They couldn’t have picked a better time to show people how amazing it would be to move to a beachfront property in a tropical paradise. They get to enjoy the warmth of the sun while enjoying a refreshing dip in the pool or the ocean every day. Here I am sitting down in front of a heater wondering if I will be able to pull my car out of the driveway or not. That reminds me. I think I have a good topic to write about for my next post…. beach destinations!

HIIT Swimming HIIT Workout Routine:High Intensity Swimming Workouts To Torch Stubborn Body Fat

You probably already know that swimming may be one of the best activities to work your entire body. The health benefits are virtually endless when it comes to swimming but a pool is typically the last place people would want to be seen when trying to shed some excess pounds. Since swimming is a fully body blaster, maybe the pool should be the first place to visit when wanting to slim down.  There is a reason why active swimmers have tight arms and legs with a slim waist. Implementing high intensity swimming workouts is great to burn a huge amount of calories, but it’s also impact free so it’s easy on the joints.

Not Everyone Has An Indoor Pool

The biggest problem people may face is the accessibility due to the cold weather. If you do have access to an indoor pool or a health club that has one then you are on your way to a great body.  In all reality you can’t go wrong with any swimming programs, but did you know that you can dramatically increase your fat burning potential by implementing high intensity interval training (HIIT)? Designing a HIIT workout routine for the pool will without a doubt help you lose that last bit of stubborn body fat.

HIIT Swimming Routine- A Juiced Up Way To Burn More Calories

Regular swimming is still beneficial, but if you need to lose fat fast then adding HIIT to the mix will get the job done. HIIT style of swimming requires short periods of maximum exertion combined with longer recovery periods with less effort. Sprinting for 30 seconds with a 1 minute walk or jog is a normal pattern for intervals. Cardio done in this way is extremely beneficial. Not only does it burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, but post workout calorie burning is maximized more than a traditional swimming routine.

What Happens When You Combine HIIT With Steady State Cardio

Steady state cardio is when you perform an activity at a constant speed for a much longer duration. Because it may take a couple hours to achieve the same calorie burning capabilities as a HIIT workout, it doesn’t make sense to go down that route. But if you combine HIIT with steady state cardio, an amazing thing happens. HIIT will actually cause fat cells to be released into the blood stream as free fatty acids. So the moment HIIT is finished, we will introduce steady state cardio to burn up the free fatty acids. To recap, short bursts of energy releases the fatty acids in the bloodstream while steady state cardio burns them up.

costa rica   waterfall HIIT Workout Routine:High Intensity Swimming Workouts To Torch Stubborn Body Fat

(Costa Rica! I want to go there so bad. I may not come back though)


Your Personal High Intensity Swimming Routine

HIIT Swimming

1)Warm up briefly by swimming a couple laps

2)Freestyle swim(sprint) for 30 seconds

3)Light swim or paddle(rest) for 1 minute

Note: The sprint/rest interval will be done for 15-20 minutes. 30 second sprint(swim) followed by a 1 minute jog(paddle). If you are completely gassed from HIIT, you can extend the rest period to 2 minutes.

Note: I am a fan of allowing customization to swimming workouts. If you are a beginner you can change to a 30 second sprint followed with a 90 second light swim. This will give you plenty of time to catch your breath to allow you to exert as much effort into the 30 second sprint. If you are more advanced you may change to a 30 second sprint but with only a 30-45 second light swim. No matter what level of training you currently are in, you should be gassed right after the 30 second sprint.

Steady State Cardio After HIIT

1)Swim laps at an easy to moderate pace for 15-30 minutes after your HIIT workout

Note: The entire workout shouldn’t be any longer than a total time of 45 minutes. This workout can be done 3-4 times a week.

A Natural Increase In HGH Levels From High Intensity Swimming

HGH is short for human growth hormone. HGH is a powerful hormone that is involved in burning fat and even preserving muscle mass. Increased levels of HGH doesn’t have to come from an illegal drug or injection, but can naturally be produced by the body. There are a few ways to increase HGH but we’ll stick to how it can be done with intense swimming workouts. High intensity exercise and fasting will naturally increase HGH levels. So to optimize the benefits we can combine the two for maximum fat burning effects.

1)Begin your swimming routine in a fasted state. This means that you won’t consume a single calorie 3-4 hours leading up to the workout. Train on an empty stomach.

2)Wait 1-2 hours after your workout to eat. Waiting to eat will maximize the HGH release after an intense workout.

3)Fasting 1-2 separate times a week will also increase HGH levels which helps burn more fat and  preserves muscle mass.

  0 HIIT Workout Routine:High Intensity Swimming Workouts To Torch Stubborn Body Fat

(I actually got to see this live and it still gives me goosebumps)

high intensity swimming routine 300x192 HIIT Workout Routine:High Intensity Swimming Workouts To Torch Stubborn Body Fat

Let’s Recap

You really can get amazing fat loss results in just a short amount of time by following this routine. So for maximum fat burning potential and HGH release make sure to follow these steps. 

1)Begin each workout in a fasted state. You want an empty stomach…no calories 3-4 hours prior.

2)15-20 minutes of HIIT style swimming. 30 second sprint/1 minute light swim

3)Steady state cardio swimming….15-30 minutes of light to moderate swimming

4)Wait 1-2 hours after your workout to eat for maximum HGH benefits.

High intensity swimming workouts like the one above will do wonders with fat loss and your joints will thank you. Since swimming is a non impact exercise, you can do as much as you want without the risk of injury. Another great reason to use a HIIT workout routine in the pool is that it keeps you cool without all the sweat.

 jwmarriottguanacaste 001p HIIT Workout Routine:High Intensity Swimming Workouts To Torch Stubborn Body Fat

PinExt HIIT Workout Routine:High Intensity Swimming Workouts To Torch Stubborn Body Fat


  1. Great article showing the way to do high intensity intervals. I have been a fan of this for a long time and although often people think that it is something you can only do on a track by running sprints the truth is you can do it with any type of cardio exercises.

    I really enjoyed the swimming intervals you described. If done right anyone can look fit like an Olympian swimmer without having to sacrifice their social life to the pool.


  2. The Underwear Body says:

    You’re right about Costa Rica. The only guy I’ve ever known go there met a girl and got married!

    Cool routine though. Im thinking of heading into the pool when I go back to the gym in a month or so (I’m working out at home right now) and this HIIT routine looks fun, in a “pain is love” kind of way.


  3. That is one intense routine. Swimming on its own is challenging enough but combined with HIIT is awesome for fat burning. I have to believe this is one of the best things you can do, especially since swimming is a nice low impact exercise with low risk of injury.

  4. Kmasse says:

    Thanks for the great article!

    Back in 2004 I applied HIIT for running and after 12 training sessions of 5-15min I was in a very good running form (I could easily do longer distances with a good pace) and my waist 10% slimmer. The sessions were tough, I felt like puking after 4min.

    I am now applying HIIT to swimming as well (can’t run with a broken ankle) and it’s more comfortable as I don’t feel like dying after each sprint.

    Do you have to swim between the 30sec sprints? My swim teacher (4th fastest freestyle swimmer in Finland) said I could completely rest for 45-60 sec and then sprint again. If I swim in between, I can’t sprint as fast.

    HIIT is demanding. My record in 50 meters (without a jump) is 28 seconds and I don’t start HIIT much slower (32-33 seconds per 50 meters) but the times quickly drop to 35 seconds even with the 1-minute rests. Usually after 400 meters the times have dropped already to 38 seconds (which feels like I don’t move at all anymore).

    • thefitnesschronicle says:

      It is completely fine to rest between sprints. 30 second sprints are pretty brutal enough so resting to gain more of an edge on your next sprint is just fine. It’s more of a personal preference of mine to keep moving. I feel your pain with HIIT running… I am currently doing sprinting workouts on a local high school track and it is kicking my butt!

  5. Wow! I am glad I came across your site! Some points I completely agree with and knew about, but some stuff I had not thought about! Thanks!

  6. Cheryl says:

    Very good blog! You have made some points I did not know on weight loss. Thank you!

  7. Jay says:

    Hey, so I’ve been swimming for about 15-20 minutes as post lifting cardio but i also like to use the HIIT for my cardio day. My question is whether I should drink a protein shake during, immediately following or wait the 2 hours for fasting reasons. Im worried about cannibalizing muscle but I also want the benefits of the HGH.


    • admin says:


      1) Don’t ever worry about cannibalizing muscle.
      2) Is there a specific reason why you are taking protein shakes?
      3) With having limited knowledge of your goals and/or situation I would suggest waiting 2 hours post workout if you are strength training before.
      4) If you are mass building then I would consume it the moment you are done swimming
      Note: I personally only use protein shakes to control my calorie intake. I know most of the fitness world would have you thinking that you NEED protein shakes to build muscle. I completely disagree.
      *Think nutrition to control body fat levels
      *Think lifting weights to shape and build muscle

  8. Michelle says:

    I had heard of HIIT and thought I’d give it a try (before reading your article). I warmed up, did a steady work-out of 10 x 100’s on the 2 min (a moderate pace allowing about 20 seconds rest between each 100). Then I followed by doing 10×50’s on the minute- sprinting the first 25 yards and swimming easy for the 2nd 25 yards resting about 10 seconds between each 50. I’m a beginner to HIIT, so the sprints were more like 15 seconds long followed by 40 seconds easy swimming, 10 seconds rest then more sprints. I cooled off afterwards (maybe 5 minutes worth).

    Did I waste my time with that workout or is it still ok?

    I’m working hard to change my body composition from about 24% body fat to my goal of 18%. I’ve lost 3lbs of only fat in the last 2 months but I’d like to shed about 8lbs more. I realized after using MyFitnessPal that my diet needed serious attention, but I also want to be working out as smart as possible. Any feedback would be great.

    • admin says:


      Good for you! Don’t ever think that intense workouts of any sort are a “waste of time.” Of course there are ways to make your workouts more efficient…but never a waste. Don’t be hard on yourself. Your steady workout as a warm up sounds just fine. Don’t get too hung up on the exact time for the sprinting and the light swimming. If you can continually sprint for 15 secs followed by the 40 second rest (light swim) keep doing it over and over for 20-30 min. When you are finished, follow up with your swimming steady laps for 15-30 min. What did you mean by “cooling off afterwards.” It isn’t right or wrong I just wasn’t sure what you meant by that.

      You will shed some serious pounds very quickly when doing intense intervals in the pool. However, you are right in saying that your diet is the most important part of the whole fat loss equation. If you can always keep in mind that your workouts are to supplement your diet and not the other way around you will be in phenomenal shape. Make sure you check out intermittent fasting on the site! That will be your go to solution. Keep me updated on how you are doing!

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