Volume vs. intensity in the training of competitive swimmers

Oliver Faude*, T. Meyer, J. Scharhag, F. Weins, A. Urhausen, W. Kindermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aimed at comparing a high-volume, low-intensity vs. low-volume, high-intensity swim training. In a randomized crossover design, 10 competitive swimmers performed two different 4-week training periods, each followed by an identical taper week. One training period was characterized by a high-training volume (HVT) whereas high-intensity training was prevalent during the other program (HIT). Before, after two and four weeks and after the taper week subjects performed psychometric and performance testing: profile of mood states (POMS), incremental swimming test (determination of individual anaerobic threshold, IAT), 100m and 400m. A small significant increase in IAT was observed after taper periods compared to pre-training (+0.01 m/s; p = 0.01). Maximal 100-m and 400-m times were not significantly affected by training. The POMS subscore of "vigor" decreased slightly after both training periods (p = 0.06). None of the investigated parameters showed a significant interaction between test-time and training type (p > 0.13). Nearly all (83%) subjects swam personal best times during the 3 months after each training cycle. It is concluded that, for a period of 4 weeks, high-training volumes have no advantage compared to high-intensity training of lower volume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)906-912
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerobic endurance
  • Anaerobic capacity
  • Individual anaerobic
  • POMS
  • Swimming
  • Threshold


Dive into the research topics of 'Volume vs. intensity in the training of competitive swimmers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this