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How to Start Lap Swimming

Find out everything you need to know about getting started with lap swimming. Check out our latest blog post to learn more now!

Published: 1/4/19

Now that we know all about swimming it is time to get in the pool! Since pools at gyms and clubs are typically used for exercise rather than leisure, it is essential to know a few things first, like, what do you wear? Who gets what lane? And how do you track progress? So, let’s free dive right in.

How To Start Lap Swimming

Find The Right Swimsuit

The first thing you should do when preparing for lap swimming is to purchase the right suit. The truth is, most of the suits that we wear to the beach or when hanging out by the pool are awful for lap swimming. That’s because those suits are made for you to look stylin’ and not like an Olympian. But, if you want to get serious about your swimming workouts, you will need to find something that is comfortable, allows for you to move freely, and stays in place while doing so. Do your research and try to find something that will fit you. After all, every body is different.

Get A Pair Of Goggles

Another essential for lap swimming for beginners are a nice pair of swim goggles. Goggles will help you see underwater. Which is important not only because you will be underwater most of the time, heading straight towards a pool wall; but also because there will be other people in the pool using the lanes with you, so it is important to be able to see where you are going so that you do not injure yourself or others. Invest in a good pair of goggles that fit well to avoid any awkward incidents while lap swimming.

Sport A Swim Cap

A swimming cap may make you feel a little silly at first, but the cap is very important. It may be no surprise to you that chlorine is not the best chemical to get in your hair, especially if you’re going to be in the pool every day. And when you have promised yourself you will hit the pool three to five times a week, it is essential to protect it. The other benefit of wearing a swim cap is to keep your hair from floating in front of your face. It is especially helpful to be wearing a swim cap if you have longer hair. A cap will help you remain focused on your lap swimming and not on your locks. For example, when you go to do a flip turn, a proper swimming cap will ensure that you don’t get lost in hair and become disoriented under the water. Swim caps are also helpful because they can also make you faster, so as you start to monitor your swim times, you will be thankful for this little piece of gear for helping you reduce drag in the pool water.

Use A Waterproof Heart Rate Monitor/Timer

Finally, if you really want to be able to track your progress, we recommend that you get a waterproof heart rate monitor/timer. This way you can track your heart rate throughout your workout and calculate how long it takes you to swim each lap. This can be a great way to track your increase in endurance and the changes happening in your body thanks to the benefits of lap swimming.

Find A Gym Or Public Pool

Next, find a pool that you love. This goes for gyms with swimming pools, training studios, and the like. If you are not motivated by the employees, cleanliness, and general vibe of your workout space, you will more than likely lose motivation over time. That is why our team strives to cheer you on no matter which health journey you choose. Whether you hit the Team Training studio every day, complete your own workout on the floor, or enjoy our beautifully maintained pools.

In our pools, you will find specific swimming lanes. If a lane is empty, head over to it and begin your lap workouts. You may sometimes find that every lane has people in them and that is A-ok. Just look for the person or people swimming at a similar speed as you and ask if they are willing to split the lane. If there are more than two people in each lane, the same notion applies. Ask if you can join in. Typically, lap swimmers treat each lane like a road (called ‘circle swimming’). So, you will be on the right side of your lane on your way up the pool, and again on your way back. This will mitigate the risk of you bumping into your lane partners as long as you are vigilant about when the other person is completing their laps. If you are unsure if people are using the right side when swimming, ask the direction in which your lane is going to help keep yourself on track with your lane buddies. You’ll get a hang of the lap swimming etiquette in no time at all.

Set Achievable Goals

After you have figured out all of your needs, it is now time to look inward. What goals can you set with lap swimming that you can track as you progress to achieving them? As we have stated before, we recommend that you start by swimming the length of the pool in the stroke of your choice and measure how long it takes. Catch your breath and then do it again. Over time you will find that the 100 meters that used to have you winded and ready to go home will end up being becoming your warm up. Try setting goals for the next week that both push you but aren’t unattainable. Whether your goal is to lose weight or increase your endurance, it is important to focus on tangible goals that you can keep track of to help you stay motivated.

Swim a Variety of Strokes

Another essential tip for lap swimmers is to keep things interesting. It can become mundane to show up to the pool every single day and track your freestyle time. That is why we recommend learning each of the swimming strokes, front stroke, backstroke, butterfly and the like so that you can create dynamic and fun workouts that will leave you wanting more. With so many different ways to shake up your swim routine, you should have a tough time finding yourself getting bored.

Make a plan of which strokes you’ll practice on certain days of the week and keep track of your swim times for the different strokes you are doing. Changing up your strokes can also help to target different muscle groups so you get variation in your training.

Get Inspired

Finally, get inspired. Lap swimming can be difficult at first but, guess what? You gotta start somewhere. Watch videos of your favorite Olympic swimmers, learn about how they started and how they worked to get where they are. Read blogs from other people aspiring to swim just like you, and even grab a friend with similar athletic ability to go to the pool with you and help to motivate one another. You can even look into swim lessons for adults to get some one-on-one expert advice for starting your journey in lap swimming. It is amazing how far a little inspiration will take you, and we love following along as our members get inspired to exercise and to change their lives.

Chuze Fitness Locations with Swimming Pools

Want to swim at a Chuze near you? Check out our locations with pools below!


Garden Grove, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Anaheim, Cudahy, San Bernardino



Broomfield, South Monaco, Englewood, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster

New Mexico:
Winrock Town Center

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