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Workout Wednesday: AJ Baucco’s all-out swim strength ladder


Honourary Canadian*, triathlete and coach AJ Baucco shares a swim set for Workout Wednesday.

The “All Out Strength Ladder” is staple winter strength set that I give to many of my athletes. In the winter, it is appropriate to build sport specific strength, and there is no better way to do that than to do harder intervals with the band, buoy and paddles. Most triathletes are familiar with paddles and a buoy, but the “band” is less known. The band is just an old bike tube deflated and tied around the ankles. It keeps the legs from kicking which makes the workout much more strength oriented.

This workout can easily be adapted for athletes of all ability levels. More beginner athletes should build the main set to 75s instead of 100s and give themselves a bit more rest between intervals. More advanced swimmers can build the main set to 8 x 100 or even 10 x 100 instead of the prescribed 4 x 100.


What You Need: Buoy, Band, Paddles

Warm Up

200 easy swim

200 aerobic pull

Pre Set

4 x 50 swim, start easy but build each interval to a hard effort

Main Set

8 x 25 ALL OUT pull with a band on :15 rest

8 x 50 ALL OUT pull (just buoy) on :30 rest

4 x 100 ALL OUT pull with paddles on :60 rest

Cool Down

8 x 100 easy / aerobic swim

Total = 2400 meters


AJ Baucco is an established long course professional triathlete from Cleveland, Ohio. He founded AJ Baucco Coaching LLC, which currently coaches nearly 50 age group triathletes from all over the country. He also runs an age group triathlon team called the “Baucco Squad”. In 2014, AJ Baucco was crowned the first ever Kona (Beer Mile) Champion. He has since been given legendary status on the Big Island.

Contact – ajbaucco@gmail.com

Websites – www.baucco.com, www.ajbcoaching.com, www.bauccosquad.com

Twitter – @irunshirtless

Instagram – @ajbaucco


*Baucco once lived in London, Ontario for an unspecified amount of time.