Rio 2016: Michael Phelps’ Off-Season Training, Swim Team Workouts and Secrets Behind His 25 Olympic Medals

Photo Credit: KCS Presse / Splash News
Michael Phelps

Photo Credit: KCS Presse / Splash News

Michael Phelps is undoubtedly the most “decorated” Olympian of all time. Having earned 25 Olympic medals to date, it is safe to say he is on top of his game. So, what is Michael Phelps’ workout routine and training schedule like? More importantly—what are the secrets behind Michael Phelps’ Olympic medals?

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps – Men’s 200m Butterfly Final – Olympic Games RIO 2016. 08/09/2016. Credit: KCS Presse / Splash News.

Michael Phelps’ Workout 2016

As part of training for Rio 2016, Michael Phelps and the USA Swim Team must workout extensively. The swim team holds practices in San Antonio and Phelps even posted an Instagram picture of his team in the pool, joined by San Antonio NBA Spurs Guard Tony Parker.

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

It’s obvious that a major part of training involves Michael Phelps’ swimming workout— aka power training. Swimming is a low-impact activity that is ideal for strengthening stabilizer muscles. It’s also a great way to build whole-body endurance. But that’s not all he does to prepare his body for a major competition.

Here is some training advice Michael Phelps shared with Men’s Fitness about how he stays “race-ready” (his exact workout plan is unknown):

Embrace Drills

To work on speed and form, do more than long swims. According to Phelps, the most effective drills involve sculling (moving your arms back and forth in figure eights), underwater kicking and vertical kicking. Phelps suggests that it’s painful, but it works!

Get in Gear

Incorporate new training tools into your pool workout routine. Phelps prefers Speedo training gear (i.e. snorkels, paddles, buoys and kickboards). He listens to his fav tunes during longer workouts (with waterproof headphones, of course).

Hit the Weights

To prep for the Beijing Olympics, Phelps said he incorporated weightlifting into his workout routine. He has since expanded the amount of weights he uses and continues to push himself to run, perform pullups and push-ups.

Rest and Recover

Sleep is a good way to recover from a long workout. According to Phelps, when his body gets enough rest, he’s prepared for his next training session or race.

Train Your Brain

Be confident and stay focused. When Phelps was in the Beijing Olympics, he said his goggles once filled with water during a race. Instead of panicking, he mentally went back to his training sessions, and figured out how many strokes it would take to get up and down the pool. He counted his strokes and won the race!

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Tune into the Rio 2016 Olympics to see more of Michael Phelps. The Olympic legend has now earned 25 Olympics medals (and counting). This is his fifth Olympics and the supreme athlete has said he will retire shortly.

“Spurs Guard Tony Parker is Training With Michael Phelps and the USA Swim Team This Off-Season”; Stack website; July, 18, 2016;; last accessed August 11, 2016.
Phelps, Michael. Instagram post; July 28, 2016;; last accessed August 11, 2016.