Every swimming acronym, ever

by James Nock — in


Below is a table of all the acronym's I could think of. Please feel free to leave a comment with suggestions for others if there are any that I've missed.

Term Explanation
@ Same as 'GO'
+ Same as 'RI'
'A' Stroke Your best stroke, same as 'No.1'
A1 Basic aerobic. HR is > 50 BBM. Your HR is probably in this zone right now.
A2 Moderate aerobic. HR is 40 BBM.
A3 Hard aerobic. HR is 20 BBM.
ASA Amateur Swimming Association
Asc. Ascending - Getting slower over a group of repetitions. For example 4 x 25m Ascending would start fast and get slower over each 25m (i.e. the time taken increases for each rep)
BBM Beats Below Max - refers to Heart Rate. Max HR is normally assumed to be 220 - age in years if not known
BC Backcrawl a.k.a Backstroke
BEP Back End Pace - swim at the speed you would during the back end of an event e.g. the last 100m of a 200m event
BK Backcrawl a.k.a Backstroke
BPM Beats Per Minute (Heart Rate)
BS Breaststroke
BS British Swimming
BR Breaststroke - sometimes also BS or Breast
BRST Breaststroke
C Closed - last 12.5m of a length done hard
CSS Critical Swim Speed - the swim speed at which your lactate gets removed at the same rate as it's produced (roughly)
Desc. Descending - Getting faster (i.e. the time taken reduces)
DPS Distance Per Stroke
FAP From a push
FAS From a start
FC Frontcrawl - often referred to as Freestyle or Free despite it not actually being the same thing
FEP Front End Pace - swim at the speed you would during the front end of an event e.g. the first 100m of a 200m event
FL Butterfly
Fly Butterfly
Free Freestyle - often used interchangably with 'Frontcrawl' but actually means 'anything'
Form Your best stroke that is not FC
FRIM 'Free IM' - Same as an IM except butterfly is swapped for Frontcrawl
FR Freestyle or Free (normally Frontcrawl, but any stroke will do as long as you can maintain speed)
GO Go off - Time in which you have to complete a swim or set of repeat distance/times inclusive of rest time
LTAD Long Term Athlete Development - View PDF, courtesy of the ASA
HR Heart rate
ICS Individual Checking Speed - 100m PB + 15 seconds or multiple thereof
ISL International Swimming League
IM Individual Medley (all four strokes together in order Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Frontcrawl)
LC Lane Clear - When the last swimmer finishes the rep, the first swimmer starts the next one
LC Long Course - 50m pool
m Metres – Our training pools are generally 25 metres so 50 metres is 2 lengths
Med. Medley - All four strokes swum in a specified order. An individual medley is swam in Fly, Back, Breast, Frontcrawl order. A Medley relay is swam in Back, Breast, Fly, Frontcrawl order
No.1 Your best stroke, same as 'A' Stroke
No.2 etc. Your second best stroke, etc.
PB Personal Best - this is your best time to date for a particular event. Long Course (LC) times are normally a little slower than Short Course (SC) so you will have PB's for each
O Open - first 12.5m of a length done hard
P Pull - Arms only (no kicking)
RI Rest Interval - How much rest (usually in seconds) you get after a set swim e.g. 8 x 50m FC RI 20s (20 seconds rest after each 50 metres Freestyle).
Set A self-contained part of the swimming session as 'set' by the coach
SC Swimming Club
SC Short Course - 25m pool
SC Stroke Count - Number of strokes per 25m or 50m (FC and BK every 2 arm pulls = a cycle. BR and Fly 1 arm pull = a cycle).
SE Swim England
SKPDS Swim, Kick, Pull, Drill, Swim
SR Stroke Rate - Number of strokes per minute (measured by stopwatch or calculation) abbreviated as SR
SD Swim Down - Swimming slowly and steadily at the end of the session to warm down
UW Underwater (usually refers to kicking, using Dolphin (butterfly) kick)
VO2 Max Maximum Volume of Oxygen - Aerobic Overload. HR is 10 BBPM. Often used as a test set, harder/longer than A3

Please let me know if I've missed any.

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