A Cheatsheet to Workouts

A Cheatsheet to Workouts

With the launch of Workouts on our FORM goggles, we are changing the swimming game forever. But, if you’re not familiar with swimming workouts, you might be wondering, what do we actually mean by the term Workout?

What is a swim workout?

A swim workout is a structured approach to lap swimming, with discrete sets and a purpose to the time spent swimming, such as improving endurance or speed. Not only can this sort of approach improve your swimming ability faster, but it’s also much a much more enjoyable way to spend your time in the pool.

The Workouts feature walks you through a swim workout from start to finish with the display in your FORM goggles. This means that you get instructions for your swim in real-time, and you can just focus on swimming. This sort of guidance has existed in other sports for a long time, but this is the first of its kind for swimming. It’s the equivalent of going from riding on an exercise bike staring at the wall to doing a workout on Peloton or Zwift. You will always know:

  1. What to swim and at what effort level
  2. How long to rest and when to go
  3. Where you are in your swim

No more swimming X number of laps. No more swimming for 30 minutes. No more swimming until you randomly decide that you’ve done enough. No more repeating one of a couple of workouts that you memorized years ago.

Now you can easily pick a new workout each time you head to the pool that matches your goals, your mood, and your available time so that you always have a great swim.

There are three big points to understand if you’re new to our Workouts:

  1. Workout Finder makes choosing a workout easy.
  2. Our goggles convey all the information you need for your swim.
  3. Our workout terminology used is easy to learn and understand.

Workout Finder makes choosing easy

We have an extensive library of Workouts for you to choose from at launch, with distances ranging from 500 meters(m) to over 4000m. That’s a lot of choices! To help you choose the perfect workout, we’ve created three ways to search for workouts. First, we have designed “Collections” of workouts with a common theme that brings these Workouts together. As the name implies, the “Getting Started” collection is a great place to dive in. We also have collections that include FORM Favorites, Skill Development, and Newly Added workouts.

phone on workouts phone screen

You can also use Workout Finder, which will give you a workout from each of the Endurance, Power, and Technique categories from your selected distance.

If you want to look through the entire library of workouts, we also have three searchable characteristics to scale down search results to find that perfect workout. These characteristics are length, intensity, and category. Each workout has an estimated time, so it’s easy to fit in a swim at lunch or during your kid’s soccer practice.


  • Short - up to 1,500 m/yds
  • Medium - 1,600 to 2,400 m/yds
  • Long - 2,500 m/yds and up

Workouts also have a designated intensity, assigned by the author of the workout, depending on the overall mix of speed and distance. These three workout Intensities are:

  • Low: Workouts that are low intensity are focused on minimal effort, low demand, and may have a focus of recovery or technique
  • Medium: Workouts that are moderate offer a range of effort outputs and are challenging, but should not leave you feeling drained
  • High: Workouts that are high intensity are very demanding, and will be either more sprint focused, or include long power intervals

Finally, each workout falls into one of six categories which are as follows:

  • Endurance - base building sessions that develop the cardiovascular system
  • Power - designed to develop the ability to maintain high-intensity swimming
  • Sprint - intended to improve the ability to execute short bursts of maximum speed
  • Recovery - low-intensity—designed for physical and mental regeneration
  • Technique - drill-based sessions designed to improve your stroke efficiency
  • Test Set - measure your performance improvement over time

For an in-depth picture of exactly how this looks in our FORM Swim App, visit our Support Center.

The goggles convey all the information you need for your swim

Simply put, Workouts give you everything you need to execute the perfect swim. As you swim a workout, you are given instructions, told how far through an interval you are, and a rest timer at the end of each interval. For each interval within a workout, the goggles feed you your upcoming distance, what effort level to swim it at, all in addition to real-time metrics. There are five effort levels:

  • Easy - Easy swimming is smooth and relaxed while maintaining skill. This type of swimming is used as a form of recovery.
  • Moderate - Moderate swimming is an effort that has a slightly elevated heart rate, comfortable breathing and is sustainable for long swims.
  • Strong - Strong swimming is an effort of swimming at an elevated heart rate and heavy breathing. This form of swimming is uncomfortably sustainable.
  • Fast - Fast swimming is an effort at a maximum heart rate and can only be maintained for a few minutes until muscular fatigue sets in.
  • Max - Max (maximum) swimming is bouts of all-out effort. Max efforts are typically short swims or can be integrated as short bursts within longer swims.
smart swim goggles

We chose these five effort levels to be intuitive so that when you see an effort term in the goggles, you know what it feels like and can handle the effort in each swim.

The goggles also show how much of an interval you have remaining, with a “last length” alert during the final length of an interval. Then, upon reaching the wall, the top of the goggles display a rest countdown and tell you when to push off on your next interval, as well as what your next interval is. Don’t worry; if you get tired and need a break, the goggles are smart enough to tell, and taking that extra break is detected and won’t mess up your swim.

When you finish a swim, the goggles will let you know you’re done, with a “Workout Complete” message, and will sync all the recorded information over to your phone and the FORM app, allowing you to look back at what you swam easily.

The Terminology is Easy to Learn

Launching Workouts, as mentioned above, we have worked hard to make the experience as intuitive as possible, using simple acronyms where needed, supplying resources along the way for drills and equipment, and supplying videos in the FORM app.

As a quick introduction, strokes all have a two-letter abbreviation, such as FR for freestyle and BK for backstroke. Drills have their own acronyms, such as K for kick and CU for catch-up freestyle. Each workout has embedded videos for drills and equipment within the FORM app, so we’ll show you relevant information as needed when you choose a workout.

For information beyond this cheat sheet, including in-depth explanations for everything related to workouts, check out our Support Center. If you want an introduction to some of the technique drills and equipment that many pools offer, and we recommend using, check out this educational piece on Drills & Equipment.


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