Michael Phelps is widely considered one of the greatest swimmers of all time. With an incredible 28 Olympic medals, 23 of them gold, Phelps has proven himself a dominant force in the water.

What many people may not know, though, is that Phelps' success is not just due to his natural talent, but also to his intense workout routine.

In this article, I will take a closer look at Phelps' dryland and gym training regimen and examine how he combines these two elements to achieve Olympic-level results.

Whether you're an aspiring swimmer or just looking to improve your fitness, Phelps' pool workout routine will inspire you to push yourself to new heights.

Michael Phelps’ Workout Routine Explained

Michael Phelps' workout schedule and training principles include consistency, intensity, a well-rounded approach, mental training, and a focus on rest and recovery.

By following these fitness principles, Phelps achieved an impressive Olympic career and became one of the greatest swimmers of all time.

Phelps trained mostly in private sessions at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. His Olympic Team would join him there on occasion for team drills and training. Whether he set a new world record the day before or was on the cover as the greatest swimmer ever, Phelps didn’t miss a training session.

To maintain his fitness levels, Phelps got enough rest, wore waterproof headphones for music and focus, and listened to his senior coach staff.

Phelps would spend hours in the water, from freestyle warm-up sidekick exercises to underwater sled pushes; Phelps did everything he could to reach and maintain his fitness goals.

Michael Phelps Swimming Close Up

Daily Swim Workout







Butterfly Swimming Drills



Pull Buoy












Strokes (with training paddles)



Kick (with kick board or underwater kicking)






Timed Kick Stroke



IM Continuous Drill



Ab Exercises (lung busters)



Gym Routine





Standing Dumbbell Press



30-45 secs

Dumbbell Front Raise



30-45 Secs

Dumbbell Lateral Shoulder Raise



30-45 Secs

Compound Movements



30-45 Secs

Other Compound Exercises





Weighted Pull-ups



30-45 Secs

Weighted Push-ups



30-45 Secs

Michael Phelps Gym Workout

Mental Training

In addition to his physical training, Michael Phelps strongly emphasizes mental training to achieve peak performance. Phelps has spoken about the importance of visualization and goal setting in his training, using techniques such as visualization to "see" himself winning races before they even happen.[1]

He also uses positive affirmations and self-talk to stay motivated and overcome any negative thoughts or doubts that may arise.

Phelps also employs sports psychology, working with a sport psychologist to improve his focus, concentration, and overall mental toughness. He has said that this mental training has been just as important, if not more so, than his physical training in terms of his success as an athlete.

Michael Phelps also practices mindfulness and meditation to improve his mental clarity and relaxation. He has spoken about the benefits of these practices on his overall well-being, both in and out of the pool.

Rest And Recovery

Michael Phelps' swimming workout routine includes a strong focus on rest and recovery, as he recognizes the importance of allowing his body time to heal and rebuild after intense training sessions. This includes long routines where stretching is important.

Phelps is encouraged by coach Bob Bowman to get enough sleep, with a typical night's sleep of around 9 hours. He also follows a consistent sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, in order to optimize the quality of his sleep.

Phelps also incorporates active recovery methods into his routine, such as yoga or stretching, which help to increase flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.

He also includes massage therapy and hydrotherapy, such as using a hot tub or cold plunge pool, to improve circulation and speed up muscle recovery.

In addition, Phelps follows a strict nutritional regimen, which includes a balanced diet of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, as well as adequate hydration. He also uses supplements such as protein powder, vitamins and minerals to support his training and recovery.

Michael Phelps Background - Long List of Accomplishments

Michael Fred Phelps is a retired American competitive swimmer, widely considered one of the greatest swimmers of all time.

He is a 23-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time Olympic silver medalist, and two-time Olympic bronze medalist. Phelps also set 39 world records in swimming, the most by any swimmer in history.[2]

His medals come from a mixture of team and individual events. Regardless of where he is in the pool, Phelps is one of the best swimmers of all time.

Here is a list of some of Phelps' most notable achievements:

Olympic achievements: Phelps has competed in five Olympics, winning a total of 28 medals, 23 of them gold medals. He is the most decorated Olympian of all time.

World Records: Phelps has set 39 records in swimming, the most by any swimmer in history.

World championships: Phelps has won a total of 25 medals in World Aquatics Championships, including 20 golds, 2 silvers, and 3 bronzes.

American Records: Phelps has held American records in various events.

Phelps was named World's Swimmer of the Year four times (2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007) by FINA, the international swimming federation.

Phelps is the only male swimmer to have won the same event at four consecutive Olympics. He won the 200-meter individual medley at the 2004, 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012, and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Phelps is also the first swimmer to win four consecutive gold medals in the same event at the Olympics.

One of the best athletes of all time, Phelps' accomplishments have made him a global sports icon, and he continues to be an inspiration to many aspiring swimmers and athletes around the globe.

Current Body Stats

During the height of his training for the Rio Olympics, Michael Phelps’ stats were as follows.






194 lbs


37 years old


16 inches


34 inches


46 inches


21 inches

Michael Phelps Body Stats

Michael Phelps’ Workout and Training Principles

Michael Phelps' workout and training principles revolve around intense, consistent, and well-rounded training. He focuses on both physical and mental training, as well as rest and recovery, to achieve peak performance.

One of the key principles in Phelps' workout routine is consistency. He trains six days a week, with two sessions per day, for a total of 12 training sessions per week.

Phelps also focuses on a well-rounded approach, training his whole body and incorporating a variety of different exercises and drills. This includes strength training in the gym, as well as cardio and endurance training in the pool.

Another important principle in Phelps' training is intensity. Phelps pushes himself to the limit in every training session to improve his physical and mental toughness. He has spoken about the importance of pushing through the pain and discomfort to achieve success.

Phelps also places a strong emphasis on mental training, using visualization, goal setting, positive affirmations, and sports psychology to improve his focus, concentration, and overall mental toughness. He also practices mindfulness and meditation to improve his mental clarity and relaxation.

In terms of rest and recovery, Phelps follows a strict schedule of getting enough sleep, and incorporates active recovery methods such as yoga and stretching, massage therapy, and hydrotherapy to help his muscles recover. [3]

Phelps also follows a strict nutritional regimen that includes a balanced diet, hydration, and supplements.

Michael Phelps Before And After

What Is Michael Phelps’ Diet And Meal Plan?

The Michael Phelps diet during training is important and highly specific. Phelps follows a strict diet high in protein and complex carbohydrates and low in fat.

It is important to note that the Michael Phelps training regimen incorporates his diet, fitness, weight training, and daily swimming routines.


For breakfast, Phelps can be found eating a large meal that includes items such as one bowl of oatmeal, eggs, and bacon. He may also have a smoothie with two cups of protein powder, yogurt, Silk Ultra, and fruits. Breakfast also includes french toast on white bread or fried egg sandwiches.


Complex carbohydrates, like brown rice or sweet potatoes. He also includes a variety of vegetables, such as broccoli or spinach.

Occasionally he will also include ham and cheese sandwiches, fried onions, or chocolate chip pancakes for added carbs and fat. Instead of milk Phelps enjoys Silk Ultra.


For dinner, Phelps eats a similar meal to lunch, with a focus on one pound lean protein and complex carbohydrates. He includes a salad or other vegetables as well.

In addition to his meals, Phelps also snacks on healthy foods throughout the day, such as fruits, nuts, and protein bars. He also drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated.

What To Go For

  • Lean Proteins
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Complex Carbohydrates 
  • Protein Bars

What To Avoid

  • Fast Foods
  • Sugary Drinks
  • Excessive Amount Of Alcohol

What Supplements Does Michael Phelps Take?

Michael Phelps has publicly spoken about the use of supplements in his training and recovery and has said that he takes a variety of supplements to support his performance and overall health. However, the specific supplements he takes have not been disclosed.

It is known that Phelps takes a protein supplement to help him meet his high protein needs, as well as multivitamins to ensure he gets all the necessary micronutrients. He might also take supplements for recovery, such as Glutamine and Omega-3.

It's important to note that the specific supplements Michael Phelps takes may not be appropriate for everyone, and it's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.

It's also worth mentioning that many professional athletes, including Phelps, work with a team of nutritionists, dietitians, and other medical professionals to ensure they are taking the right supplements and dosages.

Related Article - Casein Vs Whey Protein

Common Questions About Michael Phelps

How many hours did Michael Phelps train a day?

During his swimming career, Phelps typically trained for around four to five hours per day, with two sessions per day. Each session would last around two to three hours. This included time in the pool, strength and conditioning training in the gym, and recovery activities such as yoga and stretching.

How many hours of sleep does Michael Phelps have?

Michael Phelps has spoken about the importance of getting enough sleep as part of his recovery routine, and typically aimed for around 9 hours of sleep per night. He also follows a consistent sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, to optimize the quality of his sleep.

How many calories did Michael Phelps eat per day?

During his competitive career, Phelps consumed around 12,000 calories per day, which is significantly higher than the average recommended caloric intake for an adult male. Phelps' high-calorie intake was necessary to support his intense training regimen and muscle growth.

What music does Michael Phelps listen to before swimming?

Phelps has always listened to music while training and has a shared playlist on Spotify that you can use for your workout sessions. You can find that playlist here.[4]


Michael Phelps' workout routine and training principles were intense, demanding, and required significant time and effort.

Phelps typically trained for around four to five hours per day, with two sessions per day, and followed a rigorous schedule of 12 training sessions per week. He also placed a strong emphasis on rest and recovery, aiming for around 9 hours of sleep per night and following a consistent sleep schedule.

His diet was also a crucial part of his training and performance, with Phelps consuming around 12,000 calories per day, which is significantly higher than the average recommended caloric intake for an adult male.

His diet was high in protein and complex carbohydrates and low in fat and was carefully planned and monitored by a team of nutritionists and dietitians.


1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0892199706001093
2. https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/63391-most-world-records-held-for-swimming-male
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4049052/
4. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7KplwCVGwsnDtA6C4CeMG4

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Andrew White

Andrew White is the co-founder of Garage Gym Pro. As an expert fitness professional (gym building nerd) with over 10 years of industry experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern fitness & the newest market innovations for garage gyms. When he isn’t testing out products for his readers, he’s usually out surfing or playing basketball.