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How Do Speed Lanes Work in the Pool?

One of the best things about working out at the gym is the access to the various facilities. You don't just have free weights and weight machines, but there are sports facilities, cardio machines, a steam room, and even a swimming pool!

Remember: the swimming pool isn't a place for you to relax and chill, but it's a place to work out. The pool is meant to be a place for some serious full body and cardio workouts, which is why it is divided into lanes.

These lanes are known as "speed lanes," and they are there to ensure that swimmers can enjoy their workout without interference from fellow swimmers.

The average gym pool will have between 4 and 8 lanes, depending on pool and lane width. There are three types of lanes:

  • The slow lane -- If you swim the breast stroke, don't wear goggles, and don't like to swim too fast, you belong in the slow lane. You get a slow, steady workout, which means you'll likely be swimming for anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes.
  • The intermediate lane -- This is for those who aren't up to sprint speed, but they keep their swim at a fast pace. There will usually be multiple intermediate lanes, as most "average" swimmers will swim at this pace.
  • The fast lane -- There will usually only be one or two fast lanes, but they will be occupied by serious swimmers training for a race or competition. These swimmers are there to train and train hard, and they don't want anyone in their way.

The good thing about the speed lanes is that they help you to find the right place in the pool for your workout. You can watch the swimmers in the speed lanes and gauge their speed. You can also look for the indicators (usually along the wall of the pool) that tell you which lane is which.

Ideally, you should look for an empty lane. That way, you won't get in anyone's way, and you won't have to stress about matching anyone's speed.

However, what do you do if there are no empty lanes? How do you know which lane is right for you? How can you figure out your swim speed?

Well, if you're a serious swimmer, you'll already know your average swim speed. If not, take a moment to watch the people already swimming. You'll be able to see how fast they swim and use their movement to gauge your own swim speed.

For beginners, the slow lane is always the right place to start. You can start out slow, and you'll be working alongside other swimmers who are enjoying a mellower pace. If you want to kick things up a notch and increase the intensity of your workout, you can always get into the intermediate lane. But by starting in the slow lane, you avoid angering any of the intermediate swimmers who are swimming at a much faster pace than you can match!

Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people. Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise -- he does so six days a week -- and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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