Masters Swimming

Parent Q&A

  • Early Morning Uncrowded Lap Swim

    (2 replies)

    Looking for somewhere I can swim laps beginning at 5 or 5:30 AM and pay a drop-in fee. Preferably not crowded, as I prefer not to circle. East Bay location. Saline pool a plus! I want to swim for 45 minutes or so and be home by 6:30/7. Can you offer suggestions? Thank you.

    I know the Y in downtown Oakland has a pool, but I'm not a member. Oakland public pools aren't open that early yet, but Alameda Aquatic Masters is 5:30-6:30am. Great coach and I found it less intimidating than other masters programs I have tried (in 2013 when I was going, but I want to start back up!). http://alamedaaquaticmasters.com/ 

    Here is a really cool list of local pools: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/03/15/first-person-best-lap-swim-pools-... that might help your search!

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Summer 2001

I'm trying to get motivated to get back into swimming. All the swimming info on ucb website is, as it should be, geared to kids. Wondering if there are any Masters programs around, especially ones that are gentle and not super competetive for those of us getting back in shape. Ideally in Berkeley or El Cerrito. Oakland or Richmond could work too. Lise


There is a great masters swimming program just above the campus at Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area that is affiliated with UCB called SCAM (Strawberry Canyon Aquatic Masters). There is a nice range of lane speeds from 1:15 to 2:00 ( for 100yd freestyle). There are hour-long work outs on weekdays at 6:15a, 7:15a, 8:15a, 11:00a, 6:00p, & 7:00p as well as Saturday at 8:00a & 9:00a. The team is in the process of hiring a new coach. I've been swimming on this team since 1990 & love it. It's a great group of people in addition to challenging & varied workouts. The cost is 45$/month for non-students & less for students. If you just show up at a workout you can talk to the coach & I think you can even participate once before signing up to be sure that you like it. Lianne


A few years ago I started swimming at the El Cerrito Community Pool and really enjoyed it. It's a nice outdoor pool in a fairly quiet neighborhood. They have a masters program there that I think meets in the evening. I had a good impression of the 'coach' who was lifeguarding at the time that I swam (he and spoke briefly about the masters program). You can also try the Berkeley Y. Freyjja


Mills College has a Masters Swimming Program, as does Holy Names Pool. The Mills Aquatic Center Phone Number is:(510) 430-2170 This is a beautiful pool which is also open for recreational swim 4:30-6:30 weekdays and longer on the weekend.


Strawberry Canyon Recreation Center above the UCB stadium has a great Masters Swimming program that my husband participates in. They have workouts at three or four times in the morning and a couple of times in the evening. Laura


Cal FIT has an open swim session at Hearst Gym at lunchtime. They have other sessions as well, but I don't know when they are, offhand. They also have a very nice Water Exercise class which I attend most of the time (though I'm taking the summer off). I know for a fact that the Water Ex. class is open to the community, as well as faculty, staff and students. There is a charge, and it varies depending on your relationship to UCB (students are least, community most). Don't know about the open swim, but you can always ask. Call 643-5151 for more information. Good luck! Dawn