Lung volumes and inspiratory muscle (IM) function tests were measured in 16 competitive female swimmers (age 19 +/- 1 yr) before and after 12 wk of swim training. Eight underwent additional IM training; the remaining eight were controls. Vital capacity (VC) increased 0.25 +/- 0.25 liters (P less than 0.01), functional residual capacity (FRC) increased 0.39 +/- 0.29 liters (P less than 0.001), and total lung capacity (TLC) increased 0.35 +/- 0.47 (P less than 0.025) in swimmers, irrespective of IM training. Residual volume (RV) did not change. Maximum inspiratory mouth pressure (PImax) measured at FRC changed -43 +/- 18 cmH2O (P less than 0.005) in swimmers undergoing IM conditioning and -29 +/- 25 (P less than 0.05) in controls. The time that 65% of prestudy PImax could be endured increased in IM trainers (P less than 0.001) and controls (P less than 0.05). All results were compared with similar IM training in normal females (age 21.1 +/- 0.8 yr) in which significant increases in PImax and endurance were observed in IM trainers only with no changes in VC, FRC, or TLC (Clanton et al., Chest 87: 62-66, 1985). We conclude that 1) swim training in mature females increases VC, TLC, and FRC with no effect on RV, and 2) swim training increases IM strength and endurance measured near FRC.