But that's sooooo 2008.
Time to try something new.
Phelps will begin laying the groundwork for a different program at this weekend's Charlotte Ultraswim, his first meet since winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Games.
He'll swim five events starting Friday, but only two are holdovers from the program that produced a total of 14 gold medals at the last two Olympics.
"It's kind of hard to say, 'OK, let's go break the record in the 400 (meter individual medley) for like the 10th time,"' said Bob Bowman, Phelps' longtime coach. "He needed something new."
Phelps is just glad to be back in the pool after the longest layoff of his career. He already was planning a lengthy break to cash in on his record performance in China, then had to sit out another three months after a photo emerged showing him using a marijuana pipe.
Having served the suspension doled out by USA Swimming, time he spent training and losing nearly 20 post-Olympic pounds, Phelps still has time to compete in three events before the national championships in early July and the world championships in Rome later that month.
He's eager to start working toward some new goals.
"It's kind of like Tiger (Woods) working on his putting game or his pitching game," Phelps said. "It's sort of completing the whole package."
At this meet, all eyes will be on the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, events that have shown plenty of promise but never fit into Phelps' Olympic schedule.
He has the ninth-fastest time ever in the 100 free, and only three swimmers have gone faster in the 100 back -- world record holder Ryosuke Irie of Japan and fellow Americans Ryan Lochte and Aaron Peirsol.
"I've never really been able to focus more on the 100 free or 100 back, events like that. I've always had other events that conflicted with the schedule," Phelps said. "It's more fun doing different things. ... It's not as repetitive as some of the things I've been doing for the last 12 years."
The 23-year-old will be looking for some extra speed in the 100 free, debuting a straight-arm stroke that should increase his speed but is more tiring than the traditional bent-at-the-elbow motion.
"We've actually been playing with it a lot on and off," Bowman said. "Only after the last Olympics did we decide it was something he can really commit to."
Phelps' accomplishments in the pool -- and shaky judgment on dry land -- has brought plenty of notoriety to what has always been a once-every-four-years sport.
On Thursday, he caught an early morning flight to Charlotte for his first meet since winning a record eight gold medals in Beijing. He'll be competing in front of capacity crowds and media from as far away as Japan, France and Britain -- hardly the norm for a Grand Prix meet in a non-Olympic year.
"With the positive and the negative things, there's a lot more attention being brought to the sport," Phelps said at a news conference shortly after touching down in North Carolina. "That's something this sport needs and something it deserves."
Of course, he would've preferred the focus remain on his accomplishments in Beijing, not what he did during a party in right-down-the-road South Carolina three months after the Olympics. That's where someone took that infamous photo, which wound up on the front page of a British tabloid.
Whether he likes it or not, Phelps has clearly crossed the threshold from superstar athlete to cultural icon. He's recognized everywhere he goes and has become a fixture in the tabloids, though he insists nearly everything written about his life outside the pool -- from supposed wild partying to an adventurous love life -- is untrue.
"There are avenues on the Internet and other places where people can say anything they want to say and not have to back it up," Bowman said. "I'm just focused on the swimming, but we have learned some interesting things."
More than 80 members of the media crowded into a hastily erected tent to hear from Phelps, who arrived on a muggy day wearing a long-sleeve black shirt and gray slacks. He had the makings of a beard -- or maybe he was going for a goatee. Growing facial hair has never come as natural as the swimming.
He fielded serious questions from the BBC, the French newspaper L'Equipe and Japan's TV Asahi. He was good-natured when a hefty local radio host challenged him to a race.
"You could probably take me right now," Phelps quipped, breaking into a big smile.