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I Need Advice: Keep Swimming?

Hey guys

I know I said I wouldn’t post back until I made some gains but yeah, I have a question I would like some suggestions on?

I am currently on the swim team (as some of you know already) and practices lately have been only getting much worse, more draining, and longer, and only will keep getting harder. Now I know it might not seem much, but it started off as about 70 minutes moderate effort swimming to about 40 minutes vigorous swimming now and 30-40 moderate. I am growing day by day to dread practice and not like it yet I love it when I do make it to the gym with 6 hours after / before practice.

Instead of swimming, the school offers “Weight Lifting” as a winter sport and I can fill out my winter sport requirement through this. I dunno if it’s full yet, but can check but do you think I should switch to that? I LOVE weight lifting, but also the coaches during swimming are great and stuff and I can always do weight lifting in the spring

so, quit swimming and do weight lifting or suck it up, continue swimming and weight lifting everyother morning at the break of dawn?

tough question. I would say quit swimming and wrestle. If your going to do a tough sport in school, let it be wrestling. It’ll make you a stronger person, mentally and physically.
Thats just my .02$ though. If you enjoy competing in swimming, keep it up. If not, drop it ASAP and lift your ass off.

Its up to you, but I wouldnt drop anything. Try to organize it if you dont like how it goes. I used to be on the swim team. I was terrible first year (no medals), but then I started lifting. Second year was great. I mixed swimming and lifting. I boosted my performance in swimming doing powerlifting. Got 2 gold medals in one season in 50 meters butterfly and its all thanks to lifting.

I would keep swimming and do weightlifting in the spring. If you quit swimming, you might miss it, and want to go back, since you say you love it. This way, if you stay in, it shouldn’t be too bad.

Good luck on your season!!!

As you know, you can’t concentrate on both at the same time. I prefer to concentrate almost entirely on swimming during the season weight training about once a week, and then concentrate on the powerlifting during the offseason while still getting in a good swim 3Xweek.
The cardio you build up from swimming isn’t something that you can just maintain without putting in the time in the pool. That, I learned the hard way.
Muscle endurance is the other major problem with doing just pl and coming back to swimming. Suddenly, you notice that your muscles are fast fatiguing as they should be from pling. That is why you should still do both even if you aren’t going to focus on swimming.

If you are considering quitting the sport, did you not know what you were getting into or did you already know how grueling it is?
A lot of people don’t give it and the athletes nearly the credit they deserve. I may be a tad biased, as was the guy with the wrestling comment, but I strongly feel it is the most demanding sport you can do both, not necessarily at the high school level, because high school teams are a joke. All of the top swimmers come from a club where we train like animals. On the college level, I doubt any other sport compares.

That is why, if you want to be top level at it, it really has to be your life. For me, that just isnt the case as I too am divided with it and pling.

Yes, stop swimming, it’s been said before.

To anyone considering posting: Read all the op’s posts before this one first.

[quote]EvilRUS wrote:
Its up to you, but I wouldnt drop anything. Try to organize it if you dont like how it goes. I used to be on the swim team. I was terrible first year (no medals), but then I started lifting. Second year was great. I mixed swimming and lifting. I boosted my performance in swimming doing powerlifting. Got 2 gold medals in one season in 50 meters butterfly and its all thanks to lifting.[/quote]

Congrats on the medals EvilRUS. Do you still swim? What powerlifting program did you use to gain success in the pool?

wow…
Yes, probably a good idea to see a professional about that.

[quote]friedrice683 wrote:
I know I said I wouldn’t post back until I made some gains but yeah, I have a question I would like some suggestions on?[/quote]

Can you not participate in this forum without asking questions all the time? It’s ok to post on here, but stop asking all of these ridiculous questions.

What the hell kind of school do you go to that has sport requirements? I can understand having a PE requirement, but an actual sport requirement? Are you making this up just to justify participating?

QUIT SWIMMING. You obviously don’t want to do it anymore or you wouldn’t have asked.

Finish out the season, and don’t sign up next year. Quitting is for pussies.

.

[quote]tmoney1 wrote:
EvilRUS wrote:
Its up to you, but I wouldnt drop anything. Try to organize it if you dont like how it goes. I used to be on the swim team. I was terrible first year (no medals), but then I started lifting. Second year was great. I mixed swimming and lifting. I boosted my performance in swimming doing powerlifting. Got 2 gold medals in one season in 50 meters butterfly and its all thanks to lifting.

Congrats on the medals EvilRUS. Do you still swim? What powerlifting program did you use to gain success in the pool?[/quote]

Unfortunately, I dont swim anymore. I did maximum effort on my indicators (bench, deadlift and squat) and repeated effort on my supplemental lifts. When swimming season was over, I switched to full maximum effort training and I noticed that it was very hard for me to swim even 200 meters, but I could blast on 50 meters pretty good.

[quote]tmoney1 wrote:
EvilRUS wrote:
Its up to you, but I wouldnt drop anything. Try to organize it if you dont like how it goes. I used to be on the swim team. I was terrible first year (no medals), but then I started lifting. Second year was great. I mixed swimming and lifting. I boosted my performance in swimming doing powerlifting. Got 2 gold medals in one season in 50 meters butterfly and its all thanks to lifting.

Congrats on the medals EvilRUS. Do you still swim? What powerlifting program did you use to gain success in the pool?[/quote]

I would do repeated effort on all lifts if I would be a long distance swimmer. I would combine dynamic effort, maximum effort and repeated effort if I would be a sprinter.

Wow a thread that I can answer, becuase I went through the same thing. I was a high school swimmer, and when I started to play water polo I wanted to put on muscle and what not but swimming was killing me.

Well I don’t like quitting, in fact I would go so far as to say that I don’t quit, so I kept swimming. Any you know what, I went through the cleanest bulk ever. Not alot of weight 15lbs total to my body weight, but my body fat went down.

I also got a lot faster in the pool. I say stay with swimming, I did it and never regretted it. Anyways good luck with whatever you decide.

[quote]Zwer wrote:
Wow a thread that I can answer, becuase I went through the same thing.[/quote]

You were a 6’-2" 120lb anorexic too? What a small world.

I?ve not read everything the OP wrote, but I did read one other thread. I’m responding to that more than to this.

Both my kid brothers swam varsity in high-school.

Swimming is not powerlifting, but it is not spinning on an exercise bike, either. Water is heavy. Have you ever seen the back of an accomplished swimmer? If you swim hard and eat properly, you will put on some muscle, definitely, compared to your current weight, FR, and be in top-notch aerobic shape to boot. Actually, you?d put on some muscle doing almost anything physical and eating properly at this stage.

If you enjoy swimming, swim. If you enjoy distance running, run. There are plenty of healthy swimmers and distance runners. If you are doing either of these things to keep yourself artificially thin or to punish yourself for actual or perceived binges, though, reconsider.

I think I read (in the other thread) that you’re 15 years old - is that right? And ~125 pounds at 5’10.5". That seems very light to me, but I’m trying to keep an open mind. You’re only 15. Maybe you have a very slender/slight frame.

Maybe you’re a girl posting as a guy out of fear/embarrassment (I mean no disrespect either way). Maybe you’re one of those kids who hits puberty (and its attendant weight gain) later than others (Again, no disrespect intended.). I don’t know. You could be seriously unhealthy (like on the verge of hurting yourself), or just very light, or somewhere in between.

Your weight aside, some of the remarks you made in the other thread about feelings of guilt associated with food concern me, but lots of people, it seems, have been over those with you. Whether those remarks reflect your actual feelings/eating habits, are attempts to get attention for some other reason, or whether the truth is something of both, again, I don’t know.

Someone (not you, so this is third-hand info to me) did say something about your mom having similar issues with food - if so, let me respectfully point out that it’s possible to love your parents without having to be like them.

I’m neither a guidance counselor, nor a trainer nor a nutritionist, but here are some numbers from my personal experience for your consideration:

My sis is 5’3", 5’4" max. She runs marathons twice a year, and at each of the last 5 or so has posted a faster time than the one before (so she’s doing something right). She recently completed her first half-triathalon. She weighs a lean 130 pounds.

She was at 125 over the summer and had those “crisp” dimples you see on the faces people who are about as low as they should go in bodyfat for any sustained period. At 120 she had sunken cheeks, less muscle tone, and started to notice that she couldn’t recover as quickly between runs. Her 10K times started to increase, too.

120, 125, and 130 pounds aren’t magic numbers - even for her - but when she hit 120 she was eating 1800-2000 calories a day. She realized that, even with her relatively slow metabolism, that wasn?t enough to support the running she was doing (or keep her healthy) and wised up.

This is a girl (albeit a grown-up), significantly shorter than you, with a not-very-fast metabolism naturally. I won?t get into why she felt she had to hit 120, just that she wised up about it. She does lift - a little bit - btw, and it seems to have complemented her running (like I said, she keeps getting faster).

In 8th grade I was 5’8" or 5’9" and wrestled. I weighed 143 and was very lean, and I have what you?d call a medium-slender build (look up a picture of Royce Gracie - take away any martial arts skills, and that’s pretty close). At one point I cut weight because our coach wanted to fill a gap at 135 (8th graders should never, ever, cut weight for wrestling, and I’m sorry I listened to our coach). Wrestling at that weight, I felt weak and ill.

The next year I weighed about 150, maybe 155 (and would’ve been close to 5’ 10"), but I wrestled up a weight class (167). While it was tough dragging around sweaty-ass kids 10 or 15 pounds heavier than me, I felt much stronger and healthier, and ? contrary to popular wisdom ? did a lot better wrestling up a weight than down. I won a lot more than I lost. In 8th grade, it was the other way around.

You know what? I’m getting off track - this isn’t the argument I wanted to employ with you. Similar things have been tried. I’ll leave it in, though, just in case.

You said in the other thread that you’re good at running and enjoy it. (I think you said something about running 12 miles at a clip without breaking a sweat - you sure?) Let’s say that you’d like to emulate Hicham el Guerrouj, gold medal winner in the 1500m and the 5000m in the last summer Olympics?

http://www.kingofthemile.com/images/olympics%201500m%202004(edit).jpg

or that you want to be like Paul Tergat, world marathon record holder at 204:55?

They are both skinny, light guys, but there is no way either of these guys makes do with 2000 or even 3000 calories a day*. I would be surprised if it wasn’t lots more. If you look at Tergat?s pic, you will also see that even though he is a tall, thin, endurance-running machine, he carries at least a little meat on his legs.

*I was curious about this ? didn’t just want to blow random numbers out my ass (and I never count calories for myself), so I did some searching and found this article (Read it, dammit!):

http://www.exrx.net/Questions/StarvationEffect.html

and this energy-requirement calculator, that lets you make adjustments for your height, age, sex, bf%, and activity level:

http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/CalRequire.html

Just for kicks, I entered in the following data:
Sex - Male
Age - 15
Weight - 125 pounds
Height - 70 inches
Activity (24 hours total):
Rest - 8 hours (sleeping)
Very Light - 12 hours (playing Xbox, sitting in class, posting on T-Nation)
Light - 2 hours (walking on a level surface, playing ping-pong, golf)
Moderate - 1 hour (taking out the garbage, riding your bike, going for a hike)
Heavy - 1.5 hours (90 minute swim workout)

And got the following results:
Basal Metabolic Rate (i.e. lying in bed all day): 1636 calories
Activity: 1363 calories
TOTAL: 2999 calories per day.

That’s for a healthy 125 pound, 15-year old male, 5’10" tall, with the above activity level, who wants neither to gain nor lose any weight. Of course, that’s an estimate, and your mileage may vary.

Any of the more nutritionally knowledgeable people who read this board can comment on my math or my source. (Keep in mind, too, that the calculator doesn’t tell you if 125 is a good weight for you or not ? it just estimates calorie requirements.)

At your age and likely stage of development (and I’m sure the nutritionists here will bear me out), a severely calorie-restricted diet will impact not just your weight and athletic performance (if it hasn’t yet), but hormones, development, lots of stuff. This isn’t exercise science ? you learn as much in any adolescent psych class.

Incidentally, if you’re worried about a little muscle slowing you down in the pool, here are pics of Gary Hall Jr.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics2000/photo_gallery/937131.stm

Alexander Popov

and Michael Phelps
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2004/olympics/2004/writers/08/29/reilly.letter/tx_pehlps_si.jpg

all Olympic gold medal winners. I realize that you’re a 15 year-old kid, not an Olympic athlete, but I wanted to give you images of some people successful in the sports you say you like. These guys don’t look like anything but swimmers, but I think you can see that they eat enough.

Two more observations, then I’m out, Fried Rice:

Whatever your other failings (and I’ sure you have many good points ? you’re obviously a smart, articulate kid from the way you write), you come across as a perfectionist - you want to get together the perfect program before you actually do anything.

Real life doesn’t work that way - you want to prepare, yeah, and take precautions, but you have to DO something to get any feedback that allows you to refine things on so precise a level as you seem to want to (not just physically, btw). Put another way ? don?t use your own intelligence against yourself.

If you do in fact have a bona fide eating disorder, or just some bad stuff you have to work through, it’s not necessarily your fault. Chemical imbalance, family problems, bullies at school, stupid administrators, Abercrombie ads on billboards? Not your fault.

Not being honest with yourself and doing what you need to about it when you’ve demonstrated at least some awareness of the problem? That would be your fault, even if you’re just a 15 year old kid. If dealing with it means getting help ? professionally, from some REAL friends, from an adult you trust (maybe a friend?s parent), from a website related to eating disorders, or all the above ? then it’s your responsibility to seek it out.

I know it’s hard, but ask yourself, whatever you?re dealing with now, do you want to still be dealing with it when you’re 20? 30? How will you feel then if you don?t deal with it now?

Good luck, best wishes.

I don’t recommend stopping swimming unless you’d be a very serious weight trainer. I swam for my high school and managed to put on 10 lbs while my bodyfat went to an all-time low. My school’s team uses a lot of sprinting and we lifted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I also got some great fitness that lasted me a while… although I haven’t really done anything since track season and lifting so I’m a little out of shape compared to that point. Just enjoy high school athletics. Just my perspective…

I was in your exact situation for a couple years in high school. Im a freshman in college, and my junior and senior year in swimming were real tough, and it didnt help that i swam competively for 8 months out of 12. From my experience, and everyone else in the competitive swimming world, if you will have NO REGRETS WHAT-SO-EVER, quit.

I didnt make and made my choice to not swim on the collegiate level so I could put more time into studying, but I still remember every practice that I had in high school, all the races, all the friends I have made as a result, and still practice in the water a few times a week.

Some of the best memories in your lifetime will be remembered from a high school sport, whether it was a god-awful set, a new years eve practice, 15x100 on some freakishly fast interval, or even meeting some hot girl at a swim meet. I’d say, stick with it for a couple more weeks. College is the place to pump the iron. Make memories for now.