T Nation

Swimming and Lifting

I need to improve my cardio vascular endurance and was thinking about swimming, I was very good at it as a kid and I’m a little heavy to run (weight about 200-205 pounds).The thing is that I don’t know what to do (low intensity, intervals…) and how to fit it with my lifting schedule without seeing strength/mass going down. The lifting will probably consist of a upper body/lower body split (8x3/3x8). Any help will be much appreciated.

You know I was actually about to PM Tri-GW on the same topic. He seems to be the resident expert on running/swimming. Personally, I swam in HS and still got a little bigger (granted it was only 3 days a week). I also did a lot of swimming this past summer while doing TBT. I think my shoulders and upper back my have benefited slightly, or at least gotten a little more cut. I wouldn’t say I lost much weight at all. I was doing distance stuff like 1000m or a little more, but starting with camies and stripping down to slick after a couple laps. That forced more muscle work and cut back on the total distance I had to swim (more resistance=less distance). Don’t know if that helps any. Tri-GW, if I could get a few swimming workouts from you that’d be great.

i been doin the same thing. i only swim about 15 laps everyday, but my shoulders n back have been getting much more defined. i usually try to do it after i lift weights so i dont lose alot of strength.

15 laps? Gross dude, that’s only 350 yards.

If you want to increase your cardiovascular endurance, I recommend swimming briskly for an hour a day at minumum, taking braks of course, but don’t overdo the breaks. Swim some sprints, some distances. Make sure your form is good too (tight turns, reaching out fully, good breath patterns, etc.). Then, to make sure you’re making progress, take time trials at the end of the week, like have a friend do it.

If you just want endurance, look at your 100, 200, and 500 times, and if you just want to look at it for curiosity, check your 50 sprint times. Also, you should be sprinting your 100s. It takes a bit of endurance to sprint a full 100, but it’s necessary.

Break up the events you swim in time trials many minutes apart so as to conserve enough energy. And on your 50, breathe under 5 times for the entire thing, and try to drop breaths constantly.

Hell, maybe you will grow interested in competing! : )

In all reality, assigning someone who doesn’t regularly swim a prescription of an hour is ridiculous.

Try this:

You’ll do sets of 75y at a time. Break this up into three 25’s, no rest at the walls till you are done. Vary the order each time you go, and add 1 more. This will be a good foundation. Ask the lifeguard to watch your form, and give you pointers.

Orders:

Easy
Easy
Sprint

Easy
Sprint
Easy

Sprint
Easy
Easy

—Pick one of those orders, and do it for a workout, the same way you might follow Waterbury’s cardio plans of 1:00 walk/jog followed by 0:30 sprinting.

So you’d do 10x75’s with one of those orders on your first day. Next time, pick a different order, add 1 (this time 11) etc. The rest between each 75 should be LESS than a minute. You should really at most take 30 seconds, I suggest 10-15 seconds.

This is an easy in concept, but in doing it correctly will leave you truly “wind-ed”.