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Swimming for Fat Loss/Fitness

hey guys i am currently on a power lifting training method as i am a power lifter and hope to compete again this year. during the summer break here in nz i have been doing intermittent fasting to lean up along with boxing/kick boxing because i miss it 2-3 times a week lol. i train 3 days weights a week and recently 3 weeks ago i added in swimming. for the swimming iv been doing around 25m intervals wokring up to a taotal of 100o m for fatlos and fitness is this ideal?

today i did 10x100m swims followed by a slow 3x100m swims. from what iv read what i did today was not ideal for muscle and strength your thoughts people?

I swim a lot, 3x a week due to bad knees. The key is think of swimming like you would any other type of training . If you want to build muscle while doing it swim sprints, maybe 10 25m all out. For fat loss do a hard 50m followed by a slow 50m interval.

i was thinking a eazy 500m swim doing 100 interva,ls slow then 10 25 m hard then another 100 up to 500 slow

I come from a running/swimming/biking background and took up weightlifting in the last 4 years or so. Never, ever have I eaten as much as when I was in season for swimming. You can achieve fitness goals (as measured by VO2 max) through swimming but I wouldn’t consider swimming an effective fatloss/weightloss tool.

That being said, swimming makes for excellent HIIT work since it’s not weight bearing. I could go outside right now, run 8 x 400 and nearly die but I could spend hours swimming intervals.

iv been doing it for3 weeks now along with my boxing work and i feel great conditiond recovered and healthy. this is why i asked for it. i asked a few strongaman competitors and they told me if yo have acces to a pool that they would defintaly go for it

For fat loss use cold. After your swim stay in the water it drains energy/calories. Any cold bath, shower is a tiny good thing. If you have options choose the coldest water available.

sweet as thanks man wil stay for a bit in the water when im done

Swimming burns an enourmous amount of calories. Before i entered the service i was a rower, and we often added swimming to our rowing workouts on the lightweight team so that we could make weight.

If you just hop in the pool and do something like swim freestyle hard 25m and swim breast stroke easy 25 meters for an hour i gaurantee youll burn fat.

Remember the fat burning zone is a continuous heart rate between about 130 and 145 once you break into the 145 to 165 area youre training your cardiovascular system for endurance.

Just an FYI, swimming burns less Calories then something like running because it’s not weight bearing.

Depends entirely on your goals, as to the benefits of swimming. 10 x 100m may start to suit more endurance based athletes than powerlifting, but I think it was Pudzianowski who used to do recovery swims in between weights and strongman session, so I think it can be a useful conditioning method. I guess find what works for you, as long as it does not negatively effect performance when lifting.

My girlfriend ladyBird, says that you should do heaps of butterfly because thats the stroke that requires the most strength.

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Swimming and fat loss is an interesting topic. On average, elite swimmers tend to have higher bodyfat percentages than runners or cyclists of the same standard. Theories for this include exercising in cold water (less blood flow to subcutaneous fat) and an increased appetite, as has been mentioned in this thread. Also, some subcutaneous fat may be beneficial to swimmers - it aids buoyancy and reduces drag.

HOWEVER, as a method of conditioning/recovery used alongside a strength training program, it is fantastic. Think of a swimming session as the ultimate form of active recovery from a hard training session. All the stretching/mobility/foam rolling work in the world cannot compare to the four swimming strokes performed correctly in terms of improving hip, shoulder and ankle mobility. This is especially true for breast stroke. PLUS it is non-weight bearing, so your joints get a break.

FINALLY, as a form of pure performance conditioning (i.e. not necessarily just fat loss), interval sprints are a fantastic way of getting some work in in the anaerobic zone and improving your lactic acid system (with the added benefits listed above). Plus there is no eccentric element so recovery tends to be less of an issue.

[quote]Gorthaur wrote:
Swimming and fat loss is an interesting topic. On average, elite swimmers tend to have higher bodyfat percentages than runners or cyclists of the same standard. Theories for this include exercising in cold water (less blood flow to subcutaneous fat) and an increased appetite, as has been mentioned in this thread. Also, some subcutaneous fat may be beneficial to swimmers - it aids buoyancy and reduces drag.

HOWEVER, as a method of conditioning/recovery used alongside a strength training program, it is fantastic. Think of a swimming session as the ultimate form of active recovery from a hard training session. All the stretching/mobility/foam rolling work in the world cannot compare to the four swimming strokes performed correctly in terms of improving hip, shoulder and ankle mobility. This is especially true for breast stroke. PLUS it is non-weight bearing, so your joints get a break.

FINALLY, as a form of pure performance conditioning (i.e. not necessarily just fat loss), interval sprints are a fantastic way of getting some work in in the anaerobic zone and improving your lactic acid system (with the added benefits listed above). Plus there is no eccentric element so recovery tends to be less of an issue.

[/quote]

The one thing that no one has brought up yet (and really needs to), is the issue of technique. Running fast, of course, requires attention to technique, but running is a basic human movement, something programmed into our genes. Swimming is not. It’s a fact that most (not all) of the fastest swimmers in the world have very low levels of strength. They have exceptional technique, however.

This is important because the number of calories you can burn swimming is in some sense relative to your abilities as a swimmer. For example, I’ve had the opportunity to teach over a dozen football players how to swim proper freestyle. When we started, most of them were absolutely gassed just doing a single lap; 5-10 laps over the course of half an hour was enough to exhaust them. Their strokes were so inefficient that every single lap was exhausting. Once they learned proper technique, however, they could go for much longer. This would be my one caveat - swimming is great for conditioning so long as you have good technique. It is much less effective of an exercise regimen if your technique is poor.

[quote]theBird wrote:
My girlfriend ladyBird, says that you should do heaps of butterfly because thats the stroke that requires the most strength.

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This too is dependent on whether or not you have a good technique. For a terrible swimmer, it’s very taxing and impossible to do for long distances. For a skilled swimmer who knows how to use their hips to drive the stroke, it doesn’t necessarily take much upper body strength.

Personally I raced competitively for years and during that time I was always lean no matter what I ate. Now I build a swim workout with high intensity sprint work and less distance. I have found if I put in to much distance my body starts to recomp for endurance than explosive strength. My swim routine always burns any fat I may have in no time. As previously stated butterfly is a great stroke, but if you haven’t spent years learning it don’t do it. You will look awful, and it won’t be helpful in the slightest. From years swimming that stroke, I can just look at a barbell and my back grows.

[quote]renzema wrote:
Personally I raced competitively for years and during that time I was always lean no matter what I ate. Now I build a swim workout with high intensity sprint work and less distance. I have found if I put in to much distance my body starts to recomp for endurance than explosive strength. My swim routine always burns any fat I may have in no time. As previously stated butterfly is a great stroke, but if you haven’t spent years learning it don’t do it. You will look awful, and it won’t be helpful in the slightest. From years swimming that stroke, I can just look at a barbell and my back grows.

[/quote]

Haha I know exactly what you mean. I spent most of the first two decades of my life in the pool. I weigh around 300 lb. and can still hammer out 12-14 strict pull-ups. My back and triceps grow very easily.

[quote]KingKai25 wrote:

[quote]renzema wrote:
Personally I raced competitively for years and during that time I was always lean no matter what I ate. Now I build a swim workout with high intensity sprint work and less distance. I have found if I put in to much distance my body starts to recomp for endurance than explosive strength. My swim routine always burns any fat I may have in no time. As previously stated butterfly is a great stroke, but if you haven’t spent years learning it don’t do it. You will look awful, and it won’t be helpful in the slightest. From years swimming that stroke, I can just look at a barbell and my back grows.

[/quote]

Haha I know exactly what you mean. I spent most of the first two decades of my life in the pool. I weigh around 300 lb. and can still hammer out 12-14 strict pull-ups. My back and triceps grow very easily.[/quote]

Always funny to get asked how in the world I have huge full triceps. Not sure they like the response of swim butterfly for 10+ years.

What did you race and where?

this is a great thread. i agree with whats said about technique. ive swam and surfed basically my whole life. interestingly ive found that my swim technique has got better and better even without swimming a ton. i feel its because of training and constatntly improving my mind muscle connection (body awareness) that ive been able to get better. i hadnt swam much at all the past year and have always had problems with getting the butterfly down. basically i “knew” the stroke but the body was less than cooperative. however, ive finished up a few mountain dog programs and a month ago i went to a swim club with some friends of mine. i decided to bust out the butterfly. i rocked the best lap of butterfly of my life and was NOT gassed. i then did 3 more. usually i would be struggling after about a 1/2 lap because i could just not coordinate the stroke. ive also noticed Meadows has mentioned swim sprints for hiit work. this has me excited and am going to implement this into my training like you guys have mentioned in this thread. but im going to do all out sprints

re back and tri-ceps: i have noticed the same thing. always been able to make that mind muscle connection and had good development. also with regards to mountaindog training meadows does some crazy hi-rep rear delt and shoulder stuff. from swimming and paddling ive really been able to push thru the pain threshold and response has been amazing.

[quote]renzema wrote:

[quote]KingKai25 wrote:

[quote]renzema wrote:
Personally I raced competitively for years and during that time I was always lean no matter what I ate. Now I build a swim workout with high intensity sprint work and less distance. I have found if I put in to much distance my body starts to recomp for endurance than explosive strength. My swim routine always burns any fat I may have in no time. As previously stated butterfly is a great stroke, but if you haven’t spent years learning it don’t do it. You will look awful, and it won’t be helpful in the slightest. From years swimming that stroke, I can just look at a barbell and my back grows.

[/quote]

Haha I know exactly what you mean. I spent most of the first two decades of my life in the pool. I weigh around 300 lb. and can still hammer out 12-14 strict pull-ups. My back and triceps grow very easily.[/quote]

Always funny to get asked how in the world I have huge full triceps. Not sure they like the response of swim butterfly for 10+ years.

What did you race and where? [/quote]

Back (100), Free (50 and 100), and Fly (100). I grew up in Pennsylvania, and I swam for Wheaton College in Illinois. How about yourself?