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swimming sprints for fat loss


any opinions on this? I am an average swimmer and do laps of 45-48s front crawl in a 50m pool with 1min rest btw laps. Its cos i have a mild case of plantar facitis... so 400m intervals are out for now. any ideas on comparing the two( run and swim intervals) im pretty sure the heart rate is up there... 8 laps leave me pretty gassed.

any thoughts? pros? cons?


The pool rocks!

I've been thinking of doing that 3x a week in the AM before heading off to work.

I used to swim competitively, and (for me) swimming sprints were much more demanding (but easier on the joints) than running.

I hate running.


I think something about swimming inhibits the fat loss a person usually gets from cardio.


I'm in the same situation with you with the plantar fascitis and if I had a pool to swim in I'd be in there everyday :). As it is, I try to do things like sledgehammer GPP, heavy bag work, kettlebell work, and other forms of intense cardio that heavily involve the upper body.


thx for the answers...i heard somewhere that fat loss is inhibited but but only cos of swimming in cold water(any conclusions on this?) im in a tropical place (singapore yeah its on the map somewhere) so i dun think thats a problem. N yes kelly, p-f is really bothersome... sprints, basketball, flag football... all gone:( so i share yr pain! I shall now count my blessings tt i have a pool nearby! maybe tis time to get me a sled... should be easy on the feet (i think) any opinions?


I've heard that exercising in cold water causes your appetite to spike pretty hardcore, and from my own experience swimming, that sounds right. Maybe fat loss isn't a problem so long as you can keep from eating a horse after your sprints.


Swimming's not as effective as running, but if you can't run, it's not a bad alternative. Certainly better than nothing.

And there's nothing magical about being in a pool that inhibits fatloss. You just won't see as much as with running because it doesn't place the same demands on your system.


im pretty sure ultrafilter is right there was a study that showed in the swimming vs running for weightloss that swiming was not as good because of increased apetite afterwards... this would not be an issue for someone consuming x calories per day.

what char said has also been hypothesized too, ie there is less trauma involved in swimming due to its low impact nature and regeneration recuperation of the trauma requires energy... i however consider the lack of impact and trauma a good thing, especially in rehab ...

im pretty sure machine used swimming in his transformation, do a search on the forum and read the interview with him maybe he will reply to this thread...

From personal experience i have seen many people go from fattys to having low badyfat in relatively short periods of time because of swimming.

try doing some HIIT swimming, fartlek, to kill you abs and respiratory system try some butterfly.


Machine did this with great success during the Hot-Rox challenge.


jump on a short-term version of triathlon training. . .that's what i did last fall and by the end of one month i was pulling my jeans off without unbuttoning them.

i mixed in running (treadmill or outside) for 30-45mins . . .swimming 500-700 yards at a good clip. . .and spinning. i would do bricks also some days; 30 min run, then a 20 min bike. whee. fun stuff. and man does it work.


Swimming for cardio is OK but for fatloss??? So far I've never seen a lean swimmer!


In my opinion, swimming is every bit as good as running for fat loss, until you reach very low bodyfat levels. Apparently, the fact that the water is chilly will cause the body to retain some amount of bodyfat. This is a non-issue for most people however. If your aiming to get to say 10-12%, swimming should be fine. On the other hand, if your already low bf% and are looking to get shredded (say, go from 12% to 8%) swimming will presumably be a good bit slower than running.



Michael Klim, Geoff Huegell, (both are/were world record holders) half the australian short sprinters, Popov is pretty lean, there was one dude at the olympics that was extremely impressive looked as good or better then maurice and the rest of the sprinters in the 100m running final... he swam like shit though ahhaha still was a good swimmer seeing he was at the olympics...

i see your point that swimmers in general are not as lean as other athletes though... take ian thorpe for example he is probably the swimmer of the decade along with hugenbound (spelling???) and he is kinda fat hahah,

anyway i guarentee that there are lean swimmers with very impressive physiques...

Just come to my home town and go to a local swimming meet...