I don't currently have access to a gym, but I do have access to my community pool.
Does anybody out there have swimming as a staple in their exercise routines? If so, how are you using it to your advantage? Sprints? Long sets of continuous low level cardo? How much time, and how many times/week?
Did adding swimming make any noticeable difference to your body composition and/or weight loss goals?
I swam once a week on Fridays as the only training I did for a sprint triathlon last summer. I counted on my overall fitness to get me though the bike and run portion, but I wasn't as comfortable in the water. I was maintaining my weight then, not losing. My other workouts were two bootcamp style HIIT workouts on Mon/Wed. I think its something else to do to change things up, especially because you are easing yourself into fitness. I enjoy the actual swimming, but hate the getting in (COLD) and dealing with my wet hair.
Yes, I am formerly a competitive long distance swimmer. I train less these days though. The muscle tone you develop just swimming is different to that you might develop in a gym. Professional (short course) swimmers do half their training out of the pool. Swimming is great, but I prefer to combine it with other activities. I wouldn't recommend swimming alone if the only goal is to burn body fat, concentrating on diet first would be best. If you can read spanish here is a typical training week: entrenamientos
I do only 2-3 days of this, throwing in other activities on the other days.
Yes - struggled to lose weight after 6 months paleo - got in the pool back in Nov - swam with sqad 2 x week - started falling off again - had a break over Christmas will start again next - I did not lose as much over Christmas but still lost.
I swim about 2 km each time - mostly low cardio - with the odd sprint in there. Felt great too
Absolutely. I've done both longer distances (e.g. 3-5 km) and shorter, sprint-style workouts while I was training for Ironman. My experience is that it didn't score me any "shredded" points, but did widen out my shoulders and strengthened my upper body and core. I'm a firm believer in swimming as a means of increasing overall fitness, especially shorter sprinting workouts.
bottom line for me: made me more fit, did not significantly affect weight loss or body composition.
I generally do high intensity interval training twice a week. One is running, the other is swimming.
For the swim, I do a few warm up laps, then 8 to 12 hard interval laps of freestyle (down and back). They take about 45 seconds each (25 yards x 2 = 50 yards each). I swim an easy lap of breast stroke in between each interval, and I finish up with a few cool down laps at the end.
It is a great workout to max HGH levels, and it definitely helps build muscle mass.