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Anybody incorporate swimming into their routine? (As sprints or low-level cardio?) (Results?)

by (12174)
Updated December 16, 2014 at 3:11 AM
Created January 04, 2011 at 9:47 PM

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?

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386 · May 18, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I've thought about adding swimming into the routine as well. One question I have: at what point does swimming become catabolic? I am very comfortable in the water but not a FAST swimmer by any means. It takes me about 54 minutes to swim a mile. My thought was that maybe I should just swim for an hour a day, letting the distance increase gradually as my proficiency increases. But is that doing more harm than good? Is it better to just swim a mile - even if it only takes half an hour - and call it good?

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18701 · March 12, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Awww! Thanks Kent!

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7970 · March 12, 2011 at 4:19 AM

FYI, it was this answer that reminded me a few months ago that I long ago wanted to do a triathlon, and I've made strides towards making that happen - joining a gym with a pool, working on my running and swimming, making sure my legs are still there for biking and finding indoor triathlons :) Thanks for the inspiration!

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1288 · January 05, 2011 at 4:03 AM

So right - I started doing it for myself and taking time out from kids and life - benefits came along with it!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · January 05, 2011 at 12:28 AM

It's nice to just get out of the house sometimes and do something for yourself!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · January 05, 2011 at 12:27 AM

You can find them in your area here http://www.trifind.com/ I really find having a goal in mind keeps me focused on my workouts.

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18701 · January 05, 2011 at 12:26 AM

Yes! They are fun and I don't really have to train for them. I've done a couple and they are usually a short swim (I've not done open water) a 10/15 mile bike ride and 2/5 mile run. I really prefer dualathon (just the bike/run portion) but for some reason I keep torturing myself with the swimming! :p

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12174 · January 05, 2011 at 12:12 AM

What's a sprint triathlon? Is that a triathlon with smaller, more intense distances?

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7324 · January 05, 2011 at 12:12 AM

Swimming burns a ridiculous amount of calories. My 5'4 friend eats about 5000 calories a day.

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12174 · January 05, 2011 at 12:11 AM

I'm hoping to use it as low level cardio, maybe also as something relaxing to do in the evening instead of sit around and snack. (Hey, even if it's almonds, it's still snacking.)

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12174 · January 05, 2011 at 12:08 AM

I know what you're talking about; my high school early morning swim practice days, I could pack away such a breakfast at the local mess hall afterwards. Then it was an omelette with the works and biscuit with sausage gravy, and I was all of 130 some pounds.

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352 · January 04, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Oh, I'd add that swimming stimulates my appetite more than any other form of exercise I've ever done.

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5838 · January 04, 2011 at 11:16 PM

The old touche' ;)

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12174 · January 04, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Considering that Phelps horks down entire pizzas, maybe good that you aren't? ;) http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/08/13/the-michael-phelps-diet-dont-try-it-at-home/

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5838 · January 04, 2011 at 11:00 PM

I haven't added yet, but it is on my list of things to try. I plan on adding it as a supplement of my low level cardio, as I'm not a very strong swimmer (definitely wont pass for Phelps in the pool, lol)

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5 Answers

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18701 · January 04, 2011 at 11:57 PM

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.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461
12174 · January 05, 2011 at 12:12 AM

What's a sprint triathlon? Is that a triathlon with smaller, more intense distances?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · January 05, 2011 at 12:26 AM

Yes! They are fun and I don't really have to train for them. I've done a couple and they are usually a short swim (I've not done open water) a 10/15 mile bike ride and 2/5 mile run. I really prefer dualathon (just the bike/run portion) but for some reason I keep torturing myself with the swimming! :p

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · January 05, 2011 at 12:27 AM

You can find them in your area here http://www.trifind.com/ I really find having a goal in mind keeps me focused on my workouts.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098
7970 · March 12, 2011 at 4:19 AM

FYI, it was this answer that reminded me a few months ago that I long ago wanted to do a triathlon, and I've made strides towards making that happen - joining a gym with a pool, working on my running and swimming, making sure my legs are still there for biking and finding indoor triathlons :) Thanks for the inspiration!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · March 12, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Awww! Thanks Kent!

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1132 · January 31, 2011 at 9:11 AM

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.

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421 · January 05, 2011 at 4:32 AM

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.

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352 · January 04, 2011 at 11:42 PM

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.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461
12174 · January 05, 2011 at 12:08 AM

I know what you're talking about; my high school early morning swim practice days, I could pack away such a breakfast at the local mess hall afterwards. Then it was an omelette with the works and biscuit with sausage gravy, and I was all of 130 some pounds.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1
7324 · January 05, 2011 at 12:12 AM

Swimming burns a ridiculous amount of calories. My 5'4 friend eats about 5000 calories a day.

20172354416166004d612e7d6bdd2f5e
352 · January 04, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Oh, I'd add that swimming stimulates my appetite more than any other form of exercise I've ever done.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212
1
1288 · January 04, 2011 at 11:11 PM

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

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461
12174 · January 05, 2011 at 12:11 AM

I'm hoping to use it as low level cardio, maybe also as something relaxing to do in the evening instead of sit around and snack. (Hey, even if it's almonds, it's still snacking.)

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212
1288 · January 05, 2011 at 4:03 AM

So right - I started doing it for myself and taking time out from kids and life - benefits came along with it!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · January 05, 2011 at 12:28 AM

It's nice to just get out of the house sometimes and do something for yourself!

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