Is swimming a good exercise to burn fat for cardio or is it more of a total body workout? I have an inground pool and have been swimming at least 10 solid laps every other day or so, but I don't want to overtrain. After the 10th lap I really feel it in my shoulders, arms and legs, but I'm also really winded and my heart is racing. Other than swimming I really don't do any cardio unless I'm playing basketball or other pick up games which doesn't happen much at all.
For cardio swimming is good... obviously since you're gonna be fighting for every breath after a while. For burning fat it isn't very good though and if i remember correctly it is because your heart rate will not be able to get high enough and your cardiovascular system will unfortunately be holding your heart rate from getting that high. I've done some reading on swimming because I used to be a lifeguard and wanted to work on becoming a better swimmer and I've also lifeguarded for over a year at college and can honestly say that pretty much none of the girls on our swim team are skinny.Originally Posted by WILLGETNICE
LOL sorry to hear about the fattys at your school. Another quick question regarding swimming though, once I'm done with my 10 laps, my midsection is really tight and you can see my abs without me flexing. I have pretty low body fat as is, but it seems to drop or something after I'm done swimming. It returns to normal a few minutes later after I've caught my breath, but is there an explanation why I'm..I guess leaner after I'm done swimming?Originally Posted by fatrb38
Sorry but I'm not really certain why it does that or if it does that to everyone or not. Perhaps it's the water on your skin? If you ask me, I think you can do more than 10 laps if you're trying to get results out of swimming. Try to do 1500 meters. And do you know how long your pool length is?
I would think that some sort of HIIT session with swimming would pwn me...
you could make an HIIT session of swimming really hard if you pushed it. But I'm no expert.
2 sprint laps, 1 lazy lap, rest 1 minute. Repeat as needed.
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Yeah it could probably work. I think that your body might have a problem completing the sprints after a while when you were having to breathe every stroke but it's definitely possible.
try and get over 10 laps if you can...that's barely a warm-up
I used to do about 220 laps a day, 6 days a week and I was really lean (of course I was swimming on a team and practices were like 2hrs/day)
also don't breathe every stroke, try and breathe every 3
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My pool is 36 feet long, one lap is 36 feet there and 36 feet back, so 72 feet times 10 laps is 720 feet. (not sure how many meters that is). I usually go 10 laps non-stop, sometimes more but I stop at 10 just because it's a solid number and I usually have other things to do, I'm sure I could bang out at least 20. I'm finding every time I do 10 laps it gets easier so I'll probably take it up a notch.Originally Posted by fatrb38
i would believe that HIIT would be a good thing to use for swimming as long as you got a timer or something....time how fast it takes you to swim _x_ distance...and every time after that see if you can beat it and set another PR..i think that should raise your HR quite a bit...i used to be a swimmer and many times after a race my heart rate would be soaring esp. after 100 and 200m sprints...
and i hear you about the college swim team girls, my university got some girls that are.....akljdkfjhiaienakolsjdfka......and then some...but in HS, most of the girls on the swim teams were friggin toned as hell, three had visible abs...plus swimmers got some legs tooOriginally Posted by fatrb38
I think this is wrong. I don't think your heart rate regulates how many calories you burn for one. I also don't think that your heart rate is lower when you are swimming than say when you are running, given the same intensity. If you heart rate was limited while swimming, it certainly wouldn't be an excellent cardio exercise, as you claim (and I agree).Originally Posted by fatrb38
I know for a fact that swimming is an excellent exercise to burn calories though. In 30 minutes a 180lbs man can burn 451kcals doing the butterfly, 410 doing a fast freestyle, 410 doing a breaststroke, 246 doing the doggy paddle, and 164 simply by treading water. That's pretty damned good if you ask me.
Last edited by Jorge Sanchez; 07-14-2005 at 06:10 PM.
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Swimming is a great cardio exercise. The problem is most people are not proficient enough swimmers to swim hard enough or long enough to get much from it.
Reasons that swimmers generally tend to be higher bodyfat % than, for example, runners is #1)the reason above, #2) bodyfat is not a severe detriment to performance unless it is creating form drag, #3)swimming tends to stimulate appetite more than other cardio because of the cool environment. If you look at most elite swimmers, however, they generally have very, very low bodyfat.
As with any kind of cardio, you body adapts pretty quickly to it. So, if you are looking to trim up, you really should consider rotating cardio exercises at least every few weeks.
I remember reading that swimming can lead to weight increase somewhere.. I'll hunt around for the link and post if I find it
http://ajs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/15/3/275Originally Posted by study abstract
Note that this is a study on slight to moderately obese women, not men.. I don't think gender would make a difference, but it may.
Last edited by twm; 07-14-2005 at 08:19 PM.
I dont know where to begin but I will ask this...
Did swimming suddenly become an exercise in which the muscles do not require calories as a form of fuel?
And please explain this...
Originally Posted by Sensei
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 07-14-2005 at 08:44 PM.
Just looking at the abstract, it looks like a horribly constructed study... I've known many obese people who were swimming to lose weight. Most of them failed miserably, but it wasn't because swimming is a poor exercise for weight loss, IT'S BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T SWIM MORE THAN 25-50 YARDS BEFORE STOPPING AND RESTING FOR 5 MINUTES BEFORE BEING ABLE TO CONTINUE!Originally Posted by twm
Originally Posted by Slim SchaedleSure. I don't have any references handy, but in layman's terms, your body will burn set amount of calories - this does not change if you are performing at a certain level of intensity. BUT, your body will adapt and your metabolism will slow more quickly following exercise your body has grown accustomed to. This is why it is wise to mix-up cardio work from time to time and it's probably part of the reason that you see all the fatties on the treadmill day after day after day... and they're still fatties...Originally Posted by Sensei
Last edited by Sensei; 07-14-2005 at 09:15 PM.
Doesn't your body burn more calories just keeping itself warm in cool water? And that study wasn't very in-depth, from the look of it. It says nothing of the intensity or distance of the swimming, walking or cycling. Just being 60 minutes of exercise isn't enough to say that swimming has no effect on fat loss. I guarantee if I swam a mile 3x a week, my body fat would drop pretty quick. As long as the intensity or distance is fairly high and increases with every session I think it would be a good cardio exercise. You can't get on a treadmill for three hours, but if you swim hard and regularly you can be in a pool for three hours.
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I believe it said "minimally to moderately obese, otherwise healthy young women [...]," not morbidly obese women.Originally Posted by Sensei
I read the abstract too and because it does not go into more detail about the sample size, and beginning weight distributions, beginning BF%'s, or overall fitness, I don't think you or I are in any position to make a judgement on the construction quality of the study.
Some people get all fussy when someone posts a study, claming it is flawed when they don't like the results.
"All women slowly but progressively increased the time spent in daily exercise to 60 minutes. After 6 months or slightly longer, the women assigned to walking lost 10% of initial weight, the women who cycled lost 12%, but the women who swam lost no weight."
So, these fat people you know could only swim 50ish yard when beginning. That is how many of the participants of this particular study started, I suspect, and gradually worked up to 60 minutes/day. After at least 6 months, probably at least 3-4 at 60 minutes/day, ALL of the women who swam lost NO weight. Coincidence? I really, really, really, really doubt it.
Last edited by twm; 07-14-2005 at 10:20 PM.
You don't have to get defensive about it. It's not your study, is it?Originally Posted by twm
Ok, fine - if the abstract doesn't even mention sample size, training intensity, etc., then it's a horribly written abstract. Believe it or not, I've actually read studies like this (maybe even this one), and usually they ARE horribly constructed and do not take into account people ability to perform the exercises properly. Did you even read my previous posts?
Last edited by Sensei; 07-14-2005 at 09:44 PM.
I'm not getting defensive; an abstract doesn't typically give the details of how the study is setup. Just the main points, what it is trying to show, and the results. That's what an abstract is.
I'm sure the body will adapt over time to a certain motion to become more efficient. I don't think that would prevent all of the participants from losing no weight. Typically, I wouldn't be as rash as to say all or none in an argument, but that is a direct quote. If you want to, I'll throw $12.50 if you want to pay the other half for the full text and we can find out. Until then... meh
Okay, my wife swam on a swim team since she was 5 and I swam for 4 years on my University's Masters Team. You can't tell me that swimming will not burn fat or make you lose weight. It's one of the most intense calorie burning exercises you can do. You won't get huge muscles from doing it (unless you're a butterflyer, then you'll get some pretty huge lats and shoulders), but an average practice when I was on the team was about an hour and a half and we swam approximately 4,500 yards. With the intensity we were going I would easily burn 1,000 calories in a workout. Yes, swimming does work up an appetite, but over time your basal metabolic rate can get quite high so that offsets any caloric increases in your diet for a normal diet. You can lose weight, definitely. One of my wife's boyfriends in high school was over 300 lbs. He started swimming and eventually made his high school team and slimmed down to a svelte 170 or so in a matter of a year. I know plenty of other examples from my own teams where similar results have occured.
Abstracts usually mention at least some details of methodology, but whatever...Originally Posted by twm
$25 to prove it's poorly constructed? What for? There are plenty of other poorly constructed studies that say the same thing - will you dredge those up too? I'd be curious if you could find some more recent studies though, so feel free.
I'm sure I could conduct a study showing that 20 punches to the nards from a kindergartener is more painful than one punch to the nards from Mike Tyson, but what's the point?
. For all we know, all the swimmers could have been choking down 5000 calories of McDonalds a day while the runners were on PSMF. These studies - and this one particularly - are far from accurate because of this.Minimally to moderately obese, otherwise healthy young women seeking to lose weight through a program of exercise without dietary restrictions were randomly assigned to one of three groups
Point Blank: Raising and maintaining a certain heart rate is what will burn fat. You can achieve this through swimming or throught running, thus none are superior to the other.
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here're two interesting articles:
but anyway, i think swimming is a pretty good cardio exercise really involving the whole body. i've never got fat from swimming.
Swimming is great but here's a thought:
Failure during swimming=drowning.
I went swimming in the Gulf with a buddy who swims like 50 laps a day.
I really thought I was going to die.
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I can't understand how using every muscle in your body can not burn calories....