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BYU06
November 15th, 2008, 02:02 PM
I am a former football player, power lifter, who has put on 150+ lbs since I graduated High School 10 years ago.

I had just joined 24 hour fitness to undo my 10 year repeat of the freshman 15. I did so because they have a pool and I'm hoping that can turn swimming into a hobby that will help me do so. Now, I've been doing some reading on the internet and from what I've been reading, it appears as if some put on body fat??????????

I need your thoughts por favor.

Syd
November 15th, 2008, 08:58 PM
You might want to search the forum as, if my poor memory serves me well, this has been discussed before. Here (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=12301&highlight=losing+weight) is a recent thread I could find.

I am no sports scientist but I do know if you want to lose weight while swimming you need to keep your heart rate up ( near the 80% of its maximum range) for about 30 mins a day to get any noticeable benefit. Be warned this is not as easy as it seems (even for a regular swimmer). A few of the really good swimmers on the forum focus on sprinting while training and get their aerobic exercise from spinning, running or other forms of exercise.

elise526
November 15th, 2008, 10:20 PM
Many men have success losing weight by swimming. I think the putting on body fat thing is a problem some females such as myself have encountered. When my husband swims and does interval work, the pounds just melt right off.

isobel
November 16th, 2008, 05:35 AM
My brother lost a lot of weight after swimming for about 8 months (60 pounds or so). He was very out of shape and at the first swim practice told the coach that 800 yards was all he could do, and he wanted to want to come back.

He impressed everyone by going three times a week and working his way up to 3800 yards in those 8 months. He lost a lot of weight and he was never swimming fast.

I think you can lose weight initially if you are out of shape and fairly overweight. Later, as you get acclimated to interval training, I think your body gets more and more efficient and it is harder to lose weight unless you keep upping your training and, as previous posts have said, add something else heinous in, like the elliptical machine, or something nonheinous, like football scrimmages with buddies.

I did not change my eating habits, increased my training by about double, and did not lose any weight. But I was already in very good shape. It still baffled me, but I got very strong, so perhaps my gain was muscle.

Alas, the smallest things can keep you from losing weight. I worked with a nutritionist, first to gain weight, then, when I kept gaining, to keep from overgaining. My treats of 3 rice cakes, for example, on a daily basis, at 105 calories a day, could allow me to gain 1+ pounds a month. And at a job I had, because I was too nervous to drink my usual IV of tea with lots of sugar, I dropped 17 pounds in 8 months. Just because I was too nervous to drink the tea with sugar. Quit the job, regained the pounds.

I say focus on getting in good shape, don't worry so much about pounds. It's always a combination of food and exercise and your own metabolism, but I am sure you will lose weight if you swim three or more times a week and build up to a good amount of yardage. Then you can retune your goals.

Easy to say. Hard to do. Again, focus on the fun of swimming and see what happens. Awesome that you are tackling this. If ever you need pep talks, shoot me an e-mail.

I also would say you should work out with a masters group to help motivate and push yourself to swim hard.

swimshark
November 16th, 2008, 07:16 AM
Isobel has some great advice. Work on getting into shape as you work on losing the weight. When I started back swimming, I didn't do it to lose weight. I did it because I loved and missed swimming after a 10 year break. My coach had me eat nothing but fresh fruit for the first 4 hours I was awake. In 8 months I dropped 30 lbs and I wasn't swimming fast. I was swimming 3 times a week for an hour, doing about 2500 yds each time plus working out at the gym with weights and eliptical for an hour 3 times a week. I have maintained that weight loss for 7 years now. Good luck!

Rykno
November 16th, 2008, 09:27 AM
I was able to lose about 50lbs in 12 months by swimming about 10-12000m a week, 3x 90minute workouts.

the first 25-30 lbs was solely swimming, the rest was also due to me changing my diet, not dieting, just watching what I eat.

I've been roughly the same weight (83.7-85.2 kg) for for the past 13 weeks, but I have gone down in pants size from 33 to 31 since July.

mazzy
November 16th, 2008, 08:13 PM
I am a former football player, power lifter, who has put on 150+ lbs since I graduated High School 10 years ago.

I had just joined 24 hour fitness to undo my 10 year repeat of the freshman 15. I did so because they have a pool and I'm hoping that can turn swimming into a hobby that will help me do so. Now, I've been doing some reading on the internet and from what I've been reading, it appears as if some put on body fat??????????

I need your thoughts por favor.

Just for curiosity, you're a former football player so even if you're a former CB/S, plus 150lbs, we're talking about a weight of 330lbs?
can I ask you why do want to swim just out the bat to start loose weight?

I think that a change of your eating habits with works on treadmill/elliptic, stretching & agility works will improve your shape and help you to shed weight better that anythings else.

Swimming is one of most technical sport/hobby out of there, with a lot of "baggage" to move it'll not be easy at all.

You'll ramp up the time that you can exercise more easy running/walking hard that swimming in the same timeframe; burning more calories in less time.

Your "baggage" will limit what you can do in the pool, even more if you're not a good swimmer already.
I don't know for you, but for me to see a lot of beginners passing me easy all the time, and I unable to do anythings to stop it for a while, drive me crazy.

This is a swimming forum so you'll find a lot that recommend swimming over anything else.
But if you main goal is only to shed pounds and your knees/back are in good conditions, and obviously swimming isn't relevant in your life now IMO swimming isn't the highway to your dream.

If you like to start swimmings for the pleasure to do it, this is another story and you just go for it without any other reason.

The key is changing eating habits, eating whatever you want all the time will limit heavy your quest to drop that much.
Be disciplined, workout 3-4 times for week and you'll get result, just not overnight.

Last year a friend of mine, way out shape, 5'10 - 250lbs, jump into the pool and loose nothing in 7 months, swimming in very pathetic way, his weak core drag him down too much. he put effort into it, but his eating habits wasn't changed.

2fish&1whale
November 16th, 2008, 10:15 PM
I disagree with Mazzy-
When you are carrying that much extra weight, moving in water is probably the best way to start.
Who says it has to look pretty or even efficient - I have seen some pretty heavy people at my pool and they would spend an hour plus either jogging in the deep water or slowly swimming up and down the pool, several times a week.Some have lost a significant amount of weight and still have not gotten faster but I'm sure that by taking it easy on their joints they will have an easier time going to land exercises such as running or the elliptical.

Mookie
November 17th, 2008, 09:21 AM
An ex football player with an extra 150 may have joint trouble, and swimming is a good low impact high cardio way to go. You need to MOVE while swimming though, track your heart rate to see if you're going fast enough. Drag rises as the quadruple of speed, or something like that, so a little additional speed makes a big difference.

Rykno
November 17th, 2008, 09:49 AM
when I was biggest at 238lbs, it was not the best thing in the world for me to run. I would get pain in my knees. and my lower back hurt and my stomache muscle hurt because of how much my belly was going up and down.

so if you want to compliment your swimming with running, try running in place in the pool. lots of track people do it when they have chinsplints.

isobel
November 17th, 2008, 11:34 AM
I also vote for swimming, because in the water you feel good and are not so aware of weight. It's an equalizer. And if you find you enjoy it, you will keep doing it. I have seen heavy people swim beautifully and quite fast. I vote for swimming (but then, I hate to run; I do like the cross-country setting on the elliptical machine, but gyms are lonely for me).

So again, I encourage you to find a masters team and start slowly, like my brother did, just doing what you can and want to, so you'll keep wanting to go back. A good coach will let you do that.

Donna
November 17th, 2008, 09:00 PM
As with any sport it will take time to lose the weight so be patient. It took me 4 years to go from 220 lbs to 158 lbs and yes I did it swimming. Now I am maintaining at around 165 lbs.

I started swimming 4 days a week for 1 1/4 hour for 2 years, then I moved to 6 days a week for about a year, then I started doing doubles with a kids team and lost the last 20 lbs. Now I am back to 6 days a week 5 of them for 1.5 hours and Saturdays for 3 hours.

Begin with building up your endurance but as you get better start doing some sprinting, that was the missing piece for me. I found that when I do more sprinting I take more weight off and have to actually add calories to maintain my weight.

hofffam
November 17th, 2008, 10:46 PM
For the OP - remember a few things:

1. it took you 10 years to add 150 lbs - or about 15 lbs a year. You should set reasonable goals. You can probably lose 1 lb per week - maybe slightly more for a 50 lbs loss per year.
2. you must gain control of your eating. It is not a diet. You need to look at it as a permanent lifestyle change. Learn the calorie content of the foods you eat and count the calories you consume. You probably eat some very unhealthy food now.
3. 1 lb = 3500 calories. If you burn an extra 500+ calories per day you will lose 1 lb per week. You may need to burn more than that if you are currently gaining weight. You may need to burn 300 calories just to hold steady.
4. swimming is a very good exercise for you, especially early on because it is joint friendly. As you get lighter you may want to add other exercise to stay motivated.

geochuck
November 18th, 2008, 06:41 AM
We put that extra weight on because we continue to eat as if we are still competing and training. Eat smaller meals, walk and swim. I was 335 lbs and had laid off for over 25 years. I am now 250 and heading for 235, my goal weight. I have not worked out very much but walk everyday and a little swimming. It has taken me 10 years to lose this weight but just 15 more lbs to go. I am in no hurry.

Charge
November 18th, 2008, 07:37 AM
I've actually gained weight since a took up swimming again 9 months ago (from 175 to 185) b/c it has increased my appetite and I converted alot of muscle to fat. So don't look at the pounds, you'll be doing your heart wonders.

Get a waterproof mp3 player so you have something to distract your mind.

Join a masters swim club, go 3+ times per week

Change your eating habits

Put your head down and don't look up for a few months.

Do NOT weigh your self every day or even every week.

Redbird Alum
November 18th, 2008, 03:09 PM
so if you want to compliment your swimming with running, try running in place in the pool. lots of track people do it when they have chinsplints.

...Or walk/run up and down in a middle-deep (chest high water) lane, which provides some low-impact resistance training, like walking/running upwind.

We had a gentleman at our community center who started out at nearly 400lbs, and used this method of supported walking (along with diet) every day to drop about 100 pounds in 6 months.

BYU06
November 18th, 2008, 11:22 PM
Just for curiosity, you're a former football player so even if you're a former CB/S, plus 150lbs, we're talking about a weight of 330lbs?
can I ask you why do want to swim just out the bat to start loose weight?

I think that a change of your eating habits with works on treadmill/elliptic, stretching & agility works will improve your shape and help you to shed weight better that anythings else.

Swimming is one of most technical sport/hobby out of there, with a lot of "baggage" to move it'll not be easy at all.

You'll ramp up the time that you can exercise more easy running/walking hard that swimming in the same timeframe; burning more calories in less time.

Your "baggage" will limit what you can do in the pool, even more if you're not a good swimmer already.
I don't know for you, but for me to see a lot of beginners passing me easy all the time, and I unable to do anythings to stop it for a while, drive me crazy.

This is a swimming forum so you'll find a lot that recommend swimming over anything else.
But if you main goal is only to shed pounds and your knees/back are in good conditions, and obviously swimming isn't relevant in your life now IMO swimming isn't the highway to your dream.

If you like to start swimmings for the pleasure to do it, this is another story and you just go for it without any other reason.

The key is changing eating habits, eating whatever you want all the time will limit heavy your quest to drop that much.
Be disciplined, workout 3-4 times for week and you'll get result, just not overnight.

Last year a friend of mine, way out shape, 5'10 - 250lbs, jump into the pool and loose nothing in 7 months, swimming in very pathetic way, his weak core drag him down too much. he put effort into it, but his eating habits wasn't changed.

I graduate High School at around 200lbs. I was an active weightlifter who ran more sprints and plyometrics than distance. I'm 28 and it has gotten to the point where I cant run anymore and I am having problems with my knee which I had surgery on.

I want to wait on the weightlifting till I have dropped a certrain amount of weight, even though I have experienced and know of the benefits of muscle building.

In short, I want to use swimming as a weight to get enough weight off that I can run and bike, etc and lift weights again.

BYU06
November 18th, 2008, 11:34 PM
For the OP - remember a few things:

1. it took you 10 years to add 150 lbs - or about 15 lbs a year. You should set reasonable goals. You can probably lose 1 lb per week - maybe slightly more for a 50 lbs loss per year.
2. you must gain control of your eating. It is not a diet. You need to look at it as a permanent lifestyle change. Learn the calorie content of the foods you eat and count the calories you consume. You probably eat some very unhealthy food now.
3. 1 lb = 3500 calories. If you burn an extra 500+ calories per day you will lose 1 lb per week. You may need to burn more than that if you are currently gaining weight. You may need to burn 300 calories just to hold steady.
4. swimming is a very good exercise for you, especially early on because it is joint friendly. As you get lighter you may want to add other exercise to stay motivated.

I actually eat no more than what I did in high school. My problem is skipping meals, because I hate cooking.

geochuck
November 19th, 2008, 11:53 AM
You are not in highschool anymore. You must change your eating habits. You say you skip meals, maybe you should miss more but when you miss meals your body goes into starvation mode this is not good. I suggest you look up grazing it is an easier way to control what you eat.

What we eat as we get older and do not use goes directly to fat storage.

knelson
November 19th, 2008, 01:07 PM
Now, I've been doing some reading on the internet and from what I've been reading, it appears as if some put on body fat??????????

If you're 150 lbs overweight, I guarantee your body fat percentage will decrease if you start a good swimming regimen.

aztimm
November 19th, 2008, 03:49 PM
Since you do have such a large amount of weight to lose, I'm assuming you've already consulted with a doctor on this? He/she may give some suggestions for the best way to go about things.

That said, I personally think swimming is a great way to start, along with diet. From there, once you get comfortable, you can add in other stuff.

For those interested, Costco now has their 2-year 24 Hour Fitness certificates back! $290 for 2 years, not a bad deal, I may even do it, as a backup for swimming and weights, and could use it while traveling. Info here. (http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11295243&whse=BC&topnav=&browse=&lang=en-US&s=1)

Mary1912
November 21st, 2008, 11:30 AM
I actually eat no more than what I did in high school. My problem is skipping meals, because I hate cooking.

I am struggling with weight too but slowly it's coming off.

This is what my husband was like...he skipped meals all the time because he said that eating "slowed him down". Well, he learned the hard way and wound up with diabetes. When you don't eat consistently what happens is you flood your pancreas with sugar when you finally do eat. Your pancreas isn't designed for these onslaughts and it eventually starts to give out and you wind up with diabetes. When my husband started eating regularly throughout the day he lost the weight. He doesn't cook except for dinner. He drinks glucerna shakes, eats tuna, peanut butter, fruit, etc.

I sympathize...diet is so key. I swim 3-4 days a week and also hit the gym for 30 minutes about 4-5 times a week and I still struggle because of my diet. I know better but it is harder the older you get. I'm coming off a bad two weeks so I am trying to be more focused with Thanksgiving coming up. It's amazing how the weight comes off when you eat well and exercise.

Good luck to you!

pwolf66
November 21st, 2008, 11:38 AM
WATER
WATER
WATER

Drink at least an 8oz glass of water before every meal.

Split your meals up from the typical 2-3 per day to 5-6 smaller meals per day.

Have at least 25% of your daily caloric intake within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning.

aztimm
November 21st, 2008, 12:35 PM
Have at least 25% of your daily caloric intake within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning.

Not if you plan to do early morning workouts. Unless you want to see 25% of your daily caloric intake in the pool gutter, on the side of the running trail, or in a gym restroom.

I usually don't eat anything prior to morning workouts. I do drink plenty of water, from as soon as I get up, up to when I get in the pool (or out for a run), and have a water bottle on the pool deck. Just the thought of eating before workout is enough to get my stomach churning, and not in a good way.

gr82cu!
November 21st, 2008, 01:13 PM
BYU06 -- I also agree that you should check out a local masters swimming group. There are several in the area.

Here's a diet trick that I've recently used -- get someone else to do the grocery shopping. Only allow fresh fruit and vegetables for the first couple of weeks. Be sure to get plenty of protein either with tofu or beans, lean chicken and fish (any kind so long as grilled, low fat methods, no fried). When you go on a diet, --- as someone else explained -- remember it is a lifestyle change that you are after NOT a temporary starvation deprivation lose then gain it back plan.

I love 24 hour fitness because it takes away the excuse of inconvenient or restricted access to a pool. No excuses.

I joined a masters swimming group (Houston swims -- H2O) this past year and really loved the early morning workout. Stopped going regularly because of the price of gas, but it really is a great thing to do several times per month to keep your motivation up when you do swim alone.

Does your club have a personal trainer who can help you with stroke development? Be careful though ... you don't want to have to unlearn bad technique. If you can swim 25 yards without stopping, check out H2O or another group. The experience is really worth it. (H2O swims from 5:30 til 7 a.m. at UH; right now M, W, Th, Fr and from 8:30 or so on Sun).

Keep us posted on your progress,
Kathy

knelson
November 21st, 2008, 01:30 PM
Just the thought of eating before workout is enough to get my stomach churning, and not in a good way.

I think this is highly variable from person to person. Eating before a workout doesn't generally bother me unless it's something really gassy.

pwolf66
November 21st, 2008, 02:18 PM
Not if you plan to do early morning workouts. Unless you want to see 25% of your daily caloric intake in the pool gutter, on the side of the running trail, or in a gym restroom.

I usually don't eat anything prior to morning workouts. I do drink plenty of water, from as soon as I get up, up to when I get in the pool (or out for a run), and have a water bottle on the pool deck. Just the thought of eating before workout is enough to get my stomach churning, and not in a good way.


You still have to have SOMETHING for your body to burn. Your body is going 6-8 hours without any caloric input. Then you're gonna get up and burn more calories creating an even greater deficit that your body will perceive as starvation. Then when you do eat, your body will remember that starvation and store food as fat.

So for someone who wants to lose such a significant amount of weight, skipping breakfast is NOT AN OPTION. Doing so will seriously impair one's ability to a) lose the weight and b) keep the weight off.

aztimm
November 21st, 2008, 02:45 PM
You still have to have SOMETHING for your body to burn. Your body is going 6-8 hours without any caloric input. Then you're gonna get up and burn more calories creating an even greater deficit that your body will perceive as starvation. Then when you do eat, your body will remember that starvation and store food as fat.

So for someone who wants to lose such a significant amount of weight, skipping breakfast is NOT AN OPTION. Doing so will seriously impair one's ability to a) lose the weight and b) keep the weight off.

I never said to skip breakfast, or that I do so. I simply eat after my morning workout. Probably not the perfect method, but it works for me (I've lost 25 lbs, and about 8% body fat, over the past year). I get up way too early as it is for my morning workouts, and there's no way I'm going to wake up even earlier to let food properly digest. I eat a late dinner (after my evening workouts, around 8pm) with plenty of protein to allow for my early morning workouts. I eat throughout the day, with at least a 2-hr break before a workout.

As we've noted throughout this thread, there are many ways to do this, and we are all unique. I still stand by my advice above, to work closely with a doctor and/or a nutritionist.

nkfrench
November 21st, 2008, 04:55 PM
For a short/easy morning practice I swim on a Diet Coke; for something longer/harder I pop 3-6 dried apricots, half a banana, or half a bagel. After practice I get something a little more substantial.

Late afternoon I try to get a light snack such as a few fig newtons, yogurt, or a piece of fruit 1.5-2 hours before practice.

My activity level is pretty good but I am still working on losing 60# and I will always have to be very careful with what I eat. Read the labels, educate yourself. When I asked my doctor about what to eat, he gave the same advice he would give a diabetic (which I am not). Food is Fuel.