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martin_05
August 18th, 2011, 03:31 PM
OK, the title is, I'll admit, a little dramatic.

I went through body composition testing today. It was as bad as I expected it to be after 16 years of inactivity:

Weight: 212lbs
Body fat 32% or 68lbs

The machine also measured my resting metabolic rate at 1820kcal/day.

I figured out that it I don't gain an ounce of muscle I have to loose 42 to 48lbs in order to get to a 12% to 15% body fat range.

Now I need a good estimate of caloric output during swimming. Last session I swam about 2000y in 90min. I need to translate that into kcal per workout so that I can figure out the rest.

Does anyone know of any articles/sources on the caloric output measurement during an activity like swimming? I know about the myriad of websites with estimating calculators. I am after actual measurement if at all possible.

I wonder if it is as simple as using a really precise scale. Since 3500 calories is 1 pound it stands to reason that you might be able to measure calories burned by simply having a really good weight comparison before and after. A scale with repeatability of 0.1lbs or better might be all you need. In this case, 0.1lbs would be about 350 calories.

KatieK
August 18th, 2011, 03:40 PM
The scale is a good idea, but I don't think it will work. You sweat while you're swimming, so you loose water weight.

You can find various estimates of calories burned on http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/fitness/directory/. The estimates range from 400-650 calories per hour, depending on the level of intensity.

pmccoy
August 18th, 2011, 04:08 PM
I wonder if it is as simple as using a really precise scale. Since 3500 calories is 1 pound it stands to reason that you might be able to measure calories burned by simply having a really good weight comparison before and after. A scale with repeatability of 0.1lbs or better might be all you need. In this case, 0.1lbs would be about 350 calories.In theory, yes but in a real practical world, no. Even if the initial state of your body before working out was negligible (I don't think it would be), you are at best going to burn about 900 calories or less than .3 pounds by your calculations. That's about 5 oz of water which could easily be accounted for by water still in your hair/ears/swallowed from the workout.

I'd just weigh yourself weekly (or daily if you want to... I do) to look at overall long term trends. Adjust your food intake/exercise balance to obtain the results you want. Be careful about dropping it all too fast. As you say, it is a long road.

JimRude
August 18th, 2011, 04:16 PM
My :2cents::

- Gradually begin a strength training program. Adding muscle mass will result in more calories burned over time.

- Gradually begin increasing the amount of aerobic training that you do. Treadmill running/jogging, cycling on a trainer, swimming etc. Although I have no scientific evidence to support it, I have found that when my aerobic exercise length exceeds 60 mins continuous, the lbs melt off.

- Mix in some speed work (25s and 50s) with varying amounts of rest to reduce the sheer boredom of aerobic-only training.

- Focus on technique to avoid injuries to knees (running), shoulders (swimming), etc.

martin_05
August 18th, 2011, 04:49 PM
My :2cents::

- Gradually begin a strength training program. Adding muscle mass will result in more calories burned over time.

- Gradually begin increasing the amount of aerobic training that you do. Treadmill running/jogging, cycling on a trainer, swimming etc. Although I have no scientific evidence to support it, I have found that when my aerobic exercise length exceeds 60 mins continuous, the lbs melt off.

- Mix in some speed work (25s and 50s) with varying amounts of rest to reduce the sheer boredom of aerobic-only training.

- Focus on technique to avoid injuries to knees (running), shoulders (swimming), etc.

Well, I just started swimming 90 minutes per day, five days a week.
I am going to add weight lifting to that as well. Maybe two or three days a week. Probably in the evenings.

There would be two rest days per week.

I would think that this coupled with a low-carb reduced calorie diet should do it.

breastroker
August 18th, 2011, 09:11 PM
I have always recommended doing weights first and swimming after to pump the lactic acid out of the system

Fenella
August 19th, 2011, 05:13 AM
Two personal observations that may assist

I had long periods away from swimming. Each time I returned I found my weight would drop very quickly at the start ( losing fat - water ? ) and then gradually increase, I assume as muscle mass was built up. Remember there will be a trade off in terms of losing weight but still acquiring muscle and it may be difficult to pinpoint which is predominating

Secondly , one of my swim buddies is a surgeon and she reckons a fit female master is carrying about 8 lbs of additional muscle mass - she advises us to monitor clothing fit as a measure of progress rather than the scales which can be misleading if weight is looked at in absolute terms against normal height/weight charts

gaash
August 19th, 2011, 09:19 AM
(1) Don't look at the scale, the mirror is a better guide, believe it or not
(2) Weight training is a good idea
(3) Depending on your swimming level I've seen estimates of between 280-700calories burned per 1mile of swimming (for men). So it is VERY dependent on your efficency in the water. However, given it takes you 90min to do 2000y I would think you are closer to the 700/mile end than the 280.

For diet. CALORIES IS THE KEY. Cut your calories I would suggest 1500-1800 TRUE calories (i.e. counting EVERYTHING you eat) and worry about that before you worry about the composition of your calories. High protein is usually best to help w/muscle preservation/gains but if you are like me, I need occasional sugar/carbs/junk food to maintain a low calorie diet for long.

martin_05
August 19th, 2011, 12:09 PM
Don't look at the scale

This is precisely why I had my body composition tested. This, to me, is far more important than total weight.

I intend to repeat the test every 30 to 45 day to see how I am doing. I want to get to 15% body fat. Although 12% would be better, reaching and maintaining 15% for an extended period of time is far more important.

martin_05
August 19th, 2011, 01:21 PM
BTW, in case anyone is interested, this is the machine I used to get tested:

http://www.cosmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1262&Itemid=310&lang=en

It took about 5 minutes. It's supposed to be really accurate.

gaash
August 19th, 2011, 04:38 PM
Body fat measures are also notoriously inaccurate... If you eat 1500ish calories a day and exercise like you do plus throw in some weight lifting you will lose weight.

martin_05
August 19th, 2011, 05:04 PM
Body fat measures are also notoriously inaccurate... If you eat 1500ish calories a day and exercise like you do plus throw in some weight lifting you will lose weight.

Well, I am not taking anything as an absolute. I am more interested in relative changes.

pwolf66
August 19th, 2011, 05:23 PM
Strength training, strength training, strength training!!!!


Build muscle=burn calories.

Each lb of fat requires about 5 calories/day to maintain. Each lb of muscle requires about 60 calories/day to maintain. Build 10 lbs of muscle mass and that is like biking for an hour every day.

bud
August 20th, 2011, 08:41 AM
... Each lb of fat requires about 5 calories/day to maintain. Each lb of muscle requires about 60 calories/day to maintain. Build 10 lbs of muscle mass and that is like biking for an hour every day.
Wow! That is an interesting way to illustrate that point.

I agree with all the statements about the scale not being a do-all end-all measurement. There have been times when I stood on a scale every time I swam, simply because I walked right by it anyway every time. But I was not dropping weight at one point, yet I was exercising more than ever, plus eating really well!?!?!? I felt better than ever however. Eventually I realized it was the increased muscle mass that was making the scale seem wrong. (And yeah, my clothes fit better/looser too.) If you are consistent in your diet and exercise, everyone will cross that threshold at some point.

If I feel good, then I'm doing it right. At the same time, it is important to me to be able to relax and enjoy the whole experience too. There is enough suffering in life without me having to generate more of it.

:)

martin_05
August 20th, 2011, 10:24 AM
Each lb of fat requires about 5 calories/day to maintain. Each lb of muscle requires about 60 calories/day to maintain. Build 10 lbs of muscle mass and that is like biking for an hour every day.

Makes complete sense, of course.

What happens then with restricted calorie diets?

My BMR is 1820kcal/day. Say that I restrict to 1500 and reduce carbs to a bare minimum. Couple this with swimming 90 minutes five days a week and I should be well positioned to shed about 2lbs/week. Of course, this activity will build some muscle mass as well.

Now, let's say that I add weight training three times a week. Would I need to provide my body with more protein --in other words, not a calorie-restricted diet-- in order to promote muscle growth?

That's always been a question in my mind. If you want muscle growth, should you not increase calorie consumption in sync with exercise rather than restrict it?

ALM
August 20th, 2011, 10:43 AM
BTW, in case anyone is interested, this is the machine I used to get tested:

http://www.cosmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1262&Itemid=310&lang=en

It took about 5 minutes. It's supposed to be really accurate.

How much does this test cost? What sort of facility provides this type of test?

gaash
August 20th, 2011, 11:29 AM
Makes complete sense, of course.

What happens then with restricted calorie diets?

My BMR is 1820kcal/day. Say that I restrict to 1500 and reduce carbs to a bare minimum. Couple this with swimming 90 minutes five days a week and I should be well positioned to shed about 2lbs/week. Of course, this activity will build some muscle mass as well.

Now, let's say that I add weight training three times a week. Would I need to provide my body with more protein --in other words, not a calorie-restricted diet-- in order to promote muscle growth?

That's always been a question in my mind. If you want muscle growth, should you not increase calorie consumption in sync with exercise rather than restrict it?

In general you are correct.. for muscle growth you need an increase in calories; however, if you are new to lifting and swimming, you will experience for some significant period of time (really dependent on person) what they call "newbie gains" where you will gain muscle, lose fat, and pretty much feel awesome :) It doesn't last though but take advantage of it while it does. Not sure why the body experiences that, maybe it is the shock to the system which forces the body to preserve/build muscle at the expense of fat but it is definitely a real phenomenom.

martin_05
August 21st, 2011, 02:08 AM
How much does this test cost? What sort of facility provides this type of test?

I paid $50. The facility was a private gym. The website I linked to in the prior post has a finder page where you can search for machines near you by zip code.