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November 8th, 2004, 01:03 AM
hey there! I used to compete when I was younger but I have gained weight since then and would love to use swimming to slim down. Swimming is my cardio of choice. My goal is to participate in a Swim a Thon in April 2005. I haven't been on a team or trained lately (since I was 11)....so I am not familiar on how to do intervals with the clock and all that stuff. Anyway...can you guys help me out? Thanks.

November 8th, 2004, 08:20 PM
Ok....so there have been alot of people to view my post! I started my first official day of my "weight loss swimming" routine. My goal is to do a Swim-a-thon in April. If you read this and have even the slightest encouragement that would help me out big time! Thanks!!!

Scansy
November 8th, 2004, 09:46 PM
I would suggest getting a book or video that explains intervals, sets, etc and that also gives sample workouts. There are also a lot of workouts on this site.

I like Emmit Hines' "Fitness Swimming" and also Phillip Whitten's "The Complete Book of Swimming".

As for encouragement, I personally lost 35 lbs in about a year and a half - without completely starving myself! I even competed in my first triathlon in August. Believe me - if I can do it, you can do it. You just have to make it a priority. For me, it's family, work, swimming. And sometimes it's family, swimming, work!:D

Fred Johnson
November 8th, 2004, 10:53 PM
Seems to me the first place to start is with a sport watch with a stop watch function and split times function. I got one for about 15 bucks at Walgreens.

Then use the watch to see how long it takes you to swim at an easy or moderate pace 50 yards, 100 yards, 200 yards, 400 yards, 500 yards, etc. in different strokes.

Then check out the workouts posted on this site and modify the intervals and sets to match your level of fitness. Start out without putting a lot of emphasis on the split times and distance but just get a basic understanding of how you swim a set and how much rest you need during a set and between sets to make the workout.

If you know your fitness level now, great but making sure you don't overdo it at first is important not only for injury and health reasons but also for motivation reasons.

Just a thought. Good luck.

Dave60625
November 9th, 2004, 10:09 AM
I'd second using Fitness Swimming by Emmett Hines. I am currently working my way through the workouts and my form has improved considerably.

I also picked up a pair of zoomers fins and once a week do a workout with the fins. They are supposed to help you raise your heart rate which is good for improving aerobic conditioning and for burning fat.

Guvnah
November 9th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Jenn -- I don't know whether it's critical to buy a watch or any fancy equipment. Really, it seems to me that you just want to get "better".

There are so many directions that "better" can come from -- not only speed per lap, but how many laps you can do before you have to stop to rest, how long you need to rest between sets/reps, how long you can keep your workout going, etc.

You have until April. no need to panic or rush.

If the pool you use has a pace clock, that should be all the electronics you need. Swim 50 yards. (Or even 25 if that's where you're at now.) See how long it takes you to do it at a comfortable pace. Try it again. Was it slower? Rest a little longer in between. See how long you need to rest between swims to keep the same pace from repetition to repetition. See if you can sustain that for 5 or 10 repetitions. Maybe it takes you a week just to figure this much out. You have until April, so that's OK.

If you were doing 50 yards in the above exercise, see if you can do that same pace for 75 or 100 yards. Maybe it takes you another week to make that happen. Not bad! When you get that down, then extend it to 150 yards. And so on.

And as you are progressing through the weeks, see if you can cut one second off the pace per 50 yards. And/or see if you can cut 5 seconds off your rest interval. And/or see if you can increase the number of repetitions by one or two. No huge chunks. Just a series of baby steps. Over time, enough baby steps translate into a giant step. You don't recognize it until one day in February when you look back and see what you used to be doing in November. And then one day in April you look back and see what you ised to be doing in February. A log book helps you see this.

Swim-a-thon -- what is the goal of that event? To see how many laps/yards/miles you can do in a certain time? Or to see how long it takes you to cover a certain distance? (These are different goals, and you can tailor your training depending on what the goal of the swim-a-thon is.)

My advice is not to over-think this. Just find out where you are at today, put a stake in the ground, and slowly grow from there.

USMSarah
November 9th, 2004, 04:26 PM
jenn-

When you start swimming again, do not forget to work on good technique on all of your strokes... it will help prevent injury (and you'll look really good too)! Don't forget to stretch!!!

If you get Zoomers, they are an awesome fin to practice with. If you have a strong kick (very flexible ankles), purchase the RED ones. If you have weak kick, get the BLUE. I'd just thought that I'd insert that info... some people do not know that.

If you have difficulty starting out w/ the interval sets, find a proper heart rate to swim at (those cardio charts at workout centers are nice), check b/t each swim (between each 50, 100 or whatever you are doing), and rest 10 or 15 seconds between each swim. My coach in H.S. did that... I believed it helped us considerably. Quick way to check pulse b/t swims is to count your pulse for 6 seconds and multiply times 10.

Good luck! I'm starting back again as well... I think it's been about 5 years.... a swim-a-thon is a great goal!!!

Have fun!!!:p

November 9th, 2004, 06:45 PM
Thanks everyone! I have the blue zoomer fins which I like to use while kicking on my back, arms streamlined and when doing fly. I really would like to join Masters but I am very overweight and I probably would not be able to compete yet. When you join Masters is it required to compete right away? Are there any people overweight that have joined?

Scansy
November 10th, 2004, 07:01 AM
If you join Masters, it's not required to compete at all! Many, many swimmers join so that they have friends/like minded individuals to help thim stick with their exercising - and nothing more.

USMSarah
November 10th, 2004, 11:09 AM
Masters is a great way for a former swimmer to get back into shape. Any swimmer, any shape... big or small, fast or slow, young or old are all on a masters team. You can let your coach help you get your form back into shape and a workout is posted... You don't ever have to compete if you don't want to. Masters teams offer great hours to practice, depending on the team, in the morning, lunchtime, or evenings... it's very conventient for a Master.

November 11th, 2004, 12:02 AM
That is good to hear. There is a Masters Team really close to me but the coach used to coach for USA....I think. His name is Mr. Daland. His Masters team is super serious, super toned and super fast. He is really strict and particular about his swimmers. I would feel really intimidated. I was a swim instructor at his wifes swim school called Daland Swim School....and that is where they practice. Anyway.....I SWAM A MILE TODAY! I actually swam for an hour. It felt good! Thanks for all the encouragement! You guys are awesome!

~~~swimmnjenn

Darksaber
November 11th, 2004, 09:30 AM
Way to go Jen!

6 months ago I would have laughed at anyone who said that I'd be swimming a mile three times a week by now.... only it's 2 miles :) in about 70 minutes.

If you keep at it you'll be in fine shape before you know it - be prepared to buy new clothes :)

I like those zoomers too - perhaps to the point that I may use them too much.

November 15th, 2004, 04:58 PM
Hey guys and gals!

I am now on my second week of swimming 3 miles a week (MWF). I did a mile today and I felt really slow....but I added in some flip turns...which made me feel great! And I have noticed that I gained a pound. I have been eating well and all....someone told me that when you get back into exercise that your body will put on a couple of pounds but that they will drop off soon. Is that true?

Dave60625
November 15th, 2004, 05:35 PM
You gained a whole 16 ounces! Oh my gosh. Seriously, everyone's weight fluctuates enough that I wouldn't worry about a couple pounds in either direction.

Eat well, stick with an excercise routine you can maintain without burning yourself out or injuring yourself and your health will continue to improve. Give it enough time and the weight will work itself out.

November 19th, 2004, 05:17 PM
Thanks...sometimes I get frustrated because I work super hard and my weight doesn't change. I guess I just need to be patient. Thanks again everyone for the encouragement. As of today I have swam 6 miles.

craiglll@yahoo.com
November 20th, 2004, 01:10 PM
For years & years, people said that you can't l;ose weight while swimming. When you think about it is does seem true. Few people are fast enough to really get their heart rate up high enough at a sustained level long enough to lose weight. Also, you have the cooling effect of the water (even hot Y pools).

I'm very skinny. At one time I weighed more. My weight loss had nothing to do with swimming though. I wonder if anyone in the forum has actually lost weight becasue of their swimming. I know some men who are obese who swim every day and haven't lost one pound. Is it possible for some one who is over weight to loss weight swimming? How could anyone maintain the speed and heart rate necessary to lose much wiehgt? It seems that it woudl be very hard to keep your heart rate going for enough tiem to lose significant weight. Does anyone know of a study with good finding?

Scansy
November 20th, 2004, 01:38 PM
I lost weight because of swimming. I know it's not a complete scientific study, but in my case it did happen. 35 pounds over about 18 months.

Dave60625
November 20th, 2004, 05:51 PM
I would think that any exercise burns calories. I checked out a website and here are the number of calories burned per hour for a couple different exercises. These are for a person who weighs 155 lbs.

Fast Jump Roping - 844 calories/hour
Run @ 7min/mile pace - 985 calories/hour
Leisurely Swim - 425 calories/hour
Vigorous Frestyle - 700 calories/hour
Regular Fly - 775 calories/hour

So if you do a leisurely swim 3 times per week for an hour you are expending roughly 1,300 calories. If you instead do fly you might burn somewhere around 2,300 calories per week. I am not sure how many calories you need to burn in order to lose 1, 5 or 10 pounds. Of course diet plays a role as well.

Here is the link if you want to look at how many calories each form of exercise burns:


http://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist3.htm

Fred Johnson
November 21st, 2004, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
For years & years, people said that you can't l;ose weight while swimming. When you think about it is does seem true. Few people are fast enough to really get their heart rate up high enough at a sustained level long enough to lose weight. Also, you have the cooling effect of the water (even hot Y pools).

I'm very skinny. At one time I weighed more. My weight loss had nothing to do with swimming though. I wonder if anyone in the forum has actually lost weight becasue of their swimming. I know some men who are obese who swim every day and haven't lost one pound. Is it possible for some one who is over weight to loss weight swimming? How could anyone maintain the speed and heart rate necessary to lose much wiehgt? It seems that it woudl be very hard to keep your heart rate going for enough tiem to lose significant weight. Does anyone know of a study with good finding?

Losing weight is a matter of adding and subtracting calories which can be done through diet and exercise in combination.

Swimming intervals with short rest and vigorous effort during sets will raise the heart rate. I have elevated mine to 170 during sets and have maintained a rate of 140 to 150 during sets. (I'm 40 y.o.) Any of the workouts posted on this website by the coaches (see Jeremy's workouts for an example) will give a swimmer the opportunity to elevate her heart rate over the course of an hour workout.

I have also read that if you do not eat for 30 min to an hour after a workout that the body continues to burn calories during that post-workout period.

If a swimmer controls his calories consumed during the non-swimming periods, weight loss seems inevitable.

calmspot
November 25th, 2004, 06:26 PM
Dear Fat Burner,

I think swimming is a great way to exercise and never lose a pound. I have been swimming on a masters team, and can't say I started losing any weight until I started walking, dry land exercises, and eating less.

Are you involved in these three activities?

I was reading a report on google last week that said people who are concerned about being fat can lose weight but will put it back on quickly unless they walk four miles a day and keep their calories to 1800 a day.

That seems ambitious to me, but I notice that if I walk three or four miles a few times a week, I start dropping weight. Swimming without conscious eating and walking is harder way to lose weight.


calmspot

November 25th, 2004, 07:26 PM
Thanks everyone!

I have started swimming MWF...1 mile each time...which takes me about an hour. Then on T TH...I walk and strength train. I am on Weight Watchers too to control my portions and eating choices. I think I am doing well.

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving....hopefully we all won't sink to the bottom! :cool:

Scansy
November 29th, 2004, 10:47 AM
I don't have any scientific proof, but I would guess that walking alone without improved eating habits would not allow people to loose weight either. Same for running, biking, etc.

There is no doubt that the two go hand in hand. And as we get older, it becomes more important to eat properly with the exercise. Our metabolism slows down naturally. We burn less calories doing everyday stuff.

As for the google report, I know that for me at least if I was to swim a mile 5 or more times a week, while limiting calories to 1800 I would drop weight quickly. I don't know about anyone else. I do intervals when I swim (90% of my workouts). I'm able to get my heart rate up and keep it up above 120. Sometimes it goes as high as 170.

Guvnah
November 29th, 2004, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Scansy
I don't have any scientific proof, but I would guess that walking alone without improved eating habits would not allow people to loose weight either. Same for running, biking, etc.



Walking a mile instead of sitting in a chair for that same period will surely burn more calories and therefore contribute to weight loss.

But I like the wholistic approach you took in the rest of your post. No single factor alone will not be the silver bullet.

Personally I swim a ton. (4000+ yards in about an hour, 6 days/week.) By and large I don't have to watch my weight. I am sure that I burn my share of calories in the pool each morning. (The summer of 2003 I sustained a bad injury that required surgery and several months of off-my-feet convalescence. I ballooned without my swimming, and took it all back off by the time I returned to pre-injury shape once I got back into the pool.)

Yet through the years I have still had some overall weight gain, and some growth in my middle-aged paunch. Over the course of the last few months I have worked at shedding a few spare-tire pounds. One of the simplest things I have done is cut out my two-cans-a-day habit of pepsi. To keep up my admitted addiction to caffiene, I have switched to drinking tea throughout the day. Some caffinated, some decaf, some herbal. Most have sufficient flavor that they are adequate/satisfying replacements for soda, but sometimes I'll add a half teaspoon of sugar to certain types of tea. I maintain my fluids, yet I have cut out perhaps 1500 or more calories per week with this simple change. (And dropped about 15 lbs in the process these last few months.)

craiglll@yahoo.com
November 29th, 2004, 03:46 PM
I talked with a dietitian over the wek end. She said that exercise alone won't cause weight loss in many people. She said that peole begin almost naturally take in more calories than befoe the began working out. It is somewhat of a survival mechaism. I think that is truly interesting. She said that weight loss is so individual that things that work for one person don't usually work for another. Also, I watched the CNN special again this weekend. I think that it is very interesting that most people think that heavy people don't know what to do to loss weight. Most who I know are experts. In this show there is a woman who says that peole cant yell at her into being thin.

I have just the opposite problem. I am always very skinny. I try to gain but nothing hapens. I probably eat around 5,000 calories a day.

Also, when it comes to raising your heart rate, if you get in to water & swim , your rate will increase. However, after many workouts, your heart rate won't increase as much. that's why you need ot do intervals whenre your rate will drop between intervals-or so I've been told.

gull
November 30th, 2004, 09:15 AM
Maybe we're on to something. Perhaps swimming somehow violates the law of conservation of energy--calories are expended for a net loss but body weight remains unchanged. Or maybe those swimmers who don't lose weight are still consuming more calories than they burn in the pool.

Old Flyer
December 2nd, 2004, 12:19 PM
I started back swimming about 3 months ago after a 15 year layoff. I've lost about 15 lbs, mainly due to swimming. I had been running about 20 miles/week until injuries in May of 2003 forced me off the roads. I gained about 20 lbs by Labor Day 2004.

I started swimming at 1000 yds and added 100 yds per workout til I got to 2500. Then I began interval training, getting a lot of the workouts from Kipp. I now do about 10 - 12,000 yds per week in 4 workouts ranging from 2500 to 4000 yds.

I wanted to know how many calories I was burning, so I could make changes to diet and continue to lose weight. The 2 variables are size and speed. Most references to swimming for calorie use *underestimate* the amount of calories burned during workout swimming--you burn more swimming 100yds in 1:30 than in swimming 100yds in 3:00. A good rule of thumb I use is 20 calories/minute for swimming at a good workout pace (between 1:20 and 1:50 per 100yds). So if you swim 1700 yds (1 mile) in 30 minutes, this burns 600 calories. If you don't increase your food consumption, you will lose a pound for every 6 miles you swim.

Some data from the web:
http://www.fitresource.com/Fitness/CalBurn.htm#Water,%20Ice%20&%20Snow%20Sports

http://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist4.htm

http://home.judson.edu/academic/spinner/fitness/fitness7.html