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SeoulNewfie
January 6th, 2005, 07:37 AM
How many of you out there just swim laps? Compared to those who combine some kinda of dry land routine?

I am curious what kind of shape (muscle size, tone, BF%) you guys have. I have heard that swimmers carry more fat than runners. And to be honest, it is rare to see a swimmer with a 6-pack and good-sized toned upper body & legs. Again, compared to someone who runs and lifts.

I was a runner and lifter before I hurt my lower back. I started swimming (and love it) combine with moderate lifting and elliptical glider.

My fear is that I may be forced to totally give up lifting and the elliptical glider if I re-aggravate the injury (has not happened, but you never know with the lower back).

So, what do you think???

Rob Copeland
January 6th, 2005, 09:09 AM
I agree that your average swimmers typically carry more body fat than the average runners. However, this has more to do with fact that swimming doesnt penalize people for carrying extra weight to the extent that running does. By this I mean that a swimmer with 20 extra pounds only needs to drag the extra volume through the water, while a runner needs to fight gravity with these extra pounds every step of the way.

And its an interesting observation that is rare to see a swimmer with a 6-pack and good-sized toned upper body & legs. Id agree that this hold true for your average hop in and slog through a few laps swimmers. But as you get into the ranks of the elite you see a lot of swimmers with the 6-pack and great upper body tone, while elite distance runners look undernourished with little upper body tone, unless you consider rail thin arms toned.

dorothyrde
January 6th, 2005, 10:06 AM
My son has a six pack and so do most of the teenage boys on his team. The girls tend to be a little heavier, but most have very well defined muscles.

I combine swimming with weight lifting and other dryland cardio. I have never been slim, but am slimmer now than I have been in a long time and probably at about 22-23% BF. Have not had it taken for a year, but was at 21% about 5 pounds ago.

bitwiz
January 6th, 2005, 11:48 AM
6'3", 205-210 lbs, under 10%BF
I'm not a swimmer though, I'm a paddler.
I do different things at different times of the year, but on average I'd say that I do five workouts a week, with periods during paddling season when I might do three various workouts a day and during off season when I might do two or three workouts a week...
I believe that swimmers need a bit of extra fat, as it probably not only helps with buoyancy (sp?), but also with staying warm in the water. I have lowest fat % of my swimming group and I'm the first one to get cold. When I was around 225lbs, I wouldn't ever get cold in the pool.

Sparky
January 6th, 2005, 11:58 AM
To answer your original question, I just swim laps. While I agree that swimmers tend to carry more body fat than other athletes (speaking on a general level), I think swimmers can get more tone in their upper bodies more quickly than others.

When I returend to the pool after an inexplicable 6-month layoff of not doing much of anything, I noticed the results almost immediately. I'm still not at a six-pack, but my shoulders and upper torso have much more definition.

Also, I never heard of back problems stemming from elliptical machines. Is that common? Because they seem wonderful, otherwise.

Guvnah
January 6th, 2005, 12:55 PM
6'6", 232-238 lbs. 12% body fat. Wish I had a six-pack. Practically no fat on my limbs. What fat I have is in my mid section (which, by most reports, is the worst fat to have, health wise. I've worked to drop from mid-to-upper 240s to my current weight primarily for that reason.)

My only workout regimen is swimming.

SeoulNewfie
January 6th, 2005, 04:25 PM
I didn't hurt myself from either swumming or the elliptical glider. I did it with soccer and squats. Both of which I no longer do. I am now swimming and using the elliptical machine. I think I'll be fine but I wanted to weight out all my options.

Thanks for the notes. I hope no one was offended with what I said. It was not a knock on swimmers. Like I said I was a runner who could go 5~7 miles a day without stopping, but when I swam for the 1st time I got 2 laps and was about to hack up my insides. I certainly gain a new respect for swimmers once I tried it.

Sparky
January 6th, 2005, 04:53 PM
Another thing I like about swimming, esp. compared to running or weight training, is my muscles aren't in agonizing pain the next day.

Or maybe I'm just not swimming hard enough. :)

scyfreestyler
January 6th, 2005, 05:18 PM
I carry virtually no fat, except for a tiny bit on my midsection. But then again I never have. I am currently at 165 6-0" and have never been over 180 #'s. Swimming has increased my muscle tone throughout my entire body but most noticeably my arms, shoulders, and chest.

hooked-on-swimming
January 6th, 2005, 08:13 PM
I have no fat(what you can see that is) whatsoever, I am 24, 6'1'', 165lb, I do not know if you can put my body type into a typical swimmer category(I have only been swimming since August) or maybe I am just extremely lucky with my metabolism and all.Well, I lifted before I started swimming, but my 6-pack I had before swimming looks more like an 8-pack now, my waist got smaller, too, I can fit into size 28-30 jammers
Just a little proof:

Fred Johnson
January 6th, 2005, 10:47 PM
Originally posted by hooked-on-swimming
I have no fat(what you can see that is) whatsoever, I am 24, 6'1'', 165lb, I do not know if you can put my body type into a typical swimmer category(I have only been swimming since August) or maybe I am just extremely lucky with my metabolism and all.Well, I lifted before I started swimming, but my 6-pack I had before swimming looks more like an 8-pack now, my waist got smaller, too, I can fit into size 28-30 jammers
Just a little proof:

O.K. Dima has practically guaranteed that I will never, ever attach a photo of myself to prove any fact I allege on this site. I count an 8 pack, but who's counting? At 40 y.o., I haven't seen a size 28 swim suit in, oh, what's it been, 28, 29 years? Oh well. A six pack of beer or an 8 pack of muscle. That's the choice.

Swimming has benefits beyond just looking all buffed up. Its easier on your knees for one.

SeoulNewfie
January 7th, 2005, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by Fred Johnson
O.K. Dima has practically guaranteed that I will never, ever attach a photo of myself to prove any fact I allege on this site.

YEAH! NO KIDDING! :(

viper10139
January 7th, 2005, 10:18 AM
Nice post HOOK!! I am 23 years old and am 6'3 and I am 180 pounds, been lifting for 5 years, and I only have 8% bodyfat, trying to tread that down some more, once I get more comfortable in the water, and learn the basics.

hooked-on-swimming
January 7th, 2005, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by viper10139
Nice post HOOK!! I am 23 years old and am 6'3 and I am 180 pounds, been lifting for 5 years, and I only have 8% bodyfat, trying to tread that down some more, once I get more comfortable in the water, and learn the basics.

Good luck with swimming, Viper!I am sure you will learn pretty fast, 'cause you have a lot of drive - and that will definitely give results.I found swimming carved me up more than lifting could ever do, I hear that some say swimming does not do that as much as running or whatnot but I guess it works for me.Anyways, our history looks almost identical, I lifted for about the same time, too and have been swimming for just a few months more than you now, but find it a very rewarding exercise in many aspects.And the coolest thing is the progress in the very beginning - my time was dropping very fast up until now(I can go just under 1:10 for 100 short-course meters).
Anyways, swimming is my passion now and I am sure it will be my entire life.The funny thing is how I started swimming - I left my sneakers at home when I came to the club to lift, but happened to have speedos(which I always carried on me but never used them), so I decided to still do something rather than going back home and jumped in the pool...and got HOOKED, water has been waiting for me, too bad it found me only at 24, I wish I had started earlier.I regretted just one thing after that first swim - my eyes were on fire from chlorine(I did not have goggles), but next time in the pool I was already equipped.What is even funnier is that since that day I lifted only once(yestreday, 'cause I hear that swimmers need to do that, too, but now lifting for me is just to help out my swimming, not more)
Just a little strory,
SWIMMERS RULE!!!

craiglll@yahoo.com
January 7th, 2005, 11:14 AM
I'm tall & skinny. I used to wweigh more.

I swim intervals & rather hard.