PDA

View Full Version : Controversy continues



laineybug
June 15th, 2005, 12:30 AM
I'm sure many of you are already aware of this article on about.com It reviews a couple of studies that try to explain why swimmers tend to have more body fat than other athletes.

Thought if you weren't aware of the article you might find it interesting.

http://swimming.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.sportsci.org/news/compeat/fat.html


Lainey

craiglll@yahoo.com
June 15th, 2005, 02:50 PM
I know a guy whenhe was in his twenties, he appeared to be nothing but muscle. He went to get his body fat measured & it was over 17%. also, does anyone remember the aussie swimmer from the fifties who had a really high body fat count. I know I've seen pictures of him doing things like backbends and other yoga manuveures.

knelson
June 15th, 2005, 04:06 PM
It's kind of strange they don't mention that swimmers don't need to be thinner. It seems obvious to me that runners and cyclists want to be as light (and for cyclists, the bike too) as possible because they're fighting gravity, whereas this isn't true of swimmers. I have to think this is part of the explanation. There's also got to be something to the fact we swim in water colder than our body temperature. Water is, after all, much more efficient at carrying heat away from our bodies than air is.

Another strange thing in that article is they mention the female runners and swimmers had similar caloric intakes, yet it then says the swimmers averaged 2490 and the runners 2040. That means, on average, the swimmers consumed 22% more calories. They consider this to be similar? Hmmm.

Allen Stark
June 15th, 2005, 06:15 PM
Great article, but it doesn't answer the question of which exercise is healthier. 15% body fat for a woman is about the level for irregular periods. Compare swimmers and runners and see who looks healthier!

laineybug
June 15th, 2005, 07:52 PM
at the risk of offending the runners on this board I was just thinking the same thing.

thisgirl13
June 15th, 2005, 10:54 PM
My hometown is big on sports, but not so big on swimming. As a result, I was one of very few female high school swimmers in my area, and often felt insecure about myself because my running counterparts were always skinnier.

My high school coach told me something once, when I finally told her the reason I was killing myself trying to lose weight (and hurting my times because I wasn't eating right). She said, "All athletes adapt to their sport's requirements. Football players have to be heavy to block hits, basketball players must be tall to make baskets, runners must be thin to go fast, and swimmers must be more round, less angular, so they glide through the water without creating drag."

God bless my coach. I never forgot what she said.

laineybug
June 15th, 2005, 10:58 PM
You were lucky to have such a wise woman as your coach!

FindingMyInnerFish
June 15th, 2005, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by laineybug
You were lucky to have such a wise woman as your coach!

Agree completely! It sounds as if she respects who you are, not trying to remake you into some artificial ideal of an athlete.

Now me, I have a conflict: I run AND swim, and my body can't decide if it wants to be round or thin. (Well, to some degree it aims toward "round" when within viewing distance of beer, dark chocolate, etc.) ;)

knelson
June 16th, 2005, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by thisgirl13
"All athletes adapt to their sport's requirements. Football players have to be heavy to block hits, basketball players must be tall to make baskets

So does that mean if I start playing basketball I'll grow taller? :D

Leonard Jansen
June 16th, 2005, 07:51 AM
Originally posted by thisgirl13
She said, "All athletes adapt to their sport's requirements."

Well, I guess that proves that sex is not a sport. At least I've never "adapted."

Drat!

-LBJ

Rob Copeland
June 16th, 2005, 08:44 AM
Originally posted by knelson
So does that mean if I start playing basketball I'll grow taller? :D
It worked for Tim Duncan. He grew a foot taller after he switched from swimming to basketball.

Scansy
June 16th, 2005, 08:54 AM
I could be wrong (it happens far more often than I like to admit), but the % body fat thing has issues both ways. Too much is not good, too little is not good. Some runners seem to have so little that they don't look healthy. I don't know how the numbers in the article compare to the accepted standards though.

In the end, it may not matter too much. I have a friend who was a swimmer in high school and college. He's in his 40's Now he runs and swims. He is in good shape, not heavy at all, but also not too skinny. And he has a heart of gold. Yesterday his left kidney was removed - it is wrecked from cancer. He also has spots showing up on his left lung. They don't know what that is just yet. Test results are expected soon......

Swim hard. You don't know how long it will last..

laineybug
June 16th, 2005, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by knelson
So does that mean if I start playing basketball I'll grow taller? :D

:p Too cute everybody!

Seriously, I think the coach meant that our bodies adapt to our sport AND our bodies self-select our sport in some way... tall folks play basketball, thin folks run (and become thinner)... Wasn't that pointed out in one of the articles?

laineybug
June 16th, 2005, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by Leonard Jansen
Well, I guess that proves that sex is not a sport. At least I've never "adapted."

Drat!

-LBJ

So, in your opinion, what would a body have to become to show that it has adapted to sex as a sport?:D

hrietz
June 16th, 2005, 10:23 AM
A couple of the age group teams in my area have some BIG girls who are really talented swimmers and who have college scholarships. I'm actually surprised with all of the training that they do that they still carry so much weight. I think that some of them must have body fat of at least 30%. Personally I know that I swim better when I am heavier but I like to run and lift weights and I prefer myself as "ripped and lean" as opposed to "soft around the edges"...

thisgirl13
June 16th, 2005, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by hrietz
Personally I know that I swim better when I am heavier but I like to run and lift weights and I prefer myself as "ripped and lean" as opposed to "soft around the edges"...

:p I don't even like to think of myself as "soft around the edges" but I am. Period. And I am faster now than I was in high school, by a decent gap, and I am heavier than I was in high school. Now, my work ethic may be a little better as a 21 year old than a 16 year old, but I hinge on doubting that.

Just call me softie. :D

fatboy
June 16th, 2005, 11:10 AM
Don't think of it as "soft around the edges, think of it as "streamlined"

ande
June 16th, 2005, 11:14 AM
On the fat thing, I think cool pool water temps may cause the body to have subcutaneous fat. So some swimmers appear softer than other types of athletes.

It's amazing, I've swum with several if not many female swimmers who still had weight problems, despite training 10,000 or more a day, Some of it might be over eating, some of it might be genetics, some people have a tendancy toward carrying more weight than others.

Some big girls are fairly fast, but I believe they aren't as fast as they could be if they lost 10, 15, or 20 pounds.

The problems with our society are
1) bad-for-us foods are plentiful and advertised,
2) bad-for-us foods are easy to get,
3) some children grow up with terrible role models, which gives them terrible life habits. Like if a child grows up with obese parents and siblings.
4) people have terrible calorie ingesting habits, they eat too much, drink too much, just genrally take in too many calories,
like they don't think about how many calories are in a can of soda,

5) people sit around too much and don't move.
which could stem from sedentary jobs, watching too much TV, playing video, and computer games.

The truth is, humans have been around a couple million years and for most of it, our race has had to struggle to survive. There weren't stores, restaurants, or processed foods. People probably ate more plants and less meat. People lived off the land, they had to find, hunt, or grow their own food. They had to move to get it. Food was fresh, it wasn't processed. Machines are now doing work people used to do, we eat more and don't have to move as much.

mattson
June 16th, 2005, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by knelson
It's kind of strange they don't mention that swimmers don't need to be thinner. It seems obvious to me that runners and cyclists want to be as light (and for cyclists, the bike too) as possible because they're fighting gravity, whereas this isn't true of swimmers.

They did mention it, towards the end:

A final idea that needs to be explored is whether a selection process is at hand. Elite swimmers may be predisposed to have higher body fat levels because it is a help, or at least less of a disadvantage, to their swimming. ... Higher body fat levels are a greater disadvantage to weight-bearing sports like running.

This study examined college athletes who were at equilibrium, energy intake matched energy expended. What might be of interest are athletes who are not at their "optimal" weight or body fat. Include people who are underweight and trying to put on some pounds (muscle), and those who are trying to loose fat. Or maybe take those athletes (after their sport season is over), and cross-train them. See if their bodies try to adapt to a new body fat level, or if it stays the same.

hrietz
June 16th, 2005, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by ande
On the fat thing, I think cool pool water temps may cause the body to have subcutaneous fat. So some swimmers appear softer than other types of athletes.

It's amazing, I've swum with several if not many female swimmers who still had weight problems, despite training 10,000 or more a day, Some of it might be over eating, some of it might be genetics, some people have a tendancy toward carrying more weight than others.

Some big girls are fairly fast, but I believe they aren't as fast as they could be if they lost 10, 15, or 20 pounds.

The problems with our society are
1) bad-for-us foods are plentiful and advertised,
2) bad-for-us foods are easy to get,
3) some children grow up with terrible role models, which gives them terrible life habits. Like if a child grows up with obese parents and siblings.
4) people have terrible calorie ingesting habits, they eat too much, drink too much, just genrally take in too many calories,
like they don't think about how many calories are in a can of soda,

5) people sit around too much and don't move.
which could stem from sedentary jobs, watching too much TV, playing video, and computer games.

The truth is, humans have been around a couple million years and for most of it, our race has had to struggle to survive. There weren't stores, restaurants, or processed foods. People probably ate more plants and less meat. People lived off the land, they had to find, hunt, or grow their own food. They had to move to get it. Food was fresh, it wasn't processed. Machines are now doing work people used to do, we eat more and don't have to move as much.

Well said. I couldn't agree more. You wonder how fast they would be if they lost the extra weight. A "gut" on a 17 year old girl is not attractive...I think that it's difficult for the coaches to bring it up because they're afraid of "eating disorder" issues. If the girl's parents are not responsible enough to tell her to lose weight then the coach needs to. In the long run he/she is doing her a favor. Childhood obesity is a HUGE problem in this country for the reasons that Ande has listed...

LindsayNB
June 16th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by ande
On the fat thing, I think cool pool water temps may cause the body to have subcutaneous fat. So some swimmers appear softer than other types of athletes.


This cries out for a study comparing swimmers who swim in cool pools versus those who swim in warmer pools. If temperature is the issue those pools we all complain are too hot for training in should produce slimmer swimmers...

BillS
June 16th, 2005, 01:18 PM
The local elementary schools have been bringing groups to our pool over the lunch hour. I was shocked to see how many of the kids were not merely pudgy, but what the docs describe as morbidly obese. I seem to recall there being a few "fat kids" in my elementary classes in the 60's; I'd say at least 1/2 of today's kids were well over their ideal weight. And I live in a very sports-oriented small town; I can't imagine the scope of the problem in the Heartland from whence I came.

From my (admittedly limited) observation, the reports of rampant childhood obesity appear to be true.

knelson
June 16th, 2005, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by ande
It's amazing, I've swum with several if not many female swimmers who still had weight problems, despite training 10,000 or more a day

I've noticed the same thing and it seems much more common in female swimmers than males. It MAY just be a perception thing. Our mental picture of the ideal male physique may be closer to what a typical male swimmer looks like than what our idea of an ideal femal physique is to a typical female swimmer.

SwiminONandON
June 16th, 2005, 03:25 PM
I blame fast food restaurants, garage door openers, the fact that no one WALKS anywhere anymore, video games, etc.

Kids sit around, eat bad food and don't exercise enough, etc.

I blame parents also, though I don't think they should be telling their kids to loose weight either. They need to take responsibility and give their kids healthy foods and take away the video games and computers and tvs. Make them DO things...

knelson
June 16th, 2005, 03:34 PM
You don't loose weight, you lose it. If you lose weight you'll have less loose skin around your belly :)

SwiminONandON
June 16th, 2005, 03:39 PM
Yeah, yeah ...

Scansy
June 17th, 2005, 07:39 AM
Here are several oddball way to look at it. My job frequently requires me to "brainstorm" - come up with a whole lot of ideas quickly, then see what really makes the most sense. That's what I'm doing here. Some of these may be able to be dismissed quickly, but they may also make everyone think a little bit. And obviously some are just meant to be silly.

1. Most runners I know are more into the "no pain no gain" mentality. To become a better runner, they train longer and harder. Most swimmers I know are driven equally (if not more) by technique improvement. I personally like to be tired from a workout but not in pain. So, is it possible that the runner is not eating ice cream, beer, etc. because it's part of the whole pain and suffering mentality and the swimmer does eat those things because we are not into the pain and suffering thing?

2. When I workout hard, my whole body is tired. Arms, legs, lungs/heart, torso, etc. I do run from time to time as a change of pace. My arms and torso feel left out. Is the full body workout thing likely to leave a swimmer feeling hungry more than a runner's lower body workout - causing the swimmer to eat more?

3. In some strange way, running seems so much more solitary to me than swimming. Swimmers seem very social. Is it possible that a person who is more of a loner is attracted to running and the more outgoing person is attracted to swimming. Is the more outgoing person more likely to eat out/meet friends for a drink, etc.?

4. Is this a case of the person who is more genetically predisposed to being heavy being more likely to be a swimmer because their joints can better handle it? In other words, is swimming the driving force between the extra fat or is it just a result of it?

5. Is there calories in chlorine?:)

6. Are swimmers in front of the computer more often due to this great web site?:)

7. If someone runs, they are outside and there are no snack machines when they are done. When I leave the Y, I could get ice cream, candy bars, soda, chips, etc. when I leave.....

8. When I watch some of the swimmers at my Y, they are practically doggie paddling down the pool. For some reason, I think swimming is more likely to attract the "casual" exerciser than running (part of the whole pain from running thing). The casual exerciser is not likely to lose weight.....

Francesco
June 17th, 2005, 10:35 AM
For me, swimming and biking make me more hungry than running.
I think it has to do with the "jarring" of my insides as I run. However, after I recover I'm my usual hungry self.
Go Steelers!

SwiminONandON
June 17th, 2005, 10:45 AM
I was definitely a runner for a good 6 years. I ate like a horse then and eat like a horse now (do horses really eat a lot or is that one of those urban myth things?)

I ran b/c it was super easy. I ran through pain, often to injury. I enjoyed running alone b/c I am an outgoing person but I still need that little of me time.

I don't run much any more b/c after years and years of gymnastics and distance road running my joints hurt if I run more than 10 miles. (and sometimes 2 or 3)

I think if you look at the elite swimmers and you look at the elite runners they are all pretty fit looking. Sprinters tend to bulkier than their distance counterparts in running. The sprinters are either all roided up or they are all full of fast twitch muscles or both. Distance runners tend to look almost emaciated. That is NOT the ideal body type in my mind. Sprinters in swimming tend to be longer and leaner and distance swimmers CAN get away with a few extra pounds, perhaps b/c they need to conserve a little more heat?

Super distance swimmers that swim in cold water (Lynne Cox comes to mind) need more body fat to keep warmer. Runners don't want to lug all that lard.

You burn more calories running at a good clip for an hour than you do swimming at a good clip for an hour.

I think swimming is more tiring.

Apparently the least transferable exercise is cross country skiing. It's hardest for all athletes to adapt. I'm not sure where I heard that or if it is true.

Leonard Jansen
June 17th, 2005, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by SwiminONandON
I ate like a horse then and eat like a horse now (do horses really eat a lot or is that one of those urban myth things?)


Since we own a horse stabling business, here's the lowdown:
For each horse (avg wt 1100 lbs), our horses, on average, eat about 1/2+ bale of hay (~20 lbs per 1/2 bale) and 6-8 lbs of pelleted feed (we don't use grain). They drink anywhere from 3-15 gallons of water each day, usually depending on how hot it is. They also eat whatever grass they can get out in the fields. They will eat carrots, apples, pears, cinnamon-flavored graham crackers and peppermints in infinite quantities.

So, about 27 lbs of food and anywhere from 27-135 lbs of water each day per horse and grass and treats.

Yes, horses eat like horses.

That, plus someone (me) has to shovel alot of it out of the stalls after they have "recycled" it.

-LBJ

some_girl
June 17th, 2005, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by knelson
I've noticed the same thing and it seems much more common in female swimmers than males. It MAY just be a perception thing. Our mental picture of the ideal male physique may be closer to what a typical male swimmer looks like than what our idea of an ideal femal physique is to a typical female swimmer.

It may be perception another way, too. I was on the subway the other day, looking at this cute guy (yeah, it's a hobby), when I realized the great line as to when someone starts to look fat is pounds and pounds different between men and women. This guy was solidly built, maybe a bit of pudge, but no one would call him fat. However, if you suddenly made him a girl, everyone would say, "Yeah, she should lose fifteen pounds." That is, guys have way more leeway before we think they're fat.

Anyway, I am definitely a data point that people who tend to be bigger prefer swimming. Even when I'm skinny, I'm big (ie, at 5'9" and 134, I still wore a 12), and I hate running. It just feels wrong.

Blue Horn
June 17th, 2005, 12:07 PM
Also, look at the group they were comparing swimmers to: distance runners. Come on, any other group of athletes are going to have high body fat percentages. I am sorry, but looking emaciated is not what I would consider ideal.

Why don't they compare swimmers to other athletes such as baskeball players, volleyball players, softball players, sprinters, other track disciplines? Is there any other sport that has body fat percentages this low? 7% body fat is not a good thing.

Plus, it seems to me that there are just as many heavy set girls participating in basketball and volleyball and other sports as there are in swimming. Me thinks this is much ado about nothing.

Hook'em
Blue

SwiminONandON
June 17th, 2005, 12:22 PM
I agree, I said (or meant to) say that emaciated is not a good look. Softball players and baseball players can definitely carry around some extra weight.

I think swimming and running get compared the most b/c they are more similiar than swimming and basketball.

Bottom line: swimmers are the best!

BillS
June 17th, 2005, 01:10 PM
[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Scansy
So, is it possible that the runner is not eating ice cream, beer, etc. because it's part of the whole pain and suffering mentality and the swimmer does eat those things because we are not into the pain and suffering thing?

Don't know nuthin' about pain and suffering, but I do know that I don't know a single runner who likes a big bowl of Breyers Vanilla (With Real Specks of Vanilla Beans) drowning in Hershey's syrup backed with an ice cold Pilsner Urquell or Moretti or 6 as much as I do:D

knelson
June 17th, 2005, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by Leonard Jansen
So, about 27 lbs of food and anywhere from 27-135 lbs of water each day per horse and grass and treats.

And, hence, also the phrase "pi** like a racehorse."

Scansy
June 17th, 2005, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by SwiminONandON
...

Bottom line: swimmers are the best!

Isn't that obvious?:cool:

Bob McAdams
June 17th, 2005, 04:10 PM
There are certainly reasons why a certain amount of fat is likely to be less of a detriment in swimming than in running:

1) In running, fat puts extra load on the joints, increasing the likelihood of injury if you do a lot of running. This isn't true for swimming.

2) In swimming, fat tends to increase bouyancy, which makes it easier to master certain aspects of swimming. I can think of a triathlete I've coached who has had serious problems mastering freestyle breathing because he rides so low in the water due to his lean build. Bouyancy isn't a factor when you're running.

3) The body can develop fat as a means of insulation for swimmers who do a lot of swimming in relatively cold water. I remember seeing a program about a woman who swam the Bering Strait, and who had spent time beforehand acclimating herself to swimming in cold water, and it was found that she had developed a thin layer of fat all over her body.

4) If there are more female swimmers than male swimmers who are fat, this may be related to the embarassment factor. A guy who is fat is likely to have a lot of resistance toward being seen in a swim brief (which until recently was the standard swimsuit for male competitive swimmers). And I'm not at all sure that the increased prevalance of jammers is going to make much of a difference. I can think of one boy on the swim team at the YMCA where I do my workouts who is on the fat side. I've seen him in both briefs and jammers, and frankly, he looks fatter in jammers than in briefs because the jammers pinch in some of the fat, making it bulge out more noticeably over the top of the suit.

Our bodies certainly try to adapt to the sports we do, although their ability to do this is limited. There's a teenage boy I know who used to play football in the fall and do swimming the rest of the year, and he put on a lot of weight every year during football season and then took it off afterward. The weight fluctuations ultimately led him to give up swimming. But I don't think that playing basketball is likely to make you any taller.

But there is also a natural selection process at work in every sport that becomes more pronounced as you reach the elite levels. If your physiology isn't suited to a sport and you can't adapt, you're ultimately likely to give up that sport and to look for a sport at which you can excell.

Scansy
June 17th, 2005, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by BillS
[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Scansy
So, is it possible that the runner is not eating ice cream, beer, etc. because it's part of the whole pain and suffering mentality and the swimmer does eat those things because we are not into the pain and suffering thing?

Don't know nuthin' about pain and suffering, but I do know that I don't know a single runner who likes a big bowl of Breyers Vanilla (With Real Specks of Vanilla Beans) drowning in Hershey's syrup backed with an ice cold Pilsner Urquell or Moretti or 6 as much as I do:D

Damn, you have good taste!

Around here, we have a place called Bruster's. They make their ice cream on site as well as their waffle cones. They have a flavor called Fudgie Cheesecake:D They also have one called Birthday Cake - it actually has cake icing in the ice cream (because ice cream isn't sweet enough afterall!)

poolmonkey
June 20th, 2005, 12:02 PM
Besides, female swimmers are some of the hottest athletes.

Athletes with real low body fat appear to be too skinny. They look anorexic. People need a little body fat to look appealing in my book. What constitutes a little? Not sure. For guys somewhere around 10% and women somewhere between 15 and 20%.

People get too caught up in body fat and weight. It kills me to see people weighing themselves. Maybe I'm just missing the boat on this one, but I'm more concerned with my times than my weight. And muscle weighs more than fat, so an athelete it going to be pushing the scales a little bit. I like to get my body fat checked once in a great while, but I think if I look okay in a mirror, then I'm not too worried about the numbers.

nkace
June 20th, 2005, 02:01 PM
I have to say runners look unhealthy due to their lack of body fat vs. swimmers who look athletic & very appealing.
Getting on a scale means nothing. I weigh about the same as I did in high school but I have learned that it's due to a variety of factors. Lack of exercise is the biggest since muscle weighs more than fat. How my clothes fit has also changed-thanks to gravity & getting older. Your metabolism also changes which you can't do anything about.[B]

geochuck
June 20th, 2005, 03:06 PM
Only time my body fat was checked - when I thought I was skinny. They measured the fat with calipers and the said I was the poorest conditioned athlete at the Commonwealth games. Next the measured strength and the said I had the second strongest legs and arms there. Does it mean if you have high fat content it means you cannot swim?

Michael Heather
June 26th, 2005, 01:51 AM
The truth is, humans have been around a couple million years and for most of it, our race has had to struggle to survive. There weren't stores, restaurants, or processed foods. People probably ate more plants and less meat. People lived off the land, they had to find, hunt, or grow their own food. They had to move to get it. Food was fresh, it wasn't processed. Machines are now doing work people used to do, we eat more and don't have to move as much.

And until about two hundred years ago, the average life span of humans was about 40 years.

I am not suggesting that eating at McDonalds will make you live longer, but killing your own food and eating fresh off the vine does not necessarily make you healthier, either.

I for one am all about moving less if it means moving more efficiently.

Caped Crusader
December 5th, 2006, 08:59 AM
You burn more calories running at a good clip for an hour than you do swimming at a good clip for an hour.

Is this true? I've always thought it was anecdotally correct. To me, I have to swim longer to get the same "bang for my buck" as running.

My daughter is always saying that there are some very big girls at her swim meets. Plus, I had the opportunity to observe Worlds last summer. There were, of course, many fit lean specimens. But I did seem to notice quite a few "big" women (however that is technically defined) doing very well.

SwimStud
December 5th, 2006, 09:39 AM
Fat? So-what.

I got a little belly roll and I am dead sexy :p I swim OK too.

The Fortress
December 5th, 2006, 09:46 AM
I am dead sexy :p I swim OK too.

Rich:

With all the interest and resourcefulness you've been showing on this forum, I'm sure you're swimming more than OK. :agree:

But do "dead" and "sexy" go together? :eek:

On topic, I have this purely anecdotal feeling/experience that running burns more calories than swimming given the same intensity and same workout time, but I've been told that might not be scientifically correct on another thread.

SwimStud
December 5th, 2006, 10:58 AM
Rich:

On topic, I have this purely anecdotal feeling/experience that running burns more calories than swimming given the same intensity and same workout time, but I've been told that might not be scientifically correct on another thread.

I agree that the burn is likely higher in running etc. However the beauty of swimming for me is that you don't have to run in extreme weather e.g. "Minus OMG how cold is it?" and "100 and holy-mMoly" neither of which are good for you. That or pound away on a conveyor belt!

For me the stresses of running are too great on my discs and the likelyhood is that I am training with more intesnsity in the pool b/c I am pain free in the water. I had a slight spasm a month ago. I still swam a mile (pain free) with it; that can't happen on land.

So I think the average person will not notice a huge difference.
Maybe I could be thnner with running or soccer but for the last few years i'd play 3 or 4 games then go down with 3 herniated discs causing spasm etc and miss a month...

Anyhow, I am an inch thinner where it counts and an inch wider where it looks good so I am happy. After the binge I will cut back on certain food for a month and see how I do.

Also my workout outfit is lighter to carry :D :D

sftom
December 5th, 2006, 08:05 PM
Here's an off-the-wall factoid on this subject: Gwen Stefani joined her high school swim team to lose weight. Seems to have worked pretty well.

swimr4life
December 5th, 2006, 08:33 PM
Here's an off-the-wall factoid on this subject: Gwen Stefani joined her high school swim team to lose weight. Seems to have worked pretty well.

Did you see her last night on the Billboard awards? She looked amazing. I want to know what she is doing to get legs like that!

islandsox
December 5th, 2006, 08:56 PM
Here's one for you. Swimming burns up to 600 calores per hour, but the problem is most people do NOT swim for a full hour unless it is EZ. They swim a little, break a little, swim a little. It rarely adds up to one full hour. An another example is this: on most marathon swims (over 16 miles), the average weight loss for a woman is around 11-15 pounds. That swimmer better have some extra weight for something like that.

Body fat can help a swimmer but be distrasous to a runner because of gravity.

Donna

SwimStud
December 5th, 2006, 09:04 PM
Here's one for you. Swimming burns up to 600 calores per hour, but the problem is most people do NOT swim for a full hour unless it is EZ. They swim a little, break a little, swim a little. It rarely adds up to one full hour. An another example is this: on most marathon swims (over 16 miles), the average weight loss for a woman is around 11-15 pounds. That swimmer better have some extra weight for something like that.

Body fat can help a swimmer but be distrasous to a runner because of gravity.

Donna

So how much do I burn doing a mile of breaststroke in about 45mins? Lots?

Please say lots...I'll really let go and enjoy Christmas if so...

CreamPuff
December 6th, 2006, 10:08 AM
On the fat thing, I think cool pool water temps may cause the body to have subcutaneous fat. So some swimmers appear softer than other types of athletes.

It's amazing, I've swum with several if not many female swimmers who still had weight problems, despite training 10,000 or more a day, Some of it might be over eating, some of it might be genetics, some people have a tendancy toward carrying more weight than others.

Some big girls are fairly fast, but I believe they aren't as fast as they could be if they lost 10, 15, or 20 pounds.

The problems with our society are
1) bad-for-us foods are plentiful and advertised,
2) bad-for-us foods are easy to get,
3) some children grow up with terrible role models, which gives them terrible life habits. Like if a child grows up with obese parents and siblings.
4) people have terrible calorie ingesting habits, they eat too much, drink too much, just genrally take in too many calories,
like they don't think about how many calories are in a can of soda,

5) people sit around too much and don't move.
which could stem from sedentary jobs, watching too much TV, playing video, and computer games.

The truth is, humans have been around a couple million years and for most of it, our race has had to struggle to survive. There weren't stores, restaurants, or processed foods. People probably ate more plants and less meat. People lived off the land, they had to find, hunt, or grow their own food. They had to move to get it. Food was fresh, it wasn't processed. Machines are now doing work people used to do, we eat more and don't have to move as much.

Ande,

I do agree with you and Heather Reitz on these components.

For me, it was number 4 that got to me along with this common swimming mentality, "oh, you can eat whatever you want." (I know not every swimming family feels this way). It was sort of an accepted lifestyle to eat pizza, poptarts, hotdogs, etc. Well, as a kid and young adult, I did eat whatever I want. A typical dinner after a swim meet would be a big salad w/ blue cheese dressing and all the fixings, a huge steak and loaded baked potato topped off by a huge piece of pie or cake - this kind of eating started at 10 and continued until sort of recently for me. And many of my swimming friends ate similarly. Needless to say, even with 2 hours of swimming a day, my calories in were still more than my calories out.

I see that now, and with more "moderation" and watching what I eat (without going to extremes), those extra few (I'm not implying I'm obese or overweight by any means) pounds do seem to come off.

On the flip side, there were some elite age groupers I also swam with. Their coach was a stickler on what they could and could not eat. I remember being at Juniors and their conversation was completely about being fat or not fat and what was fattening and not fattening (we were around 15 to 17 yrs old.)
I must say that I was happy to just be a kid and not worry about all that until years later - just from a mental perspective. Now, as to whether or not I'm less healthy as a result of eating what I wanted when I was a kid. . . I don't know.

But, I can say, in keeping in touch with some of my age group swimming friends, eating disorders are present across the board in those who ate what they wanted and in those who had restrictive diets as youngsters.

I also feel that kids are VERY AWARE as to whether or not they are overweight. Kids/ teens are, in some ways, more perceptive than adults. I'm not sure that telling them flat out is helping them. I believe they know. If they are overeating, it's often for a very specific reason, frequently not related to food at all. Then, if they have a trusted adult tell them, "You need to lose weight," it's additional blow to their already fragile psyche. They try to reduce calories, find out they can't do it via eating less or better (as they aren't addressing the true problem to begin with), and then resort to very, very unhealthy methods for getting that bottom line result of weighing less.

I think parents and coaches should live that healthy lifestyle themselves and that's more powerful than telling a youngster to drop some weight. :2cents:

SwimStud
December 6th, 2006, 10:17 AM
I also feel that kids are VERY AWARE as to whether or not they are overweight. Kids/ teens are, in some ways, more perceptive than adults. I'm not sure that telling them flat out is helping them. I believe they know. If they are overeating, it's often for a very specific reason, frequently not related to food at all. Then, if they have a trusted adult tell them, "You need to lose weight," it's additional blow to their already fragile psyche. They try to reduce calories, find out they can't do it via eating less or better (as they aren't addressing the true problem to begin with), and then resort to very, very unhealthy methods for getting that bottom line result of weighing less.



Speaking as a once fat child...it doesn't help ever to be told you're fat or this or that, when you eat the same as your relatively skinny sister. I used to have family members supply a large amount of chocolates and stuff at Christmas, then be told by the same family members that I am overweight and make me feel ashamed with things like "I bet you can't even touch your toes (which is about flexibility not fat anyway).."

Better to encourage good habits at the table, and restrict junk food at the in-take--once they have eaten it it is no good to criticise.
I try to not double carb now e.g. bread and pasta, bread and potatoes...seems to help. I like the various squash instead of potatoes too. A little of everything and a little exercise is good for us all. I've never had washboard abs since I was 7...30 years later I am not going to kill myself trying for them.

CreamPuff
December 6th, 2006, 10:26 AM
Speaking as a once fat child...it doesn't help ever to be told you're fat or this or that, when you eat the same as your relatively skinny sister. I used to have family members supply a large amount of chocolates and stuff at Christmas, then be told by the same family members that I am overweight and make me feel ashamed with things like "I bet you can't even touch your toes (which is about flexibility not fat anyway).."

Better to encourage good habits at the table, and restrict junk food at the in-take--once they have eaten it it is no good to criticise.
I try to not double carb now e.g. bread and pasta, bread and potatoes...seems to help. I like the various squash instead of potatoes too. A little of everything and a little exercise is good for us all. I've never had washboard abs since I was 7...30 years later I am not going to kill myself trying for them.

Amen to that Rich! If only more parents would follow this sound advise. This was the first year that my mom actually did not tell me at any time during Thanksgiving to, "Stop eating that!" and I'm 34! It was rather liberating.

bobbyhillny
September 19th, 2007, 12:13 PM
Very interesting thread!
I agree with many of the insights mentioned here. I used to be running and lifting weights, as a result my body fat was only 7%, with well defined 6 pack abs. I've since switched from running to swimming. I'd think that swimming burns more calorie and is more taxing than running, but the definition on my abs is beginning to fade. I guess our bodies adjust to the sports we do. As swimmers, our bodies can't be too angular and cut, they need to be more round to create less drag. Sort of like F-22 stealth fighter's round shape to avoid rader detection. While F-15 looks mighty good with its chiseled shape, it has too much angular surface areas that reflect radar beams.

Micheal Phelps still has a 6 pack abs probably because he's still so young. Ian Thorpe has never been known to have a chiseled physique. He carries a little extra weight imo. But boy can he glide in the water. He uses the fewest number of strokes to cover the races. He makes swimming look easy.

Now the million dollar question is, how can we avid swimmers to continue enjoying swimming while maintaining a well defined body? :mad: Can we have both?

islandsox
September 19th, 2007, 12:38 PM
Very interesting thread!
I agree with many of the insights mentioned here. I used to be running and lifting weights, as a result my body fat was only 7%, with well defined 6 pack abs. I've since switched from running to swimming. I'd think that swimming burns more calorie and is more taxing than running, but the definition on my abs is beginning to fade. I guess our bodies adjust to the sports we do. As swimmers, our bodies can't be too angular and cut, they need to be more round to create less drag. Sort of like F-22 stealth fighter's round shape to avoid rader detection. While F-15 looks mighty good with its chiseled shape, it has too much angular surface areas that reflect radar beams.

Micheal Phelps still has a 6 pack abs probably because he's still so young. Ian Thorpe has never been known to have a chiseled physique. He carries a little extra weight imo. But boy can he glide in the water. He uses the fewest number of strokes to cover the races. He makes swimming look easy.

Now the million dollar question is, how can we avid swimmers to continue enjoying swimming while maintaining a well defined body? :mad: Can we have both?

And the million dollar answer is: Yes, we can have both. Add weight training/ab crunches to your swim training and it should fix this. Swimming by itself probably will not. Plus, adding those two other things or more things will help the swimming.

SwimStud
September 19th, 2007, 12:44 PM
:thhbbb:
And the million dollar answer is: Yes, we can have both. Add weight training/ab crunches to your swim training and it should fix this. Swimming by itself probably will not. Plus, adding those two other things or more things will help the swimming.


one of my missions this year is to use the monofin to work my core and see if it hits the abs like crunches can. I may find a way to use it more like an, OMG, Aquaciser, and see what it does.

Slowswim
September 19th, 2007, 01:38 PM
From a "non-swimmer" point of view, as a skinny kid I was a fast runner. Surprise I ran competitively as a distance runner (PRs of 4:11 mile and 32:48 10K).

I read y'all talk about doing four events over a weekend meet as super-human. The total distance is 200-400M and you tapered for two weeks.
For a sprint Tri, I may take a day or two off and just reduce intensity for a day or two, but when I race its 80-90% for over an hour. There may be a cultural difference in expected intensity of the workload.

I find on my running days, I crave salty things and usually eat a sandwich or salad. After swimming, its all I can do not to get doughnuts.

I too lost my abs from last year after concentrating on swimming. Then my wife told me I was slouching more from swimming. When I stood up straight...there they were!

I think you are right its unfair to compare swimming (as a whole) to distance running. When I was competitive I was 5'10" and 104 lbs. Why not compare against Shot putters!?!

IMO: If you compare a Pro middle distance runner, cyclist, and swimmer; the swimmer wins hands down for best physique.

My question about fat kids is when did girls start getting a spare tire? I thought old men did. Is that from the hormones is the food? Fat boys seems to be just the same as when I was a kid.

SwimStud
September 19th, 2007, 01:50 PM
My question about fat kids is when did girls start getting a spare tire? I thought old men did. Is that from the hormones is the food? Fat boys seems to be just the same as when I was a kid.

Some of the theory is in hormones in food leading to weight gain, earlier onset of puberty etc..but it isn't every girl though...so who knows.

In general kids do less activity than even 15 years ago due to videogames and internet etc. Couple that with poverty of time and ease of "driving through" and you have some underlying factors which don't help.

swimr4life
September 19th, 2007, 02:01 PM
I think it is dependent on diet and what you are putting into your body. Too much sugar and overprocessed food =weight gain. The intensity of your workouts has a lot to do with it also. There is a big difference in just swimming for an hour and doing interval work and sprints for an hour!

The Fortress
September 19th, 2007, 03:33 PM
Very interesting thread!
I agree with many of the insights mentioned here. I used to be running and lifting weights, as a result my body fat was only 7%, with well defined 6 pack abs. I've since switched from running to swimming. I'd think that swimming burns more calorie and is more taxing than running, but the definition on my abs is beginning to fade. I guess our bodies adjust to the sports we do. As swimmers, our bodies can't be too angular and cut, they need to be more round to create less drag. Sort of like F-22 stealth fighter's round shape to avoid rader detection. While F-15 looks mighty good with its chiseled shape, it has too much angular surface areas that reflect radar beams.

Micheal Phelps still has a 6 pack abs probably because he's still so young. Ian Thorpe has never been known to have a chiseled physique. He carries a little extra weight imo. But boy can he glide in the water. He uses the fewest number of strokes to cover the races. He makes swimming look easy.

Now the million dollar question is, how can we avid swimmers to continue enjoying swimming while maintaining a well defined body? :mad: Can we have both?

Swimming can be a great workout, especially if you're training hard. But to have it all, I think it's better to cross train with other sports and weights.

And swimming makes me gain weight even when I lift weights and do core work. I was thinner and more toned as a runner. I'd take my runner's bod back in a heartbeat. Plus, even if some guy swimmers like big shoulders, not many others do. I ran into a tri/personal trainer friend of mine the other day who I hadn't seen in a long time. She said "Oh, are you still swimming?" Then she looked appraisingly at my arms and said, "I see you are, you're less defined." And I thought I had buff arms ...

As to the girls, the ones I see with a little belly do not do a sport involving a regular cardiovascular workout. And kids eat a lot of crap these days.

I agree with Bill though. Looking at the pros, the guy swimmers have wayyy better bodies than other athletes.

Now, back to masters swimming.

rtodd
September 19th, 2007, 08:24 PM
Posted by Knelson:


It's kind of strange they don't mention that swimmers don't need to be thinner. It seems obvious to me that runners and cyclists want to be as light (and for cyclists, the bike too) as possible because they're fighting gravity, whereas this isn't true of swimmers.

Disagree. Swimming is like climbing a ladder, but horizontally. The heavier you are the more force is required through you arms to pull and accelerate your body. The lighter you are, the less slippage there will be in your catch, especially if you are a powerfull sprinter. There is no arguing otherwise. I'm not saying you can't be "fast" while carrying extra unnecessary weight, but you will be slower than you could be. You will never see an overweight Olympic swimmer...never. The only sport you may get away with it is in baseball, but you better be able to hit home runs or throw 95+.

There is a saying in track sprinting "light is right". It is free speed. I remember those hard track workouts and thinking what a shame to do it and then leave free speed on the table by not cutting weight.

quicksilver
September 19th, 2007, 08:44 PM
Water is the great equalizer.
Underestimating someone's ability due to girth can be a big misconception.

Lean and mean is great for sprinting. That's a given.
But a plus sized athlete can still offer quite a challenge in the distance events or open water marathons.

I'd have to vote for the Skipper over Gilligan if they ever tried to swim off of the island.

swimr4life
September 19th, 2007, 09:00 PM
Water is the great equalizer.
Underestimating someone's ability due to girth can be a big misconception.

Lean and mean is great for sprinting. That's a given.
But a plus sized athlete can still offer quite a challenge in the distance events or open water marathons.

I'd have to vote for the Skipper over Gilligan if they ever tried to swim off of the island.

I have to agree with you. I'm tall, lanky and a sprinter. I remember doing the swim leg of a triathlon relay and coming out of the water behind a woman that was at least 20 lbs heavier than me....and I had swam as hard as I could!

ourswimmer
September 20th, 2007, 01:54 AM
I have to agree with you. I'm tall, lanky and a sprinter. I remember doing the swim leg of a triathlon relay and coming out of the water behind a woman that was at least 20 lbs heavier than me....and I had swam as hard as I could!

The better question, though, is not whether you should have predicted your relative speeds based on your relative sizes, but whether she'd have been even faster if she were leaner. As long as she wasn't so lean as to be unhealthy, I suspect that the answer to that question would be "yes," just because any body mass that isn't creating propulsion creates drag instead. ("Should she lose weight?" or "would losing weight be worth the sacrifice?" is a far more complex question, and one that only she can answer.)

My primary sport since childhood has been swimming, although I have never been an "elite" swimmer. I used to run a lot, too, and loved it even though I sucked, but I had to give it up after I injured a knee. I was leaner when I was running (and I swam faster, too), because I was working out more overall. I wasn't actually any lighter, though. I just had less body fat, and bigger legs.

geochuck
September 20th, 2007, 05:23 AM
Does fat make the Super Heavy weight lifter stronger then the skinny weight lifter. I watched those guys through out the years. The heavier the stronger.

I am sure there is a perfect balance of fat, muscle and strength. If we can only get it right.

dorothyrde
September 20th, 2007, 05:44 AM
As a person who has swum at a heavier weight and now swim at a lighter weight I can tell you, I am much faster at the lighter weight. The extra weight on me was a hindrance.

JimCanSwim
September 20th, 2007, 07:11 AM
As a person who has swum at a heavier weight and now swim at a lighter weight I can tell you, I am much faster at the lighter weight. The extra weight on me was a hindrance.

I have to agree with Dorothy. I've lost alot weight, too, and I move faster through the water. And it just kind makes sense, doesn't it?? Is it easier to move a 180 pound object or a 200 pound object? (Either against gravity or across the top of water?) I'm sure there's a point (a specific weight) where the advantage diminishes; but I don't think I've reached it yet.

JIM

Donna
September 20th, 2007, 07:30 AM
When I first started out and I was on the heavier side and alot slower our coach dragged out one of those grudge belts. She pitted me against the fastest swimmer there, this little college student who could easily lap me in workout. I won the grudge match simply because it was easier for me to drag that extra 110 lbs behind me, than it was for her to drag an extra 200 lbs behind her.

So just imagine how as the weight comes off the speed increases because the strength is already there from having to drag the extra weight in the past.

quicksilver
September 20th, 2007, 07:52 AM
Extra weight is a hindrance. But one thing to consider is the buoyancy factor which comes along with it. An elite triathlete with little or no body fat will sink like a stone if they exhaled and tried to float. An English Channel swimmer offsets drag caused by gravity because of their girth. They float.

Gilligan however could probably kick the Skipper's ass in a 50.


• Archimedes' principle. A body in water is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the water displaced. When the weight of the water you displace is greater than your weight, you float, because the force of buoyancy is greater than the force of gravity.

• Specific gravity. People float at very different heights in the water -- why? The ratio of the weight of a body to the weight of the water it displaces is its specific gravity. Pure water has a specific gravity of 1.0; this is the standard against which other objects are compared. A body with a specific gravity less than 1.0 floats; one with a specific gravity greater than 1.0 sinks. People with lots of muscle, heavy bone structure, and little body fat do not float as easily as those with more body fat and less muscle. Females generally are better floaters than men (the average female has 21 to 24 percent body fat, while the average male has 15 to 20 percent); so, too, are very young children (who have more fat weight and less muscle) and older people

SwimStud
September 20th, 2007, 08:36 AM
Water is the great equalizer.
Underestimating someone's ability due to girth can be a big misconception.

Lean and mean is great for sprinting. That's a given.
But a plus sized athlete can still offer quite a challenge in the distance events or open water marathons.



I have to agree with you. I'm tall, lanky and a sprinter. I remember doing the swim leg of a triathlon relay and coming out of the water behind a woman that was at least 20 lbs heavier than me....and I had swam as hard as I could!

Just to clarify--not so much argue with your pionts. I don't think a plus size is someone carrying 20lb or so. Just b/c you don't have 6 pack doesn't make you "fat."

PS A little wiggle on a lady is a nice thing...not saying no wiggle is bad either...

dorothyrde
September 20th, 2007, 08:51 AM
I still have plenty of wiggle!

Extra weight or not, I don't float well, never have. Extra weight or not, I seem to be more of a sprinter than distance although I hate the 50 free because I always mess up my turn!:thhbbb:

geochuck
September 20th, 2007, 09:59 AM
Could everyone be wrong, did Archimedes' know what he was talking about.

Many things change with the times.

swimr4life
September 20th, 2007, 10:03 AM
There are so many variables in this equation. Unless you had 2 swimmers train the same hours, eat the same diet, sleep the same hours, have the same family life, work the same or simillar jobs, do the same dryland/weights...... you really can't compare apples to oranges. It would be a very interesting research to do and see the results.

Slowswim
September 20th, 2007, 10:56 AM
It seems y'all are saying the same thing but with respect to proportion. "heavier" or "bigger" i'm sure is not obese just not the stick thin runway model. I think less fat is better to a point.

I am probably typical of Tris. A full breathe of air and I will still sink to the bottom. My biggest struggle is getting into a proper swimming position because my legs sink to easily. I hate cold water, but love my sleeveless wetsuit!

I've always been confused with the difference between Piersol and Phelps' physiques, but they are both FAST!

rtodd
September 20th, 2007, 11:14 AM
Posted by Geochuck:


Does fat make the Super Heavy weight lifter stronger then the skinny weight lifter. I watched those guys through out the years. The heavier the stronger.

I am sure there is a perfect balance of fat, muscle and strength. If we can only get it right.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOWcrqOSevs&mode=related&search=

Fat has no place in sports (except the NFL trenches or in some cases baseball)

I have yo yoed my weight over the years and feel the benefits taking the weight off.

The Fortress
September 20th, 2007, 11:18 AM
There are so many variables in this equation. Unless you had 2 swimmers train the same hours, eat the same diet, sleep the same hours, have the same family life, work the same or simillar jobs, do the same dryland/weights...... you really can't compare apples to oranges. It would be a very interesting research to do and see the results.

That's right. Everyone is different with different lives and stresses and issues! I am not lean and lanky like you. I am short and lean and very solid/muscular. Still a sprinter. :banana: :groovy:

Bill:

I am very dense (uh, talking body, not brains here. LOL.) and have strong legs from running, etc. Rich has nicknamed me "solidjuice." LOL. I should sink, I guess, but I don't. Improvements to technique and a better kick will fix your tendency to sink.

Rich:

I am in the no wiggle school of thought. Inner thighs suck.

Blackbeard's Peg
September 20th, 2007, 11:23 AM
For anyone looking to get a better 6-pack:
according to my Physical Therapist, there have been plenty of studies show electronic stimulation of your abdomen muscles will NOT make your 6-pack appear any faster. If you really want to look chiseled, it is all about ab exercises and a fat burning diet/exercise regimen.

SwimStud
September 20th, 2007, 11:25 AM
Rich:

I am in the no wiggle school of thought. Inner thighs suck.

Leslie without being a perv about it (a stretch for me I know). I saw your legs at Zones...and you have nothing to worry about. Besides you have blonde hair...

The Fortress
September 20th, 2007, 11:30 AM
If you really want to look chiseled, it is all about ab exercises and a fat burning diet/exercise regimen.

I agree!! You can't just do some crunches and expect to find your abs. It's core work combined with cardio. Get out and run and swim if you want your stomach to go away. Or if you want the "no wiggle" effect.

Don't forget the MF, Muppet!

Rich: It wasn't my blonde hair that led to success in evilstroke. ;)

SwimStud
September 20th, 2007, 11:37 AM
Fat has no place in sports (except the NFL trenches or in some cases baseball)


My opinion.

I can't agree with this. Excessive fat yes, but there is a tipping point where a little weight may be of assistance for momentum, and stamina. Not everyone is built to be ripped. I think that our ancestors that had a moderate amount of fat on their bodies fared better in harsh conditions.

Muscly extremes is an aesthetic thing, part of the youthcentric culture that is both a boon and a plague.

Johnny Weissmuller was not ripped. Charlie Atlas was fat compared to today's body builder. Soccer players were "smoother" compared to now.

For top pro athletes with the 100% nutrition and rest supporting "life infrastructure" (and funds) perhaps 0 bodyfat is sustainable, and of limited risk.
For the rest of us including good athletes...a little fat won't hurt, and may be of benefit.

SwimStud
September 20th, 2007, 11:45 AM
Rich: It wasn't my blonde hair that led to success in evilstroke. ;)

Well do more BR and you insecurity about your admirable thighs will be unfounded even further.

The Fortress
September 20th, 2007, 11:48 AM
Well do more BR and you insecurity about your admirable thighs will be unfounded even further.

No thanks. That race was enough to last me a year or so.

I'm not insecure. I just prefer no wiggle. I'm going on a run soon, so that should help. I'm sure I'm still lean and mean enough to beat you up. After all, I did take down the Viking. ;)

SwimStud
September 20th, 2007, 11:49 AM
No thanks. That race was enough to last me a year or so.

I'm not insecure. I just prefer no wiggle. I'm going on a run soon, so that should help. I'm sure I'm still lean and mean enough to beat you up. ;)

Hah...you aim so low...

The Fortress
September 20th, 2007, 11:52 AM
Hah...you aim so low...

To the contrary, I'm scouting for a new secret nemesis. Muhahaha.

bobbyhillny
September 20th, 2007, 12:21 PM
I think for sprinters (50M and over in 20 plus seconds with little breathing), excess weight is negative, therefore most sprinters are long and lean. Alexander Popov, Roland Mark Schoeman, Inge De Bruijn. However middle to long distance requries more breathing and longer gliding phase to preserve energy, buoancy helps. Look at Ian Thorpe, at 6'5 and at one point 230 lbs, hardly chiseled at all.

geochuck
September 20th, 2007, 12:24 PM
Posted by Geochuck:




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOWcrqOSevs&mode=related&search=

Fat has no place in sports (except the NFL trenches or in some cases baseball)

I have yo yoed my weight over the years and feel the benefits taking the weight off.

Here I am in the old days 218lbs not skinny not fat

SwimStud
September 20th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Questions:

How much time is 1lb of fat worth on a 50Y FR SCY?

Since fat is less dense than muscle. How much muscle do I gain per conversion of said 1lb of fat into muscle?

What is the return of this muscle gain in terms of actual speed over a 50Y?

Is this at all releveant unless you're truly at the very top percentile of your age group and have flawless technique?

...and finally:
In the picture posted above, is it a Bird? Is it a plane?

hofffam
September 20th, 2007, 01:01 PM
Maglischo's book Swimming Fastest charts the acceleration/deceleration that occurs throughout each of the swim strokes. Breaststroke and fly both have significant speedup/slowdown phases. That explains why these strokes are more tiring to swim fast. You have to use enormous amounts of energy to accelerate your body after each slowdown cycle. Even a world class breaststroke is jerky compared to a typical crawl.

The point is that extra body weight will make acceleration more difficult and tiring. This should be most significant to breast/fly swimmers but the basic goal is to have more power and less mass.

The flotation provided by less dense bodies is the offset I suppose. My own guess is that this factor is negligible in short races but more significant in distance and open water swimming. I also think a "small" body will have less surface area to cause drag in the water. Better to be a jet ski than a cabin cruiser.

These are all theoritical issues and can be completely overcome with better fitness and technique. We all know very good swimmers who do not have the slim/strong/lean build. But they are strong, have great technique, and great fitness.

Slowswim
September 20th, 2007, 04:08 PM
Fort: I'm denser than most (no qualifier needed) and my coach was always trying to help me keep my legs from sinking. May be why Tri people take the easy route with wet suits.

I know when I take time off, I put weight on in the middle (love handles) and my legs would still sink. I wonder if I was more of a swimmer in colder water that my body might spread out the wealth of the extra fat as opposed to concentrating it?

Granted we are predestined in a lot of things by our genes, but the human body adapts pretty well to the environment and spread the fat out would aid in keeping me warmer with the added benefit of lessening my sinking legs.

geochuck
September 20th, 2007, 04:37 PM
Slow getting the legs to stop sinking. I was told a long time ago to get the body into the water. Extend the arms just before entry and the legs will stay up. Make sure we roll and finish the stroke as low on the thigh as possible.
So when I have someone whose legs sink I get them to front load and finish low on the thigh.

Slowswim
September 20th, 2007, 04:47 PM
George: Thanx. I am still trying to figure out my hand entry. I'm going back to FLA next month and have some very specific issues to work on with my coach. As for the finish, my coach has me swim using the board as a buoy and I have to tap it before recovery just to lengthen my stroke.

That drill has helped, but I believe it is my hand entry, probably some body roll and possible head position that are causing or exacerbating my sinkage!

geochuck
September 20th, 2007, 05:19 PM
If you watch my stroke here you may get the idea of entry hand position
http://oregonmasters.ning.com/video/video/show?id=545489%3AVideo%3A6784

Slowswim
September 21st, 2007, 09:51 AM
George Thanx. It appears you have two different hand entries. Left hand (breathing side) enters finger tips first and drives forward at a slight down angle. The right (non-breathing side) the recovery is in the air and the hand drops down into the water.

I have been working on lengthening my stroke and do more of the righthand style. Its when I tire or try to sprint my hand entry is more like your left and creeps back toward my head.

This morning, purely by chance, decided to add so extra drills to my workout and added fin swim (cause Fort said it was better for the shoulder joint) and I really worked on a long slow stroke and felt exactly what your video showed.

On a side note: some of the other comments about core strength had me concentrating on my abs. I could tell I wasn't wrestling the water as much and during my sprints actually felt like I was in a good body position. It took about 10y to get in position so on a SCY pool I didn't hold it long, but I kinda know what I'm looking for.:groovy:
</IMG>

geochuck
September 21st, 2007, 10:07 AM
The right hand is front loading the left hand is not. The pace is a little slow about 1:45 per 100m as the pool was set low the other film of me swimming faster did not turn out.

Slowswim
September 21st, 2007, 11:02 AM
The right hand is front loading the left hand is not.

Ummm, huh?:dunno:

geochuck
September 21st, 2007, 11:10 AM
The right hand is extended completely before it enters the water, thus the weight of the arm out front acts like a fulcrum and lifts the legs.

poolraat
September 21st, 2007, 11:46 AM
The right hand is extended completely before it enters the water, thus the weight of the arm out front acts like a fulcrum and lifts the legs.

George, which hand entry is better? I notice that I have a slight sinking of the hips with each stroke when swimming with slow, deliberate strokes, particularly when breathing to the right. I don't notice this when sprinting, but the faster kick is probably keeping the hips up. My hands enter about midway between my head and full extension. And if I don't pay attention, my right elbow drops slightly before I reach full extension.

Slowswim
September 21st, 2007, 11:47 AM
The right hand is extended completely before it enters the water, thus the weight of the arm out front acts like a fulcrum and lifts the legs.

Is that because you are breathing to the left? Does it assist in body rotation or just help lift the legs? Why not do it with both hands?

geochuck
September 21st, 2007, 12:06 PM
I breathe on the left, I like to have the right hand extended above the water, probably a quirk. Anything to be opposite to TI.

I do not like the hand to enter then come up to the surface before it went to the catch this was happenning when it entered closer to the head. The left hand does not rise to the surface before it glides to the catch.

geochuck
September 21st, 2007, 12:16 PM
Poolraat when your hand goes in closer to the head. If you are not carefull when you extend underwater you hands press forward and lift. This lifting at the front pushes the front up and your legs go down.

I will search for a small video that shows this action and post it later. I do have a huge one and have not condensed it to show the problem.

Slowswim
September 21st, 2007, 01:27 PM
George:

When you hand enters flat at full extension as my does, I see how it can cause a lift. How do you get your hand in a position to catch without pushing down on the water?

geochuck
September 21st, 2007, 03:15 PM
When extended keep the elbow pointed at the side of the pool. As your hand goes to the catch let the hand drift out side ways about 8 inches then rotate the hand as it drops to the catch. Apply very little pressure as it drops to the catch. Then apply whichever force you want once you get to the catch. If you swim this way you can get to a 26 sec 50 meters.

Once we get there (26 seconds) we have to apply pressure from the time the hands enter, this actually lifts everthing and you swim higher in the water.

What you see in that video of me swimming is a very relaxed easy swim. Stroke changes slightly as I start to go to speed.

That lift you are talking about sometimes comes from dropping the elbow.

Allen Stark
September 21st, 2007, 07:50 PM
Buoyancy is irrelevant at speeds about 30 sec/50 yd as at about that speed you are going faster than your bow wave(that is you are exceeding your "hull speed" which is a function of the square root of your height) and so your body naturally rises. At speeds slower than this,buoyancy may be of some help,if the amount it raises you out of the water more than ofsets the expansion of your circumference.

rtodd
September 21st, 2007, 11:16 PM
Allen,

Very insightful. This point is not necessarily obvious. Unfortunately, unless I am sprinting, my speed is more like 40sec per 50.

RecreationalSwimmer
September 22nd, 2007, 02:25 PM
I breathe on the left, I like to have the right hand extended above the water, probably a quirk. Anything to be opposite to TI.
Just a newbie question: what is TI? Some kind of hot potato we are supposed to shun?

poolraat
September 22nd, 2007, 08:32 PM
Just a newbie question: what is TI? Some kind of hot potato we are supposed to shun?


:rofl: Depends on which camp you're in.

TI is Total Immersion. Some love it, some do not.

Slowswim
September 24th, 2007, 09:35 AM
:26 per 50 is my top end speed. Like I said before, I do get the feeling of being in the right position, but I can't hold it. Mostly, I feel like I'm plowing through the water versus gliding.

My kick changes from 2-4-6 beat the faster I go. How the does that effect the body position?

I can tell when my elbow drops...the water coming off my shoulder fills my mouth and prevents me from breathing.:drown: