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Thread: Swimming after liftin'

  1. #1
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    Swimming after liftin'

    Never tried it myself. Is there a certain kind of workout that is more advisable? I was thinking do some quick sprints as I don't want to be at the gym for 3 hours but I don't want to hurt myself either.

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    Very Active Member Swimosaur's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    I always feel terrible in the water after lifting, so if I'm going to do both on the same day, I swim first, and lift second.

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    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    I never enjoyed it much in college either. And that was lifting before of after practice...one of them will pay the price. I took the weight lifting classes either at 8am or 2pm in college, because it was either directly after morning practice, or right before afternoon practice.
    But...
    The 2nd activity always paid the price. If I lifted first, then swam, my weights were good, but swimming was tough.
    "Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do." - K.A. Benthin

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    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimosaur View Post
    I always feel terrible in the water after lifting, so if I'm going to do both on the same day, I swim first, and lift second.
    I'll second that! I aim to hit the weights after my swims on M-W-F. I first hit the bar to see how many chin-ups and pull-ups I can do when my arms are already toast; usually only 1-2 of each. And, 2 sets of 10 military push-ups is about my limit, as well. Then, it's the weights... On those days I limit my yardage to 2500 (usually sprint sets) and have more difficult higher yardage endurance swims with a coach in an adult group session on T-Th. Saturday is my day to do whatever I can still handle by the end of the week. And, on the 7th day, Elaine-iaK rests...

    Any feedback on this routine would be most appreciated! Suggestions? I would prefer to hit the gym after I swim, when my muscles are good and warmed up. Otherwise, it takes too long on the treadmill to warm up for weights; at least for me, anyway.
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    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Maybe do core exercises to warm up, Elaine?

    I lift right before my speed workouts or on an off day of swimming. I find I can sprint after weights just fine as the DOMS seems to kick in the next day or so. I probably wouldn't want to tackle a lactate or hard aerobic workout right after weights.

    Conversely, I would never do weights directly after swimming. I would be tired enough to not make any progress in the weight room. I'd want a big time gap to recover before lifting.

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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    You will feel worse but it is probably better to lift before swimming. The main goal of lifting (at least what SHOULD be the goal) for sports is to increase strength. Strength increases depend largely on the central nervous system "learning" how to use the large muscle fibers and learning how to send stronger "coordinated" signals to muscle fibers to contract.

    if the muscles are already tired at the time of lifting, I large part of the strength benefit of the training is wasted. Granted, a swimming workout post lifting will not be as efficient as pre, but I think the sacrifice is much greater to a lifting workout which has a much more singular purpose than a swiming workout which develops the numerous skills necessary to be fast.

    Ideally, lift on days you do not swim. However, if you are swimming something like 6x days a week, you will plateau pretty fast on the lifting/strength gain front so after a certain point it won't really matter that much anyways when and how. Use an off season or time when you are not swimming as heavily to make strength gains in the weight room.

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    Active Member dadis's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    I suppose it is different for each individual. I suggest trying thing both ways and see what works best for you.
    I lift weights, and then hit the pool immediately with low expectations. It takes me about 800 yards of a nice easy stretchy swim before I feel right in the water. I only lift once weekly, usually on Fridays. I'm usually sore the next day from the weights, and I don't swim on weekends.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by jaadams1 View Post
    The 2nd activity always paid the price. If I lifted first, then swam, my weights were good, but swimming was tough.
    Seconded. I always felt like crap in the water after lifting. Even now if I do dryland exercises like pushups or pullups before swimming I can feel it in the water.

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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    I lift weights then swim routinely. It would not be my first choice but time is limited.

    With weights, I typically do core+lower body one day and then core+upper body the next. Then, when I get in the pool, I focus on aerobic workouts (70-80% of max heart rate) coupled with either kicking drills or pulling drills (working opposite of whatever I did that day with weights).

    It is not very elaborate, but it is a decent real life answer as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited by slow; December 23rd, 2011 at 12:29 PM. Reason: ugh, clarity

  10. #10
    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    Maybe do core exercises to warm up, Elaine?

    I lift right before my speed workouts or on an off day of swimming. I find I can sprint after weights just fine as the DOMS seems to kick in the next day or so. I probably wouldn't want to tackle a lactate or hard aerobic workout right after weights.

    Conversely, I would never do weights directly after swimming. I would be tired enough to not make any progress in the weight room. I'd want a big time gap to recover before lifting.
    Thanks, Fort; I appreciate the feedback. After I swim, I stretch on deck, drink about 8 oz of light chocolate soy milk, and then hit the showers. This mini break seems to work fine for me, although I'm not quite as strong in the weight room as I would be if I didn't swim prior. But, I find it's really not all that bad.

    Although I could try it in reverse, I would rather my weights suffer a little bit rather than my swimming. And, doing morning/afternoon or night doubles just doesn't work with my schedule.
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    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Thanks, everybody, for the suggestions and feedback. My goal has been to regularly follow Ande's suggestion of 6x/week of swimming and 3x/wk of weights and strengthening. I don't always make that third time, but I absolutely LOVE getting my six days in the pool, even if Day 6 is long, slow DPS swimming.

    Since my M-W-F routine already takes up 3 hours of my day, I really feel that is the max I want to commit in order for it to work with my schedule, keep it FUN, and stay injury free. So, I either need to have weights follow my swims or the other way around, to make it work for me. So far, it has worked well- and better than not doing weights at all. It has been a workable compromise, even if not the most ideal. Perhaps I am not getting the most benefit out of doing weights after my swims, but I do feel I have gotten stronger by adding weights to my routine. I just wish it didn't take so darn long for me to warm up in the gym in the morning when I do weights without swimming first. For me, it takes a good half hour of fast walking...

    Bottom line: I guess if it ain't broke, I won't fix it. I'm in the James and Kirk camp and I really don't want my swimming to suffer three days per week!
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    Thanks, Fort; I appreciate the feedback. After I swim, I stretch on deck, drink about 8 oz of light chocolate soy milk, and then hit the showers. This mini break seems to work fine for me, although I'm not quite as strong in the weight room as I would be if I didn't swim prior. But, I find it's really not all that bad.

    Although I could try it in reverse, I would rather my weights suffer a little bit rather than my swimming. And, doing morning/afternoon or night doubles just doesn't work with my schedule.
    But if you can't really hit it in the gym, your 50 and 100 breast times will suffer. From your vids it seems like you need much more power in the water. If I were you, I'd cut out a swim and only lift on that day. 6x a week of swimming isn't really necessary for your events.

    That said, you need to do what's fun for you.

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    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    But if you can't really hit it in the gym, your 50 and 100 breast times will suffer. From your vids it seems like you need much more power in the water. If I were you, I'd cut out a swim and only lift on that day. 6x a week of swimming isn't really necessary for your events.

    That said, you need to do what's fun for you.
    6X per week is what I like to hit, though I don't always (or even usually, nowadays) get there. I'm not going to argue with Fort or Elaine about whether it is necessary.

    If I had to choose I would probably go with weights then swim; indeed, I did this for many years. Yes, your swimming "suffers" a bit. But what does that mean, exactly? It means your times are a little slower because you are tired. I do not believe that it means you aren't getting as much physiological benefit/training from the swimming, unless the fatigue prevents you from exerting as much effort in the pool.

    Indeed, "overcoming" the weights and swimming fast regardless could itself be a good training method. Imagine how fast you'll be after stopping the weights and tapering!

    But my advice would be at least to mix it up a bit: sometimes do weights first, sometimes swimming first. I don't see any reason you shouldn't lift before the slow/DPS workout, for example.

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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by Herb View Post
    Never tried it myself. Is there a certain kind of workout that is more advisable? I was thinking do some quick sprints as I don't want to be at the gym for 3 hours but I don't want to hurt myself either.
    At UT we lifted before swimming, I've done it often as a master
    never had any problems, usually swam fast times in workouts
    which is why I lift closer to big meets than most swimmers

    find out for yourself
    It wrecks some people, also depends on your routine.

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    I swim just as poor whether I lift prior to swimming or not.

    I do lift better if I don't swim prior however.

    As an interesting, somewhat off-topic side note, it appears PB's for me in swimming occurred while spending much less time weight training. But this is probably an untypical example since the primary weakness regarding swimming is my vessel construction, not level of strength.

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    Very Active Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Swimming right after lifting never worked for me. My muscles got so pumped that I was too stiff to swim, couldn't streamline; and I was too tired to hold good form. I got better results from lifting before work, then swimming after work.

    Lifting after swimming worked better as long as I got a snack and showered. Otherwise my energy level was too low and the sweat stung my chlorine'd skin. That was about an hour's delay between the two (shower/change/drive time to different facility), which helped.

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    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    But if you can't really hit it in the gym, your 50 and 100 breast times will suffer. From your vids it seems like you need much more power in the water. If I were you, I'd cut out a swim and only lift on that day. 6x a week of swimming isn't really necessary for your events.

    That said, you need to do what's fun for you.
    Uh-oh; you really have me thinking now... Perhaps I should give up my Wednesday swims and make that a full-on weight day. Mondays and Fridays could stay as it is; sprint days, followed by weights and strengthening. Do you think that would be a good compromise?

    Thanks for your feedback, Fort! Happy holidays!
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    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  18. #18
    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    But my advice would be at least to mix it up a bit: sometimes do weights first, sometimes swimming first. I don't see any reason you shouldn't lift before the slow/DPS workout, for example.
    Well, that's a do-able option. Thanks, Chris! And, Chris? Here is a little something to inspire you with your resolution to use more Smilies in 2012. Happy holidays!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    So how close to a competitive meet do you all stop lifting or using resistance cords??

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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quoted:

    "But if you can't really hit it in the gym, your 50 and 100 breast times will suffer. From your vids it seems like you need much more power in the water. If I were you, I'd cut out a swim and only lift on that day. 6x a week of swimming isn't really necessary for your events."

    What is it about "lifting" that you get? Increased "strength"?

    Force production is a fickle thing in the water. You push the water, the water pushes back, up to a certain point. If you push too hard, the water "caves" (it's called cavitation" and you "slip" in the water. This is when "bubbles" show up, and coaches tell you you have a poor "catch"! (As in, you're not grabbing the water because you pushed too hard!)

    Chris Ritter went over a detailed plan for structuring the order of dryland and swimming.

    http://theswimmerscircle.com/blog/ch...-construction/

    Regarding breaststroke, speed has very little to do with "pull back strength" because there is not pull back motion.
    http://usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArtic...3951&mid=11507

    The esteemed coach Wayne McCauley (breastroker) suggests working on your heel speed via doing eggbeater kick on your back for short all out bursts.

    Remember, strength is just as much neural as it is physiological. The force vectors that you train have to match the force vectors you'll be using in a race.

    Regarding cords, you shouldn't be doing them primarily for strength. They are for shoulder stability, as in recruiting the little guys who wouldn't otherwise be engaged. So I do them every day, they're never done to fatigue (because fatigue is not the point! It's not for endurance... fatigue is catabolic, rest is anabolic!)

    Weights can't replaced swimming as far as getting faster goes. But you can get stronger in the pool by doing all out work/adding resistance. Functional strength is built by doing the movements you want stronger, not by isolating components and doing them separately and slower.

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