Weights & Swimming

Weights & Swimming

Post by Steve Russe » Sat, 09 Oct 1993 23:33:49


Due to knee problems I plan on taking swimming up again and I have a few
questions:

1.  I plan on swimming 3 times per week for 20 min for AEROBIC fitness.
    I have heard a lot about how swimming can make some people fat.  Is
    there any way to minimize this effect?  Does it effect women more
     then men?

2.  I'd like to lift weights a bit after swims to work the muscles swimming
    doesnt work as much.  Anyone have any experience/tips using weights
    and swimming together?  Is it harmfull in terms of overtraining to
    do so?

3.  I've heard that swimmers have problems with their shoulders like
    runners do with their knees.  What can I do to PREVENT this problem?

Thanks
Steve R

 
 
 

Weights & Swimming

Post by James G. Ack » Sun, 10 Oct 1993 00:30:54

: Due to knee problems I plan on taking swimming up again and I have a few
: questions:
:
:
: 1.  I plan on swimming 3 times per week for 20 min for AEROBIC fitness.
:     I have heard a lot about how swimming can make some people fat.  Is
:     there any way to minimize this effect?  Does it effect women more
:      then men?

        Well, swimming, like any other exercise, burns calories, so it
won't make you fat.  Eating more calories than you burn (daily) will
eventually make you gain weight.  It has been noted that swimming may
not cause weight LOSS as effectively as running, with unclear reasons.
So, eat right and exercise, and you won't get fat.  BTW, I'd go for
30 minutes - it takes a few minutes to get the muscles warmed up and
the heart rate elevated.  Just a tip.

: 2.  I'd like to lift weights a bit after swims to work the muscles swimming
:     doesnt work as much.  Anyone have any experience/tips using weights
:     and swimming together?  Is it harmfull in terms of overtraining to
:     do so?

        Not really.  Most good swimmers lift weights (I do too).   However,
stroke turnover in swimming is much faster than most weight reps.  I'd
combine stretch cords (for the arms and shoulders -- see below), with
weights for the chest, back, and especially legs.  This tactic is based
on a clinic I attended with swimmers from the Stanford team (John Wychel,
Jeff Kostoff, and Jay Morrison) as well as Mike Barrowman.  Overtraining
is primarily a fatigue problem -- but, if you can alternate swim with
weight days (or swim mornings, weights evenings) you'll do better than
with back-to-back sessions.  Still, if nothing else works schedule-wise,
do what you can.

: 3.  I've heard that swimmers have problems with their shoulders like
:     runners do with their knees.  What can I do to PREVENT this problem?

        1.  Strengthen the shoulders with shoulder-specific exercises and
stretch cords.  2.  Practice proper stroke mechanics - straight arms at
the top of the stroke are a major problem.  3.  Don't start out too fast
or with too many yards in the pool.  For 2) I'd recommend a coach or
lessons -- the College Park Masters team has a respectable coach.

===============================================
|  James G. Acker                             |

===============================================
All comments are the personal opinion of the writer
and do not constitute policy and/or opinion of government
or corporate entities.

 
 
 

Weights & Swimming

Post by Ben Grig » Sun, 10 Oct 1993 01:06:53

Quote:

>    I have heard a lot about how swimming can make some people fat.  Is
>    there any way to minimize this effect?  Does it effect women more
>     then men?

If you are really concerned about getting fat, try swimming as if you
were training to be competetive. If your workouts are challengeng enough,
I have no doubt that you will be quite trim.

Quote:
>3.  I've heard that swimmers have problems with their shoulders like
>    runners do with their knees.  What can I do to PREVENT this problem?

Work on your technique. Proper stroke technique GREATLY reduces the
chances of any injuries in swimming.
Quote:
>Steve R


Sigless Ben

 
 
 

Weights & Swimming

Post by JC Wasikows » Wed, 13 Oct 1993 12:27:00

Quote:
>1.  I plan on swimming 3 times per week for 20 min for AEROBIC fitness.
>    I have heard a lot about how swimming can make some people fat.  

Oh, no, not the "fat myth" again.  :-)  Swimming will not make you fat.
No aerobic activity will make you fat; by definition, they all burn
calories.  It's just that, for the same amount of expended effort,
swimming will not give you as big a metabolism-boosting, fat-reducing
effect as (for example) running would.  This is because most lap pools
contain relatively cool water (not bathwater, anyway), and the cool water
inhibits the metabolism-boosting effect of the exercise.  Also, people
tend to feel hungry after swimming, unlike many other activities.  Some
people will then overeat, using the bogus excuse that they burned enough
calories while swimming to justify the pig-out.

It is still quite possible to lose fat by swimming:  just don't expect
too much too fast, keep your workouts at a high level of intensity, and
don't overeat.

(BTW, I once trained in a WARM pool--it was at a Y, and the water was
kept warm for the senior citizens and little kids that typically used
the pool--for six months.  My metabolism got a big kick each morning,
and I lost several pounds with no other change in my lifestyle.)

Quote:
>    Does it effect women more then men?

Not that I know of, no.  BTW, though my name doesn't show it, I'm female.

Quote:
>2.  I'd like to lift weights a bit after swims to work the muscles swimming
>    doesnt work as much.  Anyone have any experience/tips using weights
>    and swimming together?  Is it harmfull in terms of overtraining to
>    do so?

If you're going to be lifting to work the muscles that swimming DOESN'T
work, where will the overtraining come in?

Just as an example... I swim twice a week for an hour or an hour and a
half (not by choice; that's all my schedule allows), and I lift twice a
week for an hour and a half.  When I lift, I don't bother to do anything
to work my pecs or biceps; there's no need, the swimming takes care of
that.  Instead, I work legs (I don't kick much when I swim :-) , back,
abs, and the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder (see below).

Quote:
>3.  I've heard that swimmers have problems with their shoulders like
>    runners do with their knees.  What can I do to PREVENT this problem?

True, swimmers do have to watch their shoulders... though, if you're only
training for 20 minutes 3 times a week, I don't think you'll have any
problems.  (I've had problems myself, but they were due to swimming with
less-than-perfect form 4 to 6 times a week, for an hour and a half each time.)

Still, to prevent problems, get a GOOD coach, and have them make sure your
stroke is okay.  Have them make sure you're not putting too much stress on
your shoulders, especially at the "catch" phase of your freestyle stroke.

Also, be aware of any problems cropping up with your shoulders; don't
try to "swim through the pain."  Note that swimming, like running,
produces endorphins, which are essentially pain-killers, so be aware
of any "funny" (and not just painful) sensations in your shoulders while
or just after swimming.  Don't hesitate to use ice, take anti-inflammatory
*** (aspirin or ibuprofen), or lay off the training schedule if problems
do start to develop.

Two things cleared up the problems I was having with my shoulders:  
modifying my stroke, and starting a weight-lifting schedule geared towards
correcting muscle imbalances in my shoulders.  This training schedule was
put together partly on advice of a sports medicine specialist, partly from
reading a book addressing shoulder problems faced by athletes (I have the
reference at home, if you're interested), and partly on advice of an
unusually knowledgeable weight lifting partner.

-JC

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