New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Who here swims?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
What is your routine? Do you find it helpful? Is it making you more tone and stronger?
post #2 of 28
I swim. Three days a week, maybe four. My routine consists of dragging my a## out of bed at 5, pouring coffee down my throat, doing a 15 minute sledgehammer workout (a.k.a. "shovelglove" - google it) then getting to the pool by 6-6:15. Do 1500 to 2k yards depending on how I mix it up. It's not a lot, but I'll up the yardage in a couple weeks to 3k. Training to compete in the Empire State Games this year...and my only real goal is to beat my wife in the 50 free. Think speedboat against overpowered barge. For 50 yards, I MIGHT be able to beat her cause she has lousy start and turns.

I don't know how much value it is to skiing, but swimming is good exercise, no impact, keeps you toned. Won't make you stronger really.
post #3 of 28
I swim, too, but I've only been at it for about a month. I go about 3-4 times a week first thing in the morning so it's out of the way. Right now I'm doing just over half a mile, but I'm trying to work up to a mile. No real routine -- just get in the pool and go. And like billyymc, I'm not sure what the value is for skiing; it's just good exercise.
post #4 of 28
Swimming is an excellent sport for strength and a cardio workout, and is easy on your joints. So its an excellent rehab exercise as well. The classic "swimmer's body" is just about the most esthetically attractive.

But, lets face it - swimming laps or swimming across the lake by itself is demanding and boring as hell. I think that's why competitive swimmers usually retire in their early 20's.

But, do not despair. In my experience, the highest and best use for swimming skills is to apply them to scuba diving. In scuba you have the perfect sport that combines exercise, underwater adventure and exploration, diving and support equipment as technical and sophistocated as you can handle including both open circuit scuba and closed circuit rebreathers, various related sciences like diving physiology, decompression theory, use of nitrox and trimix breathing gases, physics, thermodynamics, marine biology, laws respecting salvage operations, and more.
post #5 of 28
I swim to de-stress and keep in shape. I strongly prefer to swim in the lake, which I generally do a few miles per day in the summer and fall. For days that the lake is too cold and I'm not up for doing the polar bear thing, I'll generally follow my usual gym routine with a two mile swim in the pool.
post #6 of 28
I like to swim. I don't follow a routine though; I just swim when I can.
post #7 of 28
I swam competitively for 14 years and it was definitely the most in shape I ever was. It is cardio + resistance training. There is no other exercise that includes the whole body (if you do it right anyway.) At the moment, I am not in a routine as there is no pool close by that I can use. Try doing a varying schedule of distance one day and then short sprint stuff the next day. Oh how I miss the pool!
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
I've found swimming to be more fun than weight lifting. I honestly can't think of anything as boring as lifting weights. Any suggestions?
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp67 View Post
I've found swimming to be more fun than weight lifting. I honestly can't think of anything as boring as lifting weights. Any suggestions?

Suggestions on lifting weights? What are your goals?

I find weights pretty monotonous too. Swimming isn't much better, but that varies depending on who else is in the pool

Instead of weights I do a sledgehammer workout I mentioned above. Here's a link to a site that talks about it -- this guy has been doing it for a while, and has a good following. He's a witty guy, and recently had the good fortune to publish a "diet" book based on what he calls the "No-S" diet. You can read about that here if you want too...but check out the "shovelglove" routines and forum for info on doing a sledgehammer workout. If you use a 12 lber and take advantage of the leverage factor by not holding it right at the head...your arms and shoulders will be screaming if you push hard for 15 minutes.

www.shovelglove.com

I have no affiliation with this site or the owner. Sledge workout won't do much for your legs, but add in 100 hindu squats, 50 Hindu pushups, and 100 or so swiss ball crunches/situps and you have a pretty well rounded workout that takes about 25 minutes a day.

Besides that, if you want to be stronger but hate weights...make up your own stuff. Carry logs around your yard. Fill your wheelbarrow with dirt and push it up a hill. There are tons of things like that that will work your body like crazy.
post #10 of 28
I swam every day for about 10 years, swim much less now. I still do a couple sessions a week in winter, usually about 1,000-1,500 meters. It's very relaxing and a good way to keep your back strong. It is boring as all get-out, though. I do a little open water swimming in the Mediterranean in the spring and summer, which is a lot more fun.
post #11 of 28
i swam competitively in high school, usually between 5000-7000 yards a day, six days a week. does nothing for strength, but it's a good cardio workout, and i could eat 5000 calories a day and still lose weight during swim season. on the negative side, it was boring as hell, staring at that black line on the bottom of the pool 2 1/2 hours a day. and we only ever got a token squad of cheerleaders at our meets, and it was always the ugly ones, which i suppose is probably a good thing, as speedos really don't hide much.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by epl View Post
we only ever got a token squad of cheerleaders at our meets, and it was always the ugly ones, which i suppose is probably a good thing, as speedos really don't hide much.
You were doing it wrong. You're supposed to go to the girl's meets! My wife was good enough to get a swim scholarship in college...where we met...so I HAD to go to all the women's meets. It was just awful....ly amazing how tight those suits were!!
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
No, I have trouble lifting weights. I find swimming relaxing. I have some free weights at home, but I find it INCREDIBLY boring so I never do them. Plyometrics is fun but very, very hard.

I had roughly two months to kick my ass into shape and could use all the hel possible. If you have tricks of making weight lifting fun, I am all ears!
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp67 View Post
No, I have trouble lifting weights. I find swimming relaxing. I have some free weights at home, but I find it INCREDIBLY boring so I never do them. Plyometrics is fun but very, very hard.

I had roughly two months to kick my ass into shape and could use all the hel possible. If you have tricks of making weight lifting fun, I am all ears!
Find a gym with a lot of hot girls that work out there - so you'll want to go there just to hang out - and then start out with really light weights so you can still watch the babes flex their muscles. And if you show up regularly, you'll soon meet some of them, and then...
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Actually, that is what worries me; making a fool of myself. I have really no upper body strength and I only have two months to get a kickstart into being fit again. Then I'll be in Europe for awhile, then coming back to the USA to (probably) have another ACL surgery) so I won't be doing much 4 months post-op and no skiing (again) that year.
post #16 of 28
I know how you feel - I walked into a gym for the first time myself a few months ago. Keep it simple - start out walking on a treadmill for half an hour and just watch what goes on.

The elliptical trainer is the next interesting piece of equipment to try - this is a virtually no-impact exercise. All the girls fit in a workout on one of these two machines, so you will get to see them up close.

Start working in some light free weights or the machines, depending on what the girls are using!

And sign up for a beginner yoga class - guaranteed, the class is mostly girls - and this is a great workout for core strength, flexibility and balance - and you can watch the girls for the proper form.

Anyway, the best advice is - just do it!
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
I've thought about yoga, but being in tight clothes and being fat isn't a confidence booster.
post #18 of 28
Swimming is a great overall workout. Not so boring if you are working on your technique. For ideas on routine (drills, sets, etc) get some of the books put out by these people: http://www.totalimmersion.net/
post #19 of 28
It becomes less boring when you swim across lakes, starting out on your back, and travel in the wrong direction because you don't have a ceiling to follow. The excitement picks up when you discover that there is a surface current set up working against you as you get within a kilometer or two of the far shore.
post #20 of 28
I normally swim 3 days per week, and 1500 - 2500 yards on each of those days. I swim on a Masters swim team with a huge mix of people from 18 up to 80 years old. Many of the members are triathletes some even iron man competitors. I was swimming to rehab my foot from surgery, and was invited to swim with them. It was way more interesting and fun than just doing laps by myself and after 1 session, I was hooked. By the end of the 2nd month with them, I was doing triathlons as well.

During the summer months, we hold open water swim practices at my lake for better training for traithlon season. I too prefer to do lake swimming over the pool. The time just goes by much quicker when your outside.

Now that I'm 6 months pregnant, I'm really having to slow things down and my form is completelty out of wack. My balance is off and it feels like my butt is touching the bottom of the pool when I'm doing the backstroke! . I've been put it the "slacker lane" now, but that's a good spot for me for the time being!

If you want a bunch of great people to swim with, I'd hightly recommend doing a search for a Masters swim team in your area.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp67 View Post
I've thought about yoga, but being in tight clothes and being fat isn't a confidence booster.
See if you can find this guy on your local cable channels (I think we get it on one of the women oriented channels like WE or something like that):

http://www.mahayoga.com/info2.html

His name is Steve Ross, and the program is called Inhale.

It's really good exercise. I can guarantee you won't be able to do all the moves, much less properly, at the beginning. Has added benefits of balance, flexibility, and I guess becuase of the focus on breathing it clears your nasal passages. Of course swimming does that too, just in a different way. :

If you want to get stronger, do the sledgehammer type workout. I'm not kidding...it works. Combine it with some basic body resistance exercises and you're good. Get a swiss ball -- they are pretty cheap and the workouts you can do are fun and you can vary the intensity.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
There's actually a master's team in my area, but the coach is evidently horrible, and they can't get more than 5 people to join, so most sessions the master's team doesn't take place.

I've been doing swimming because of surgical rehab too - I find it very relaxing and very calming. I'm just curious how it will help my strength - it seems it doesn't. What options do I have to build strength? I really can't get into the rhythm of lifting weights - like I said, I find it incredibly mundane.
post #23 of 28
Sorry to hear that the Master's coach by you is so bad. My first coach was pretty bad too and was fortunatly replaced by our current one who used to train Olympic hopefuls in Colorado. To work out our strength training, our coach has us in and out of the pool, doing push ups, sit ups, running against the current in a current pool and doing pull ups using the starting blocks in the compitition pool. I'm not really into weights either, so these drills really help build strength.
post #24 of 28
I used to swim 4-5 days/week. I wasn't bored because I would keep repeating what lap I was on so I wouldn't forget and it was very relaxing. I also got more compliments on overall muscle development (as in what is it that you do?).

I really enjoyed it at the time although I usually had to wait for a lane and timing to swim/get ready/get to work was always tricky. I finally stopped because I my hair was starting to turn greenish and I wanted to grow it out.
post #25 of 28
Green hair is one of the downsides to swimming in the pool! However, where I live, we have really hard water. The guy that cuts my hair thinks that the two colors work pretty well together and I can go for a pretty long period of time in between colorings.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp67 View Post
I've thought about yoga, but being in tight clothes and being fat isn't a confidence booster.

I really understand why you feel this way because I allowed myself to be put off for too long for just the same reasons.

But take it from me. (1) The "worse" you are at yoga (more muscle-bound, less flexible) the better it is for you. (2) Any yoga teacher worth her (or his) salt will adapt what they do to meet your needs. Yoga is NOT a competitive sport. (3) You don't have to wear tight clothes -- the looser the better. But, if it's doing you good (and I pretty much guarantee that, if you find the right teacher and go twice a week for a month, it will) who the heck cares how you look?

I think that yoga for skiing deserves a thread of its own (or maybe there already is one somewhere). Would anyone else want to participate?
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitherandthither View Post
I really understand why you feel this way because I allowed myself to be put off for too long for just the same reasons.

But take it from me. (1) The "worse" you are at yoga (more muscle-bound, less flexible) the better it is for you. (2) Any yoga teacher worth her (or his) salt will adapt what they do to meet your needs. Yoga is NOT a competitive sport. (3) You don't have to wear tight clothes -- the looser the better. But, if it's doing you good (and I pretty much guarantee that, if you find the right teacher and go twice a week for a month, it will) who the heck cares how you look?

I think that yoga for skiing deserves a thread of its own (or maybe there already is one somewhere). Would anyone else want to participate?
I actually "found" some yoga videos online and have started to do them in my house. I've noticed a slight difference in my flexibility, which is always nice. Now if I can get a good cardio program in without hurting my knee too much.. : )
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp67 View Post
I actually "found" some yoga videos online and have started to do them in my house. I've noticed a slight difference in my flexibility, which is always nice. Now if I can get a good cardio program in without hurting my knee too much.. : )
That's great -- you've taken the first step. But let me continue to push (I've become a bit of a yoga evangelist)!

You really owe it to yourself to find a yoga teacher. Learning yoga from a video is like learning skiing from a video -- for much the same reason. Balance and alignment are really important and your idea of what your body is doing (proprioception) and what you are in fact doing are likely to be quite far apart, especially at the beginning. And copying what some yoga goddess in a white leotard is doing on the screen will be quite ambitious if you are (like me) a middle-aged white male.

Finding a good yoga teacher isn't always easy but you'll know when you do: after my first class with Anna I knew that this was something that was going to help me if I stuck with it. Here are some tips. If you are put off by the "New Age"/girlie image of yoga, going to a health club is a good way to find a teacher. The teachers there are likely to be a bit more "pragmatic".

I was lucky to have as my first teacher someone who was trained in "Iyengar" yoga. That was good because Iyengar yoga is noted for two things: close attention to posture and alignment (vital if you are carrying injuries) and the use of lots of "props" (bricks, belts, blankets) that make it easier for stiff Westerners to do poses without overstraining themselves. If you see an ad. from a qualified Iyengar teacher, I'd certainly recommend it.

(I don't know where you are or where you're going to be in Europe, but if you want a personal recommendation, I can give you the names of some excellent yoga teachers in Boston, Oxford and Berlin!)

Cheers,

Mike
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: