Should I stop swimming?

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    Mar 16, 2010 10:01 PM GMT
    I'm trying to gain muscle weight while still being toned...like the entire world. I currently fill up small shirts, but look stupid in medium shirts...I want to maybe hit the point where I'm in medium shirts...

    I swim about a 2,000 per workout, and then do biceps and abs (since swimming usually hits everything else on it's own)

    I'm still stuck around 155 pounds, at about 5 9 1/2 inches...

    I do eat a lot, but I feel like maybe if I just stopped swimming and only did muscle workouts...would it be better?
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    Mar 17, 2010 12:42 AM GMT
    My friend who has been a competitive swimmer his whole life, and toned/ thin, stopped swimming for 2 months and just lifted 5-6 times a week. He also ate TONS more and he gained like 20 lbs. So yea, if you want to gain lift more, swim less. Or, maybe gear your swim workouts to more of a sprint routine on top of lifting.
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    Mar 17, 2010 4:00 AM GMT
    Don't give up your swimming. Eat.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Mar 17, 2010 4:04 AM GMT
    But, if you can't eat enough to get enough calories to bulk up on top of swimming, swim less and eat more. I know that I barely have enough time during the day to eat as much as I need to, without doing cardio. And that food gets expensive...
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Mar 17, 2010 4:56 AM GMT
    Bunjamon saidswim less and eat more.

    you want lean muscle, I presume, so keep up the swimming, focused nutritional intake, and a gradual lifting regimen. a body is built over time, not to be thought of as an instant process.
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    Mar 17, 2010 5:17 AM GMT
    I'm a swimmer, and it's really hard to gain mass while swimming even if its just twice a week like I'm doing now. You'll be lean and toned is it. You can try to eat 6 meals a day but don't expect mass. I'm taking the summer off from the pool to put on mass and then when I get back in the pool in fall I'll lean out again. Its fun and not. lol
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    Mar 17, 2010 5:28 AM GMT
    I used to lift and then swim (as many people lift and then do cardio equipment) until I read that aerobic and anerobic activities work in opposition to each other. Now I swim in the morning and lift in the evening 5 days per week, spacing the two workouts about 12 hours apart. Since I'm currently cutting I swim a little harder than I lift, but given my metabolism I'm still managing to add muscle mass.

    Aside from perhaps adopting a similar workout schedule you should train your entire body with weights, and hit the weights harder, being sure to include mass building exercises. I'm not sure why you think your arms and abs are so insufficiently exercised while swimming that you feel those are the only bodyparts you have to weight train.
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    Mar 17, 2010 5:40 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidDon't give up your swimming. Eat.


    agreed, especially if it's what you love doing
    just eat more meat! icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 17, 2010 6:19 AM GMT
    I agree with most. Don't give up swimming, just swim less. You still need the cardio. I swim about a half a mile every other day. I do regular push ups and sit ups, but everyone's body is different. I maintain at about 175-180 and I'm 6 feet all. I also eat a lot. I wear medium shirts. You look great! Some people would kill to have your body.
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    Mar 17, 2010 7:56 AM GMT
    eagermuscle saidI used to lift and then swim (as many people lift and then do cardio equipment) until I read that aerobic and anerobic activities work in opposition to each other. Now I swim in the morning and lift in the evening 5 days per week, spacing the two workouts about 12 hours apart. Since I'm currently cutting I swim a little harder than I lift, but given my metabolism I'm still managing to add muscle mass.

    Aside from perhaps adopting a similar workout schedule you should train your entire body with weights, and hit the weights harder, being sure to include mass building exercises. I'm not sure why you think your arms and abs are so insufficiently exercised while swimming that you feel those are the only bodyparts you have to weight train.


    Wait, wait. I know the answer. L-A-Z-Y.

    Of course he should lift on all muscle groups.

    Guys that do bis and abs wonder why they aren't gaining mass? Shame on me for not catching that.
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    Mar 17, 2010 10:03 AM GMT
    At my most muscular I was swimming 5-6,000 meters a day. My swimming never got in my way of building muscle mass. Swimming tends to emphasize certain muscles groups such as back, deltoids and triceps. You need to work all muscle groups to emphasize muscle balance and symmetry.

    But stick with your swimming. You still need the cardio.
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Mar 17, 2010 11:24 AM GMT
    You need to ask yourself what your long-term goals are. If your goal is simply to gain muscle mass for the sake of appearances, quit swimming and drop a lot of coin on supplements and become a gym rat.

    BUT, if your goal is life-long fitness, stick with the swimming and incorporate a soundly thought-out weight routine that complements it. Ask a trainer if he/she can give you some routines that will enable you to gain mass while continuing to swim. The results may be less dramatic, say, than the first option above, but they will be part of an enduring "whole body" fitness that you can maintain for decades.

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    Mar 17, 2010 11:41 AM GMT
    NC3athlete saidYou need to ask yourself what your long-term goals are. If your goal is simply to gain muscle mass for the sake of appearances, quit swimming and drop a lot of coin on supplements and become a gym rat.

    BUT, if your goal is life-long fitness, stick with the swimming and incorporate a soundly thought-out weight routine that complements it. Ask a trainer if he/she can give you some routines that will enable you to gain mass while continuing to swim. The results may be less dramatic, say, than the first option above, but they will be part of an enduring "whole body" fitness that you can maintain for decades.




    I think this is spot on. Plus athletic guys are sooo much hotter than gym rats! icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 17, 2010 12:48 PM GMT
    My friends and I calculated it out at one point when we were in season, and while I forget the exact figures, in order for us to really replenish & eat properly, we needed to consume around 7500 calories a day. Of course, this was swimming in college, but the point is: swimming burns beaucoup de calories. So, I'd recommend watching your eating more than your swimming, like the others said.
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    Mar 17, 2010 3:31 PM GMT
    I took 6 months off from swimming this last year and I am now just getting back in the pool. The muscle gains were worth it but feeling like crap for a month to get back in "swimming" shape sucks!

    You can accomplish muscle gains and stay lean while swimming. However you will need a more complete weight lifting routine and you will need to eat more.

    During my freshman year of college I swam 10,000 plus yards a day and lifted weights and still put on mass. I got up to 200lbs. But that was then.....no way do I want to spend that much time training and eating. But it just goes to show that it is possible. Best of luck!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Mar 17, 2010 3:35 PM GMT
    Be thankful that you love swimming as it is one of the very best cardio and overall body workouts you can do. I think your issue is more age based. You're just young and your body hasn't fully developed yet. Keep up the swim workouts, incorporating weight training as well, and I am sure you will see great rewards in your 20's and 30's and beyond.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    Mar 17, 2010 4:14 PM GMT
    If you enjoy swimming, do it! doing workout we love is THE best motivation, and swimming keeps you fit and healthy. What more could you ask?
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    Mar 17, 2010 4:25 PM GMT
    clemsongrad said
    NC3athlete saidYou need to ask yourself what your long-term goals are. If your goal is simply to gain muscle mass for the sake of appearances, quit swimming and drop a lot of coin on supplements and become a gym rat.

    I think this is spot on. Plus athletic guys are sooo much hotter than gym rats! icon_smile.gif

    Lifting and swimming are not mutually exclusive; some of us can do both. There are plenty of jacked, fast swimmers out there of all ages that don't have to drop a lot of coin on supplements, me included, and some of them are ectos. For me, weight training complements swimming perfectly, and vice versa. In your case I would eat more as suggested (search chuckystud's posts re this), LIFT more training your entire body including mass building exercises, and THEN, if you need to, cut back on your swimming by reducing your laps, the number of days you do it, or increasing your times. Don't even think of entirely giving up swimming.
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    Mar 17, 2010 4:42 PM GMT
    Don't give it up if you love it. I'm more runner than I am weight lifter, but I do both and also some cycling. The lifting and cycling I do for cross training and they make me a better runner, but I won't reduce my mileage because running is my sport. I basically lift weights to avoid the skinny long distance runner look! I know I would add more muscle if I cut back on running, but I'm satisfied with the muscle tone I have

  • Mar 17, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    try to complex carbs alot before you swim. The average intake of carbs is about 60% of a diet try to make it around 70% since your burning it off. also try to incorporate workouts instead of swimming free try the fly it builds good lats and deltoids as well as trapz. i use hand weights when i swim for practice and we had 3 hour practices. i just went to the gym and lifted after and towards night time i ate more protein and my weight would stay the same. protein takes the longest conversion to fat... you should keep the swimming because it helps our body tone and helps metabolic rate.. people make a miss conception that a fast metabolism means your thin, sometimes a fast metabolism means faster conversion to fat and protein for optimal growth... good luck keep up the good work!
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    Mar 17, 2010 5:23 PM GMT
    JustSwim saidAt my most muscular I was swimming 5-6,000 meters a day. My swimming never got in my way of building muscle mass. Swimming tends to emphasize certain muscles groups such as back, deltoids and triceps. You need to work all muscle groups to emphasize muscle balance and symmetry.

    But stick with your swimming. You still need the cardio.


    Swimming will give good endurance. Many swimmers are out of balance with asymmetrical development, being overly developed in their backs, with poor chest development, and only moderate leg development. Weight training is very important to maintain balance.
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    Mar 17, 2010 5:28 PM GMT
    I did swimming in high school, and it's still haunting me because my back's so wide it doesn't fit in anything LOL

    I never got above 150 lbs while I was on the swim team, nor did I ever see much for gains: about the only thing that changed was my shoulders got a bit wider and I started looking like a mini-Mike Phelps.

    If you're wanting to put a little size on, cut back on the swimming a bit (or cut it out completely) and start lifting some real weights. One thing the swimming gives you is some incredible endurance, which will help you with the best mass-building exercises: i.e., the ones where you're doing 6+ sets of 20+ reps.

    Of course, you won't see any gains whatsoever unless you start eating more. Sit down and have a decent meal every two hours and graze in between.
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    Mar 17, 2010 5:40 PM GMT
    We should add that flex89 / Logan who has lived with me for two years, and who is a type 1 diabetic (all the challenges that entails) now is a hunky 225 pound STUD on top of being a very accomplished programmer.

    We've managed to put about 82 pounds of muscle on Logan in about 2.5 years by eating right, and training smart.

    Logan is one of those folks who is inspiring. When his blood sugar drops 80 points in three sets of squats, and is tanking, he sits down, gobbles down some candy, waits for his blood sugar to come back up, and away he goes again.

    Because of all his weightlifting, Logan's HBA1C is a 5.5. That's EXCEPTIONAL for just about anyone, and especially a diabetic; nearly unheard of. THAT is the power of exercise, and smart training method, and nutrition.

    Being a type 1 diabetic (an auto-immune disease) is a real drag, but, as Logan says with a smile, "beats chemotherapy." We'd all do well to take a lesson from him.
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    Mar 18, 2010 2:41 AM GMT
    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREWait, wait. I know the answer. L-A-Z-Y.

    Of course he should lift on all muscle groups.

    Guys that do bis and abs wonder why they aren't gaining mass? Shame on me for not catching that.


    How fucking judgmental can you get? Don't call me lazy because I simply DON'T know what's best for my physical opportunities because I'm only 18. And you fail to mention that I do swimming too.
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    Mar 18, 2010 2:43 AM GMT
    Train your whole body, but don't stop swimming.

    You look great.