Swimming as Cardio

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 18, 2010 5:52 AM GMT
    Hey I was just wondering if swimming after lifting is counterproductive or ? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 18, 2010 6:31 AM GMT
    I use to swim a lot in HS and was fit then. I think its good.
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    May 18, 2010 11:51 AM GMT
    I'm not sure if swimming right after lifting is very productive. On the few occasions I've done that, my muscles were tired and it affected my swim stroke. I think that both swimming and lifting should be part of your overall workout routine, but keep them separate. Either lift on the days you don't swim, or do one in the morning and the other in the evening to give your body a chance to recover somewhat.
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    May 18, 2010 12:06 PM GMT
    NC3 is correct, don't do both on the same day. You use your entire body to swim thus impacting any area of the body you targeted during weight lifting. Plus you haven't defined the type of swimming you want to do such as repeats or just a simple pleasure swim. Free style repeats are designed to build fast twitch muscle so it is counterproductive to weight lifting, you will confuse your body.
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    May 18, 2010 1:12 PM GMT
    While doing any cardio right after lifting is convenient, common and better than doing no cardio at all, it's bad practice. Aerobic (cardio) and anerobic (resistance training) activities work in opposition to each other, so it's counterproductive. It's best to perform those activities 8-12 hours apart, so less convenient, twice daily workouts are the way to go. If possible, swim in the mornings and lift in the evenings, or vice versa depending on your schedule and facility locations.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    May 18, 2010 2:54 PM GMT
    Training makes you stronger because you stress the muscles, and they "supercompensate" to become a little stronger after a workout. But there has to be a balance: if you stress them too much, they can't recover and improve before you hit it again. So if you do a hard weight workout, swimming, as excellent as it is, will simply further tear down and stress the muscles.

    Moreover, if you are lifting weight hard, you'll be taking enough out of the muscles that you won't be able to do an effective swim workout.

    If either workout is serious, alternate days. Swimming is great exercise - so get the most out of it! (And ask yourself: are you a swimmer who does weights to improve swimming - or a weight lifter who swims to enhance strength work?)

    On the other hand, a light swim could be a great warm-up, or a good warm-down. (Warm-up dilates the blood vessels and gets them ready for work, and brings the muscles up to optimum working temp; warm-down allows the blood to pump out lactates and other accumulated by-products of hard exercise).



    Nat Brown taught and coached cross-country running and skiing for 16 years before joining the US Biathlon Team as wax technician. In 1989 he switched to the US Cross-Country team. He was the first American to take over technical services for a foreign team (Slovenia) and worked also for Germany and Sweden. He has coached at 3 Olympics and 14 World Championships, edited Nordic Update for 9 years and Cross-Country Skier for 2. He has written three books on skiing and training; the latest was The Complete Guide to Cross-Country Ski Preparation (Mountaineers Books) which has gone through two editions and a Russian translation. He spends as much time as he can at his ranch in British Columbia where he most recently hosted a pre-Olympic training camp for Slovenia.

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    May 18, 2010 8:52 PM GMT
    Thanks everyone for your input! This is exactly what I was looking for!