need help with swimming workout

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by triggertap79, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. triggertap79

    triggertap79 Green Belt

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    I want to start swimming a few times a week to improve my cardio. I just need some opinions on the type of workout I should do. Should I go for laps or try to swim continuously for a certain period of time? I am planning on doing these workouts using the freestyle stroke. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. LCDforMe

    LCDforMe Purple Belt

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    What I did was (as I wasn't a great swimmer) was do two laps (down and back, down and back) then take a 20 second rest and do it again. I would do this for 30 or so minutes. Say you finish with 30 total laps or whatever, then next time try to do 32 or 33 total laps. That's how I used swimming as a workout though I haven't been in a long time.
     
  3. my big toe

    my big toe Yellow Belt

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    Congrats on starting swimming, for me it's been the one constant for the last 18+ years, and the benefits are amazing. Anyway, I highly recommend doing lots of stroke drills in the beginning. Get the Total Immersion DVD or another swimming DVD and do the drills every workout. Swimming is 70% technique, it's better to learn the right way, then try to correct a bad stroke later. You'll get a great workout just from that. Also, don't try to do heavy yardage in the beginning, if you haven't swam before start off with 800-1000 yards or less. Then steadley add more yardage every few weeks, like 100-200 yds. Anyway, once you get comfortable you can do a combination of overdistance (steady) swimming (e.g. 400 yds) and then add in intervals like 8X50 yds on the minute. There are infinite combinations of intervals, ladders, drills that you can do, just look around and read. The US masters site is good place to start, just cut down on the yardage that they do. A sample workout for a begginer could be:

    Warm-up 300 yds.: 4x50 (stoke work), 1x100
    2 x 150 w/ 40 sec. rest interval
    6 x 50 @ 1:00
    1 x 200 timed
    2 x 50 stroke
    1 x 100 cooldown

    1200 total yards

    Good luck. Update with your progress.
     
  4. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Yeah, Total Immersion is the way to go for teaching stroke technique to beginners. You'll enjoy swimming a lot more doing it right.

    There is a big I've recommended to a lot of noncompetitive swimmers in the past asking me advice- who want to swim for the same fitness reasons as you:
    http://half.ebay.com/cat/buy/prod.cgi?cpid=1312737
    It has workouts included, and interval training to build up your yards up (just as BigToe recommended). Everyone who bought and used it came back to me raving about it, so it's come to be my #1 source reference to swimmers for fitness. It's not something a competitive swimmer would use.
     
  5. differ

    differ Blue Belt

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    I'm no expert but I got a great cardio gain by doing a very very simple routine. On 1/2 lap down do over unders. That is where you swim underwater with a frog type stroke (dont know official names) as far as you can and come up for air only when you absolutely must and do it as hard and fast as you can, your body is working anaerobically with this. On the trip back do the front crawl as hard and fast as you can. Rest 30 seconds and repeat, it'll kick your ass after just a few sets.
     
  6. LPF4

    LPF4 Blue Belt

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    Sorry, I know you have lots of experience and good advice, but that sample workout would kill me on the first day. I'd say start with a quarter to half of that if you have not been in the pool for more than a few years. It was a shock to me when I tried to swim the first couple of times how gassed I was.

    My biggest mistake was not focusing on technique and not paying for a class or trainer.
     
  7. Pryderi

    Pryderi White Belt

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    This is a wise man. TI is an excellent way to begin learning or to refine technique. Highly recommended.
     
  8. Pryderi

    Pryderi White Belt

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    Be sure to have a swim buddy or at the very least a competent lifegaurd watching over you when doing underwaters. Shallow water blackout is not fun to witness.
     

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