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  #1  
Old 09-20-2017
SaleB
 
Posts: n/a
Question Swimming as an exercise for a long time couch potatoe

Hello,

I am new to the forum. In matter of fact this is my first post.

So, 13 months ago (I thought) I was a healthy male 191cm (6'3") and 135kg (300lbs), who never cared about any sport activities. Then I wanted to change it, I started walking, developing some condition, then fast walking and arrived to 115kg (250lbs) in about a year. Now, I want cut back a little on walking (I am walking in average 1hr, a day) and do some swimming. I am scared of deep water, but I managed to find some children's pools (3-4 feet deep) to try to swim. Actually I have swam at seaside about six years ago, and I did not sink much. When I entered a pool and found out I do float, first try a managed to make was about 45 meters without touching the bottom (breaststroke, with doggy style segments when I lose the axis and start to sink) after a 15 minutes pause I managed to do it twice again. On the next three visits, I have worked out a plan to swim three lengths (15m length), then to pause until the 10 minutes from start are over, then swim 4 lengths and pause again. So the last time I swam 45m, 60m, 45m, 60m, 45m, 60m, a total of 315m for 60 minutes in the pool.

I do plan to find someone who knows what he is doing to teach me the techniques, but first goal is to get rid of the fear, and a coach cannot help me with that. I am at the level where I am not yet able to pull the hand stroke with my hand, so I change the angle of wrists to make it easier on the triceps. The goal I worked out is that I want to be able to swim 10 minutes continuously, which transfers to 120-150m at my current speed. After that I think I'll be ready for a coach and crawl technique.

I started trying to sync my hands and feet, as it gives more speed. I have also tried to swim just with legs one length (hands strait in front), and just with hands (feet joined at heels and lightly bowed knees). One length only hands, other length only legs. Because of my terrible sync I do not see any substantial speed difference between swimming with hands and legs together opposed to swimming just with hands or just with legs.

My long term goals are gaining strength, gaining condition, loosing fear of water, learning proper swim techniques, loosing fat, weight reduction.

Question for you:
Would it be better (in this initial stage) to train lighter and more often (3x a week), or harder 1-2 times a week?
Is there any long term caution about swimming just with legs or just with hands?
Any other advice I have not asked for?
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
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First off, you have to reconcile yourself to the fact that swimming is not particularly efficient at weight loss/fat loss. Walking/running is considerably more efficient for this, as you have found out. Even more so is added on dietary manipulation, for which I recommend " The Art And Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" and "The Art And Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance", both by Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek.

I cannot recommend more strongly that you find a (real life) Total Immersion Coach and take some hands on lessons in a pool. It will transform your life. Swimming will switch from being a fearful experience to a pleasure that you look forward to, and your efficiency (proportion of your physical energy and life energy being transformed to forward motion) will vastly increase. I came to TI at the age of 64 and it really works, even though physically I am a sinker with high specific gravity which you are not. But still I lost my fear of being in deep water.

At second best the on-line resources that TI markets are useful, but it takes self discipline and you still may not get it right for a while, whereas a coach will pick up little errors much faster in real time and you won't be imprinting these errors during your "training" in isolation. On the other hand, once you have had hands on coaching these resources take on a new usefulness.

You don't need a whole lot of strength for swimming well, but you do need some strength which the non-swimmer typically doesn't have yet. But even more so, you need technique and the confidence that will come with that. In the time that you acquire the technique, the specific strength will develop with you not even realizing it. The technique is the difficult part, but a good TI coach (the TI coaches are all certified, so I would venture to say that they are all good) will make it easiest for you. which is why I so strongly recommend finding one.

The other unanswered questions, in my opinion, are so much lower in priority that you can safely ignore them for now, and the answers will become clear to you once you start specific instruction in TI technique.

Last edited by sclim : 09-22-2017 at 01:03 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2018
henryhislop
 
Posts: n/a
Default Swimming as an exercise for a long time couch potatoe

Being a writer and getting engaged in my work whole the day, i have gained a lot of fat, and i just don't have time to exercise or in fact lets say i"m not interested in that. So i thought of doing something which i could enjoy myself and at the same time could burn my fat too.So recently i came to read an article about swimming and how it helps in burning fat and i was just impressed and meanwhile i came across this forum too and gotta learn many things.Now i have started swimming and i can say there are a lot more changes, apart from hat i get stress free and relaxed too.
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