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  #21  
Old 04-18-2009
elskbrev elskbrev is offline
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5' 4', long body, short legs, lean, and quite "muscular" from training for martial arts (lean, but the muscle shows). I can pick up musculature rather easily when I do resistance training, so I'm not an ectomorph. Think Dara Torres without the power lifting. I work for endurance.
That should be past tense, and I've put on three pounds over winter, as I've sat out of MA for over six months due to injuries--a hamstring in MA last summer (my fault--a mistake with extreme resistance bands training), and subsequent calf/ankle injury last fall due to poor instruction at the hands of a conventional swim instructor. She had me wear 16" fins to learn to scissor kick tread water. Ouch. That on top of tightness in calves due to all swim lessons being given in those same fins led eventually to tendonitis, which I'm waiting out now. Needless to say, those were beginner's swimming lessons.
So, you see, maybe "old" has set in, or so it would seem. Not.
But I digress. I've gone lean rather than round as I've gotten older, but lean looks rather angular on me, so yeah, if swimming adds a little softness on the surface, I'm cool with that.
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  #22  
Old 04-18-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Originally Posted by elskbrev View Post
5' 4', long body, short legs, lean, and quite "muscular" from training for martial arts (lean, but the muscle shows). I can pick up musculature rather easily when I do resistance training, so I'm not an ectomorph. Think Dara Torres without the power lifting. I work for endurance.
That should be past tense, and I've put on three pounds over winter, as I've sat out of MA for over six months due to injuries--a hamstring in MA last summer (my fault--a mistake with extreme resistance bands training), and subsequent calf/ankle injury last fall due to poor instruction at the hands of a conventional swim instructor. She had me wear 16" fins to learn to scissor kick tread water. Ouch. That on top of tightness in calves due to all swim lessons being given in those same fins led eventually to tendonitis, which I'm waiting out now. Needless to say, those were beginner's swimming lessons.
So, you see, maybe "old" has set in, or so it would seem. Not.
But I digress. I've gone lean rather than round as I've gotten older, but lean looks rather angular on me, so yeah, if swimming adds a little softness on the surface, I'm cool with that.
Wow, it sounds like there is some kryptonite too close to you. How else could the injuries be explained? hehe

According to the BMI calculator, just using height and weight, your BMI should be roughly 20.3. I'm assuming you were tested with calipers or some other method that accounts for muscle weight and maybe bone density. (My sister was dunked in a water tank.)

My calculated BMI is now 22.3, but I don't trust the weight scale. I have plenty of soft spots. I used to be closer to the overweight range. I don't eat much better than I used to, so swimming must be making the difference.

Ah, BTW, it sounds like you have the Phelps body with the short legs and long torso. If you have big hands and/or feet, maybe you could set some records. hehe

BMI calculator: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
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  #23  
Old 04-25-2009
elskbrev elskbrev is offline
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just using height and weight, your BMI should be roughly 20.3. ...BMI calculator: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
Thanks, I never looked into the accuracy of the BMI my husband's company calculates each year, which is based on a waist measurement, weight, and height. I have a little extra weight I don't need right now, so I'll buy BMI=20 or so. Just a number, anyway.
Phelps? Too funny, but the first thing I noticed about greats like Phelps and even Torres when I first took an interest in swimming last Fall was that they were lean and not especially long on legs. Ha! Olympic divers, on the other hand...not lean.
BTW, the treading water with fins on was easy as soon as I figured out the best way to stay afloat was to "step" on the water as if climbing stairs, rather than trying to keep toes pointed while kicking straight legged forward and back, as I was instructed. Guess I was afraid of sinking, so I really pushed the kick--I didn't just float, I was above water variously from armpits to bust the whole time. I can kick, but not that well, so a few muscles protested...
Thank God there's TI.

Last edited by elskbrev : 05-15-2009 at 06:38 PM.
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  #24  
Old 04-25-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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BTW, the treading water with fins was easy as soon as I figured out the best way to stay afloat was to "step" on the water as if climbing stairs, rather than trying to keep toes pointed while kicking straight legged forward and back, as I was instructed. Guess I as afraid of sinking, so I really pushed the kick--I didn't just float, I was above water variously from armpits to bust the whole time. I can kick, but not that well, so a few muscles protested...
Thank God there's TI.
Treading only requires the head to clear the surface. At least the nose. heh

I use a seated position when treading. I think I point my toes like I'm doing a mini-flutter kick from the knees down. The most import part, though, seems to be the sculling of the hands. If I lean back like I'm in a recliner, then I only need to kick a little.

What you described, the straight-leg flutter kicking, sounds like the vertical kicking drill. That can require a lot of energy. It's more for training than treading.

The more vertical your body is, the more you will sink. I'm amazed when certain people say they barely need to move to stay afloat. Somehow I'm starting to feel more floaty, but I'm no cork.
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  #25  
Old 08-13-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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Default Subcutaneous fat

I am very dubious about claims that swimming or cold environments cause us to 'grow' more fat.

As has already been mentioned above, we store calories as fat when we eat more than we use The other side of the coin is that we burn off those fat reserves when we use more energy than we consume. (So the best way to lose weight is to increase exercise AND improve our diet). This is the way the human body works (and any mammal's I suppose)

The key point is that you cannot store fat if you do not eat enough calories to have some spare - even if you swim in cold water every day. Those spare calories have to come from somewhere! In fact in cold climes, our bodies burn more energy doing nothing just to stay warm.

BUT people living in cold environments are likely to have a lifestyle that involves eating a lot of calories - because they need them. This is what allows them to develop that insulating layer.

So if you live/work in a cold environment and have a physical job, you probably have a huge appetite. If you then retire to a sedentary lifestyle somewhere warm, you better break your eating habits!
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  #26  
Old 08-13-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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BUT people living in cold environments are likely to have a lifestyle that involves eating a lot of calories - because they need them. This is what allows them to develop that insulating layer.
So cold environments make people over-eat as a lifestyle? Then possibly a lifestyle involving a cold swimming environment could make people over-eat, at least right after a swim. And being really hungry after swimming is not unusual. That calorie intake also happens when the activity level decreases. All the ingredients for weight gain.
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  #27  
Old 08-13-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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Yes, I agree that is a risk. Just like bodybuilders when they stop working out. They say the 'muscle turns to fat', but I think what really happens is they carry on eating the same amount of food they have grown used to.
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  #28  
Old 08-14-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
I am very dubious about claims that swimming or cold environments cause us to 'grow' more fat.
...The key point is that you cannot store fat if you do not eat enough calories to have some spare - even if you swim in cold water every day. Those spare calories have to come from somewhere! In fact in cold climes, our bodies burn more energy doing nothing just to stay warm...
When Lynn Cox was training for her Bering Strait and Antarctic swims, she did put on more subcutaneous fat without eating more calories. Her diet and training were carefully monitored by the hypothermia researchers that she was working with. She gained about 12 pounds each time.

I suppose not everyone adapts the same way, and it's probably genetic, but I've heard of another example. On my last Swimtrek tour I met an Irish couple who belonged to an open water club near their home in Cork. They described a club-mate who swims year-round in the Irish Sea without a wetsuit and now has a thick even layer of fat around his torso - just his torso. Looking of pictures of Alison Streeter and other cold water distance swimmers, this seems to be a common thing.

The calories-in/calories-out equation is not always so simple. Most research has been done on male volunteers (such as in military service or prison) of a certain age. When women are added in, the numbers are not so simple and weight loss not so great with either exercise or food restriction. Some bodies - especially female bodies - are just more efficient with fuel, and get by with less.
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  #29  
Old 08-15-2009
BradMM BradMM is offline
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With our record string of 100+ degree days, I wonder if swimming for an hour or less each day would cause my subcutaneous fat to increase. Can't imagine it.
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