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Swimming For Weight Loss: Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

Swimming For Weight Loss: Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

We’ve all seen how Micheal Phelps leaves a trail of fire in the water — yes, he’s such a miracle that sometimes we imagine him doing that — during the Olympic Games that he participates in. Apart from the record-breaking feats he has achieved, many sports enthusiasts have taken to the internet to praise the physique that he has chiselled out through his regime of extremely strenuous training.

Well, it is no surprise that swimmers are lean and ripped because swimming is on the list of top calorie-burning activities known to man. At 840 calories per hour for men and 720 for women, people who are considering losing weight should definitely consider our recommended swim workout plan. Not only does it help you lose weight, it also helps you to build some serious stamina.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

Mind Prep

Before each and every training program, write down on a piece of paper what you would like to achieve from it. The goal has to be very specific and down to the details of who you want to impress or for which event you would like to lose weight. For example, “Lose weight for a rave party event,” is not probably not motivating enough, but “Lose weight for a rave party and have friends notice my crazy progress,” sounds more like a driver.

Beginner to Intermediate Level Swimming for Weight Loss

If you’ve been on a swimming hiatus, worry not — this plan will ease you back into your stride. The program is split into 2 sessions per week and each session would last about 15-30 minutes depending on how fast you swim. Remember, this program is all about swimming for weight loss, so you will be working out every part of your body.

Week One

Session 1 (Swim 300m)

Warm up:

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4 x 25m laps at a slow pace

Note: Go as easy and slow as you can as this is just the warm-up phase.

Main Set:

2 x 25m with fins

Note: Fins allow you to manoeuvre in the water faster.

2 x 25m with a pull buoy

Note: Doing freestyle with a pull buoy will help you be more aware of your strokes. Lead the board with your fingertips and your hands should be higher than your elbow when pulling through the water. Do not drop your elbow. 

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2 x 25m with a kickboard

Note: A kickboard will help you develop lower-body strength, involving a lot of kicking. 

*Rest for 1 minute between sets.

Cool Down:

2 x 25m at a slow pace

Session 2 (Swim 400m)

Warm up: 

4 x 25m laps at a slow pace

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Note: Rest for 2 minutes after this set.

Main Set: 

4 x 25m with snorkel

Note: The snorkel allows you to concentrate more on your strokes than on your breathing. 

4 x 25m with a kickboard

Note: Make sure your elbows are kept high when you perform your strokes and you should lead the board with your finger tips. 

Cool Down: 

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4 x 25m laps at your own pace

Note: Remember your techniques and do not fall back on old habits.

Week Two and Beyond

For the second week, increase your warm-up set to an extra 4 rounds, making it 8 x 25m during the first session. Also, in the second session add an extra 4 rounds to one of the sets to make it 8 x 25m while using a pull buoy to add strength and stamina.

For the following week, follow second week’s training while adding an extra alternate arm training to the main set. At 4 x 25m, you should only use your left arm to pull through the water for the first 50m and then use only your right arm to pull through the water for the last 50m.

With this plan, you will eventually reach a total of 600m per session. At this rate, you will be losing about 200-300 calories per session, which will take you about 15-30 minutes to complete.

After three weeks of swimming, your technique and stamina will have been built up to a level where you feel you could go for more.

Stop procrastinating — swimming for weight loss starts when you take the first step into the pool. Always challenge yourself to do more, as progress does not happen in your comfort zone.

Featured photo credit: Swimmer via swimbetterhq.com

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Last Updated on September 4, 2018

How to Get Rid of Sore Muscles Fast (What Works And What Doesn’t)

How to Get Rid of Sore Muscles Fast (What Works And What Doesn’t)

Avoiding sore muscles requires several commitments to your overall health and well-being. We’re going to examine several aspects of how to recover from workouts, and how to avoid sore muscles.

Avoiding sore muscles isn’t something you merely achieve through dietary habits; it requires dedication to the full recovery of your body by way of sleep, and pre-habilitation – the primitive rehabilitation of your body which is typically done as post workout stretching and mobility.

I would like to preface this article by saying that I’m an Ambassador for MobilityWOD – health and fitness organization founded by Dr. Kelly Starrett,[1] the author of NY Times Best Seller Becoming A Supple Leopard. That means I promote mobility and an overall top to bottom healthy lifestyle. I partnered with MobilityWOD because we share a common goal of helping people move better and live healthier, longer.

Sore muscles can occur in several ways that aren’t just exercise, such as illness or injury. We’re going to just focus on sore muscle recovery from exercise, however some of these remedies are applicable to the other aforementioned causes of sore muscles.

We’re going to cover quick fix remedies for sore muscles that you can apply immediately, as well as preventative things you can do to avoid sore muscles in the future. So let’s get to it!

What are sore muscles?

Sore muscles as a result of exercise, occur due to delayed-onset muscle soreness (or DOMS), which begins hours afterward and peaks (on average) around one to two days.

Generally, exercise scientists agree that people who experience muscle soreness are doing so as a result of muscle damage and rebuilding. Proteins exit the injured cells while fluid and white blood cells rush to rebuild.

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Over time, muscle cells are repaired and new cells are developed – all being injected with contractile proteins. Some or all of this process may be inexorably linked with muscle soreness.

How do muscles get sore?

There’s many fitness experts that I’ve encountered who preach they do not experience muscle soreness, and contrary to that many still do.

I’m of the belief that ‘newer lifters’ or those ‘new to exercise’ will experience soreness more dramatically when compared to those that have been working out for several years.

Now if you’re reading this and thinking “c’mon Adam, I’m going to experience muscle soreness more because I’m new to exercise?!?”, I get it you!

Here’s the upside, it’s because there’s SO much growth for you to do! Personally having been training for several years, I still notice sore muscles when working out muscle groups that I don’t normally, such as doing a day of just shoulder raises and presses (bodybuilding style) – I’ll feel the DOMs for sure.

However, if I do a heavy deadlift workout, generally I’ll avoid DOMs due to my recovery regimen (which I’ll share below) and because its an exercise I perform often.

Those that have been exercising for several years, and of course not including those that use steroids or other recovery substances, are close to/approaching their genetic potential in terms of muscle mass.

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There’s several online calculators for Lean Body Mass which can come close to revealing your genetic potential by measuring limb length, and bone density. I suggest a quick google search and use several to compare as they may vary slightly in result, however you can try Drug Free Muscle & Strength Potential calculator created by ‘Stronger by Science ‘.

Myths about sore muscles

There’re many myths to cover, but let’s quickly hit a few:

Myth #1: Leaving sore muscles to heal on their own is the best thing to do?

Common misconception! In fact it’s often a good idea to perform light exercise to aid in recovery by way of promoting blood and oxygen circulation to the muscles, and Synovial fluid within the joints.

Synovial Fluid – also known as synovia, is a viscous, non-Newtonian fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints. The principal purpose of synovial fluid is to reduce friction between the articular cartilage of synovial joints during movement.

Often if you leave sore muscles without doing mobility or stretching after training, you’ll end up shortening your range of motion (due to tightness) and healing those muscles in less than optimal positions (end-ranges of motion) and circumstances.

Myth #2: It’s a bad idea to workout with sore muscles?

Light exercise can actually help in recovery, but don’t go heavy or over-exert yourself as it can be counter productive.

Myth #3: Eating or protein shake immediately after a workout will prevent sore muscles?

This is ultimate bro-science, and though consuming a fast acting carb may help with muscle discomfort/aches after a workout, there’s nothing which directly proves that immediately consuming a protein shake after a workout will reduce muscle soreness or DOMs.

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Myth #4: DOMs have nothing to do with sleep?

The majority of muscle repair is done during REM sleep.

Myth #5: DOMs have nothing to do with gut health?

During deep sleep/REM sleep, the body heals and recovers muscles through the gastrointestinal tract, which directly correlates with GUT Health.

How to get rid of sore muscles fast

Here’s how you get rid of sore muscles quickly after exercise…

1. Refine what you eat

One important aspect of muscle recovery is quality protein.

Don’t go reaching for your synthetic, or all natural protein powders and expect to avoid sore muscles entirely. Aim high for quality sources of protein, and amino acid complexes that will put you on the path to muscle repair, rebuilding, and recovery.

Here’s some suggestions below for sources of protein.

  • Meat – Various types of beef steaks
  • Poltry – Chicken, pheasant, goose, turkey..etc
  • Fish – Salmon, tilapia, cod, halibut, haddock..etc
  • Hemp or pea protein – If you are deficient of hitting your macro nutrient requirements (typically 1g – 2g of protein per lb of body weight while recovering from exercise), then add a bit of these protein powder sources to your diet. Avoid whey protein, or isolate if you can, however if that’s all you have access to, it will suffice.

Checkout my recent article on Healthy Food to Gain Muscle.

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Try these anti inflammatory remedies:

  • Krill Oil (suggested) or wild Alaskan salmon fish oil – The natural fatty acids and antioxidants are known to aid in pain relief. Krill oil will naturally help reduce inflammation and decrease pain within your joints, and in turn help recover muscles by improving overall circulation.
  • Probiotic (supplement or natural plain greek yogurt such as kefir). Your gut health is important and reducing inflammation means less soreness!
  • Hemp oil or CBD oil (non psychoactive). Excellent way to reduce potential inflammation and recover from muscle soreness quickly.
  • Pain relief topical creams – There’s loads of options to choose from, and though many are not 100% proven, some have been said to be quite effective at temporarily mitigating pain from muscle soreness. These are a great quick fix if you want to reduce discomfort and ‘turn down’ before bed.[2]

2. Treat your body well

Besides refining your diet, you should do something about your body and muscle:

  • Epsom salt bath with essential oils if you have them available.
  • Compression lightly applied to promote warmth and blood flow – Don’t overdue it because you can stop circulation, which is the opposite of what we’re going for!
  • Massage or acupuncture is something I’ve tried many times over and it has proven results by improving circulation and blood flow to the muscles to aid in recovery.
  • Stretching and mobility is an absolute must! Pre-workout active mobility and foam rolling, followed by post workout static stretching. When you perform stretching and mobility you’re improving circulation and the end-range of those muscle groups by elongating them to their fullest. When your muscles are sore and tight, it’s often because they have been strained, damaged from training, and shortened as a result. We need to open up your range and elongate the muscles with stretching for optimal recovery.
  • Light exercise and walking can be extremely effective for aiding in recovery by promoting circulation.

3. Have sufficient sleep

Sleeping is an absolute must for muscle recovery and to avoid muscle soreness! I cannot stress this enough! Please do yourself a favor and get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, and 8-9 hours as needed on days when the workout was extra strenuous.

You do the majority of your muscle repair when the muscles shut down during heavy deep sleep states. Protein synthesis occurs under conditions of sleep but it occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, not the muscles. Research suggests that it’s during REM (Rapid Eye Movement: explained later) sleep that the body is able to: restore organs, bones, and tissue; replenish immune cells; and circulate human growth hormone.

Conclusion

Thought sore muscles aren’t something you can do away with entirely, and honestly who would want to? It tells you that your exercise efforts are not in vein!

If your muscles are sore, it means you’re putting them to work and they’re rebuilding and growing as we examined earlier.

No one wants to be completely frozen in soreness the day after training, so if you use these quick remedies for muscle soreness and preventative modalities, I’m confident you’ll be on track for sore muscle pain alleviation along with muscle and strength gains in no time!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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