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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 November 11, 2018

How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

There’s a common misconception that building muscle occurs entirely in the gym from exercise and lifting weights. In this article, we are going to debunk this notion that weight lifting and gym exercise yields 100%, or even 90% for that matter, of muscle building results.

So how to gain muscle fast in a healthy way?

Yes working-out is a critical aspect of developing muscle, however it should not be the focal point. Building muscle occurs primarily outside of the gym by way of diet/eating habits, and sleep regimen.

How Is Muscle Developed?

Muscle is developed from damaging the tissue during exercise, and facilitating the most optimal circumstances for repair and growth of those same tissues. This means you will not only need to exercise, but you should focus on carbohydrates around your exercises, and adequate rest and recovery between workouts.

If your focus is building muscle and not losing weight, focusing on a high-carb diet with carb loading around the workout days will yield great results. Yes, you absolutely can lose fat and build muscle following a low-carb diet, but you’ll make faster progress if you follow a high-carb diet instead. Now don’t take that as a green-light to stuff your face with pasta, bread, and all sorts of other carb-heavy foods.

Let’s examine Glycogen – a multibranched polysaccharide of glucose that serves as a form of energy storage in humans. Muscle glycogen is a form of carbohydrate that’s stored in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is the primary source of fuel during exercise, and low glycogen levels decreases your ability to gain strength and muscle. The best way to maintain high levels of muscle glycogen is to eat a high-carb diet, with around 1 to 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.

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The time of ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement on muscle glycogen storage post exercise was examined in a study with twelve male cyclists that exercised continuously for 70 min on a cycle ergometer at 68% VO2max, interrupted by six 2-min intervals at 88% VO2max, on two separate occasions. The results suggest that delaying the ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement post-exercise will result in a reduced rate of muscle glycogen storage.

How to Gain Muscle Fast?

If you want to gain muscle as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible, then you want high muscle glycogen levels. Here’s a few effective approaches to building muscle:

Muscle Growth and Glycogen Levels

The primary driver of gaining muscle and its growth is progressive tension overload, which involves exposing your muscles to increasingly greater levels of tension over time. The most effective way to achieve this is to get as strong as possible on heavy compound lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift, over head press, bent over barbell rows..etc).

When you keep glycogen levels high, you’re going to gain strength faster, which means gaining muscle faster, too. Having higher levels of muscle glycogen will more than likely help you build muscle faster.

Maintaining high muscle glycogen levels also improves post-workout genetic signaling relating to muscle growth and repair.

Muscle Recovery and Glycogen Levels

Not only do higher muscle glycogen levels yield quicker strength gains, it will also improve recovery between workouts.

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On the contrary, low muscle glycogen levels are associated with overtraining, and even increasingly popular low-carb diets, which deplete muscle glycogen. Low glycogen levels also increase cortisol and reduce testosterone levels in athletes, which is a key component needed for building muscle.

Those on a low-carb diets also have reduced insulin levels. Insulin, in addition to helping store nutrients, also has powerful anti-catabolic properties. Basically insulin decreases the rate at which muscle proteins are broken down, which in turn creates a more anabolic environment conducive to muscle growth and development.

Intermittent Fasting (“IF”) and Testosterone

Fasting is not just a beneficial way to manage your weight, caloric intake, and start shredding as I have indicated in previous articles. Some research shows that fasting can be a source of strength enhancement and increases in testosterone stimulation.

As humans age metabolism slows and testosterone production decreases, this simply means that the body will no longer be able to work as efficiently as it did in earlier years. This is one of the primary reasons why you should take more care to your diet.

Research has shown that intermittent fasting can enhance the ability to secrete growth hormone in the body.[1] This is one of the primary reasons why IF is one of the preferred dietary habits of bodybuilders and strength athletes such as myself, whom will utilize an approach that emphasizes fasting phases (2 of 7 days of the week for example).

Research has also shown that IF can increase the bodies ability to signal luteinizing hormone.[2] In non-obese men, an intermittent fasting testosterone study showed that IF increased LH (luteinizing hormone – a testosterone precursor hormone) up to 67% and overall testosterone 180%.

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Luteinizing hormone is one that works in both men and women to enhance our ability to be sexually active and productive. In women, luteinizing hormone can trigger ovulation, and in men, works to stimulate testosterone.

Intermittent fasting also increases levels of a hormone called adiponectin. This increase in adiponectin during the fast helps improve insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin is so effective, in fact, that it’s been shown to reverse insulin resistance in mice.

Gaining Muscle and Macro Nutrients – Protein!

Something that absolutely cannot go overlooked is the protein consumption. Personally, I believe protein should be primarily consumed in food, however if looking to gain muscle, it can often be quite difficult to hit daily macro nutrient requirements.

If one is to build muscle consistently a general rule of thumb is to aim for 1-1.5grams of protein per pound of body weight on a daily basis. So as a 200lb man I would be needing to consume 200grams – 250grams of protein per day. I would aim for the higher consumption on days when very active and training.

As I’m sure you’re aware, it can often be quite difficult to consume that much protein, especially in food! It’s in these cases where supplementing protein isn’t a bad idea and I have discussed in great detail the different types of protein in previous articles.

Generally speaking, I lean towards Whey Protein Isolate, or non-dairy options such as Hemp Protein, or Pea Protein. As of late I have been waking up every morning and consuming one scoop of Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Bovines from grass-fed beef. Collagen peptides are highly bioavailable and act as building blocks; renewing bodily tissues such as skin, bones and joints.[3]

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Collagen peptides may act as a messenger to the cells and trigger the synthesis and reorganization of new collagen fibers, thereby supporting tissue structure. Consuming protein such as Collagen in the morning is beneficial as the stomachs acids are needed to optimally break-down and absorb protein.

Though this has been a topic of great debate, I also firmly believe adequate carbohydrates are required to build muscle, especially if you are exercising/training often. With all the low-carb movements floating around the internet, there’s lots of misinformation. Muscle-building requires energy which is typically through an increased intake of carbohydrates.

Yes to gain mass, you have to ensure you’re consuming enough protein to rebuild muscle tissue damaged from training; but also consider carbohydrates because gaining size requires filling your muscles with glycogen as we discussed earlier in this article.

Conclusion

If you’re serious about gaining muscle fast the healthy way, it requires commitment and consistency. You will need to exercise and I highly suggest you download MyFitnessPal to track progress, set goals, and maintain diet.

It’s also motivational because you can find like-minded people in the fitness community, or encourage your friends to download the app as well and follow each other. I personally did this when I was losing weight and gaining muscle, and it was a blast to see my own progress and that of people I care about.

As always I’m not just here to write about the steps you need to take, I’m also here to help! You can message me anytime or email me with any questions you may have. I’m more than happy to assist with your muscle building and weight loss goals!

Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via how to gain muscle fast

Reference

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