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Old 04-25-2011, 08:57 AM   #1
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Swimming To Get In Shape? Cardio & Muscle Development?

After deciding that I wanted to get back into really good shape, I started running. Realized shortly thereafter that it wasn't for me. Can incorporate it into a workout routine and don't mind running (while playing basketball or something), it's just not going to be my sole source.

I then started lifting but recognized that it was somewhat futile as my cardio wouldn't support a heavy lifting regime. I found myself winded most exercises prior to my muscles getting all that tired.

So, I decided to give swimming a go and have found it really relaxing, exhausting (in a good way), and seemingly providing a really good workout. Everyone knows the old saying "you work all the major muscles in your body swimming" but how true is that exactly?

I started looking online for thoughts on swimming for both cardio and muscle development but have come up somewhat empty handed. Lots of articles talking about it being good for your body in general, and some saying you should incorporate weight lifting with swimming in order to bulk up... For such, they suggest eating LOTS of lean protein.

Which brings me to the framing of the question: As an already thin guy (one of those can eat anything and still have a six pack) who is looking to up his cardio and bulk in the process, how effective is swimming? Will it help me with the cardio but not really with the muscle building?

Also, I'm going to try and start really eating healthier. My basic thought was eggs every morning (not sure how many is a good number), lots of water throughout the day, protein shakes in the afternoon, swimming after work, eating after swimming, protein before bed (likely via pb&j sandwiches), and incorporating vitamins (not sure what I should be taking... currently just using a daily vitamin.. men's health one a day).

To those in great shape who know their stuff...

- Can I solely bank on swimming to both get in better cardio and to "bulk up" (not ever going to be huge so more just looking to get "in good shape" both inside and out)
- If not, how often should I swim and how often should I lift?
- What type of diet should I be working off? Given an 8-5 work schedule, it's not as if I can devote as much attention as a college or high school guy.. but I know I need my intake of calories to work in conjunction with the output of them
- What type of vitamins would be recommended? No need to go into a huge list of why each and every one is valuable but a nice 1, 2, 3, 4 and you're ok.

Sorry if these are general questions but this is a little new to me. Worked out like a mofo in college but my roommate was a kicker for the football team and basically provided me with food intake and exercise advise on a regular basis. Man I wish I had a regular workout buddy again.. made it so much easier maxing out and all that jazz.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:40 AM   #2
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Swimming is a cardiovascular workout. You're not going to get bigger from it. If you want to get your strength/mass up, you'll need a solid lifting program to do along side of it. Obviously your diet will need to be in check as well. And I'm not just talking about making smarter choices, having a shake here and there, etc... Sit down and actually work on figuring out what your needed macros will be for you to achieve your goals. I would keep the swimming down to no more than 3 times a week, with your lifting sessions done on the other days. As for supplements, keep it down to he basics
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:51 AM   #3
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Thanks so much bud for the thoughts

You're totally on about the diet. I need to start eating TONS because my metabolism is so damn fast. As for the lifting, I suppose I should just do heavy weights, low reps, and just a standard bulking program? Couple it with tons of calories throughout the day and basic supplements? Regarding those, what would be considered basic? Fish oil? Other stuff?
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:30 AM   #4
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No problem bud. Have you ever actually sat down and worked out how much you're really eating. You may surprise yourself; a lot of people think they eat a ton already, but in reality they fall short. For lifting, I would look at a routine that focuses mostly on heavy compound lifts, with a few isolated exercises tossed in. With reps in the low to moderate range. For supplements, things like a decent multi, fish oil, protein powder, etc... are all what I consider "basic".
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
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yo bimmerchop, how essential do you really think fish oil is? i ran out of fish oil about a month ago and ive just been too lazy to buy it. im thinking about cutting it out of my regiment. i eat fish maybe once or twice a week
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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yo bimmerchop, how essential do you really think fish oil is? i ran out of fish oil about a month ago and ive just been too lazy to buy it. im thinking about cutting it out of my regiment. i eat fish maybe once or twice a week
what's the main reason for taking fish oil supplement?
to get omega3?
anything else?
you can get omega-3 from other sources



your post actually made me want to eat fish for lunch
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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IIRC swimming will cause a lot of lactic acid to build up in your muscles. It's counterproductive to your goal Chase. I would focus more on the lifting and eating instead of cardio. Swim twice a week or so. If you're metabolism is fast I wouldn't waste time on Cardio unless it's for heart health etc. Eat and lift. Swim on days that you're not lifting.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #8
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After deciding that I wanted to get back into really good shape, I started running. Realized shortly thereafter that it wasn't for me. Can incorporate it into a workout routine and don't mind running (while playing basketball or something), it's just not going to be my sole source.

I then started lifting but recognized that it was somewhat futile as my cardio wouldn't support a heavy lifting regime. I found myself winded most exercises prior to my muscles getting all that tired.

So, I decided to give swimming a go and have found it really relaxing, exhausting (in a good way), and seemingly providing a really good workout. Everyone knows the old saying "you work all the major muscles in your body swimming" but how true is that exactly?

I started looking online for thoughts on swimming for both cardio and muscle development but have come up somewhat empty handed. Lots of articles talking about it being good for your body in general, and some saying you should incorporate weight lifting with swimming in order to bulk up... For such, they suggest eating LOTS of lean protein.

Which brings me to the framing of the question: As an already thin guy (one of those can eat anything and still have a six pack) who is looking to up his cardio and bulk in the process, how effective is swimming? Will it help me with the cardio but not really with the muscle building?

Also, I'm going to try and start really eating healthier. My basic thought was eggs every morning (not sure how many is a good number), lots of water throughout the day, protein shakes in the afternoon, swimming after work, eating after swimming, protein before bed (likely via pb&j sandwiches), and incorporating vitamins (not sure what I should be taking... currently just using a daily vitamin.. men's health one a day).

To those in great shape who know their stuff...
[b]
- Can I solely bank on swimming to both get in better cardio and to "bulk up" (not ever going to be huge so more just looking to get "in good shape" both inside and out)[b]
- If not, how often should I swim and how often should I lift?
- What type of diet should I be working off? Given an 8-5 work schedule, it's not as if I can devote as much attention as a college or high school guy.. but I know I need my intake of calories to work in conjunction with the output of them
- What type of vitamins would be recommended? No need to go into a huge list of why each and every one is valuable but a nice 1, 2, 3, 4 and you're ok.

Sorry if these are general questions but this is a little new to me. Worked out like a mofo in college but my roommate was a kicker for the football team and basically provided me with food intake and exercise advise on a regular basis. Man I wish I had a regular workout buddy again.. made it so much easier maxing out and all that jazz.
Not even in your dreams.

Swimming is great cardio. Not much else.
A solid lifting routine and lots of food plus water is needed to get big.

And when you bulk, you'll get some fat too.

And your body not supporting heavy lifting? You are weak. Not to be rude, but once you build your muscles up, you will get bigger. Please don't come in here either and bring up your "nutritionist" saying you need 12000 calories a day to gain.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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Also, I'm going to try and start really eating healthier. My basic thought was eggs every morning (not sure how many is a good number), lots of water throughout the day, protein shakes in the afternoon, swimming after work, eating after swimming, protein before bed (likely via pb&j sandwiches), and incorporating vitamins (not sure what I should be taking... currently just using a daily vitamin.. men's health one a day).


Chase, this paragraph makes it obvious you need to focus on your diet way more than you ever imagined.

Not sure how many eggs? protein in the afternoon?

You need to be eating constantly. A protein shake in the afternoon should be replaced with whole foods or even with the food. Write down everything you're eating along with the cals, protein, fat, carbs of it.

Add it up and get an estimate of what you're getting every day and then add according to it.

Also, Matts comment about the 12,000 cals to gain weight comment is correct. I remember you saying you were told you needed that to gain. If that's the case you would wither away on a regular 2000-3000 a day diet.

Add a gallon of milk a day on top of a lot of food and you'll grow. This is a huge change for you i'm sure, and it's a lot of work. The gym is the easy part. Preparing your meals, cooking, and planning everything is the annoying part.

Not to make you look bad but, can you post a diet that you think you might want to do so we can give you suggestions?
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:19 PM   #10
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yo bimmerchop, how essential do you really think fish oil is? i ran out of fish oil about a month ago and ive just been too lazy to buy it. im thinking about cutting it out of my regiment. i eat fish maybe once or twice a week
As mentioned, depends on your diet. You can get your healthy fats in from other sources throughout the day.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:44 PM   #11
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Please don't come in here either and bring up your "nutritionist" saying you need 12000 calories a day to gain.
lol
i want to meet this "nutritionist"
or did someone add a 1 in the front by mistake?
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:57 PM   #12
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lol
i want to meet this "nutritionist"
or did someone add a 1 in the front by mistake?
That's what Chase claimed. 12000
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:11 PM   #13
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That's what Chase claimed. 12000

crazy lol
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:33 PM   #14
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At the time matt, I was a senior in college, played club basketball, and was lifting four days a week....made no difference. I ate like a horse and nothing. Was taking weight gainer this, 1000k protein shake that, had chicken breasts two or three times a day as snacks, and would routinely consume 6-8 eggs a morning for breakfast. Went to a nutritionist, laid out my diet (at the time consisted of around 8000 calories a day) and he did blood work. He said that where i was was a starting block given all I was doing. To build on top of that, would need an additional 2-4k calories.

I'm 28, still eat like few people I know, and can't gain a pound no matter what I do. In fact, the last four years, I hve focussed heavily on my career, haven't spent any time in the gym, and still have a six pack as if I was a superhero... Well maybe not that defined but you get the point.

If you want to provide constructive commentary, by all means do so.. But there is no need for this nonsense...

And, for what it's worth, given your condescending tone, when I finally meet you, you better look like wolverine...

Now back on topic, a gallon of milk a day? Damn! That I can't even fathom.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:41 PM   #15
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i dont think anybody means to be condescending. it's just that 12k calories a day just to gain weight is a borderline ridiculous figure. michael phelps eats 12k a day. even assuming you ate 8k a day in your teens just to maintain your weight (which i also kinda doubt; i'm thinking maybe you exaggerated/miscalculated and relayed skewed figures to your nutritionist), at the age of 28, your metabolism has probably slowed down.

whatever you've been eating on a daily basis is probably your maintenance calories nowadays. considering you havent been exercising, you're going to need more to make up for the physical activity, and then you're gonna have to add more on top of that to gain weight. assuming your metabolism is still insanely high, i'd say add 1500-2000 extra calories per day to whatever youve been eating routinely
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:48 PM   #16
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I'm 28, still eat like few people I know, and can't gain a pound no matter what I do. In fact, the last four years, I hve focussed heavily on my career, haven't spent any time in the gym, and still have a six pack as if I was a superhero... Well maybe not that defined but you get the point.

i hate you
lol
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:30 PM   #17
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At the time matt, I was a senior in college, played club basketball, and was lifting four days a week....made no difference. I ate like a horse and nothing. Was taking weight gainer this, 1000k protein shake that, had chicken breasts two or three times a day as snacks, and would routinely consume 6-8 eggs a morning for breakfast. Went to a nutritionist, laid out my diet (at the time consisted of around 8000 calories a day) and he did blood work. He said that where i was was a starting block given all I was doing. To build on top of that, would need an additional 2-4k calories.

I'm 28, still eat like few people I know, and can't gain a pound no matter what I do. In fact, the last four years, I hve focussed heavily on my career, haven't spent any time in the gym, and still have a six pack as if I was a superhero... Well maybe not that defined but you get the point.

If you want to provide constructive commentary, by all means do so.. But there is no need for this nonsense...

And, for what it's worth, given your condescending tone, when I finally meet you, you better look like wolverine...

Now back on topic, a gallon of milk a day? Damn! That I can't even fathom.
Maybe in college, but at 28, your metabolism has SLOWEEEED, and you've already met me.

Like I said, record your daily intake and see where you're at. Then report back.

What do you mean look like a wolverine? Shall I not shave for a week or two?
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:26 PM   #18
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I'm jealous at the fact that you can eat whatever, focus on career, and still have a sixpack.......anyways, I'll agree with everyone in saying just eat more food (try to calculate your intake and add more calories to that), mostly protein/healthy fats/whatever left over in carbs. I'd suggest looking at the labels cause when I started looking at them I was surprised to that most things like Skippy's PBJ has not much protein in it. I'm pretty sure thats how it goes for bulking, I'm cutting right now so kind of noob at bulking but just add the calories.

To the swimming thing, its pretty much just cardio which is good but I'd suggest heavy heavy lifting to bulk. Like chop said low-moderate reps high high weight. If you haven't lifted in a long long time you can try some beginner routines, I suggest looking at bodybuilding.com their forums are great and provide a crap load of info on everything from nutrition to basic workouts. I only lift 3 days a week and sometimes add some cardio and have lost some weight (190-155) and all my lifts have gone up! So just have some dedication man, looks like you have some already with the reading of articles so just keep at it!

If you keep at it you'll be like this guy, YEAHHHH BUDDYYYYYYYYY! LIGHTWEIGHTTTTTT!
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:20 AM   #19
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OK, day three of bulking

Took your advise and went to the gym and lifted rather than swimming. Not fun... I suck at it Did mainly upper body stuff and then stretched for a good bit. Ate a big chipotle burrito with lots of water and a protein bar. Woke up this morning, another protein bar, 1/2 gallon of chocolate milk, coffee, men's health one a day vitamin, fish oil, and ginko bilkoba (or whatever it is).

Will snack on almonds throughout the morning and eat a big lunch.

As for my metabolism, it's wayyyy slower then it was while in college playing competitive basketball all winter and collegiate golf in the spring/summers.

Matt, where in MD are you? Want to help coach a work out wimp?
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:43 AM   #20
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Annapolis. I might be home for the summer not sure yet.
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