Today we are going to talk about a topic that interests many people. But beware, I am not suggesting that my readers have weight problems solved with Lifeguard Training. In a nutshell, a non-competitive swimmer who hits the pool one/two, or three times a week probably does so for a variety of reasons, one of which is almost certain to lose a couple of pounds, and if not is the case, to stay toned.
Chances are you’ve heard many times the following: “If you want to lose weight, then start running!”, And that, is definitely true. Running helps a lot to keep you slim. However, an overweight person who starts running is likely to run into problems very quickly. The excess weight combined with poor running technique causes dizzying pain and injury to joints and tendons.
On the other hand, there is no danger, you will not suffer these problems in the pool due to the almost complete lack of gravity. Of course, good swimming technique is also required; if you want to lose weight by swimming you will have to work hard because swimming the wrong way will be a wasted effort.
But let’s take a step back and see what it really means to lose weight. Imagine that you have two different people in front of you, Marco and Lucas. They are both 30 years old, 1.80 meters tall and weigh 80 kilos. But Marco is muscular, with an athletic physique while Lucas has a normal physique and a bit of a paunch. Which of the two is the thinnest?
weight on the scale
Obviously, the correct answer is Marco! The reason I ask you this simple question is to make you realize that it’s not just your weight on the scale that counts, your body shape is also extremely important. We are made of adipose mass (fat) and lean mass (muscle). Muscles take up less space than the same weight in fat due to their density. A muscular person who weighs 80 kilos is less bulky than a person who weighs 80 kilos but with more fat mass.
Therefore, losing weight also, and above all, means reducing your percentage of fat mass and increasing your muscle mass. This principle applies to swimming in particular: it has a simultaneous double effect on your fat mass and your muscle mass. Therefore, you lose fat while building a little muscle.
So can swimming help you lose weight? Yes of course you can. They just need to be on the right track. For example, if you think that swimming length after length slowly in the pool will be beneficial, you are very wrong.
After scheduling properly, here are two training sessions you can try:
Aerobic intervals of 100/200m with 10”/20” rest for a total session between 20 – 40 minutes.
300/400m intervals alternating fast sections (not too fast) and aerobic sections (not too slow), eg 50m + 50m with 30 seconds rest between intervals for a total session of 15-30 minutes.
Obviously, these two different types of training sessions have different effects, but this time we have focused on losing weight.
And last but not least, remember: if you want to lose weight by swimming, you will also have to do some in your eating habits.