Swim your fat away

Fitness & Wellness
Written by: Joel McKenna at 10 February '14 0
You are reading: Swim your fat away

It’s been calculated that February 18th is the day that most of us stop our New Years Resolution Diets and Gym Workouts. Luckily that means the gym pools are getting less crowded which means it’s time to try swimming your weigh to weight loss.  You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer to get in shape as studies have shown that even recreational fitness swimmer have more lean muscle and trimmer waists and hips.

Now everyone is different but two laps per minute of swimming burns the same rate as that of a slow one minute run.  You can do an internet search for “swimming calorie calculator” to find out your swimming caloric burn but on average a 30 minutes swim for a Recreational swim can burn between 100 and 200 calories, a Moderate swim can burn between 150 and 350 calories while a Vigorous swim can burn between 220 and 500 calories.

Looking at those numbers everyone will want to try a vigorous swim so I’m going to give a two vigorous or High-intensity interval training (HITT) Swim Sets.  The point of these sets is to get the heart rate up and keep it up.  But before you even hit the water you need to find you Maximum Heart Rate which is 220 – Your Age so for me it would be 220 – 44 which is 176.  That is my MAXIMUM!  Now you should be working out in the range of 65% to 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate so for me that would be between 114 and 149.  Feel free to round up or down to an even number if it makes it easier for you to remember.  To find your heart rate you can use a Heart Rate Monitor or use the Pool Deck Clock by counting your heartbeats for 10 seconds and multiply that by 6.

Set #1: Freestyle Sprints – (try to keep the rest between 50’s to between 5 and 10 seconds)
1×50 Easy
2×50’s Sprint
1×50 Easy
3×50’s Sprint
1×50 Easy
3×50’s Sprint
1×50 Easy
2×50’s Sprint

This alone is 700 yards and most likely under 15 minutes of work.  So assuming this was swum Vigorous you most likely have burned between 110 and 250 calories.  Therefore you may want to repeat the set or move on to the next Freestyle Sprint Set.

Set #2: Freestyle Sprints –
3×100’s Sprint Freestyle (5 – 10 seconds rest)
25 Easy (15 seconds rest)
4×100’s Sprint Freestyle (5 – 10 seconds rest)
25 Easy (15 seconds rest)
5×100’s Sprint Freestyle (5 – 10 seconds rest)

This set is 1,250 yards and depending on speed can be down between 20 to 30 minutes getting that calorie burn up there.  You can repeat this set and with a warm up and cool down have a good 60 minute swim and burn off almost 500 calories.

If these sets seem too hard for the new to swim folks you can break it down to 25 meters/yards instead of the 50’s and switch 50 meters/yards for the 100’s.  To mix things up you can make the set into kick sets and really get those legs burning up the calories.  Your options are only limited to your imagination. For more workouts check out my post Lap swimming: all you need to know!  The key is to find your 65% to 85% range in your Heart Rate and keep it there for maximum burn. Don’t forget to warm up, cool down and drink plenty of water.


Written by:

Joel McKenna

Joel is a Master’s Swimmer whose been swimming almost as long as he’s been walking. He was introduced to swimming by his mother as she was afraid to swim and didn’t want her kids to have the same fear. Swimming in age group swimming Joel was always the last place finisher and even tried to give up swimming for a try at water pool before returning to the swim world. After taking a decade off from swimming Joel returned to swimming through Masters Swimming and became hooked on everything swimmer. Joel created a swim blog called the17thman as a way to keep track of his workouts. Inspired by his swimming Joel eventually left his office job to work in the world of fitness becoming a personal trainer, spin instructor, yoga instructor and of course swim instructor. Joel currently resides in Florida.




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