Many people practice swimming to get a swimmer’s body with a six pack and toned muscles. Here are 3 reasons why swimming will not make you look strong and some tips on what to do about it.
Reason #1 Hunger after swimming.
It is true that you burn a lot of calories when you swim. Simply by being in the pool, your body will be constantly creating heat (aka burning calories) because the water is below our body temperature and it steals our heat. The problem is that because we burn many calories in a short period of time we get very hungry when we stop swimming and we eat more than we use to. We end up eating more than what we burned and sometimes food that isn’t nutritious or that is very high in sugar, so the body just transforms those carbohydrates into fat.
After a swim session try to rehydrate yourself with water and electrolytes, but try to avoid sugary drinks like juice, soda or even gatorade. Also try to eat complex carbohydrates and vegetables instead of junk food.
Reason #2 Cardio
Swimming is mostly a cardio exercise, meaning you are training your heart and lungs. This is good because you will be healthy but it is not the best way to grow your muscles. Our muscles grow because of mini ruptures during exercise. Those broken muscles fibers are then rebuilt stronger when we are resting. That makes them grow. But since there is not a lot of tension in swimming, the amount of muscle rupture is limited.
If you want to build more muscle you need to compliment swimming with an exercise with more tension, such as weight lifting, cross training, calisthenics etc.
Reason #3 Time
It takes time to lower fat percentage in our body and increase muscle mass. Maybe, you won’t see any results in a week or two. You put in the effort and it is disappointing to not see any results. But remember that you are changing the composition of your body and that takes time and consistency.
Schedule your swimming sessions and other weights or dry land workouts into your daily routine and make them a habit. Wait for at least two months before check for improvements. If you are making progress keep going and push yourself a little bit more every day, if not consult a nutritionist to get a specialized diet that works best for your body type.
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