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Optimizing my nutrition and training

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Old July 4th 03, 10:44 PM
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Default Optimizing my nutrition and training

(Jeffrey Willis II) wrote in message . com...
In this post I will first will condense some of the most important
questions from the first post. Second, I'll post responses to
suggestions made and questions raised in the replies to my original

Burning Questions:

1. What is the right daily caloric intake given my specifications?
2. Is swimming sufficient as cardiovascular exercise? More broadly, is
heart rate or distance more important to fat loss?
3. How many days a week should I be doing cardio? For how long each
day? At what times relative to my weight training workouts and meals?
4. Is my current weight routine overtraining for a newbie?

Further info on current routine and nutrition in my original post.

On to replies.

Roberto wrote:

"If you swim to burn calories and drop fat my advice is use your legs.
Endless and slow free style laps will do little to shed fat. Get a
pair of fins (possibly short ones) and a kicking board to hang on to
and do laps. It doesn't require great skill and you can interval
train. Heart rate will soar through the roof."

This advice is disheartening. Even the freestyle flutterkick puts
stress on my knees at this juncture. I am not sure that I can do pure
flutterkicking long enough to match what you suggest. At this point,
i'm unable to distingue normal knee pain from dangerous knee pain and
my past problems have humbled any machismo which I harbored towards
continuing exercise painful to my knees. Nonetheless, I appreciate
your advice.


Thank you again to everyone who responded to my message. I appreciate
further comments.


Strictly IMHO, here are the answers to your questions:

1) I have many times read that 10-12xleanBW is an acceptable caloric
intake for those who aim to lose fat; in your case I would try 2500
calories and see how it goes, then add or subtract in small increments
(say 300 calories) until you manage to drop 1.5/2 lbs/week. This is
generally considered a "safe" rate of weight loss.

2) Swimming is certainly an excellent cardio exercise, but many find
that heart rate in swimming, at a comparable perceived exertion level,
is significantly lower than for example in running. In my case I
estimate my swimming aerobic threshold (freestyle) at 145 bpm, whereas
running is 165 (I'm a lousy runner, though). I've heard many
explanations for this: the horizontal position, the cooling effect of
the water etc., but I believe it is due to less lower body
involvement. So if you opt for long and slow swimming in the aerobic
range to burn calories take this fact into account and don't expect
heart rate as high as with running or other aerobic exercise.

3) I personally do cardio 4 times a week, about 30 minutes running or
90 minutes cycling; intensity is generally high, unless I'm tired and
don't feel like it ;-) Weight training is just twice a week (upper
body-lower body split) on the days I don't run or cycle. 1 day of rest
every week.

4) Overtraining is a very subjective issue. It depends on age, level
of fitness, life style, stress. Someone said you have to be fit to
train, not train to be fit ;-)
Aerobic training alone may lead you to overtraining. Last year I swam
200 laps (5km) in about 90 minutes: I was sick and felt lousy for a
few days afterwards. You have to learn to listen to your body and know
your capabilities. You need to experiment, but try not to do too much
too soon, even if your young age will probably let you get away with

I'm sorry freestyle flutterkicking is out of the question due to your
knees; have you also tried backstroke kicking?

Anyway by all means keep swimming and weight training judiciously;
results will come for sure. Meanwhile, enjoy the workouts and the


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