Posted by: Combine | 2007/04/06

Combine cardio and weights

Hi doc,

I've been looking for a way to combine swimming training with weight training. Somebody told me that if I do my 1km worth of laps 3 times a week and then do weight training on the Tues and Thurs, I'd 'burn out' sooner than later. So I was wondering if you know of a routine that I could still swim my laps but still get in a full body weight training program without 'burning out'?

If you have any advise on this matter, it would be much appreciated.


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Our expert says:
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Hi Glen

I don't think that you would necessarily burn out. You might, but then you might even without the weight training, because you can't predict when someone will be overtraining. What is normal and easy for one person may be impossible for another. So you can certainly try this combination and see what happens. It is certainly the easiest way to integrate the weights. The problem with trying to include the weights ON THE SAME day as swimming is that you may actually burn out faster than if you split them, simply because of the fatigue. One option here is to cut back on the distance you are swimming for a couple of weeks, and swim maybe 700 m, then add the weights to the same day. In the beginning, you would have to back off on the swimming distance, at least until you adjust to the training load and then you can edge up the distance so that maybe in 4 weeks you are doing the 1 km swim, plus your weight training. I would try the split programme first though, just so that you don't overload yourself acutely. The issue then is that you will recover less, because were before you had a day off between swims, you'll now not only rest less, but you'll actually train on the day in between. So my advice is to monitor your recovery very well, and if you feel fatigued on the third swim of the week, don't be scared to miss a day in the next week, it's not a disaster. Eventually, you will recover more and get fitter and it should be fine.

Good luck

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