Swimming is great for the cardiovascular system but does little for building strength or maintaining muscle. I think the best full body workout is one that not only helps to build strength and maintain muscle, but also works the cardiovascular system as well. Another element I would add to the rating process is efficiency. Spending three hours a day is hardly what I would call efficient. Granted, this is when you were on the high school swim team. Still though..
Squats , Bench Press, and Barbel Rows. This takes care of the entire body in terms of strength training. Then what I also do is in between sets of each exercise I will do some type of conditioning with segmented breaks. Between sets of squats, I will punch the heavy bag all out for 30 seconds w/ 60second breaks. During bench press I will do multiple rounds of 30/60 with mountain climbers or sprints, and during the rows I will do multiple sets of 10 burpees w/ 60 seconds rest. The other workout I do is squats, standing military press, and pull-ups. Doing this training 2x a week (50-60 minutes a workout) has gotten me good results after only a handful of workouts. I plan to stick with it until June and then switch routines.
Swimming is great, but you could do a lot of sports for 3hrs a day every day and lose weight.
Nice thing about swimming is you can do it 3 hrs a day, every day due to the low impact.
*shudders* after years on the school/rec swim team, I am swimmed out. I hate swimming competitively now. I mean I love going to the river and looking like a goofball swimming upstream which takes forever and exhausts me (so yes this would be a good workout as well haha), but I hate pools doing laps and laps of work. Too many years of it. But yes, you are right, it does get you in great shape. The best full body workout? Mehhhh, depends on the person and their preference I suppose.
I'm pretty sure just being back in HS would make it a lot easier for me to lose weight.
I love swimming too but I just recently discovered kettlebells and fell in love all over again. They are such versatile fitness tools combining strength cardio and flexibility all into one workout. I still swim quite a bit but more as a cool down after my workouts, kettlebell or otherwise.
Swimming seems like a great way to lose weight as it probably burns a ton of calories. Doesn't Michael Phelps eat like 10,000 calories a day when he trains just to maintain his lean weight?
I should learn how to swim this summer.
He does, but people not the olympic level won't burn nearly as much. I imagine lots of olympic athletes have crazy calorie burns.
Or Manny Pacquiao who is 5'6", weighs 153 pounds, and eats 7,000 calories a day. But most people can't train like these guys.
I'm with RedCrow9...I have been using kettlebells and just love it! I bought a tape from Lauren Brooks and she is really working me out.
The best full body workout is one that you'll do.
My left shoulder begs to differ. Generally, swimming is low impact. However, shoulder injuries and strain are common in competitive or distance swimmers and triathletes (we tend to use arms more than legs when we swim to save the legs for the other two phases).
I find that swimming helps overall tone my core but certainly hasn't helped me build too much muscle except maybe in the shoulders and arms but I also lift so it's hard to tell what is from swimming. Now, biking? That added incredible tone and strength to my calves!
That reminds me of this.