SwimFit is a swimming workout designed to increase fitness, endurance, strength, flexibility, metabolism and help aid fat loss. Cassie Stylianou jumped in
Swimfit is a challenging all body swim workout whose creators say burns an average of 500-800 calories a session. Launched in January, I was up for trying it out, though I’m not the strongest swimmer and didn’t know what to expect. What I got was 45 minutes of hard slog. I didn’t think you could feel hot in water but I was proven wrong.
At 125 metres deep, I wondered why there was a lifeguard on duty but that quickly became apparent. Our warm up was ten minutes of swimming lengths (16 metres long) so that the instructor, Ryan Burns, could see our strengths and weaknesses and then advise us on how to better our technique.
We then had to swim one length up with a float, leave it on the side, swim back in our chosen style (no doggy paddle), pick up the float, swim back and repeat. The float meant you focused on strengthening your lower body and stamina, whilst giving your upper body a rest. You would think the float would make it easier but since everything is dependant on your legs, it tires you out quickly.
The float meant you focused on strengthening your lower body and stamina, whilst giving your upper body a rest
The hardest part of SwimFit soon followed – a front crawl using only one arm. I was advised to really drag my arm through the water and lift high. This was unbelievably difficult and I have to admit that I had to keep stopping. Perhaps I would have done better if there was a shark behind me but instead I ended up swallowing half the pool.
Perhaps I would have done better if there was a shark behind me but instead I ended up swallowing half the pool
Luckily for me, there was another girl who was trying the class out for the first time too. It’s fair to say she found it difficult. However, the girl who was on her fourth week was like a machine, or for a better word, a mermaid. Practice really does seem to make perfect. (There’s no need to worry about swimming into another person as you quickly become accustomed to the fact that the more advanced swimmer will pass you by).
The final section was based on a Rated Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale rate which measures the intensity of your workout, one being complete rest and ten being extremely difficult.
One length would be seven out of ten intensity meaning 70 per cent speed and effort with 30 per cent rest whereas the length back would be three out of ten intensity, so 30 per cent speed, 70 per cent rest, giving yourself some time to recover – and boy, do you need that time.
Ryan says SwimFit classes have been ‘designed for the abled swimmer and though it’s not necessarily advised for beginners, don’t be shy to learn new skills and strengthen.’
SwimFit has been designed for the abled swimmer so is perfect for Triathletes or people wanting swimming specific goals
If you’re not the most advanced swimmer, maybe check if the gym you’re going to has different levels of difficulty. At the Nuffield Gym that I attended in Bank, Tuesdays are more difficult than Friday lessons as `Tuesdays are focused more on technique and strength whereas Fridays are focused a little more on cardio and endurance,` says Ryan.
Although it was hard, it was also fun and I felt so refreshed afterwards, and proud that I didn’t give up. I can’t tell you how many lengths I did but I can tell you that my body felt the benefits the next day, especially my legs.
Instead of seeing swimming simply as a leisure, remember that it ‘can be one of the most effective ways to gain fat loss, fitness and muscular endurance.’
SwimFit can be one of the most effective ways to gain fat loss, fitness and muscular endurance
So, if you love the water, fancy a workout that is going to benefit your whole body and is different to the usual classes out there, then SwimFit is right up your lane.
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