Is It Better To Swim Before Or After Gym?

December 12, 2022 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “is it better to swim before or after gym?”. Swimming is a great full body exercise that is one of the best low impact forms of cardio that you can do.

This article will examine how to fit swimming into your routine depending on your goals. For some people it would be better to swim before going to the gym. For others this advice would not be good.

Is It Better To Swim Before Or After Gym?

Primarily, whether it is better to swim before or after gym will depend on your goals. If you want to swim and lift weights but are prioritising your swimming performance, it would be better to swim before lifting weights.

If your main priority is to improve your performance in the gym, you should lift weights before swimming. For peak performance in both activities, it would be advisable to swim on separate days to your gym workouts. 



What Is Your Priority?

If your main priority in this stage of the game is lifting weights and improving your gym performance, it makes sense to prioritise this in your training.

You should lift weights before your swimming sessions. The swimming can be treated as a fun and relaxing activity. It could also be your main form of cardio in your training if you are truly prioritising weights.

On the contrary, if you are at the stage in the game where swimming is your main priority for exercise. You would want to really prioritise the swimming to speed up performance improvements and get a lot better. 

If you want to focus on improving both activities simultaneously it is advisable to do your swimming sessions on separate days to your gym workouts. This will also serve as active recovery and aid in your overall recovery from weight workouts.

The only important consideration is how strenuous your swimming sessions will be. If you plan on doing very long three hour swimming sessions with moderate intensity on off days, this will actually hinder your recovery from weight workouts.

As a result, your gym performance would suffer slightly. All these factors have to be taken into account when deciding how to structure your gym and swimming workouts into your routine.

Eddie Hall Swimming Case Study

Eddie Hall is a very well known British strongman. He won the World’s Strongest Man in 2017 and was the first man in history to deadlift 500kg!

Some say in his prime, he was the strongest man who ever lived – quite the accolade. What many people don’t know is that Eddie Hall had a background in swimming.

His mum was a swimming teacher and got him into the pool from a young age. To use Eddie’s words, she forced him to “sink” or “swim”. By the time he was 10, Eddie was training 14 hours a week in the water and had his own nutritionist and coach.

At the age of 11, Hall was ranked number one in the UK in all the freestyle distances from 50m to 1500m. Eddie later gave up competitive swimming after a fall out with his coach. 

He then went on to thrive in strongman and credits swimming in playing a big role in developing his work ethic and discipline. It also helped to build up his lung capacity and aerobic capabilities.

This gave him a significant edge in his view when it came to competing in strongman at a high level. This just goes to further illustrate how swimming can be a great way to compliment lifting weights.

Swimming is one of the best forms of cardio and is also great for improving shoulder mobility. Shoulder injuries are very common in the gym, by improving your overall mobility you will be less likely to suffer injuries while working out in the gym.

Final Thoughts

Is it better to swim before or after gym? The big takeaway from this article is that it all comes down to priorities. If swimming is your main priority in your training right now then you should put that first and do that before your gym workouts.

If the gym is your main focus for making improvement, you should put that ahead of swimming. You can also focus on both at the same time to equal degrees, but it would be best to segregate sessions on separate days.

Paying attention to volume and intensity is critical as well. If your swimming sessions are too long and strenuous, your performance in the gym will suffer. There is a trade-off that has to be made in this regard.

One of the best ways to move both your gym workout performance and swimming performance forward, is to use swimming as your only form of cardio. This way you can eliminate normal cardio from your workouts in the gym and use swimming to fill this role. 

If you have any comments on this topic please leave them below. As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

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