Does swimming count as "recovery" from lifting weights?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 06, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I decided to get back into weight lifting as I continue my fat loss (I've lost 10 of 20 desired pounds).

Friday, I did upper body weights on the machine at the gym. Not super heavy, but I did feel it the next day.

The next day, I did some swimming and upper-body-only treading of water (e.g. not using my legs to assist).

I "felt" it in my upper body as I was in the pool.

I've always heard you need to give adequate rest and repair time after lifting weights.

Does that only count for people much more serious about it than me?

Did my 30 minutes of upper body water-treading harm my recovery, or am I just over-thinking this?

Thanks, Mike

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4 Answers

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on May 06, 2012
at 03:27 PM

Sean hit the nail on the head. Active recovery can help prevent overtraining or DOMS. Granted the method use is not to taxing. Joel Jameson (writer of 8 weeks out) recommends HICT for active recovery & suggest swimming on his book.


on May 06, 2012
at 03:58 PM

You're experiencing DOMS, and I would say that experienced lifters need LESS recovery time between workouts than novice ones, like yourself. However, I would count swimming (anything besides sprints) as recovery, as it provides great blood flow to the muscles- assisting the repair process- and does not stress the CNS (unless it's ice water you're swimming in).


on May 06, 2012
at 02:44 PM

I'd just call it active recovery. It's certainly not breaking down the muscles like you would be lifting. That being said, sometimes the muscles need a full break too. Take a breather!



on May 06, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Can't anything be considered active recovery if done at the appropriate pace and difficulty level?

If you aren't a good swimmer and not using an appropriate stroke then its probably not active recovery!

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