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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 04-08-2007, 11:18 PM   #1
Irene Tosetti
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hi all
Martin Strel has just finished swimming the WHOLE Amazon river

I was amazed to see how fat he still is. It's really unlikely to swim 10 hours a day for 66 days, be a professional marathon swimmer, and yet have a high body fat percentage, don't you think?

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Old 04-08-2007, 11:30 PM   #2
Kevin Burns
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that's actually not that uncommon. in my college swim team we had a guy who was a long distance swimmer who was very overweight. after school he started running and only then did the weight fall off. i have never seen a short distance swimmer that was overweight though.
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:46 AM   #3
Cal Jones
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There's a theory that the body tends to hold on to the fat for insulation due to it being subjected to lower temperatures (cool/cold water) on a regular basis.
About 10 years back I had a corporate membership to a gym in the building where I worked. They had a nice pool so I swam in the mornings and did weights in the evenings. My shape changed a bit but I only started losing fat when I dumped the swimming and did intervals on a treadmill.
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:47 AM   #4
Lynne Pitts
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Moving to Fitness
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:09 AM   #5
Scott Borre
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Read Chapter 1 of Evolutionary Fitness (Google it). And then read his other article about being fat.

Heavy endurance/cardio training, and the focus on carb nutrition makes somebody fat. Same with marathon runners. They are what he calls "skinny fat."
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:13 AM   #6
William Tokash
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I swam in High School and our best long distace swimmer was chubby. I think it helped him float better and made him use less energy.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:55 AM   #7
Elliot Royce
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Being lean, I sink like a stone and expend more energy than I should trying to stay on top. That was my excuse for being a poor swimmer, until my wife pointed out that all the champions are lean as can be!

But having watched very fat German ladies swim across lakes with no apparent effort, I think the buoyancy effect cannot be underestimated. I mean look at sea lions and walruses, not the most cut of animals!
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:10 AM   #8
William Hunter
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Repeated and long duration immersion in cold water will cause you to retain body fat, for heat retention purposes.

I saw a documentary on, I believe, the first and only person to swim from Alaska to Siberia across the Bering Strait. She trained exclusively in cool/cold water. She spoke at length about how the body will adapt to this type of regimen by keeping a layer of fat all over the body. She had a thick build but no pot belly. They zoomed in on her fingers, which were shaped like little sausages b/c of the layer of fat. She said it took years to develop that. Reference was made to Eskimos, who also tend to have fat fingers.

BTW, she also said she slept with the windows open, even in the dead of winter. She was of single-minded purpose.
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Old 04-16-2007, 03:30 PM   #9
John Wopat
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I think distance swimming chubbiness is a function of water temperature and the buoyant effect of fat. most bodies of water where long distance swims occur are in the 60's and 70's, temperatures significantly less than our body temperature of 98.6 The layer of fat both insulates and floats the swimmer, which enables them to swim on the surface of the water without kicking their legs too hard. In a sprint, the kick is highly propulsive, but in a long swim the kick mainly keeps the legs up and reduces drag in the water. Wetsuits artifically create a buoyant effect which is why they are so popular in tri's amongst skinny runners and cyclists. I've been in open water swims in which a competitor wearing a wet suit may not qualify for any award.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:04 AM   #10
Matt Emery
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Re: Marathon swimmer and very fat?

I was in an amateur swim team for a while and was amazed that some of the fastest swimmers were quite overweight and looked "soft".

My hypothesis is that they become very efficient at the task, and therefore negate any ongoing adaptation.
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