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  1. #1
    Registered User Hannah73Louise's Avatar
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    Olympic female swimmers' physiques

    just watching these incredible athletes and I'm intrigued by their physiques. I think my body perception must be altered by hanging round too many bodybuilding sources because I'm surprised by how much body fat they carry.

    Obviously they are incredibly fit to do what they do, but to me a lot of them look almost 'flabby' for want of a better word. Is it a specific thing related to swimming? How can they do so much cardio and not be ripped to pieces? I don't understand.....

    Just wondered if anyone else was watching and knew why....
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    Banned Ion26's Avatar
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    They're not flabby. I didn't see a single one with gut or stomach bulge.
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    Slowly sucking less... jb4476's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hannah73Louise View Post
    just watching these incredible athletes and I'm intrigued by their physiques. I think my body perception must be altered by hanging round too many bodybuilding sources because I'm surprised by how much body fat they carry.

    Obviously they are incredibly fit to do what they do, but to me a lot of them look almost 'flabby' for want of a better word. Is it a specific thing related to swimming? How can they do so much cardio and not be ripped to pieces? I don't understand.....

    Just wondered if anyone else was watching and knew why....
    Because the sport is not weight bearing, so unlike track sports, carrying a bit of extra body fat is not really a hindrance.
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  4. #4
    Terrified of Bulking Flashkicker's Avatar
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    Fat floats. Swimming was easier when I was fat lol
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    Queen Miranda to you Miranda's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jb4476 View Post
    Because the sport is not weight bearing, so unlike track sports, carrying a bit of extra body fat is not really a hindrance.
    that ^ and buoyancy. when you're in water, gravity pretty much goes out of the window.

    for most athletes on the ground, any unnecessary bodyweight (fat and depending on the sport, muscle) drags them down/makes them slower.

    and 'cardio' in itself won't make you lose bodyfat/ripped in the first place.
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    Registered User FrogInABlender's Avatar
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    Once you're in the water, size goes out the window, as the above posters pointed out. That's why elephant seals are so sluggish on the beach, but turn into ballerinas under the waves (Not comparing the phsyique of the swimmers to an elephant seal, but you get what I mean).
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    Originally Posted by Ion26 View Post
    They're not flabby. I didn't see a single one with gut or stomach bulge.
    Check out the pics of Aussie swimmer Liesel Jones that were all over the media last week.
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  8. #8
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    well whats weird that i noticed is the guys swimmers are ripped and the girls do look flabby.
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    Slowly sucking less... jb4476's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drgnframe24 View Post
    well whats weird that i noticed is the guys swimmers are ripped and the girls do look flabby.
    The weird fact that you are noticing is that women are physiologically adapted to carry more body fat than men do. Remember all that hormone **** you learned in high school bio? Why do you think male and female body fat distribution patterns are so distinct?
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  10. #10
    Registered User Hannah73Louise's Avatar
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    You'd think the water resistance would promote muscle gain though. I guess they probably are carrying a good amount of muscle mass just under a layer of body fat. If you compare their physiques to female sprinters for example, the difference is night and day. Maybe it has something to do with the body being in cold water? I do find it fascinating - the human body is so complex.
    I definitely won't ever be taking up swimming to look good though......
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    gotta reinstall dat ****ty firefox, pics don't appear.
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    Originally Posted by drgnframe24 View Post
    well whats weird that i noticed is the guys swimmers are ripped and the girls do look flabby.
    This. I dont find the women swimmers attractive at all.

    cept Stephanie Rice shes a hottie
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    Originally Posted by jb4476 View Post
    The weird fact that you are noticing is that women are physiologically adapted to carry more body fat than men do. Remember all that hormone **** you learned in high school bio? Why do you think male and female body fat distribution patterns are so distinct?
    This... as well as people are comparing apples to oranges in this case. For olympic swimmers (or any olympic athlete) power, speed and endurance are what are important compared to BODYBUILDERS (who you're comparing physiques with) for whom aesthetics is important. Having large muscles like a body builder does not mean your muscles are as strong, as powerful or can endure for as long as an Olympic athelete (or any athlete for that matter). In the same way, you can't compare olympic and powerlifters to bodybuilders - they are different sports.

    In addition to which I would imagine that the dieting required to get a bodybuilder down to competition weight would be a hinderance on training for an olympic athlete. You should check out the women's weightlifting - tiny women lifting massive weights, 1-3 times. Those women aren't by any means as muscular as body builders and nowhere near as lean – apples and oranges.
    Last edited by jenl; 07-30-2012 at 07:19 AM.
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    Queen Miranda to you Miranda's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hannah73Louise View Post
    You'd think the water resistance would promote muscle gain though. I guess they probably are carrying a good amount of muscle mass just under a layer of body fat. If you compare their physiques to female sprinters for example, the difference is night and day. Maybe it has something to do with the body being in cold water? I do find it fascinating - the human body is so complex.
    I definitely won't ever be taking up swimming to look good though......
    it seems like you imply swimming 'makes' you fat. does shot putting make you fat? or powerlifting? does gymnastics make you lean?

    how much bodyfat you carry is a function of diet, not training. swimmers keep theirs higher, because it is an advantage in water. track athletes keep their bodyfat lower, because it is an advantage on land. muscle size in any individual sport reflects how much power relative to endurance an athlete needs.

    you're projecting a BBing bias on athletes. BBers train for aesthetics, athletes train for performance. on elite levels, athetes' bodies reflect elite performance. that's where it gets skewy; people have difficulties understanding why elite athletes don't reflect the BB ideal - ripped to shreds - that supposedly should be the pinnacle of 'fitness' (hint: it isn't). yet 'ripped' has no other function than being aesthetic.
    Last edited by Miranda; 07-30-2012 at 04:25 PM.
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    Back at square one wakechica's Avatar
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    The girls doing breaststroke were quite muscular with lower BF. Freestyle is easier if you're a bit more buoyant. That's why triathletes wear 5mm+ wetsuits.
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    Originally Posted by Miranda View Post
    you're projecting a BBing bias on athletes. BBers train for aesthetics, athletes train for performance. on elite levels athete's bodies reflect elite performance. that's where it gets skewy; people have difficulties understanding why elite athletes don't reflect the BB ideal - ripped to shreds - that supposedly should be the pinnacle of 'fitness' (hint: it isn't). yet 'ripped' has no other function than being aesthetic.
    That's one of the things that's been the most interesting to me in watching the Olympics the last few days--taking particular notice of the completely different body types in the premier athletes of different sports. The thing that struck me about the swimmers, male and female--and what I thought this thread was gonna be about --is how they have those huge wide lats/backs and shoulders with comparatively small arms. It looks somewhat "odd" to my eye, having had my eye adapted to how people who lift for either strength or aesthetics look, but it's so very cool when you think of how their bodies are perfectly adapted for what they do. They have no need to be in perfect proportion, they need to have those parts of them that do the most work actually out of proportion. /captain obvious
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    I will need to find the thread again, but a while back there was one that had female athletes from all categories which posted their weight, height and sport. Its interesting to see the difference in the bodies of the athletes based off of what is needed for the sport.

    Edit: Found it
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...emale+athletes
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    Originally Posted by Echo814 View Post
    I will need to find the thread again, but a while back there was one that had female athletes from all categories which posted their weight, height and sport. Its interesting to see the difference in the bodies of the athletes based off of what is needed for the sport.

    Edit: Found it
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...emale+athletes
    Was going to post that myself. You beat me to it!
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    Originally Posted by freebirdmac View Post
    Was going to post that myself. You beat me to it!
    Great minds think a like lol. When I first read about the female swimmer that got slammed for having a less slender physique than previous years, this thread immediately came to mind. Elite athletes are a whole different animal when it comes to training, diet and how their body should be (body fat and muscle wise) to perform their sport optimally.
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  21. #21
    Registered User sy2502's Avatar
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    I'd kill my mom and sell her by the pound to look this flabby:

    I try to rep back, but I always neg back.

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  22. #22
    Queen Miranda to you Miranda's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    I'd kill my mom and sell her by the pound to look this flabby:

    do you think her sixpack was the secret to her success?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dara_Torres

    Dara Grace Torres (born April 15, 1967) is an American former college and international swimmer who is a twelve-time Olympic medalist. Torres is the first and only swimmer from the United States to compete in five Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008), and, at age 41, is the oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic team. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she competed in the 50-meter freestyle, 4x100-meter medley relay, and 4x100-meter freestyle relay, and won silver medals in all three events.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leisel_Jones

    Leisel Marie Jones OAM (born 30 August 1985 in Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia) is an Australian Olympic gold medalist swimmer. A participant in the 2000 Summer Olympics – at just 15 years old – and 2004 Summer Olympics, she was part of gold medal winning Australian team in the women's 4 100 metre medley relay at the Athens Games in 2004 and a gold medalist for 100 meter breaststroke in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

    On 17 March 2012 Jones earned selection to compete at the 2012 London Olympics and will be the first Australian swimmer to compete at four Olympic games.

    Jones is noted for employing a classical breaststroke technique, typified by a slow but deeper stroke cycle and also by her slow starts.[1] Along with South African champion Penny Heyns, she is regarded as one of the greatest breaststroke swimmers ever.
    Last edited by Miranda; 07-30-2012 at 04:48 PM.
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  23. #23
    Registered User sy2502's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Miranda View Post
    do you think her sixpack was the secret to her success?
    I was a competitive swimmer myself Miranda, I know pretty well what it takes. Nowhere did I even mention success vs body shape. Lately you have taken the habit of giving me s*hit for every post I make Miranda. I don't know what I have done to you, but take it down a notch. Or find another target for your sour attitude, because I have had quite enough of it.
    I try to rep back, but I always neg back.

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    Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    I was a competitive swimmer myself Miranda, I know pretty well what it takes. Nowhere did I even mention success vs body shape. Lately you have taken the habit of giving me s*hit for every post I make Miranda. I don't know what I have done to you, but take it down a notch. Or find another target for your sour attitude, because I have had quite enough of it.
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  25. #25
    Queen Miranda to you Miranda's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    I was a competitive swimmer myself Miranda, I know pretty well what it takes. Nowhere did I even mention success vs body shape.
    nope but you did single her out. torres is not the norm for female swimmers' physiques. and fwiw i don't see what she looks like matters in the first place.
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    Originally Posted by Miranda View Post
    nope but you did single her out. torres is not the norm for female swimmers' physiques. and fwiw i don't see what she looks like matters in the first place.
    Are you being deliberately obtuse? The title of the thread is "Olympic female swimmers' physiques" and the OP talks of swimmers being flabby. So I posted a picture of a non-flabby swimmer. Funny the extent to which you need to go to find fault in my post. Funny in the sad and grotesque sense, that is.
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    Queen Miranda to you Miranda's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    Are you being deliberately obtuse? The title of the thread is "Olympic female swimmers' physiques" and the OP talks of swimmers being flabby. So I posted a picture of a non-flabby swimmer. Funny the extent to which you need to go to find fault in my post. Funny in the sad and grotesque sense, that is.
    ya and i pointed out that she is an exception, not the norm. i also posted a pic and achievements of a rather flabby swimmer. she's not the norm either, btw.

    i must say i don't understand why you're so defensive - and dare i say, borderline aggressive - of others commenting on your comments.

    there's also no need to use the 'ooh she has something against me' tactic.
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    Bulking freebirdmac's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sy2502 View Post
    I'd kill my mom and sell her by the pound to look this flabby:

    She could inspire and has inspired a lot of "older" women who thought it was too late to look fit/good. You're one of the lucky ones, no need to kill and sell anyone You know how to do it.
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    Originally Posted by Miranda View Post
    ya and i pointed out that she is an exception, not the norm. i also posted a pic and achievements of a rather flabby swimmer. she's not the norm either, btw.

    i must say i don't understand why you're so defensive - and dare i say, borderline aggressive - of others commenting on your comments.

    there's also no need to use the 'ooh she has something against me' tactic.
    I don't know if you have been doing the same to others. But I have seen a pattern with you and my posts specifically. I could cite you specifics if you want. Or not. I don't care. But I am not going to take it laying down any more.
    I try to rep back, but I always neg back.

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    Pudgy Limping Moderator ctgblue's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hannah73Louise View Post
    just watching these incredible athletes and I'm intrigued by their physiques. I think my body perception must be altered by hanging round too many bodybuilding sources because I'm surprised by how much body fat they carry.

    Obviously they are incredibly fit to do what they do, but to me a lot of them look almost 'flabby' for want of a better word. Is it a specific thing related to swimming? How can they do so much cardio and not be ripped to pieces? I don't understand.....

    Just wondered if anyone else was watching and knew why....
    A big mis-perception is that the male swimmers got that ripped just by swimming. wehich is not the case.
    Most guys who just swim are long and lanky, but not ripped.

    Swimming in cool water can actually trigger the body to retain fat as insulation, hence some of the smoother figures. Also, the amount of food that needs to be consumed around competition time for an endurance athlete is pretty high, especially in carbs.

    Most of the really lean or 'ripped' physiques come from not just swimming.
    it is a full lifestyle of swimming, running, some serious weight training, genetic makeup, etc.. and it is their LIVES leading up to these games.
    So remember where the 'ripped physiques' come from, and tell your friends that just swimming isn't going to flatten that tummy by itself. it will help, but there's a lot more to it.

    Every games I hear the same thing, and nobody gets it, there is no magic bullet.
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