Should You Combine Your Gym and Swimming Regimens?

As any personal trainer will tell you, swimming is one of the best exercises there is. It strengthens your whole body, tones your muscles, and is beneficial for your respiratory and cardiovascular health, all while being a low-impact exercise with minimal risk of injury. 

Weightlifting is quite a different beast. It targets individual muscle groups and requires specialized equipment and careful planning to achieve the best results. It’s also highly effective when it comes to losing weight and building large, powerful muscles.

So what would happen if you combined these two types of exercise by working out at one of San Diego’s gyms with pools? Is it even necessary to go to a gym if you’re swimming regularly? Keep reading to learn more.

Can you get in shape by just swimming?

It depends on what your goals are. If you simply want to stay healthy and active, swimming alone can be more than enough. However, if you’re looking to build up your strength and get larger muscles, you’ll probably need to incorporate weightlifting into your workout regimen.

Let’s look at the main benefits of these two types of exercise:


  • It works your entire body
  • It builds physical endurance
  • It tones your muscles
  • It’s low impact (good for people with arthritis, injuries, etc.)
  • It’s beneficial for heart and lung health
  • It helps burn calories
  • It improves your sleep
  • It helps with muscle recovery
  • It’s safe for children and pregnant women
  • It’s affordable (doesn’t require access to costly equipment)


  • It builds up physical strength
  • It builds larger muscles
  • It enables you to target specific muscle groups
  • It speeds up your metabolism
  • It improves your self-confidence
  • It improves the quality of your sleep
  • It improves your heart health
  • It causes your body to produce mood-improving endorphins

As you can see, while there’s some overlap between them, both weightlifting and swimming affect your body in different ways. Swimming is primarily a cardio exercise, while weightlifting is a strength exercise. Combining these two types of workout can have extremely beneficial effects on your long-term health, physical looks, and personal happiness.

Is swimming better than going to a gym?

As explained above, weightlifting and swimming differ widely in how they affect a person’s body. Neither of them is better than the other: rather, they should be combined together to achieve the best results.

That being said, there are some groups of people who, due to age, health problems, and other factors may not be able to effectively train at a gym, but who can still reap significant benefits from swimming.

These groups include:

  • People with underlying conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues that make weightlifting difficult, uncomfortable, or dangerous. 
  • Young kids whose bodies are still not mature enough to partake in strenuous exercises such as weight lifting. 
  • Elderly individuals are generally advised to avoid lifting heavy weights unless they have already been doing it for many years.

Where can I find the best San Diego gyms with pools?

Where can I find the best San Diego gyms with pools?

Having both a well-equipped gym and a great swimming pool at a single location is a must if you’re looking to reap the full benefits of a training regimen that includes both swimming and weightlifting. Here at The Plunge San Diego, we offer all of that and more!

Located a couple blocks from the Maruta Gardner Playground, we are a historic swimming pool with a modern aesthetic and a fully retractable roof. In addition to public pool and gym services, we also offer water aerobics classes, poolside daycare, swimming lessons, and more. Visit us today.

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