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Getting Fit for Free Diving

Posted by Silverback on 16 October 2007 at 09:17 PM

Starting Out in the Gym (October 2007)

A Brief description of what I do to keep fit when I am not in the water. This approach should help those starting out to acquire an adequate level of fitness to participate safely in this extreme sport.

Success in Spearfishing is dependent on attitude and motivation. Part of that will be reflected in your ability to become fit and stay fit. 1 Parachute Battalion had a great motto: “TRAIN HARD, FIGHT EASY”.

When it comes to Spearfishing we could say: “TRAIN HARD, FISH EASY”.
Day 1: Upper body work-out

Bench press
Shoulder press
Lateral pull-down
Bicep curl
Tricep extention

Perform 3 sets per exercise at approximately 50-70% of maximum. The type of exercise can be substituted if you are more comfortable with another exercise or you become bored with the routine.

15-30 minutes on an orbital aerobic machine (treadmill, bicycle or rowing machine can be substituted). The length of time and the level of resistance will be determined by your level of fitness.

Day 2: Aerobic training
Aerobic weight circuit of approximately 45 minutes. Perform the exercises with light weights and high frequency. Keep in control of the moving weight to avoid injury. The circuit I use allows 50 seconds for each exercise with 10 seconds to move to the next machine. I use a step machine between each exercise.
Follow with 15-30 minutes on the orbital machine.

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Lower body work-out

Leg extentions
Leg curls
Calf raises
Abdominal crunches
Side stretches
Back extentions
15-30minutes on the orbital machine

Day 5: Aerobic training

Day 6: Rest
I use the time travelling to and from work to practice and train my breathing using a Powerlung (link included below). The training routine is as described in the Powerlung Training Manual.
Several similar devices are available.
I do try to practice static breathholds regularly. Most of the training for statics centres around my relaxation method (see below). I will do 5-10 2 minute breathholds per training session and only occasionlly concentrate on maximums of 4 minutes or longer.

I have performed statics while exercising on an orbital aerobic walking machine. At this stage I am usually very tired and only attempt to hold my breath for 20 steps at a time. Again I would perform 5-10 of these in a session. This can be incorporated into your 15-30 minute aerobic sessions as indicated previously.
With the approach of a competition or a spearfishing trip, I start performing dynamic sessions in a 50m pool. For me this is also an opportunity to strengthen my ankles and calves and re-acquaint myself with my basic gear.

I swim one length underwater followed by a recovery length on the surface. Start with 10 lengths in total and build up to a comfortable level allowing 1/2 to 1 hour of finning. I manage approximately 50 lengths every 1/2 hour.

SHALLOW WATER BLACKOUT is covered in some detail later in this site. I should warn anyone who attempts dynamic apnoea to do so only with some-one watching you. I have heard of many fatal accidents involving this form of training.

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