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At the Gym: Squats vs. Jogging for performance

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Oct 2, 2003
Ive wondered this for quite some time now.
Ive heard from more than one source that training your legs for freediving by doing squats(or any heavy low rep lifting) can lead to cramps and decreased performance. This makes sense to me and I would think that running or any sustained type of low impact training would be better.
BUT, from what I have read on deeperblue, running/aerobic excercise can decrease performance. Ive seen some posts talking about more sprint type training and not saying this is wrong, but this goes against what I would think would be true. Im no expert by any means, just somebody that tries to rationalize what im doing when I train.
So I guess my real question on the matter is, should I be doing squats to build up my power, or should I focus on more distance/endurance type training?
Thanks for any imput guys.
Aerobic training teaches your muscles how to burn oxygen. Aerobic training increases your VO2 max. The higher your VO2 max, the faster you burn oxygen. Is that what you want? To burn oxygen at an extremely fast rate? If so, then do aerobic training. Examples of aerobic adaptations include:
- Increased growth of blood vessels and capillaries (to allow more blood to flow to the muscle, allowing more oxygen to be consumed per second)
- Increased level of aerobic enzymes (allowing more oxygen to be consumed per second)
- Increased quantities of slow twitch muscles fiber (the type of muscle fiber which is good at consuming oxygen at a fast rate)

Anaerobic/power training teaches your muscles to store as much energy as possible, relying on non-oxygen energy stores for power.

Perhaps now you can make your choice.
So Eric,

What about the fact that power weight training increases your leam muscle mass and therefore increasing your basal metabolic rate. Does this not have a negative impact on your apnea?

If not, what training methods do you suggest? Sprintwork? Weights?


I run almost every day, just for 30 minutes, on the beach (its tough in the sand). At the end of the run i sprint for about 100 metres. After running i do "tum and bum" exercises.

I do squats about 3 x week with no weights and plenty of leg exercises for toning the legs.

I have found that since i have been doing this training (and also training with monofin) my breathing power has greatly improved as has the power of my fin kick. And i have burned off a lot of fat from just the running. (hooray) :friday :friday My legs are definitely stronger.

Before I took up running i found that my breathups weren't effective and i wasn't fit enough to "stay down" or get down for that matter.

I haven't had cramps at all (unless i am dehydrated which happens to me at least once a week here - due to the nature of the water/food we get upset stomach quite a bit) and definitely notice that my fin kick is more powerful.

I also go for Balinese massages once a week - its incredible how your muscles relax afterwards and how more ready you are for you next session of training. The skin tone improves too. ;)

I dont have the scientific explanations like Eric does, but just a personal experience.
Hi Island sands!

I must agree with you!

I walk 10km a day, six days a week and since I started I have doubled my depth and bottom time!
Aerobic training

Eric, you are right - Aerobic training increases your VO2 Max, but it is not VO2 Max what interests us.
More important for freediving is VO2 while relaxing(static) or doing slow pace of Dynamic or CW.
Elite aerobic athletes will have much lower VO2 resting as well as while freediving, than normal population.
I've done almost no aerobic exercise in the last 6-7 months and i'm now diving deeper than I've ever dived before. i'm not saying that's the reason, but not doing aerobic exercise has definitely not held me back...
for me is good

I think both are good for us Aerobic training and anaerobic for freediving

the life is a balance


Thanks for the input guys!
So let me get this straight...
If I do cardio, Ill have more indurance, increase my V02 max and get my blood flowing more effeciently....but not necissarily increase the effective use of oxygen in my body.
By doing higher weight type activities, my cardiovascular system wont be as strong...but my body will use the available oxygen much more effectively.
So to be the devils advocate here, im getting the message that a huge muscle laden power lifter would be a better freediver than a lean in shape runner/rower/cyclist..etc?
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Re: Ok

Originally posted by nickw
So to be the devils advocate here, im getting the message that a huge muscle laden power lifter would be a better freediver than a lean in shape runner/rower/cyclist..etc?

Although it has never been proven, I'd bet the farm that a 100m or 200m sprinting track athlete could out-freedive a marathon runner. I'm talking about DIVING, not static. For static, cardio might work quite well.

Further, for shallow dives, cardio might work 'reasonably' well, but for deep dives, anaerobic training is the king. At great depth, all the blood is sucked out of your arms and legs. Without blood pumping, the aerobic athlete's muscles are helpless (I know because I was once in that situation, and being unable to kick down there is not very fun).

After switching from aerobic to anaerobic training, my 'fun' dives have gone from 2 minutes to 3 minutes (50% increase).
makes sense

Ok, Im following you here...muscles in tune with sprint style workouts use glycogen stores as opposed to massive amounts of blood. Aerobically trained muscles need the blood, which in not there due to blood shift! Makes sense...
When you say anaerobic helps your diving at depth, how deep do you think you need to go to get real benefits from anaerobic excercise?
And, for some joe nobody like myself...trying to improve and work my way up to the deeper depths, should I do cardio until I get to a certain depth...then switch over when I get to a level that demands it? Or should I just stick with sprint training even though it might hurt my performance initially?
Oh yeah, Sorry for the Q's...but I do appreciate your input....if I am 'cardio trained' can my muscles be 'sprint trained' to use O2 effectively without years of re-training?
Thanks alot!

if I am 'cardio trained' can my muscles be 'sprint trained' to use O2 effectively without years of re-training?
Essentially yes, when in reference specifically to freediving requirements, since your depth will be regulated by many other factors. So, chances are you will be able to increase the effectiveness of your legs at the same rate as your other adaptations (lung flexibility, static duration, equalizing technique, finning technique, etc...). Now that is if you are fairly consistent and focused towards your training. I have mainly been involved in cardio all my life as well, and my legs are not what stop me yet.
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