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Best prep/training for spearfishing

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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take a breath and relax..
Apr 26, 2001
Hi all, Joe here back after a looong absence from the boards...
Well im back and need to get back into diving, it was the thought of that which kept me going the last year through some pretty rough times... anyway I want to start training seriously again, I am not into competitions of any sort but love spearfishing and underwater photograhy so what are the best methods to train your body to cope with the stresses involved in these.
As many of you know Im based in the UK, am buying a dive kayak so will be paddling to sites all over, that said I will rarely dive below 10-15m (which as it has been so long would be pushing it at the moment) but need the time at depth to do what im there for, it would also be nice to know I can dive deeper... say up to 30m to reach some obscure reef or wreck. My pool and ocean access are limited as is my time in all honesty so ideally id like mostly land based exercises, as for training equipment, I have free weights a bike and probally a rowing machine in the coming weeks. Oh and just to make life harder for anyone with suggestions my running ability is severly depleated thanks to: shortened achillies tendons, tearing both calf muscles and breaking both knees, thankfully not all at once but the impact involved in running is a bitch! Anyway let the training plans role... I reckon on half hour evening and morning freetime can be found in my schedule and plenty though the day but my job involves sitting on my ass, so maybe some static/breathing.... let me know what you think.
Cheers Joe
Sorry if my answer sounds darn brief

but for spearfishing (and anything else) the best is to spearfish a lot. Pool won't help you. Just dive, dive, dive. statics and dynamics may assist but there is no substitute for the real thing which is OCEAN EXPLORATION.

Good luck mate, gerard.
Hey Ivan

Are you located at Brisvegas? Because I am.

Just curious.

Regards, gerard.

What the hell is Brisvegas do you mean brisbane. No im from a place called wonga beach its 100km north of Cairns great place with great spearing been living here for 17years.


If your coming up this way on the holidays give us a yell and see if we can whack some fish.


With all due respect to Ivan and Gerard, I think there is something land based that can help you...

I think Thin_air could help you on this the best so I'll try to get him to this thread. If you ever get to a pool, you can try this: I take my camera, a puzzle, or a slate & writing utensil to the bottom of the deep end. I breath up slowly and do a breathhold for a minute. I then(without taking another breath) slowly swim to the bottom of the pool (make sure you have a spotter!) and then work on whatever it is that I have down there for as long as I can. I do this quite a few times. Sooner or later your dive reflex kicks in and you soon forget that you're not breathing. Pretty cool.

For land based, I like to do nautilus equipment. Again, I'll breath up and do a breath hold from anywhere b/w 30secs and a minute, then do 8-12 reps of about 65% of my max possible weight. This is truly amazing because your burn for breathing dissappears initially and seems to stem later from a different alarm in your body. :confused: For me, my need to breath signal is coming from my throat, but after the reps it comes from my lungs. I think Thin_air does this w/ pushups. I've tried it and it works well too. Probably safer as well.

Anyways, good luck,
dryland training...

i usually do apnea push-ups and situps, and these seem to work well, i am probably going to set up a chin up bar soon and will start doing apnea chin ups for the first part of the hold, then probably do pushups after the first contraction...(blacking out while doing a chinup could get painful)
i have also tried doing apnea "8-count body builders" but the jumping up part made me dizzy...(after 2-3)
i have done apnea while doing 1 or 2 legged squats (no weights) when doing 2 legged squats, you can get quite a few in :D (a good moral booster)
another thing i have tried are flutter kicks in apnea (note: do flutter kicks while breathing for a few sessions prior, otherwise you abs might burn depending on what you were doing before for ab exercises) the nice thing about flutter kicks is you dont notice the contractions as much (just time them with your leg lifting)
while reading a book i sometimes hold my breath for a page, then breath for a page... (depends how big the font is :duh )

i always hold my breath while stretching, really just a habit now
i did apnea walking for a while, but stopped because my parents did like me walking around the house looking like im about to die..

i stopped using weights for apnea when 50-65% of my max got unsafe :t

when you get access to the rowing machine, i would suggest using it to get in shape for the ocean kayak, so when you get to the dive site you will still be fresh for the dive (doesnt have to be in apnea)

the key to any exercise (in apnea or not) is to do them correctly
a few other tips...
-for pushups vary between tricept, wide grip, fingertip (works your forearms like crazy), clapping pushups, regular, and dive bombers,
-for situps, vary between crunches (legs raised), 1/2 situps, normal situps, reverse (bring your legs to your chest), atomic (a reverse and regular at the same time) ect.
-stretch, not just you lungs/ribcage, but all of your body, you will feel better after a workout, and you body will re-oxygenate faster

hope this helps,
dryland training

I find myself inside a parking structure 2 nights a week and have enjoyed the following execise. I take the elevator up so that i do not start winded. At the top of the stairs I go through the list of things in my head just like I would do when Im diving. Relax, mellow breathing, a big last breath or two, spit out my snorkel etc. And then begin my desent ( down the stairs, but trying my best to visualize an underwater scenario. On my stairs, after each flight, I have to double back to descend the next flight. When I reach a flight Im comfortable at I stop and relax, just Like I would when I dive- for this exercise I practice a ten count. Then I start back to the top (surface). Always keeping in mind that if I dont make it back...I have found that doing a set of 5+ of these twice a week really helps me relax underwater, because I am more in tune with my body/
I use more of a hybrid form of training : the 16oz curl. These work very well at your local pub.

Keep it simple - basic "workout" routine to keep yourself in shape - the only training you'll really benifit from is spending time in the water.

Originally posted by Amphibious
Keep it simple - basic "workout" routine to keep yourself in shape - the only training you'll really benifit from is spending time in the water.Willer

Come on Willer...you don't believe any training is benificial?...and the only training benificial to Spec Ops must be war itself or sprinters only benifit from time running on the track:confused:

The training benifits of visualization are well documented for physical activities, that stair routine sounds like exactly that to me. Do you think that the only training that can benifit a constant ballast comp. diver is constant ballast dives? What about building up your co2 tolerance(much different than regular cardio!) bet that helps alittle too. Probably why competitive divers actually train.
Hey Ivan

When I finish Uni (hopefully in a couple of years-school teacher), I'll visit you to catch big fish, wherever it is: PNG, FIJI, VANUATU.

Yeap Brisvegas is Brisbane, or Brissie the "try hard" gold capital of Queensland. Shame I live here, but circumstances are circumstances.:head :head

Regards, gerard.
I guess I should have elaborated a bit - what I meant was the BEST Training you can get is to be in the water.

My thoughts are that while you can Dry-Train for the Apnea side of the sport, there still isn't any good way to train for the hunting part. Sure they're both related, and cross training is important, but traits like stalking, marksmanship, fluid movement, and the "hunter" mindset are hard to practice with out acctually being out in the blue.

in reguards to Special Operations troops and all armed forces - a large degree of training is placed on becoming physically fit, but with the military you can arange live fire X's and battlefeild drills. Build a kill-house, use simunition or electronic/laser designation to produce a "kill". It's kinda hard to get the fish to coperate for some simulated training. maybe a foam tipped shaft? :duh

I still practice basic freediving workout in the pool to keep the "edge", but nothing beats just getting out there.

the stair routine does sound interesting though....

sounds better...that other statement didnt really sound like you...to generalized;)
hi Gerard

Yeah Brisbane is a bit BIG for me I like it up here the waters hot and theres not so many cars. Anytime bro our boats are always ready, going out to outer reef spearing tomorow actually. Thin air I respect what your saying but I dont think there is to many spearos out there who do apnea chin ups, push ups whatever. Not in this part of the world anyway. I think that is more for the pure apnea freaks.

What I learnt so far is to know your shaft trajectory well with your usual gun configuration. Extreme good viz is something I must learn to handle....I underestimate distance too often. Anyone coming from clear water can shoot in murky water (with lots of headache:eek: ) but not easy vice versa.

I am a bubble blower so I don't do apnea training. However, lately I feel that the less excited I get over a big fish, the more relax the fish moves,thus easier shots. Somehow fishes can sense ur over-excited body language. Jumpy swing/aiming and so on is bad. I am already so noisy blowing bubble, the best I can do is control my breathing rythm. Everytime my breathing rythm gets off beat, fishes know and scoot off :confused:

Hey Iya,

Last thing I want to do is pervert this thread with talks of techy scuba gear ;) :naughty , but have you ever considered trying a rebreather to reduce your noise. I've never used one, but I hear that they are pretty quiet (compared to standard scuba). A local dive shop lady has been trying to get me to give it a go......I am hesitant.

Good to see you back on the threads.



Rebreathers are more trouble than there worth. There are so many more things that can go wrong on them compared to normal scuba gear.

The local lady your talking about didn't even have a PO2 gauge on her unit last time I checked, and never actually knows what she is breathing. She also doesn't have a true rebreather- only a semi-closed one. That means ever so many breaths one gets released into the water.
Go to the tech diving thread and read about the Aussie that did the 110m free ascent after his rebreather failed on him. If you miss a simple detail on a rebreather it can kill you before you know it.

I know that some divers on here probably use one, but I haven't found them to be as useful as solid freediving skills.

To me freediving is all about getting rid of the extra baggage that you don't need.

Just my $0.02


I will never use a rebreather.
- I probably die with one.
- It is very quiet and thus unfair to fishes.
- Too much 02 mathematic underwater, I think of fish only + air
- I have constant equalizing problem all the time and need to get reg out of mouth to swallow easy, this is end-of-story cocktail for rebreather....:D :D

- A lot of maintenance. Rely on sensors and so on. I don't even want to do Nitrox. I want simple bullet proof system. I am only techy head on guns... that's it.

So how's ur MT0 coming ?
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