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Proper Training??

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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SpearoPimp

New Member
Jun 9, 2004
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I spearfish and have practiced freediving some over the summer. And now i want to start a rigourous training schedule and become a really good freediver. MY goals are to be able to spear deeper for longer periods of time. When i triained in the past I would rest on the surface for 45 sec and dive down and swim around slowly for 60. I would repeat this cycle for 30 min+. I\

I want to know how the "real" freedivers train. Can some one explain to me how I should train or direct me to a resource or website that will show me how.
 

quasimoto

New Member
Oct 27, 2004
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I think as a general rule you should always spend at least twice as long on the surface as you did underwater on your last dive. i.e. if you did a 60 second dive, then spend two minutes on the surface before you dive again. There are other ways to train without compromising your safety
good luck!:)
 

Panos Lianos

New Member
Oct 31, 2004
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It all depends on what you want to train for.

A person who trains for freediving only (no spearfishing training) would do different things than a person who only does spearfishing. This does not mean that if you train for freediving you can’t spearfish. But in order to reach your max potential, you should follow a special training program designed to prepare you exactly for what you want to do. This time of year I focus more on strength (weight training) and less on aerobic work. Aerobic conditioning was earlier in the year.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t do ANY aerobic work or statics. It just means that at this point I pay MORE attention to strength.

So I guess my answer is: Your training should depend on what you want to do AND when you want to do it (when you want to be in top form).
 

SpearoPimp

New Member
Jun 9, 2004
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i ordered the book manual of freediving the other day. so i guess that will tell me what i need to know
 

subaquaticus

Fond of the Red Sea
Oct 10, 2004
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quasimoto said:
I think as a general rule you should always spend at least twice as long on the surface as you did underwater on your last dive. i.e. if you did a 60 second dive, then spend two minutes on the surface before you dive again. There are other ways to train without compromising your safety
good luck!:)

Where does this rule come from ? I am afraid you are wrong in some cases....

If you do hypercapnic training (towards 16 X 50 m) your surface time is about half the diving time...
 

quasimoto

New Member
Oct 27, 2004
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subaquaticus-

I did not mean in a pool, i meant constant ballast diving, or any depth diving for that matter. I was lead to believe that doing hypercapnic training involvong depth is a lot more dangerous, and when doing any depth dives you want to become fully oxygenated before you dive again. In a pool it is fine to do hypercapnic training with a partner:)
please correct me if i'm wrong
 

subaquaticus

Fond of the Red Sea
Oct 10, 2004
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quasimoto said:
subaquaticus-

I did not mean in a pool, i meant constant ballast diving, or any depth diving for that matter. I was lead to believe that doing hypercapnic training involvong depth is a lot more dangerous, and when doing any depth dives you want to become fully oxygenated before you dive again. In a pool it is fine to do hypercapnic training with a partner:)
please correct me if i'm wrong

since I am a Parisian, 90% of my training is in a swimming pool and we are very much influenced by hypercapnic methods... in swimming pools of course...
 

lungfish

Go and do it
Sep 5, 2004
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Hi Quasi...

My understanding regarding proper diving intervals is to spend twice as long on the surface as you spent below on your previous dive PLUS a proper breathup. The point to all this really is to make certain you are oxygen saturated, that you have correctly purged CO2 and are perfectly loaded and packed for your dive.

This rule of thumb seems to have come about for speargunners who are known to die by diving deep and long, fighting a fish late in the dive and having to dive immediately after surfacing to continue the fight. The result is that a lung full of air is not enough to offset the oxygen debt in the muscles and blood.

I often practice deep diving while touring reefs though I am not a spearo- I spend a lot of time in Port Douglas Austalia and Kona, Hawaii. So I am often dealing with currents and other stresses that create an O2 debt and I have to gauge an accurate dive duration.... I don't even try deep or long dives unless the water is calm and I am completely rested and prepared to dive.
 

lungfish

Go and do it
Sep 5, 2004
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Also Quasi,

If you intend to train to freedive, a thorough understanding of dive physiology is very important. I don't know if you have attended a freediving class or not. I went to a class offered by www.performancefreediving.com that was quite thorough. The discussion included physiology of freediving as well as general training techniques and a training program. I am glad that I took the class before I spent any time trying to deep swim. I never could have been as effective without the advanced instruction from Martin Stepanek and Kirk Krack.....

The basics included flexibility training and breathing exercises with a focus on ribcage flexing. Also there are static apnea tables that are very easy to understand as well as physical training in techniques like packing, proper dive form and many other important topics. There were also recommendations regarding dynamic apnea practice like breathing up, holding one's breath and walking as far as possible (preferably in a grassy park)...

I think the most important info was in respect to initiating the mammalian diving reflex through a sequential series of exercises begining with stretching and ending with negative pressure submersions just prior to breathups for deep dives.... there are a series of physical cues that tell your body to prepare for prolonged submersion and learning how to stimulate these cues in the proper order is probably one of the most important aspects of learning to freedive. I can certainly tell when I have prepared correctly prior to diving.

One other important aspect beyond a proper and effective breathup is the simple practice of relaxing, minimizing the use of large muscle groups(dolphin vs flutter kick), taking one's time on descents, engaging the sinkphase effectively, etc... I like to do a dive, make the majority of my ascent and if I am comfortable, I will slow down my ascent and let my positive bouyancy take over.... I am relaxed, low on 02 but not completely drained, and I can simply relax and make it go a little longer.

I often dive in small bays like Kealekakua or H'nau Nau. I will spend two or three hours, sometimes much longer, simply diving and breathing up. Start with shallow dives after a correct warm up and then work out from shore to deeper water. I might do 50 dives in a session, even more if I am motivated. I just concentrate on relaxing, getting into negative bouyancy with minimal effort, and the rest is simply a matter of really thinking about what I am doing while I am doing it.... I try to do this every other day as it can take that long to heal up diaphragm, intercostal and subclavials...
 

roy_nexus_6

Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2003
368
50
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There is no substitute to training by the professionals.
I trained with Aharon and Maria Teresa Solomons at Baja Mexico.
Saved my self alot of time of trying to figure out things on my own, and very possibly saved my life. You can find more details at:

http://www.freedivers.net/
 

quasimoto

New Member
Oct 27, 2004
133
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lungfish-
I must have given the impression that i dont know much about freedive physiology. Sorry about that. I have attended an advance freedive clinic by performancefreediving, and i as well found it helpful.

Sounds like fun diving in Hawaii and Australia:)
 

subaquaticus

Fond of the Red Sea
Oct 10, 2004
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lungfish said:
with a focus on ribcage flexing

very interesting point.... Stephane MIFSUD, French champion, wrote last September an article in the French diving magazine Subaqua on this subject...

At that time I was forbidden of swimming pool because of an otitis and I focused on "dry" training...

I bought the famous encyclopedia of bodybuilding and found interesting routines dedicated to rib cage expansion...

squat + pullover + flye...

an excellent exercise for rib cage expansion under water is subaquatic breaststroke...
 

lungfish

Go and do it
Sep 5, 2004
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Hi All,

Quasi, I didn't know if you had any formal training or not. Just trying to help.I really enjoyed the PFD course, I will probably take another one this spring. I am certainly glad I did it and very early in my own freedive experience, I couldn't imagine postponing the chance to learn correct technique.

Hawaii and Australia are nice.... I will be in Port Douglas again in the first weeks of March, Hawaii the first week in April - would love to hook up with anyone that wanted to...got some nice pics of various critters. Had a neat run in with a striped Marlin in KealeKakua Bay in about 60ft of water in October and got some pics. Got close to a pretty large shark in Port Douglas on the same day the spearo was killed by a shark on Opal reef (10Dec04??), I was less than a mile from him on St Crispins.

With respect to training in general, there are so many facets that make a better diver. The ribcage flexing along with developing your ability to pack is probably a very direct way to increase your downtime. And a flexible ribcage comes in handy beyond 4atmospheres or so.....

Along with that it is a good idea to have good cardio/pulmonary health in general. I try to run a few times per week and I do swimming workouts with hypoxic training (breathing alternate sides on alternate strokes while doing intervals...). Of course, I would like to dive deeper but I am not diving competitively.

Probably the most important factor is to spend a lot of time in the water getting so familiar with your body, your gear, the water and the act of diving that it becomes a fundemental part of who you are. If you fell in the water while sleeping, you would swim before you woke up.....I have found that doing repeated dives to get used to being near your peak depth are also very helpful when the breakthrough finally comes.

I recall my class with Martin Stepanek and watching him in the water. He is very comfortable and relaxed.... One of my classmates dropped her weight belt in about 220ft of water.... Martin is so relaxed in the water, doing only the minimum to stay on the surface and keeping his oxygen saturation up... So when I saw her drop her belt all I heard was Martin taking one mighty gulp of air and he rolled over and, at a little beyond 100ft, dove out of sight. He returned over two minutes later with a weight belt in his hands. Apparently he spent a little time touring while he was down there. No puffing, no struggle. Just a relaxed, wide amplitude dolphin kick leading to a very comfortable finish to his ascent.
 

quasimoto

New Member
Oct 27, 2004
133
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lungfish said:
Hi All,

I recall my class with Martin Stepanek and watching him in the water. He is very comfortable and relaxed.... One of my classmates dropped her weight belt in about 220ft of water.... Martin is so relaxed in the water, doing only the minimum to stay on the surface and keeping his oxygen saturation up... So when I saw her drop her belt all I heard was Martin taking one mighty gulp of air and he rolled over and, at a little beyond 100ft, dove out of sight. He returned over two minutes later with a weight belt in his hands. Apparently he spent a little time touring while he was down there. No puffing, no struggle. Just a relaxed, wide amplitude dolphin kick leading to a very comfortable finish to his ascent.


HAHA, thats funny you should mention that, because i saw him do the exact same thing when a person in our class dropped a weight belt, except that he didnt quite get it. Very close though:)
 

subaquaticus

Fond of the Red Sea
Oct 10, 2004
557
11
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lungfish said:
Along with that it is a good idea to have good cardio/pulmonary health in general. I try to run a few times per week and I do swimming workouts with hypoxic training (breathing alternate sides on alternate strokes while doing intervals...).

Semi-apnoeic training is very good : doing 400m to 800 m crawl swimming breathing 1/9 (once every ninth stroke, or seventh, or 11th, depending on your shape...) ; and then I put a pull buoy between my legs and I breathe 1/15 or 1/17... , which shows how much oxygen will be spent with the kicking...
 

lungfish

Go and do it
Sep 5, 2004
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Hi All,

I think interval training is great and you can mix it up to keep it from getting boring. You can do hypoxic sessions about 30minute at a stretch....I often do a set of 10x200 free on about the 4min and do hypoxic drills in descending order starting with 10/1 down to 1/1 - if I am feeling frisky I might do them in ascending order or both.

Another great exercise is to run on hills and teach yourself how to control your breathing. You will learn when to breathup prior to aproaching the hill and how to recover on the hill top while slowing your pace until you have caught up and can return to a running pace.

The really great thing about all this type of training is that it makes you very aware of you body, particularly your breathing patterns and oxygen debt.

You can also directly train, swim a 25 yd lap - wait underwater for fifteen seconds, swim 25yds back...... I wouldn't do this sort of thing with any kind of narrow interval. I almost never have a pool partner to watch me and I don't trust the $8 hour life guard to notice me before I am brain damaged....

It is also good to do a lot of ab work and kicking drills - use mares plano fins or something similar that are stiff and you don't mind beating up in the pool. This will give you strength that will allow you to drive stiffer fins which will help your rate of descent and ascent and extend your range.

Also, bouyancy is a real factor in reaching good depths - make certain you are neutral at 33ft... this makes the descent to the neutral point less demanding and you can better engage the sink phase.
 
Last edited:

fpernett

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2001
832
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quasimoto said:
I think as a general rule you should always spend at least twice as long on the surface as you did underwater on your last dive. i.e. if you did a 60 second dive, then spend two minutes on the surface before you dive again. There are other ways to train without compromising your safety
good luck!:)

There where some works of Dr. Paulev and Dr. Lanphier about decompression sickness in freedivers, and the most important factors to avoid DCS they found is ratio of surface interval to dive time and the rate of ascense. They advice to keep the ratio of surface interval to dive time at least in 2:1

So this rule is mainly to avoid DCS. Of course, at very deep dephts (90-100), the calculations could be differents and the surface interval should be longer. This is one of the reasons to give FRC diving a try.
 

lungfish

Go and do it
Sep 5, 2004
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It was my understanding that this rule was also to prevent divers from depleting O2 in muscle tissue and diving with only a lung full of air. For example, the situation that occurs when a spear gunner spears a fish late in his dive and surfaces and dives again without a proper ventilation and blacks out due to lack of oxygen reserves in blood and muscle.

Spearopimp was originally talking about doing deep diving interval training and I think that would be a dangerous practice without a correct ventilation and breathup. I think it is a dangerous practice, period.

Of course, proper ventilations and a proper breathup will also prevent DCS so I am not arguing against you....
 
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