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fitness / training plans for diving (with the help of fitness trackers)

Discussion in 'Dive into Fitness' started by wstorms, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Jcp2

    Jcp2 Literally virtually diving ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I'm under the impression that strength training that leads to extensive muscle development could be detrimental to air consumption, as if the muscles are not essential to the act of diving, then all they do is needlessly use oxygen.
     
  2. Scraps

    Scraps ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
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    Sort of, but not quite.

    Strength training will increase your resting metabolism, so you burn more calories. And bigger muscles will demand more oxygen, especially when you call on them to perform. That much is true.

    However, strength training by itself—and even more so in conjunction with specific aerobic exercises—will improve your cardiovascular health and lower your resting pulse. For the non-strenuous parts of your dive, you’ll be better equipped for the slow, deep, efficient breathing you want.

    Also, added strength reduces the apparent effort of many tasks that might otherwise elevate your heart rate, especially just before a dive. It’s pretty common to see divers already winded by the time they reach the mooring buoy and begin their descents. Strength training can mitigate the effects of exertion. You tax your system less and you recover normal breathing sooner.

    When you add in the other benefits like increased bone density, the one potential downside, if it exists at all, is negligible.

    Also, the risk of building up too much muscle to dive well is pretty much non-existent for a middle-aged or older adult who is only now thinking of starting a strength program.

    It’s like the guy who told Arnold Schwarzenegger he didn’t want to end up all bulked up like him. “Don’t worry,” Arnold said, “You won’t.”
     
    wstorms and Esprise Me like this.
  3. Protondecay123

    Protondecay123 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Apex of Moronia
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    Swimming

    One thing that you have to account for as well is age related muscle loss. After age 40-50 you will start losing muscle mass and that can be aggravated by excessive cardio. I've always thought of it like Strength training > more towards anabolic, Cardio training > more towards catabolic. Muscle mass is hard to maintain doing only cardio. I personally think that trim has a lot more to do with my oxygen consumption than the slight increases in muscle mass.
     
    wstorms and Scraps like this.
  4. wstorms

    wstorms ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
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    I can understand how that would be a thing if you are doing strength training like most buys at the gym (more Popey muscles is better) but for me, as long as a I can comfortably do dive stuff (taking steel doubles from the car to the boat and back kinda stuff) I am happy. No ambition to bulk out for the sake of bulking out.
     
  5. wstorms

    wstorms ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
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    A lot of people have suggested swimming, and I thank everybody for the input. Unfortunately, pools are extremely limited available at the moment, so doing laps is a challenge. Maybe I give it a proper effort after Covid restrictions are lifted.
    In general, most comments have been in line with my own thinking, thanks again for all the input.

    Regarding the second part of my question (how can you use fitness trackers to improve for diving), I did find a 2007 article from Dr. Pollock: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270341964_Aerobic_fitness_and_underwater_diving
    From the abstract:
    Physical fitness is necessary to ensure that the normal and emergent needs of diving can be met. Reserves of both strength and aerobic capacity are important. Aerobic capacity (aerobic fitness or VO2 max) is defined as the maximum amount of oxygen that can be consumed per unit time. Alternatively, it can be described as metabolic equivalents (MET), dimensionless multiples of the oxygen consumption of an assumed resting metabolic rate (3.5 mL.kg-1.min-1), yielding a range of 5–25 MET in the healthy population. A minimum capacity as high as 13 MET has been proposed for diving qualification. While limited, the available research data suggest that this is an unrealistically high threshold. A minimum capacity in the range of 7–10 MET may be more appropriate.

    I have yet to read the full article properly, but this seems to give some indications on what metrics can be used to indicate fitness for diving. My fitness tracker gives me relative VO2 max readouts, and according to the article and
    I can get the MET value by dividing relative VO2 max by 3.5. In other words, in order to "measure" the recommended MET value of 13 with my tracker, I multiply 13 by 3.5 = 45.5. This should be the minimum VO2 max to target. This stuff is quite new (but fascinating) to me, so if I made any mistakes or false assumptions here, please point them out.
     
    D_Fresh likes this.
  6. NothingClever

    NothingClever Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
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    @wstorms - That's an excellent article by Dr. Neal Pollock and thank you for posting. Of course, I give it that rating because it conveniently validates and reinforces all the principles I already pursue in my fitness plans and activities.

    I think bits of the conclusion are worth adding here:

    "Physical fitness is necessary to ensure that the normal and emergent needs of diving can be met. Reserves of both strength and aerobic capacity are important....Possession of a healthy fitness reserve can make a huge difference in how well normal and emergent events will be managed. Such preparedness is clearly of value to divers operating in a medium (water) that at times and unexpectedly can be very unforgiving."

    In contrast, I think the MET video from Dr. Evan Matthews was marginal. What generated Tatiana's requirement for an exercise prescription? How did the exercise physiologist arrive at 20mL/kg/min of O2? Beginner? Enthusiast? Competitive? What is her goal?

    Although Dr. Pollock discusses METs, he does so because METs are easier for the layman to understand than VO2 Max. I think using METs to scope and evaluate an exercise program is useful downstream from having first established a baseline of simpler metrics (such as distances, paces, HR zones, Watts, calories, etc) commonly provided by Garmin, Polar or any other reputable brand of fitness tracker. For me, that personal baseline of metrics is achieved through repetition. I think it's important to first chase good technique, then performance benchmarks (time, distance, HR, etc) and then lastly start adding in the finer metrics such as VO2 and METs. I think trying to start an exercise regimen with METs puts the cart before the horse.

    Also, the website he referenced for a compendia of METs appears to be pretty skewed. I won't go into all the activities but I think there are some wonky numbers in there that don't reflect reality.

    I think you're on track with cycling. Like Dr. Pollock asserted, it does a good job of simultaneously developing leg strength and aerobic capacity.
     
  7. NothingClever

    NothingClever Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
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    Been swimming a lot here on the Red Sea stretching out to 4,000m swims with a goal of reaching the 5,000m mark next month.

    I still haven’t made it as far on my scooter on the same route as I have on my own power. Quite happy about that.
     

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