Top 10 Freediving New Year’s Resolutions
The presents are unwrapped, the turkey sandwiches are finally finished and there’s half decent music back on the radio. Yes, that’s it, another year is on the way, and if you’re interested in making 2016 a year to develop and improve your freediving, we’ve got a few suggestions to get you started on the right track.
10. Do a Course
If you’re a recreational diver, spearfisher or newcomer to the sport of freediving and haven’t done an official freediving course yet… do it! You’ll learn all kinds of skills and develop knowledge you never knew you didn’t know. Freediving courses cover everything from breathing and relaxation, breath-hold training and finning to swimming technique and safety.
Check out our comprehensive school directory to find someone offering courses near you! If you’re already an experienced diver with a few courses under your belt, why not enrol in a master class or take on the next level? You can find some suggestions right here.
9. Get in the Gym
It’s official, muscle tissue stores oxygen. About 15mls per kilo of the stuff in fact, which means that 10-15kg of muscle tissue is an extra minute of apnoea when you’re completely relaxed. You don’t have to look like Arnie come next December - in fact that probably wouldn’t help you - but some time spent in the gym doing weights, core and strength exercises will definitely improve your breath-hold, not to mention helping you to look like these guys:
8. Get to Grips with Freediving Physiology
If getting hot and sweaty in the gym isn’t really your style, if you’re more of an armchair apneist, this might be just the thing for you. A solid understanding of freediving physiology will not only help you to make your training more efficient (giving you more time in the pub) but will also help you to understand the sensations that accompany a long breath-hold.
Knowledge is power, which makes Freedive-Earth’s Doctor Otter one of the most powerful aquatic mammals on the planet. Check out her physiology bootcamp and explore our blog for (almost) everything you’ll ever need to know about Freediving Physiology. Simples.
7. Learn No-Fins Diving
Even at the highest level, many freedivers struggle with the technical demands of the no-fins discipline. For those in the know, however, no fins diving is the true pinnacle of the sport. Offering flexibility, freedom and, most importantly, a lighter kit-bag, CNF has been described by world-record holder William Trubridge as “the purest form of freediving”.
Despite it’s formidable reputation, No-Fins is easier than you’d think to learn. Once you’ve done a basic level introduction, most decent freediving schools will offer you a no-fins specialist training course and to get you off the ground, why not try some of the drills and exercises in our free technical guide to no-fins diving.
6. Do More Static
For many divers the bane of their lives, static apnoea is probably nevertheless the single most important core skill in Freediving. If you’re struggling with static, the chances are you need some work on relaxation and CO2 tolerance, rather than a brain transplant, though it might not seem that way at the time! Again, most decent freediving schools will offer you a “static apnoea day” or similar, and the world record holder Branko Petrovich runs an excellent course on a ‘by request’ basis.
In the meantime check out our in-depth series of articles on static apnoea and watch this space for more on static training in the new year.
5. Do More CO2 Training
If you’re at the beginning of your freediving journey, CO2 tolerance training is without doubt the single best way to improve your performance and comfort in the water. If you’re already a competitive diver, regular CO2 training is also an essential part of your mental and physical conditioning. At first, CO2 training can seem about as fun as pushing red hot needles into your eyes, and so it’s often an easy one to avoid.
As with any sort of training, though, the key with CO2 is to start easy. There’s no point in setting yourself targets so high that you rarely reach them. Have a look at our guide to CO2 training for some ideas to start you off, find a buddy to train with, or join a club. By following a simple training program you’ll find you make enormous gains in a very short time.
4. Develop a Regular Yoga Practise
Often a neglected part of freediving training, yoga is in many respects the flip side of the freediving coin. A regular yoga practise will give you benefits, not just in flexibility and tolerance to pressure at depth, but also in relaxation, awareness and physical and mental wellbeing. These days, unless you live in Greenland, you’re quite likely to find a yoga school just down the road.
Many freediving schools will also offer yoga instruction, but classes are really only the beginning. In order to get maximum benefit from yoga, whether for freediving or not, you need to develop a regular, daily practise of your own. It doesn’t need to be a huge commitment either, even as little as 15 or 20 minutes each morning will start to give you benefits you never imagined. Watch this space for more on yoga for freediving in 2016.
3. Start a Freediving Club
Training with a buddy or training on your own on dry land is great, but despite appearances, Freediving is a highly social activity. Diving in a club environment is a great way to develop your abilities and maintain motivation, and you’ll find that there’ll always be someone around to help you with training issues and point you in the right direction.
Freediving clubs are growing in number every year but many people still find it hard to access one near to them. If that’s you, why not start one? As long as you’re a qualified diver, and especially if you’re an instructor, starting a club can be a great way to meet new people and attract new customers. Hiring a lane at your local pool is generally easy and not too expensive. Advertise in your local dive shop, spearfishing club or absolutely free here on Freedive-Earth.
2. Dive in a Blue Hole
For those of you in high Northern and low Southern latitudes, diving in a cold dark quarry or choppy coastal waters with 5m vis. is all very well, but how about pushing the boat out and getting a taste of what it’s like for athletes on the international circuit? Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas and The Blue Hole in Dahab are truly exotic locations, offering perfect conditions for divers of all abilities pretty much all year round.
Contact a school in the area or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
1. Become an Instructor
A career as a freediving instructor offers the promise of international travel, a barefoot tropical lifestyle and above all, absolute freedom to explore the oceans of the world. With growing demand for qualified individuals, even in the most desirable locations, a booming tourist market makes becoming a freediving instructor increasingly viable from an economic perspective too.
If you’re already hooked on freediving, why not ditch that boring office job, quit that pointless degree in David Beckham Studies and take off to the sun? You definitely won’t regret it :)
Have a great 2016 from all of us here at Freedive-Earth. See you in the big blue this year!