Unified Team Diving

Seeing A.G. bang out a triathlon got me to thinking. As we all know, fitness has a impact on our resistance to DCS and is otherwise important to safe diving. Does UTD have a suggested fitness plan for its divers? What strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular exercises are best for advancing divers? How about diet? Thanks, Mike

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Good question, Michael.

We don't have a specific or suggested fitness plan, though we all believe that being in physical shape makes for safer and more enjoyable dives.

Personally, I do intense cardio for at least 35-40 minutes, 4 days per week and do weight training at least 3 days a week (same days I do cardio). I swim whenever I can as well.

As far as diet, I don't eat sugar, and try to eat only lean proteins (fish, chicken and turkey) and lots of vegetables, and try to limit my caloric intake to no more than 250 calories per "meal" and drink about 200 oz of water a day.

Being in good shape and physical health improves the diving experience in so many ways... from more effective deco, better endurance and being able to manipulate the gear (especially technical gear) both out of the water and in the water. Of course, this becomes more important the further you progress in your diving.

Plus, you just feel better overall.
I do intense cardio, either riding or running or both, 3-5 times/week. I also do some yoga and some weightlifting. I think the important thing is to do something. I would give priority to cardio, at least a few times a week, and then strength/flexibility work. Diet, of course, plays a strong role. Avoiding extremes of fat and sugar is one key, along with quality protein.

I personally can't imagine pursuing the diving and teaching that I do without a fitness regimen. It would be a disservice to myself and my students.
Brian,
250 calories per meal?? That's like 2 carrots or 25% for a snausage.

Michael, Cameron Martz has a good book you might want to reference: http://www.divefitness.com/html/guides.html
Thanks, Richard. I think I will order a copy. Mike
On the flip side, is there ever a point when you can exercise too much? I train for tri's and marathons, so having daily workouts of 2-4 hours is pretty normal for me. I do limit my self to one shallow dive, the day before any big effort. I also pretty much stick to diving Nitrox because, it seems like a safer bet with the daily stress that I put on my body. That being said, I have always wondered about DAN's cautions about diving and streneous exercise. Seeing A.G. do the tri made me feel a little better, that I wasn't too far off.
Yes, I would love it if some more of the UTD leadership could chime in on this subject. Great point. Excersize does up our CO2 loading and DAN cautions against too much re DCS. Thoughts?

Lauri DeVore said:
On the flip side, is there ever a point when you can exercise too much? I train for tri's and marathons, so having daily workouts of 2-4 hours is pretty normal for me. I do limit my self to one shallow dive, the day before any big effort. I also pretty much stick to diving Nitrox because, it seems like a safer bet with the daily stress that I put on my body. That being said, I have always wondered about DAN's cautions about diving and streneous exercise. Seeing A.G. do the tri made me feel a little better, that I wasn't too far off.
Hi
This was in the American College of Sport Medecine. I know its a bit out off topic but its about fitness so I thought.

Normal to be fit when diving, being rec or tec. Here it states that mild exercice at last stop increase blood flow and therefore help offgassing.
How about that?...Bring your exercice bike on next dive!!!


Exercise during a 3-Min Decompression Stop Reduces Postdive Venous Gas Bubbles.

Basic Sciences

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 37(8):1319-1323, August 2005.
DUJIC, ZELJKO; PALADA, IVAN; OBAD, ANTE; DUPLANCIC, DARKO; BAKOVIC, DARIJA; VALIC, ZORAN

Abstract:
Purpose: Decompression sickness is initiated by the formation of gas bubbles in tissue and blood if the divers return to surface pressure too fast. The effect of exercise before, during, and after dive on bubble formation is still controversial. We have reported recently that strenuous aerobic exercise 24 h before simulated dive ameliorates venous bubble formation. The objective of this field study was to evaluate whether mild, continuous exercise during decompression has a similar impact.

Methods: Ten healthy, military male divers performed an open-sea field dive to 30 m of sea water breathing air, remaining at pressure for 30 min. During the bottom and decompression the subjects performed fin underwater swimming at about 30% of maximal oxygen uptake. Each diver underwent two randomly assigned dives, one with and one without exercise during the 3-min decompression period. Monitoring of venous gas emboli was performed in the right heart with ultrasonic scanner every 20 min for 60 min after reaching surface pressure in supine rest and during forced two-cough procedure.

Results: The study demonstrates that a mild, continuous exercise during decompression significantly reduced the average number of bubbles in the pulmonary artery from 0.9 +/- 0.8 to 0.3 +/- 0.5 bubbles per square centimeter in supine rest, as well as during two-cough procedure, which decreased from 4.6 +/- 4.5 to 0.9 +/- 0.9 bubbles per square centimeter. No symptoms of decompression sickness were observed in any subject.

Conclusion: These results, obtained in the field conditions, indicate that a mild, underwater swimming during a 3-min decompression period reduces postdive gas bubbles formation

(C)2005The American College of Sports Medicine
Very interesting. Thank you. I wonder about CO2 in a repetitive dive situation scenario, however. Thoughts, anyone?

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