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Old 08-01-2016, 02:00 PM   #1
nesalty
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dive simulation using an apnea walk

I've been doing a little apnea walk routine that seems to be providing some benefit and thought I would bounce it off the group here for comment.

Background: spear-fisherman, 10yrs experience, can dive all day to 50' comfortably ~ usually limit myself to 1:00 dives but can go to 1:15. Haven't done a static in several years but did 3:45 during my class at one point.

After plateauing at my current performance level for a couple years, I'm trying to improve to comfortable 1:15-30 dives at 60'. I find that doing tables only makes me better at doing tables... it hasn't really translated into better real life performance. My local pool bans any kind of breath-hold training so what I've been doing is simulating dives by doing my normal breath up followed by a 20 sec apnea walk (to simulate the kick to 60'), I then stand still and hold for 50 seconds and finish off with another 20 sec of walking to simulate the kick to the surface for a total hold of 1:30. It's a work in progress but I'm modelling it after the CO2 tables with descending rest times between the 'dives'.

I find it helps in that is roughly simulates the time and effort for the dives I want to do. During the middle period while simulating lying on the bottom, I focus on relaxing and bringing my heart rate down - just like the first 5-10 seconds of a normal dive, then I'm in the zone for 40 secs and head back up.

I haven't really heard of people training this way so wanted to run it by the collective group here for some feedback.
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:22 PM   #2
A-salt-weapon
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

I'm interested to hear what people say. It sounds like a pretty good routine to me. I'm looking for a new training regiment and may give this a go.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:36 AM   #3
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

I have done it myself a lot and it works better than in land cause in the water you will sink with less effort and you will have manalian diving reflex.

For me the key was consistency. Diafragm stretch every night every morning, stretchibg befre each session, warm up before each session and then do 10 repetitions of the walk o a regular dive day!

Training depth is a whole diff thing.

Good luck let us know your progress
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:57 PM   #4
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

Ride the bike with resistance to build up leg strength and endurance so you can swim against current and keep the heart rate down. Do diaphragm stretches religiously. Dive as often as possible. If depth is your goal you need to dive deep often, do FRCs, etc. No amount of land based training will prepare your body for the feeling of being squeezed at depth.


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Old 08-09-2016, 02:56 PM   #5
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

negative dives will help with depth
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:15 PM   #6
nesalty
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

Thanks for all the replies. Quick update: I've been doing this routine daily for a couple weeks now and have been slowly increasing the 'bottom' time on the walks to 1:10 for a total 1:50 hold. I can honestly say that this one exercise has had the greatest benefit of anything else I have tried over the years. Just last week on a dive session, for the first time ever, I felt the diving reflex kick in hard almost soon as I hit the bottom, time slowed and my heartrate dropped significantly. Watched my time tick past 1:30 and felt perfectly comfortable, came up at 1:40 only because I figured my partner would be wondering where the hell I was. I haven't tried doing negatives in the water yet but will soon. Clearing/comfort at depth has never been an issue for me, just bottom time and I definitely feel like this routine has helped to kick my diving into a new gear.
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:18 PM   #7
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

Comfort at depth hasn't been a issue for you ?? You must not be diving deep then


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Old 08-09-2016, 07:08 PM   #8
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstiver09 View Post
Ride the bike with resistance to build up leg strength and endurance so you can swim against current and keep the heart rate down. Do diaphragm stretches religiously. Dive as often as possible. If depth is your goal you need to dive deep often, do FRCs, etc. No amount of land based training will prepare your body for the feeling of being squeezed at depth.


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This. Exactly this.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:34 PM   #9
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

Quote:
Originally Posted by nesalty View Post
Thanks for all the replies. Quick update: I've been doing this routine daily for a couple weeks now and have been slowly increasing the 'bottom' time on the walks to 1:10 for a total 1:50 hold. I can honestly say that this one exercise has had the greatest benefit of anything else I have tried over the years. Just last week on a dive session, for the first time ever, I felt the diving reflex kick in hard almost soon as I hit the bottom, time slowed and my heartrate dropped significantly. Watched my time tick past 1:30 and felt perfectly comfortable, came up at 1:40 only because I figured my partner would be wondering where the hell I was. I haven't tried doing negatives in the water yet but will soon. Clearing/comfort at depth has never been an issue for me, just bottom time and I definitely feel like this routine has helped to kick my diving into a new gear.


You must have a very flexible diaphragm naturally or we are not talking about "depth" meaning the same thing. The pressure change from 3-4 atmospheres (between 66 and 99 feet) is the one that gets to me when I have not been diving a lot and/or keeping my diaphragm stretched out. Also, you should have no problems kicking in your reflex of you get to that depth. At 5 atmospheres (132 feet) you cannot go deeper without proper flexibility and practice with your equalization. You will feel like someone stuck a vacuum in your mouth and turned it on.

Apnea walks are good though, I agree...when you are stuck on land. IMO the benefit of apnea walks are mental preparation for dives not any real physical benefit (maybe small).


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Old 08-09-2016, 07:43 PM   #10
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

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Originally Posted by jstiver09 View Post
You must have a very flexible diaphragm naturally or we are not talking about "depth" meaning the same thing. The pressure change from 3-4 atmospheres (between 66 and 99 feet) is the one that gets to me when I have not been diving a lot and/or keeping my diaphragm stretched out. Also, you should have no problems kicking in your reflex of you get to that depth. At 5 atmospheres (132 feet) you cannot go deeper without proper flexibility and practice with your equalization. You will feel like someone stuck a vacuum in your mouth and turned it on.

Apnea walks are good though, I agree...when you are stuck on land. IMO the benefit of apnea walks are mental preparation for dives not any real physical benefit (maybe small).


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Yea any thing past 110 , I have to do a mouth fill and grouper call to to get good equalization at depth


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Old 08-09-2016, 10:15 PM   #11
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

Take it very slow on the negative dives. You need to do those either in a pool to start or ON A LINE (even just dangle an anchor into the blue) going hand over hand, very slowly. Some people are prone to squeeze but even if you are not, you can very easily hurt yourself when you start doing negative and full exhale dives. If you are prone to squeeze you will almost certainly hurt yourself.

Apnea walks are okay but they are very low intensity, slightly better than static tables. As they get easier you can switch exercises which are higher intensity, also there is no need to 'pause', if you train a more intense steady state hypoxic cardio, when you pause during freefall or aspetto, or just do statics in competition, it will feel like a vacation.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:56 AM   #12
nesalty
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstiver09 View Post
You must have a very flexible diaphragm naturally or we are not talking about "depth" meaning the same thing. The pressure change from 3-4 atmospheres (between 66 and 99 feet) is the one that gets to me when I have not been diving a lot and/or keeping my diaphragm stretched out. Also, you should have no problems kicking in your reflex of you get to that depth. At 5 atmospheres (132 feet) you cannot go deeper without proper flexibility and practice with your equalization. You will feel like someone stuck a vacuum in your mouth and turned it on.

Apnea walks are good though, I agree...when you are stuck on land. IMO the benefit of apnea walks are mental preparation for dives not any real physical benefit (maybe small).


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Ha, yeah should have been more specific... by depth I mean down to around 60', around here there's not much going on below that.

I agree, the benefits are most likely mental rather than physiological, but that's at least half the challenge in our sport. By simulating the dive time and effort, the routine has helped me to fine tune the various stages of the breath hold and given me the confidence to break through some limitations that were entrenched.

The routine probably doesn't have much value for advanced divers but if you're like me and stuck at a certain performance level with limited opportunities for open water or pool training it might be worth a shot.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:13 PM   #13
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

Do you take a minute before your dives for facial immersion while breathing through a snorkel with your mask off to help kick in the dive reflex? Seems to help- along with the other said stuff.
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:24 PM   #14
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Re: dive simulation using an apnea walk

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Do you take a minute before your dives for facial immersion while breathing through a snorkel with your mask off to help kick in the dive reflex? Seems to help- along with the other said stuff.
This won't hurt anything and if it relaxes you it is a good thing but dive reflex (as defined by lowered HR and reduced blood flow to extremities) is at heart something of a shock response triggered by combinations of cold water on the face, breathhold, high co2, pressure. It's actually strongest without any sort of warm-up. Breathing through a snorkel at the surface isn't going cause any kind measurable dive response.
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