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View Poll Results: What is your level of fitness?
poor. I have no physical activity whatsoever and I'm overweighted 7 6.25%
below average but I clearly want to improve it 23 20.54%
average. I'm not overweighted 34 30.36%
good. I work out and I have regular aerobic activity 39 34.82%
excellent. I'm clearly an athlete and my body is a temple 9 8.04%
Voters: 112. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 16th February 2006, 05:33   #1
cedricverdier
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Question Level of fitness and rebreather diving

Hi all,

Do you guys think that a good fitness level is more important for a rebreather diver than for an open circuit diver?

I don't necessarily speak about technical deep divers, just rebreather divers in general. Several factors could explain why a rebreather diver should have a higher level of fitness (WOB, O2 consumption, weight of the rebreather and the bail-out tank, etc).

So what's your opinion about that?

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Old 16th February 2006, 06:49   #2
Toren
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Re: Level of fitness and rebreather diving

Bluntly, the more serious I've gotten about my diving, the easier I want it to be. And that means getting into better shape. Cold water diving around here means 90+ pounds of gear stacked onto a stiff drysuit, and shore diving in that rig was a right bastard for me at my decrepit age of 46. Aerobic conditioning and a weight training schedule for just over three months have already made a significant difference, and I'm loving it. For the first time in my life, exercise isn't boring drudgery, it has a goal and results, and the more I see that goal achieved, the more motivated I get.
I doubt I'll ever meet GUE standards ( ) but I'll keep pushing until diving is pure fun and (almost) no part of the experience leaves me out of breath or struggling with weight. I love shore diving, so I need to be able to hump that load of crap down trails, over rocks, through rough surf...and back again, which is the really hard part.
Rebreather diving has helped motivate me, as I certainly do not need anything more to worry about when flying a RB. RB diving is a more serious business than OC and if I can take poor fitness out of the equation, that decreases task loading.

I admire and envy the hyperfit among us, but we all have our useful skills. I've been into extreme sports since 1974 (starting with hang gliding, back when it was dangerous) and "panic" is a word that has long since left my vocabulary. There's nothing wrong with top level fitness but it's not the only thing that makes for a good diver. I might also note that even before I started with a regular routine, my air consumption was considered unusually low for a guy my size (240, 6'3"). I've even been warned that as my aerobic fitness increases, I may burn more air, but I can live with that.

My confession: the trigger for this lifestyle change was an accident--basically caused by my flagging physical strength--that injured my elbow and knee...the day before I was to go to Cocos Island for a 10 day liveaboard trip. The trip, for which I had not purchased cancellation insurance*, was a total loss. $5000 completely down the drain, plus weeks of physiotherapy. Lots of time to think, and to swear it would never happen again.

(Note: I recently got Cameron Martz's "Fitness for Divers" which is excellent, and I've modified my routine to better fit his system.)

*: Yes, I'm a twit. Tell me something I don't know. :o

Last edited by Toren; 16th February 2006 at 07:03..
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Old 16th February 2006, 07:29   #3
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Re: Level of fitness and rebreather diving

Quote: (Originally Posted by cedricverdier)
Do you guys think that a good fitness level is more important for a rebreather diver than for an open circuit diver?
No.
As long as I can carry the kit out of the water I'll dive it. I see no reason to strive to be what some people call fit, which is usually muscular.

I raced motorcycles for years. Light was more important that fit. There was no use in me paying for hollow titanium engine bolts and having an extra big breakfast on a race day. I was fit but two stone lighter than I am now. Now is at the heavy end of normal, then was into underweight on the charts.

I'm 56. I've had two heart attacks (caused by racing motorbikes not bad diet and smoking) and I get checked out every year by a proper diving doctor but there is no way I'm fit. Climbing a ladder in a rough sea with two stages and a YBOD leaves me puffing like a steam train.

'Fitness' is overrated. When I get really old and decrepit I'll cut back the gear to what I can manage but it might be I get more alpinist before I give up on the more interesting stuff. When I have to use a boat with a lift to dive the IDA64 set then I'll worry.
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Old 16th February 2006, 07:44   #4
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Re: Level of fitness and rebreather diving

Running every morning 1/2h with my dogs, and every other day biking, when stuck in traffic in my car (every day ) I do simple breathing exercize (abds and diaphragm) and muscle contractions (legs, arms ...)

No fat or alcohol minimum 3 weeks before deep dive ... but a lot after :)

Good physical condition is essential for the body and the mind !!! stuck on the bladdy M25 or at -180m :D

Jerome
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Old 16th February 2006, 07:54   #5
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Re: Level of fitness and rebreather diving

I used to exercise 3 hours a day everyday and practice martial arts 2x a week for 1.5 hour a time

But I was a wreck back then!. I always had some sprain or some ache.


For the last 8 years Ive done no exercise at all - Im sure Im not fit...but I feel OK....[pant pant]

Heck - this is why god invented scooters and dive boat lifts :D. Luckily living in asia there is always a little man around who will do the heavy lugging :D

Most of the people I dive with are fat bastards :D



On a related note: A good friend of mine and an experienced rb diver just had an emergency bypass operation. When I went to see him in hospital one of the first things he said to me was " Im glad it didnt happen whilst diving as I wouldnt ever have made it and everyone would have blamed the rebreather"

Last edited by Drmike; 16th February 2006 at 07:58..
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Old 16th February 2006, 08:03   #6
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Re: Level of fitness and rebreather diving

HI,
I think that to have a good physical condition is important for every sport activity.
The underwater activity for how much intense is, it's not sufficient to guarantee a good physical condition.

It's necessary to pratice a aerobic activity.
If you have a good physical condition, you can resolve more easy many of the underwater emergencies.
Moreover, a good physical condition, guarantees one inferior production of CO2, not negligible in our particolay activity.


Aldo
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Old 16th February 2006, 08:20   #7
tecdivertraining
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Re: Level of fitness and rebreather diving

Cedric

I am fully aware of your excellent instructional techniques but did not realise your mind reading capabilities. I have sent you an email regarding the training that commenced the day after our CCR trimx dives with my extended range student. It was not pretty that was for sure.

Dive educated, dive safe, practice, stay fit or give up Tech Diving it really is dangerous
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Old 16th February 2006, 10:14   #8
edster
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Re: Level of fitness and rebreather diving

I'm aiming for my run time ( ) to be up with my runtime... that should do it. Hopefully by the end of this year it wont be like it is now!
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Old 16th February 2006, 10:15   #9
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Re: Level of fitness and rebreather diving

Isn't Winston Churchill, answering about his very long life, who said :
my secret is the sport.... I never practice any :D
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Old 16th February 2006, 10:37   #10
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Re: Level of fitness and rebreather diving

Quote: (Originally Posted by Drmike)
Most of the people I dive with are fat bastards :D
That's not really nice how you describe Steve W.
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