Training for Spearfishing – by Wayne Judge
“I have heard it said that the best training for spearfishing is spearfishing. If that is the case you would need to go spearfishing 3 times a week to get any real lasting gain”
If the best training for football was a game of football, there would be no mid-week training sessions, there would be mid-week games. Whether spearfishing is a hobby, a sport or a lifestyle the spearo stands to gain a lot of ability if he or she thoroughly and meticulously trains weak points into strengths. Serious swimmers do this daily. Whether in a gym or on the field, top level footballers also train daily. Even local teams train once or twice a week, then play the game on the weekend.
Spearos not only have to study their quarry and terrain, they also have to develop a breath-hold and economical finning technique. It is the breath-hold and good technique that will give them depth and downtime.
“But exactly how does one train for spearfishing? No one has worked it out.”
Well, you will be happy to know that it has been worked out and it is not rocket science. There is a whole sport set up on improving depth and down time and it is competitive freediving.
But I hear you say, freediving is all about one or two dives a day, not many dives repeated throughout the day.
Perhaps that is true for a freedive instructor who was not into spearfishing. When the physiological and mental basics of breath hold diving are understood, it is not hard to develop exercises that directly improve a spearo’s abilities. The hard part is getting the athlete to stick at these exercises and push through the various barriers with good sense and safety.
It also must be factored in that to make good gains one must train at 80% or more of their maximum. A spearo should never be working at that level in the ocean unless he or she has one or two trained safety divers watching him or her throughout the dives. However in the controlled environment of a swimming pool an athlete can be watched through their training and he or she can and should train up and into the top 20% of his or her abilities.
This is not about turning up a couple of nights a week and doing a few laps. It is about working out and completing training programmes designed to get the diver to approach his or her best, designed to handle his or her weaknesses and further strengthen his or her strong points. A smart and experienced instructor will speed things up with good direction, interesting exercises and the appropriate safe practices but it is the dogged determination of the diver, to spend the time working hard that will make the difference.
How fortunate it is, to have pool training facilities to use in the evenings. Your time and effort during the week nights will make your ocean diving a better experience and increase your catches.