Underwater training

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Axelator, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Axelator

    Axelator Not called Alex.

    I'm watching UFC primetime right now and as apart of Bj Penn's cardio training he swims down to the bottom of a lagoon, picks up a rock and sprints with it along the bottom of the lagoon.

    Now we all know sparring is mainly an anareobic activity. So is this good training? Surely swimming underwater is about as aneoroib as you can get, since you get no oxygen. Obviously most of us dont have lagoons, but I was thinking of swimming lengths of my local pool under water. I saw Wanderlei Silva doing some trainig similar to BJs where he would pick weights from the bottom of a deep pool.

    On the negative side I thought it is not very specific to sparring as we still breathe while throwing combinations etc.

    So what do people think, anyone with some good training knowledge help me out on wether this is an efficient way to train?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  2. Sgt_Major

    Sgt_Major Ex Global Mod Supporter

    I found traiing in water with your clothes on was better. When I was a life guard I used to do lengths of the pool fully clothed, shoes + all. Made it some much easier and faster when I had to jump in after someone in just my shorts.
  3. NUKKY

    NUKKY Valued Member

    bj penn aint known for his cardio though. he has looked noticeably tired early on in alot of fights.
  4. Axelator

    Axelator Not called Alex.

    Yeah BJ Penn is a pretty lazy guy. I don't know if that reflects the effictivness of water training or just reflects the fact that lazyness leads to failure.

    I would love to swim in clothes, but unfortunatly I think they would kick me out of the swimming pool. I know one guy that has weights in his swimming shorts, but he's a hgih level amateur swimmer.
  5. Sgt_Major

    Sgt_Major Ex Global Mod Supporter

    Just inform the reception that its part of your training regime to train clothed. Tell them its for your broze or silver medallion and it'll be fine. Assure them the clothes you will be wearing are freshly washed and they wont mind.

    Other customers will look at you funny, but who cares.
  6. Axelator

    Axelator Not called Alex.

    Thanks, I'll definitely at least ask then, the worst they can do is say no and think I'm weird. I would have to work up to it though. I haven't swam properly in about 2 years.
  7. Sgt_Major

    Sgt_Major Ex Global Mod Supporter

    :D likewise. I doubt Id be even able to match the training again for my lifeguard silver medallion, nevermind actually pass the tests lol
  8. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I'm surprised no-one has commented on this. The first few moments of sparring, the initial flurry of activity, will be anaerobic, as your body will have to 'make do' with normal oxygen levels (for want of a better term) until the heart and lungs have caught up and increased supply, but once you continue into 30 seconds or so onwards you will be aerobic as your heart will have supplied fresh oxygenated blood to your muscles from your lungs.

    The same applies to swimming under water. Even though you aren't breathing, fresh oxygen is diffusing from your lungs into your blood stream and going to the muscles. The need to breath in diving comes not from running out of oxygen but the need to exhale CO2 build up.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  9. Axelator

    Axelator Not called Alex.

    I don't know how you spar, but when I do it will end up with me moving into range which results in about 10-20 seconds of very fast paced punching, kicking, weaving, blocking and everything else that comes with sparring. Followed by me moving out again and taking a breather, while throwing the odd jab or kick. The exchanges in sparrign are certainly anaerobic for me.

    Maybe in grappling it is more areobic. I only training a little bit of judo though. I still think it's important to do both, personally i think it's more important to focus on anareobic training.

    I didn't understand what you meant by swimming underwater being areobic. Sure to begin with it wont be as your muscles will be using the oxygen in your lungs but once that runs out, then it is?

    This is what I'm not sure about so it's why I'm asking.
  10. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Hi Axelator,

    The sparring model you describe is similar to Fartlek training and will work the anaerobic system in addition to the aerobic system due to the differences in intensity. However, if the difference in pace is not quite drastic then it will become predominantly aerobic training. You have to significantly raise and sustain the heart beat for the activity to be anaerobic, and the longer you sustain it, the more likely it is that the body will catch up and the training will become aerobic.

    I don't spar in the sense you refer to any more, but when I do full contact self protection scenarios the activity will last 1 - 2 seconds unless I've absolutely cocked up, and won't go beyond 10 seconds unless I'm really in trouble/dealing with simultaneous multiple assailants. That type of training would be described as predominatly anaerobic because the body doesn't have a chance to catch up with the heart rate per se (though oxygen will still be fed to the muscles, the demand will be outstripping supply as it were).

    With reference to swimming, you will be unconscious from CO2 build up in the lungs (and consequently and importantly the brain) long long before the oxygen in your lungs runs out. They don't do this in schools any more (so far as I know) for health and safety reasons, but there used to be an experiment secondary biology students could do where they cycled wearing a mask attached to a sealed tank in which a candle was lit. What would happen was that the student would pass out from the CO2 build up long before the candle went out.

    If you are really interested in taking a thorough approach to your fitness I'd recommend this text:
    Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance Exercise Physiology MC Ardle: Amazon.co.uk: William D. McArdle, Frank I. Katch, Victor L. Katch: Books
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  11. Axelator

    Axelator Not called Alex.

    Hey thanks for the information. The experiment you mentioned was very interesting. By the sounds of it I might stick to HIIT and jogging to work on my cardio. I'll try and take a look at that book too.
  12. ProKarateShop

    ProKarateShop New Member

    Besides jogging, you can also do "sprints" in a pool. This way you have the benefits of cardio, and the resistance provided by the water. Also nobody has mentioned jumping rope.. All are great exercises.

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