MYTHS AND MISTAKES IN SPEARFISHING TRAINING
This is a typical question and a mistake, specially in spearos who are starting or who do not have a high level. How can I hold more time or going deeper?
We already uploaded and article about that which you can read here. But today we are going to give our opinion. Of course it is a personal opinion, but based in our experience. It is going to be short. We will upload longer articles about each topic in the future.
In spearfishing, same as any other sport, we need training. Not a normal training but a specific training. And what is the training for spearfishing? It is doing spearfishing, as much as we can. As many days the best. We will improve our apnea and most important we will improve our technique. There is no point to have a good apnea outside the water or in a swimming pool if later the situations are different so we are not used to them. Currents, waves, cold, bad visibility, the wetsuit… Usually people who has a good apnea in a pool or at home, in bad situations at sea, loose it or change a lot (decreasing) So many times we hear: “I can hold my breath 2-3 minutes at home or training in the pool but when I go spearfishing I can´t reach the minute”
Of course a good apnea and a good training will help. But that will be when we have a base, a good base so we are looking to go a bit further. There is no point to start with that.
So we are going to see some points.
DIET. There is no “magic” diet or something similar. As in any other sport we must have a healthy diet. We can´t pretend feed with pizzas, hamburgers, fast food, fats… and being in a good shape. There are some foods that we must avoid before going water, like milk, coffe, citrus… But this is a long question and we will go on it in a different article.
AEROBIC TRAINING. We will need a good aerobic base. Being in a good shape. It is impossible having a sedentary life working all week in a computer, doing no exercise, and be OK the weekend when we go spearfishing. This is the same in any sport: running, cycling, football… All the training we can do with tables training apnea won´t work if we are not in a good shape. It is as easy to understand as thinking that our heart rate will increase doing exercise, much more if we are not well trained. We will start swimming (and we are not used to if we do not train) and our apnea will be shorter. So it is important do exercise all the week: running, cycling, rowing… Just some exercise.
DON NOT TRY TO REACH A LEVEL WE ARE NOT ABLE TO. It is usual finding people who want to do some things they watched on a video, or after reading something on internet. We must understand that some videos and people we can watch on internet are professionals. People who is going spearfishing 4-5 times a week. All year around. And more than 15-20 year of experience. Spearos who learned from professionals. It is important to understand that each one has specific conditions. Some people is better holding their breathe so they have longer apneas. Other spearos are better in low waters and higher rythms… It is like a 1.60m guy pretend to be pivot in basketball. In spearfishing is the same.
EXPERIENCE. This is a very important point. It is even more important than training. Knowing our body, situations and signs our body tell us. We can be good trained and hold our breathe a lot of time but depending on each situation we must know when we are reaching our limits. Some days we are better than others. And maybe one day we are comfortable with 2 minutes of bottom time, but next day our body is not OK and we must be only one, and going further could be dangerous. Only experience will give us that.
SPECIFIC TRAINING. Of course a specific training will help us. But depends on what we are looking for. Won´t be bad for us. But must be clear that will only help if we are doing spearfishing. Will help to improve our level but only If we are going spearfishing often and this is a complement. That will not help us only doing it. If what we are looking for is training at home or in a swimming pool and then go spearfishing and be OK that is a big mistake. It is only a complement and can´t be considered as a substitute. Spearfishing is a sport where the most important is the technique, know about spearfishing. An example would be a runner who wants to play football, of course you need running on football but if you do not know how to play you won´t be a good football player, you will be a runner. If what we want is hold our breathe, go deep and enjoy the water freediving is our sport. Spearfishing is something different. And you can see how many freedivers are good spearos, just a few ones. But many spearos are nice freedivers.
TECHNIQUE. Spearfishing consist in catching fish. Fish as bigger and best quality as possible. We will reach that only with experience and technique. Technique and experience will allow us to know where and when we can find it. Technique will allow us to find fish in places where others didn´t find it and where others think that there can´t be. Technique will allow us to have the fish closer and easier for shooting, and be able to reach the bigger ones. We won´t need longer guns, more power… With good technique everything will be easier. As an example I can say that my best seabass were in less than 2m depth and with less than 40 seconds. In places where use to be a lot of spearos. But experience helps you to go at the right time and do it how you must do.
It is very important have your objectives very clear. Spearfishing for most of us is not competition. I was in competition for many years but this is a different thing. Spearfishing is a sport to enjoy, to relax. Having a good time in the water, look for this fish that we like, forget all our problems while we are in the water and finally enjoy our catches with our people. In one word ENJOY. No look for our limits or pretend to demonstrate anything. To have that we do not need a long apnea or going deep.
No fish worth our life. No fish, or picture, or video or “like” worth leave our family without us. Do not forget that spearfishing is a dangerous sport if we do not do it properly. And accidents usually come when we are forcing, going deep or holding for too long. Our ego for the big fish, to try to demonstrate to friends or in internet is what will take us closer to the limit. The only that worth is this dive when we enjoy the day and we can remember it gladly.
So our recommendation is not thinking about depth or bottom time. Just enjoy. Forget about find anything “magic” that will help us to find the goal. The only way is training and experience. And we are not going to find an exercise in our sofa that will make us better spearos. The same that there is no exercise on the sofa which make us better runners or football players. If you pretend to reach a high level with a sedentary life, spending the week working and going home, drinking and eating what you want, then you have a problem. Of course if you want to reach a high level. Will be OK if you just want to enjoy.
If we are not going to condition our normal life because of spearfishing then go to the water to enjoy, having a good time and not thinking about records.
On my experience after many years and thousands of hours doing spearfishing, now I can´t go spearfishing as much as I would like and I was used to. But I can tell that thanks to my experience now is when I am enjoying more and probably when I am better spearo. I have shorter bottom time and I can´t go as deep as years ago but the experience allow me to be better spearo.