American big-wave surfer and all round legend, Laird Hamilton, is no stranger to keeping fit in his middle age. But one method of training enjoyed by Laird really isn’t for the faint hearted, something UFC hotshot Paddy Pimblett recently discovered.
We’ve previously discussed 58-year-old Laird Hamilton’s crazy antics and trendsetting moves – see his tethered swimming or weighted vest training methods – all in the name of fitness, but his latest obsession with underwater weight training is something that has us gasping for air just watching it.
WATCH: Laird Hamilton Teaches Paddy Pimblett Underwater Weight Training
UFC superstar Paddy Pimblett recently visited Laird at his home in Hawaii, to discover how Laird manages to keep his body in fighting fit shape, despite pushing 60 years of age. After attempting an ice bath, Laird got Paddy into the pool to complete a number of weighted resistance training moves which have to be seen to be believed.
The majority of the movements saw Paddy having to sink to the bottom of the pool whilst holding a dumbbell, and then push himself off the pool floor so that he would reach the surface. Laird proved just how easily this can be done, being able to push up and resurface in one fell swoop.
For Liverpudlian UFC fisher Paddy Pimblett however, he had to kick his legs and use his arms to help fight against both the resistance of the water and the resistance of the weight.
Other exercises Laird gets Paddy to perform include walking laps of the pool floor whilst holding onto some dumbbells (which Laird claims is “something fun”), and swimming lengths of the pool whilst holding a dumbbell in one hand.
Paddy says the training is “like nothing I’ve ever done in my life.”
As British publication Sports Fitness says, underwater weight lifting can have a number of positive effects, both “on your body and mental health.”
Purported benefits include:
- Increased core strength
- Improves breathing technique
- Enhanced cardiovascular system
- Great for injury recovery
- Mental boost and stress relief
- Increased muscle strength
The improvements to your strength and cardiovascular system should be relatively obvious. Swimming already provides a good amount of resistance and is a great way to build strength, so adding weights into the equation requires you to exert more strength to fight the resistance.
DMARGE has previously spoken to Laird about his underwater training. He said, “The pool training is my most unique because we made it up—we developed it and it’s a combination of weight training and swimming together.”
And, talking to the benefits underwater weight training has for the average Joe, Laird added it “helps you minimise injury, increase cardio capacity, then make you a lot cleaner—a better swimmer—in the water.”
By working out in the water you also minimise the impact on your joints, making it a much safer form of exercise. There is, of course, the inherent danger of drowning, since you’re literally holding onto weights to keep you submerged for long periods of time. In this regard, you should only attempt underwater weight training after consulting a health professional and if you have a spotter to hand who can intervene should anything go wrong.
But, as a potential new way for you to workout, it could be the best thing you ever do.
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