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Ive seen plenty of instructors abroad who in my view weren't physically fit enough to be teaching. A lot presumably lie on the self cert form or just get a useless doctor to sign them up. I know of one who is so round she is unable to put her own fins on and cant do a weight belt remove/replace due to the amount needed in a 2mm wetsuit! Ive seen others that go bright red, breathe like a train and suck a tank down in minutes the second they're confronted with a current or any form of exertion on a dive.

Even within the realms of HSE the exercise standard itself is relatively low, ive seen some very unfit people pass it and again these people struggle walking up short hills at inland sites and get out of breath after a short dive in a slight current.

You don't need to be a gym monkey to teach but you do need a minimum standard that at least means you can aid a student or a diver for example lifting and helping kitting up, helping them in/out of the water or controlling them and dealing with currents and/or surface swims in the water. That does require some degree of aerobic fitness! If you look like a heart attack waiting to happen the second conditions deteriorate you shouldn't really be supervising anyone.

...and on the flip side of thing the students and qualified divers that also lack the above some of which blatantly lie on the self-cert forms too.....
 

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Dive without politics
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If instructors had to pass these type of watermanship skills annually or biennially (?) would we see a high drop-out rate of instructors?
I just realised i hadnt answered the question, and i would say that we would see an increased dropout rate.
 
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Dive without politics
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If you are a heart attack waiting to happen, the second conditions deteriorate you shouldn't really be supervising anyone.
Fixed that for you
 

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Guys stop arguing about the HSE. I'm referring to all instructors worldwide. Widen the scope a bit.
There is a possible solution on a personal level, only train with UK registered professional instructors...

I have noticed people mention the HSE, not noticed any arguing going on about it though? Which posts are you referring to?

I am interesting in you claim to be able to spot a pending lifestyle cause heart attack, how can you be sure just by looking at someone?

IIRC the guy who popularised jogging died of a heart attack... while out jogging....

This is the thing with heart attacks, they don't follow our rules, I know lots of people who should have had one but haven't and a few people who shouldn't but have.... what is your secret?
 

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Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam
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Guys stop arguing about the HSE. I'm referring to all instructors worldwide. Widen the scope a bit.
The point still remains that if lack of fitness was presenting itself as a major problem then the HSE here would be looking at it. They aren't which implies it isn't. Accident reports don't seem to bear it out either. I've not seen anything that suggests it's a problem abroad either.

What problem is it going to solve? None that I can see.

It's easy to sit and say look at that fat cnut, he couldn't rescue someone. Maybe he could, maybe he couldn't. The situation is that there isn't a massive amount of divers in training needing rescued and a significant number of those being screwed up by instructor fitness. Do you honestly think a skipper on his jack on a boat has much chance of rescuing a diver face down in the water? We don't seem to think twice about that or maybe having the cost of another crew member being rolled on to our charter costs skews our views a bit more than an instructor having to eat a hundred quid and a day off work to do a pointless test that some busybody deems necessary.

There are millions of things that might happen. What about insisting on that instructors have an advanced driving cert because they are doing high miles and early starts? What if the skipper has a heart attack? Should instructors who use boats have an APB or Day Skipper so they can take the wheel? How many even bother to spend a day getting a VHF ticket? That would be a hell of a lot more use in an emergency. We're subject to random piss tests, would that improve instructor safety? Without some acknowledgement of likelihood then you end up with a list of pointless rules to counter risks that some busybody has come up with.

I completely agree! I do however think that the general level of fitness within the dive industry is indicative of a lot of other areas within the Industry where the bar needs to be raised a lot higher. Biannual re evaluations for instructors would go a long way towards ensuring that quality of instruction is kept to a high level. I would add to this that there are an awful lot of competent conscientious instructors out there, but IMHO there is way too much latitude between the good ones and the bad ones. Fitness tests per se would do nothing to address this, (as i say above, there needs to be a more holistic method of instructor quality control)but they would separate those instructors who are prepared to put in the hard work for their trade, versus those that can't be arsed!
I just can't help thinking if you are going to have regular requals then there are better things to do than waste two or three hours of that on a fitness test that doesn't really prove much.
 
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Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam
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There is a possible solution on a personal level, only train with UK registered professional instructors...

I have noticed people mention the HSE, not noticed any arguing going on about it though? Which posts are you referring to?

I am interesting in you claim to be able to spot a pending lifestyle cause heart attack, how can you be sure just by looking at someone?

IIRC the guy who popularised jogging died of a heart attack... while out jogging....

This is the thing with heart attacks, they don't follow our rules, I know lots of people who should have had one but haven't and a few people who shouldn't but have.... what is your secret?
As the great Jack Nicholson once said, we're all dying, act accordingly. George Burns drank whisky, smoked cigars and probably never did a stroke of exercise in his life and lived to be a hundred. Bruce Lee died at 32 after being told he had the fitness of a 19 year old.
 

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I really do have a pink weight belt
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
There is a possible solution on a personal level, only train with UK registered professional instructors...

I have noticed people mention the HSE, not noticed any arguing going on about it though? Which posts are you referring to?

I am interesting in you claim to be able to spot a pending lifestyle cause heart attack, how can you be sure just by looking at someone?

IIRC the guy who popularised jogging died of a heart attack... while out jogging....

This is the thing with heart attacks, they don't follow our rules, I know lots of people who should have had one but haven't and a few people who shouldn't but have.... what is your secret?
Ok Firstly. Don't edit your posts half an hour after posting :p I read the original.

Secondly. I said I can't pick out genetic heart defects. Likely Jim Fix, the guy your talking about, probably had a genetic disposition which is hard to spot.

Jim Fixx - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

oh look it was genetic disposition.
 

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Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam
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Ok Firstly. Don't edit your posts half an hour after posting :p I read the original.

Secondly. I said I can't pick out genetic heart defects. Likely Jim Fix, the guy your talking about, probably had a genetic disposition which is hard to spot.

Jim Fixx - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

oh look it was genetic disposition.
OK. How about him:



He had a heart attack within weeks of that shot. Being able to spot a lifestyle related heart attack must really have opened a great career with the NHS.
 

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I agree two or three hours of fitness testing would be ridiculous. However a multistage fitness test (or more commonly known as the bleep test) takes no more than five mins to set up and even a very very fit person will struggle to get past level 15. Each level is a minute long so max test gonna take is 20 mins, and everyone on the requal course could take the test together so very time efficient way of doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Secondly. I said I can't pick out genetic heart defects. Likely Jim Fix, the guy your talking about, probably had a genetic disposition which is hard to spot.
OK. How about him:



He had a heart attack within weeks of that shot. Being able to spot a lifestyle related heart attack must really have opened a great career with the NHS.
Um. You really didn't read my post at all did you ;)
 

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Dive without politics
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OK. How about him:



He had a heart attack within weeks of that shot. Being able to spot a lifestyle related heart attack must really have opened a great career with the NHS.
Its well known that at the time he was drinking heavily, that probably would have been an indicator, if anyone was paying attention.

I was under the impression that the vast majority of heart attacks were related to lifestyle.

There is a little too much semantics on here just now, and i really cant see why, or how anyone would argue against a fitness test, to maintain teaching status.

In the UK the authorities think its such a good idea they have a fitness test built into a medical that must be passed in order to teach diving.

Personally I feel that test should be carried out in water, and if the guys doing the test are on the ball it would take no more than one hour to do.

The thing is i see it as a sign of being a professional, most of the instructors i know could pass a standard PADI test, some would find it much harder than others.
 

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If I may quote Dr. Chris Edge, he said to me, "Passing a fitness test doesn't mean you won't drop dead on the way out of the door."
 
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Dive without politics
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If I may quote Dr. Chris Edge, he said to me, "Passing a fitness test doesn't mean you won't drop dead on the way out of the door."
He is not the only doctor to say things like that :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 · (Edited)
I'm in agreement with Darth.

I'm not talking about the requirements of the HSE. I'm talking about performance in the water, a combination of timed swimming and scuba distances to prove your dive fitness.

This is a physical job.
 

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If I may quote Dr. Chris Edge, he said to me, "Passing a fitness test doesn't mean you won't drop dead on the way out of the door."
Yep, no different to a car MOT. It passed a certain test at a certain time on a certain day. Proves nothing else other than that.

I've seen estimates that up to 30% of the population have PFO's. Kind of makes fitness tests a bit of a joke when faced with that kind of figure. I take it we're all having PFO tests then and barring a third of our buddies...
 

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Um. You really didn't read my post at all did you ;)
What? Where you said:

I could have probably spotted the former very easy
I still don't know what the problem you are trying to solve is. Is it heart attacks? Because you're doing better than most diving medics are at spotting them. Is it lack of diving skill? Doesn't say much for the agencies you hold in such high regard, I've not met many divers who had good enough skills to become an instructor then suddenly and inexplicably lose those skills. I take it you have raised the issue with IANTD or PADI?

What problem does doing the yearly fitness test you outline in your original post address?
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I still don't know what the problem you are trying to solve is. Is it heart attacks? Because you're doing better than most diving medics are at spotting them. Is it lack of diving skill? Doesn't say much for the agencies you hold in such high regard, I've not met many divers who had good enough skills to become an instructor then suddenly and inexplicably lose those skills. I take it you have raised the issue with IANTD or PADI?

What problem does doing the yearly fitness test you outline in your original post address?
To be honest I'm having the same problem mate. What are you so angry about?


I posited a simple question. I stated that I myself may have problems completing the watermanship skills, and I consider myself a fairly healthy individual.
So if there were yearly tests would we see regular instructor drop-outs. I thought that was a fairly easy question. You seem to have taken a personal sleight against the people that have taught you. Rather than realise it was a question. Not an opinion.
 

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I'm in agreement with Darth.

I'm not talking about the requirements of the HSE. I'm talking about performance in the water, a combination of timed swimming and scuba distances to prove your dive fitness.
Let's forget about the HSE test, it is the Chester Step Test and is a sub maximal fitness test that is about as useful as a BMI test. Besides does anyone know anyone who has ever failed their HSE medical as a result of the Step test, the bar is set rather low on it. It is more used as a health test than a fitness test.

Also let's look at swimming as a dive fitness test. When designing a fitness programme one of the guiding principles is that of the Principle of Specificity. This states that for a programme to be effective it must as closely as possible mirror the activity one is training for. Therefore if you are training for a marathon it is best to run slowly for a long time, and if you are training for the London to Brighton bike ride it is best to ride a bike a long way. This may sound obvious but the reason behind it are that the physiological adaptations that are brought about by training are then those that are most appropriate for your chosen activity. If we apply this to swimming quickly in a pool we can see that by far the quickest method is front crawl, and if we look at front crawl 90% of the propulsion comes from the upper body, the arms the shoulders and the back muscles. Now go watch any truly competent scuba diver and you will notice that they seem to only move their fins and that their upper body remains steady as a rock.

Swimming fast in a pool is NOT a good indication of dive fitness.
 

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Dive without politics
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What? Where you said:



I still don't know what the problem you are trying to solve is. Is it heart attacks? Because you're doing better than most diving medics are at spotting them. Is it lack of diving skill? Doesn't say much for the agencies you hold in such high regard, I've not met many divers who had good enough skills to become an instructor then suddenly and inexplicably lose those skills. I take it you have raised the issue with IANTD or PADI?

What problem does doing the yearly fitness test you outline in your original post address?
Why are you so bent out of shape?

You have been given at least one reason by me.
 

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Dive without politics
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Swimming fast in a pool is NOT a good indication of dive fitness.
Correct, but it is an indication of CV fitness, which is the point, or at least i thought it was.
 
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