Monday, May 27, 2024

Review: William Trubridge Online Freediving Training Portal

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“I wanted to create a one-stop resource for all your learning and training requirements in freediving. Whether you want to understand what drives the urge to breathe, or overcome difficulties with your mouthfill equalization, this will have the answers.”
William Trubridge

I jumped to check out Will Trubridge’s online Freedive Training Portal. As a student in his no-fins and master courses, I was impressed by his teaching style and keen understanding of all things freediving. I hoped the Freediving Portal would be a dynamic online master class reference library/coaching forum.

Depth work during the Vertical Blue Master class
The Author fell into a new Personal Best during the Vertical Blue Master Class

What Is The Online Freediving Training Portal

Will brings a keen scientific mind and years of cutting-edge research and experimentation to freediving. His knowledge and experience as a competitor and instructor show in the skillful, thorough, and completely accessible way he presents each topic.

The site is designed to be a one-stop shop for everything related to freediving training. It offers training videos, Q&A sessions, tutorials, and an online community.

I found myself exploring the site from two perspectives. As an instructor, I am interested in how Will organizes and presents the material, what he emphasizes, and how his approach comes across online. As a recreational diver with limits on the time I can dedicate to training, I want ways to optimize the time I have available efficiently.

The platform begins with short videos covering the basics of breath-hold physiology, progressing into basic and advanced training methods and state-of-the-art freediving science. The interface is intuitive, and the material is logically organized, making it easy to focus on a specific topic or approach it as a class-like progressive sequence. 

Throughout the site, Will actively engages subscribers in the Q&A sections beneath each video.

Will Trubridge's Freediving Portal
Click the image to watch the Online Training Portal intro

Content On The Online Freediving Training Portal

After the intro under the heading ‘Foundational Theory,’ Will begins by discussing oxygen metabolism as it relates to freediving and systematically describing how the process of a breath hold plays out during a dive.

Freediving Online Training with William Trubridge

The other videos in this section unfold logically into discussions of physiology, the dive reflex, equalization (including exercises), and my favorite, ‘7 Tips for Beginners’ – which consists of the stuff we all wish we knew when we started.

The Foundational Theory segment provides a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of freediving, sprinkled with time-tested insights and advice that make it valuable for anyone, from beginners to seasoned divers and advanced competitors. 

Breathwork: This section includes the most effective – and in some cases the only – tools available for freedivers to build resilience and flexibility in the lungs and related tissues.
These techniques helped me safely and comfortably set new personal bests almost daily during Will’s courses. The continued practice has enabled me to retain my capacity for depth as I age.

Training: This section contains eight more videos (maybe more by now!), the first of which is my favorite pool training.  The ‘FIPH’ or ‘Fixed Interval Pyramid Hypercapnic’ model allows me to train in a public pool, with very strict rules governing underwater activities, without compromising the workout’s effectiveness or stressing out the lifeguards. (Underwater intervals are VERY short with this method – and the likelihood of blackout or any other hypoxic event is almost nonexistent)

Another favorite of mine in this segment is a 10-minute dry drill to ‘maximize training stimulus’ when you are pressed for time or unable to do a longer session.

So far, the Advanced section has thirteen videos. The first is a paper titled ‘The True Cues of the Dive Reflex’.

Online Freediving Training Portal - Advanced Section
Online Freediving Training Portal – Advanced Section

Will’s observations in this paper resonate with my experience practicing very short-duration/high CO2 dry statics.  The most obvious effect of this practice is a very rapid and dramatic drop in heart rate (in my case, from 65-ish to the low 30s in 40 or 50 seconds). Still, I’d noticed other aspects of the Dive Reflex occurring that I thought depended on depth/pressure and water immersion, in addition to high CO2. Will’s paper echoes this observation and examines the factors that may explain it.

The practical takeaway is that we can cultivate the dive response effectively during dry practice. This has radical implications for training and safety.

The videos progress to advanced depth adaptation, pool training for depth (an instructional video on the FIPH method mentioned above), ways to work with the dive reflex, programming the subconscious, nutrition, and more.  

Dive Analysis:  In the first video in this section, Will talks us through a no-fins dive to 82 meters, pointing out details of the technique and explaining the reasons for them.

Will explains the details of CNF (Constant Weight No Fins) technique
Will explains the details of CNF (Constant Weight No Fins) technique

Among the gems in this video, and a good example of the game-changing insights and techniques to be found throughout the site, is Will pointing out the importance of relaxing completely during the momentary pause in exertion after the arm stroke. This is a subtle and profoundly effective opportunity to conserve energy.  

As of this writing the other videos in this series explore a Free Immersion (FIM) dive and two dive logging/analysis programs Will regards as mission critical for serious training.

10-minute Oatmeal is a series of short videos with quick ‘hacks’ to help with everything from mouthfill equalization to relaxation and putting on a high-performance wetsuit.
Check out the video below for a sample:

Thanks to this tutorial on getting into a high performance freediving suit -  Gone are the alarmed looks and humiliating offers of help from passers-by as I struggle into my training suit.
Thanks to this tutorial on getting into a high performance freediving suit –  Gone are the alarmed looks and humiliating offers of help from passers-by as I struggle into my training suit.

The Research segment contains well-vetted scientific articles on various facets of freediving, some of which are only just breaching the horizon of our understanding.

Research Section of the Freediving Portal
Research Section of the Freediving Portal

Six-week winter training cycle

Freedive Training Portal Winter Training CycleThis series records an online training cycle Will created and engaged with interested site members.  He has documented the specifics of the cycle and, in the videos, guides participants through discussing results, observations, and questions. Even after the fact, it amounts to six weeks of coaching!

Strength Training

The first video under this heading is a body-weight strength training routine for developing ‘explosive power’.  The emphasis is on no-fins, but the exercises will benefit all freediving disciplines. 

What Does The Online Freediving Training Portal Cost?

The Freediving Online Training Portal is an incredible value. A year-long subscription will set you back a mere $194.95 USD / £156 GBP / €183 EUR, or you can go monthly for just $27.95 / £23 GBP / €26 EUR. This is fantastic value when you consider it is a constantly evolving online master class with one of the most accomplished divers on the planet. 

For those wanting more, Will also offers limited enrollment 12-week personal coaching via video. This can be done asynchronously, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling.  Cost for this is $1008 USD, £810 GBP / €949 EUR a month.

Final Thoughts

William Trubridge’s Online Freedive Training Portal is a phenomenal resource for the freediving community. Whether you’re just starting and need a solid intro or are an experienced instructor, aspiring competitor, or spearo looking to improve your chops, this continuously evolving wealth of knowledge will deepen your understanding of freediving and provide powerful tools to develop and refine your skills as you progress.  You can check it out here

Key Features

  • Foundational theory videos
  • Advanced webinars from Freediving 102 series (both seasons)
  • Training regimes, programs, and individual exercises for all levels and goals
  • Live video sessions and AMAs
  • A community forum for discussion, sharing, & chat
  • Research papers
  • New content uploaded weekly

Price

  • William Trubridge’s Online Freedive Training Portal – Annual – $194.95 USD / £156 GBP / €183 EUR
  • William Trubridge’s Online Freedive Training Portal – Monthly –  $27.95 / £23 GBP / €26 EUR
  • 1:1 Personal Training – $1008 USD, £810 GBP / €949 EUR a month

Buy Now

REVIEW OVERVIEW

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SUMMARY

Will Trubridge's Online Freedive Training Portal is a phenomenal resource for the freediving community. Whether you're just starting out and need a solid intro, or are an experienced instructor, aspiring competitor, or spearo looking to improve your chops, this continuously evolving wealth of knowledge will deepen your understanding of freediving and provide powerful tools to develop and refine your skills as you progress. 
Christopher Morey
Christopher Moreyhttp://www.michiganfreediving.com
Christopher Morey has been free diving since age nine. He has trained with Eric Fattah, Emma Farrell and Will Trubridge and is a RAID advanced instructor and Master Freediver. He lives in Traverse City, Michigan with his wife, son, three monofins and seven (7) Spheras.

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Will Trubridge's Online Freedive Training Portal is a phenomenal resource for the freediving community. Whether you're just starting out and need a solid intro, or are an experienced instructor, aspiring competitor, or spearo looking to improve your chops, this continuously evolving wealth of knowledge will deepen your understanding of freediving and provide powerful tools to develop and refine your skills as you progress. Review: William Trubridge Online Freediving Training Portal