Cliff Diver David Colturi’s Training TipsThe American cliff diver twists and turns his way to success thanks to a winning formula in and out of the water.
THE WEIGHT IN POUNDS HE CAN SHIFT ON A LEG PRESS MACHINE
As well as a strong and lean overall physique, Colturi needs explosive leg power to achieve the necessary height when launching himself from the platform. “On the gym’s Agaton machine,” he says, “you can add weight to a leg press on
the way down. I’ve done 300 lbs on the raise, then added another 300 lbs for the return. I can manage three to four reps of that.” Set a limit of 600 lbs to build leg muscle without straining your lower back.
The number of spins he’ll perform in 10 minutes while suspended above the floor
Cliff divers train in the pool, in the gym and in mid-air. “We use rooms with sprung floors and foam pits, like gymnasts. Some of these have apparatus with ropes and pulleys so we can suspend ourselves in the air to practise rotations and learn spins. The biggest competition dive, the back triple with four rotations, has three somersaults and four twists – that’s seven spins in one dive. I might practise 15 of those in a row.”
- Discipline: Cliff diver
- Age: 27
- Height: 1.73m
- Weight: 68kg
- Roll of honour: Fifth place overall in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
THE TOP SPEED IN MPH HE WILL HAVE REACHED BY THE TIME HE HITS THE WATER
The height of the platform in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series can be up to 92 feet. Divers accelerate from zero to 53 mph in three seconds, then drop to zero mph less than a second after making contact with the water. “Because we only do four jumps in a competition, people say we have a 12-second work day, which is kind of funny. But you go over the dives in yourmindsomanytimes—hundredsoftimesaday. It’s a mentally exhausting sport.” Colturi notes down his thoughts and responses on paper as a way of dealing with the brain strain.
THE DURATION IN MINUTES THAT HE CAN HOLD THE “HOLLOW BODY” POSE TO IMPROVE CORE STABILITY
“For this exercise, you lay down so that only your lower back touches the ground, with your shoulder blades and legs a few inches off the floor. It’s like the Plank [face down, forearms and toes on the floor, spine straight], but tougher.” By increasing core strength, full-body coordination exercises like these give cliff divers the balance they need to maintain body position in the air, and they’re a tough but simple addition to any fitness routine.