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Men’s Health

The Underwater Torpedo League Is a Pool-Based Fitness Challenge



Torpedo in the gate. This is my only thought as I sink to the bottom of the pool on a deep end fitness workout in Hawthorne, California. My right hand is clutching a ten-ounce camo rubber torpedo. My left hand is free, ready to heisman anyone who tries to keep me away from the gate, four meters away.

I swim towards it underwater and come within six feet when Chuck Patterson and Giorgio Gomez, two professional surfers, come together. Chuck comes in from the right and Giorgio is guarding the gate. I reach the torpedo forward and chase Chuck. He bites, grabs my upper arm and pulls me down to the pelvic floor. I roll with him, then I turn off and stiffen Giorgio – and almost hit! Damn it, it’s Chuck again. I wind past him, put the torpedo in my left hand, and grab it. Result!

After my 30 seconds of underwater rings, I return to the surface, but somehow I don’t breathe heavily. This is the H2O powered Jedi mind trick of the underwater torpedo, a fast growing sport that has developed a cult following on the west coast. The game requires intense cardio and full body training – the rules require players to stay underwater while fending off defenders and scoring goals. It teaches economy of motion and breathing efficiency, two skills that will help improve your overall fitness on land, especially if you’re doing an activity that makes you gasp.

It’s aha! Level empowerment, and not just for me. With teams in four locations, the Underwater Torpedo League caused a sensation in SoCal, a new location in Miami and scouting locations in Austin and Hawaii. Meanwhile, DeepEnd Fitness, a full-body exercise program that teaches the UTL’s breathing and movement skills, attracts curious fitness minds like NFL safety Micah Hyde and UFC star Dominick Cruz to workouts in Hawthorne. “We see a lot of crazy transformations by the pool,” says Prime Hall, who co-founded Deep End Fitness and the UTL with ex-Marine raider Don Tran. “Someone goes from holding their breath for a minute to holding their breath for three and a half minutes underwater.”

Underwater torpedo is easy to learn, but difficult to master. The games are divided into three games. To win a game you must score five goals; win two out of three games to win the game. The game is similar to that of a five-on-five football, with a kink: you can only advance the torpedo (by passing it, passing it to a teammate, or moving with it) when it is completely submerged. If any part of the body breaks the surface while holding the torpedo, you will draw a penalty. Yes, that means you have to hold your breath underwater when you have the torpedo.

Translation: If I want to do something good for my team, I have to learn to live underwater. That, says Hall, strengthens mental strength. “You can use this game to build someone’s trust in water,” he says.

Tran and Hall didn’t invent the sport. Underwater torpedo is based on underwater soccer developed in the 1960s by Dave Murdoch, a University of Manitoba diving instructor who seeks to teach divers to remain calm underwater. His solution: They urge them to stay underwater until they can score.

They initially played with fins and snorkels and a non-buoyant ball. When the Marines and Navy took over the game, they introduced diving stones, dumbbells, and toy torpedoes.

Tran and Hall began playing underwater soccer in 2010 as a water survival teacher at Camp Pendleton, Southern California. When they left the Marines in 2017, they started organizing their own recreational games to keep in shape – and soon those games were well attended. At the end of the year, Tran and Hall launched the UTL. To make it more accessible, they created DeepEnd Fitness, which will help you hone the skills you need to excel in the underwater torpedo. It’s a vicious training in itself.

To prepare for my game, I work through some deep-end exercises. I start on land and learn to maximize every breath with burpees. First, I do a single burpee while holding my breath. Then I do two burpees, hold my breath again, and climb five straight burpees in a single breath (followed by a gasp).

Tran says that if I can handle the burpees, I can “exercise the energy underwater”. I don’t feel so safe. It doesn’t matter – I’m in the water and need to find out. In a 4 meter deep pool I take a deep breath, blow out all of my breath and then sink to the bottom. Without using my arms, I push myself back to the surface. (Cue more gasps) Then I step into water while a stopwatch counts down ten minutes. Advanced players hold dumbbells over the water to increase the challenge.

Next up is a 25-meter underwater swim; I can do it on the third attempt. Later, Tran hands me a ten-pound rubber stone that I use to swim all the way. About halfway through, Tran yells, “You’re almost there!” Almost, my ass, I think. I still have ten strokes to go. I roll my eyes. I have been humiliated.

As soon as we start playing, I’m even more humble. My first few times with the torpedo I am underwater for a total of 30 to 40 seconds and fight too much with a single breath. But with practice, my confidence grows, and it’s me, Chuck and Giorgio. My instincts kick in. After that first goal, I’ll score another – and then another. If we all show up, I’ll draw high fives. And I’ve never breathed easier.

Pool exercises for the underwater torpedo league

These exercises from Deep End Fitness give you more strength, endurance, and skill in the water, and offer benefits that flow into any exercise on land.

Burpee breath holding ladder

Aaron Okayama

Expand the possibilities of a single breath with this series. Take a deep breath, then exhale. Then take a deep breath, then hold your breath. Do a burpee. Repeat this time with 2 burpees. Continue until you have done 6 burpees in a single breath. Do 1 set. (Yes, it will do.)


Pool workout gutter upward building Build total body strength with the pool Build muscle up to the edge of the pool and place palms on the surface Lower the entire body under water, then explode upward, kick your legs firmly, pull your upper body up and your arms stretch your upper body should be out of the water, that's 1 rep and 2 sets of 20

Aaron Okayama

Build up all your physical strength with the pool, take on a muscle-up. Look to the edge of the pool and place your palms on the surface. Lower your entire body under the water, then explode upward and kick your legs hard. Pull your torso up and straighten your arms; Your upper body should be out of the water. This is 1 rep. Do 2 sets of 20.

Performance 8

Pool Workout Figure 8 Develop Underwater Endurance Finding a 25 Meter Pool Swim halfway across the surface, then dive to the bottom Stay submerged as you swim the rest of the way. Once you get to the edge, repeat the pattern to go to the bottom Start to return, the 1 is lap break 120 seconds make 2 laps

Aaron Okayama

Develop underwater endurance. Find a 25 meter pool. Swim across
halfway on the surface and then dive to the bottom. Stay underwater while swimming the rest of the way. Once you get to the edge, repeat the pattern to return to the beginning. That’s 1 lap. Rest 120 seconds. Do 2 rounds.

A version of this story originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of Men’s Health, entitled “Build Torpedo Toughness”.

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Men’s Health

The healthy habits that men who want to be dads should adopt



It’s no surprise that most fertility studies are looking at what women need to do to improve their chances of having a healthy baby, and while most of us know better, new research has found that the majority of women are still drinking and drinking Consumed caffeine when trying to get pregnant.

But it takes two to have a baby – and what men do trying to be fathers is also crucial in finding parenthood.

The new study by Tommy’s pregnancy charity found that more than half of women drank alcohol and four-fifths consumed caffeine while planning pregnancy. Another in five women smoked and one in 25 used drugs, with even higher rates among those under 25.

The study did not look at male fertility, but Tommy emphasizes that a healthy lifestyle is very important for men who want to be a father, as it affects the quality of their sperm and therefore the chances of conception and future health can of your baby.

“Much attention is paid to how maternal health and well-being can affect baby development, but when a couple is planning a pregnancy it is important that fathers are healthy too – not just for their own fertility. but for the long-term future of their family, as the health of the parents when they become pregnant can affect their children’s DNA, ”explains Tommy’s midwife Sophie King.

“Small changes can really make a big difference to the long-term health of parents and babies,” she adds.

And Dr. Raj Mathur, Chairman of the British Fertility Society, emphasizes: “We know from research that the lifestyle of the potential father is also very important for the chances of pregnancy and the outcome of the pregnancy.

“Men planning a baby with their partner should take the opportunity to improve their health and lifestyle, including factors such as weight, moderate regular exercise, smoking cessation, reducing alcohol consumption, and following a healthy, balanced diet.”

So what do men who want to become fathers have to do to improve their chances?

Cut down on alcohol

Alcohol can affect both male and female fertility, and Tommy says too much alcohol can lead to poor sperm quality and quantity, as well as decreased testosterone levels and even a loss of interest in sex.

Men trying to have a baby are advised to reduce their alcohol consumption and not drink more than the recommended maximum limit of 14 units per week, and evenly spread their drinking over three days or more.

Cut down on caffeine

There is evidence that men who consume too much caffeine when trying to get pregnant can increase their partner’s risk of miscarriage.

The same goes for women, so Tommy suggests that couples struggling to have a baby should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg per day (around two cups of instant coffee or one cup of filter coffee).

Do not smoke

Smoking can lower the quality of a man’s sperm, resulting in lower sperm counts and affecting the ability of the sperm to swim. It’s even linked to sexual impotence (inability to get or maintain an erection), explains Tommy.

Also, a woman who inhales cigarette smoke through secondhand smoke can affect her ability to get pregnant – and just opening windows and doors won’t help, the charity points out.

Keep your testicles cool

The NHS says a man’s testicles need to be slightly cooler than the rest of his body to produce the best quality sperm. That sounds harsh, but there are a few simple things you can do to stay cooler down there, such as wearing loose-fitting underwear like boxer shorts and, if you’re working in a hot environment, taking regular breaks outdoors. Also, if you sit at a desk for long periods of time, try to get up and move around regularly.

King also advises: “Men who are having babies should avoid saunas and hot baths and shouldn’t sit still for long periods or have a warm laptop on their lap.”

Maintain a healthy weight

While the new Tommy research found that more than half of women who tried to conceive may report their weight had a high BMI, which can decrease the chances of conceiving and increase the risk of pregnancy complications Men who are overweight or obese can also negatively impact fertility as it can affect the quality and quantity of their sperm, Tommy’s says.

Eat healthy

If your partner is trying to stay healthy to support the pregnancy, why not join her? And make sure you eat your five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, as research by Tommy shows that sperm quality is affected by diet. In addition, it might be worthwhile to eat a serving of walnuts every day, as they have been shown to support the mobility of the sperm (ability to swim).

“Sperm health can be improved with a balanced diet and regular exercise,” emphasizes King. “Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and walnuts has been shown to improve male fertility; red and processed meat, caffeine, saturated fat, and trans fats can all cause problems. “

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Men’s Health

Is Winning a Silver or Bronze Medal Really Not Worth Celebrating?



What is a medal really worth? That question was debated all week after former morning TV presenter and journalist Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter: “Real sports champions don’t celebrate third place” and “If you don’t win gold, you’ve lost. I’m sorry (not sorry) if that simple cold hard fact hurts everyone’s tender little feelings. “

We’ve all seen footballers remove runners-up medals after they were wrapped around their necks and even in Tokyo 2020 we saw athletes like Team GB’s Bradly Sinden can’t hide their disappointment with the win. just ‘a silver medal. So is Morgan right? Are silver and bronze medals really not worth as much as a gold plated medal? And is the saying “second place is the first loser” really true?

Not according to former Olympic swimmer Keri-anne Payne, who spoke exclusively to Men’s Health UK about her own silver medal triumph at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. At the time, Payne came eighth in her event, the 10K Open Water Final, but still managed to get away with a silver medal.

“I was so happy,” Payne told Men’s Health UK. “It was like a moment of confirmation that I was good at it and that all the training and sacrifices I had made were worth it.

“I think almost everyone dreams of winning an Olympic medal, but thinking about the color or even getting one beforehand is a recipe for stress and pressure,” she adds. “It’s about focusing on the performance you’ve been training for, not the medal you could win.”

Payne isn’t the only athlete who disagrees with Morgan’s hot take. Canadian figure skater Meaghan Duhamel wrote in response to him: “I’m pretty comfortable with my bronze medal, thank you very much. ‘Winning’ means different things to different people,” said the London 2012 Olympic soccer player and current head coach of the San Diego NWSL Team, Casey Stoney, wrote, “Why do people give Piers Morgan airtime. He has no idea what it takes to be a top athlete.”

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To be fair, it’s important to say that not all athletes agree with Payne, Duhamel, and Stoney. Morgan himself cited a Telegraph article by James Cracknell in which the two-time Olympic gold rower wrote: “All of a sudden, a bronze or silver won’t get you on the front page of a newspaper, the BBC’s leading sports bulletin, or add to it commercial support – it may sound brutal, but gold is the only currency that matters now. ”

Keri Anne Payne celebrates winning the gold medal in the Women’s Open Water 10km during the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China

Quinn RooneyGetty Images

Payne would certainly disagree, and interestingly enough, the scientific research that says value is not derived from the medal that a person achieves, but from how that person subjectively views their performance.

In 1995 the psychologists Victoria Medvec and Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University and Scott Madey from the University of Toledo carried out an analysis of the emotional reactions of athletes to winning bronze and silver medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The researchers observed the reactions of medalists both at the end of their events and when their medals were awarded, and found that bronze medalists tended to be happier than silver medalists.

The authors attribute this to the fact that while silver medalists were still upset about not winning gold, bronze medalists were more likely to leave the Games without a medal than with gold, so they were happy with what they got.

So are bronze and silver medals worth less than gold? Not if science is to be believed, and as Payne says, the value of medals in the Olympics, regardless of color, is not just a personal achievement either.

“I didn’t compete in the Olympics to win everyone on social media,” says Payne. “I was there for myself and I’m incredibly proud of my accomplishments and the legacy that this medal, along with my teammate Cassie Patten with her bronze medal, created for the sport in the UK.

“That’s one of the things the Olympics are about to inspire a nation.”

Daniel Davies is a writer for Men’s Health UK and has been reporting for various publications on sports science, fitness and culture for the past five years.

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Men’s Health

Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles Withdraws From Tokyo Olympics All-Around Gymnastics



US superstar Simone Biles withdrew from a second gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday to protect her mental health, raising serious doubts about her participation in the rest of the Games. One day after her shocking departure from the team event, USA Gymnastics said the 24-year-old had also withdrawn from the individual all-around event at the Ariake Gymnastics Center. The American hit Japan as one of the headlines for the 2020 Games postponed by the pandemic and had immense expectations as she pursued a record of nine Olympic titles in her career.

But she retired from team competition after a shaky opening jump, and her troubles mean she may not be able to add the four gold medals she won at the 2016 Rio Games.

“After another medical examination, Simone Biles withdrew from the last individual all-around event at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health,” said a statement from USA Gymnastics.

The US federation said a decision on whether Biles, who will be replaced by Jade Carey, will take part in individual finals will be made after the daily evaluation.

“We support Simone’s decision wholeheartedly and welcome her courage to put her well-being in the foreground,” the statement said. “Her courage shows once again why she is a role model for so many.”

After leaving the team event on Tuesday, where she won silver by starting the finals, Biles said she had to “do the right thing for me and focus on my mental health.”

“I don’t trust myself as much as I used to, and I don’t know if it’s age,” she said. “I’m a little more nervous when doing gymnastics.”

Support for the gymnast poured in from around the world after her withdrawal from the team finals.

Michelle Obama tweeted, “Am I good enough? Yes I am. The mantra that I practice every day. @Simone_Biles, we are proud of you and we cheer you on. Congratulations on the silver medal, Team @USA! “

Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao tweeted, “Once a champion, always a champion. God Bless @Simone_Biles. “

Home fans are still coming to terms with the defeat of Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka on Tuesday, who contested her first event since retiring from the French Open, citing mental health problems.

Ledecky strikes back

Biles’ problems overshadowed the sporting program on Wednesday’s fifth day of action.

Katie Ledecky, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Games, lost her 200m freestyle crown to Ariarne Titmus two days after she also surrendered her 400m title to the Australian.

But they regrouped to crush the field in the women’s first 1,500-meter run at the Olympics, finishing more than four seconds ahead of U.S. teammate Erica Sullivan.

Ledecky, 24, is the fourth swimmer to win six Olympic gold medals, including her first 800m freestyle victory at the 2012 London Games.

Titmus, nicknamed “Terminator,” emerged as one of the stars at the Tokyo Aquatics Center when Australia shot up the medal table.

The 20-year-old, who achieved a new Olympic record time of 1min 53.50sec, still has the 800m freestyle and the 4x200m relay ahead of him in a grueling program.

The Japanese Yui Ohashi completed a double medley and won the 200m race before the 400m gold, which she secured on Sunday, while world record holder Kristof Milak won the men’s 200m butterfly gold.

The British freestyle swimmers brought the morning session to an exciting climax, narrowly missing out on the world record in the 4×200 meter freestyle by beating the Russian team by more than three seconds.

Australia also won gold medals in the men’s four and women’s rowing competitions to increase their overall Olympics to six, moving up to fifth on the table, with Japan and China ahead at 11th place.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s time trial around Mount Fuji after being left red-faced on Sunday when she mistakenly thought she had won the road race.

And the defending champions of rugby sevens, Fiji, have prepared a delicious final against New Zealand to take place later in the day.

New Zealand beat Great Britain 29-7 while Fiji beat Argentina 26-14.


World champion Nikita Nagornyy, fresh from leading the Russian gymnasts to a narrow victory in the men’s team against Japan, will meet Daiki Hashimoto once again in the men’s all-around match.

In men’s basketball, the United States rebounded 120-66 against Iran after losing to a strong French team after their first Olympic defeat in 17 years.

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