9 Awesome Fitness Tips From A Real Life Shark Diver
They're surprisingly good, even if you don't dive with sharks.
Think getting up at 5am and smashing out a 10k run before work is pretty hardcore?
That's nothing compared to spending hundreds of hours in a "deep tank," watching your diet and meditating every morning to keep you fit, strong (and just downright cool) enough to... wait for it... dive with JAWS for your actual, real life job.
Lukas Mueller is just a normal guy… apart from the fact he has one of the coolest (and riskiest) jobs we've basically ever heard of: diving with sharks! He’s even been freediving with Great Whites WITHOUT A CAGE.
Wanna know how this regular guy has learned to keep himself in peak physical and mental condition to keep up with the ocean's apex predator? Here are his top training tips...
1. Always have a training partner
“As a freediver, you never train alone. If something happens and there’s nobody to rescue you, you die. But from training with a partner, I’ve learned being around motivated people is infectious and makes you more motivated. Plus, I always train with someone better than I am to push me to a new level.”
2. Set realistic goals
“Let’s be real. If your fitness goal is to look like Hugh Jackman in X-Men, sorry but it’s never going to happen. You’d need to work out a lot for years to achieve that and by setting that as your goal, you’re just gonna lose motivation. There’s nothing wrong with setting long term goals but you also need realistic, short term goals from month to month or week to week - like ‘Dude, if I lose two pounds this month I’m gonna treat myself to an ice cream.’ Celebrating those achievements keeps you motivated to not only achieve your goals but to smash them.”
3. Embrace the unorthodox
“Like most people, I quickly get bored with things so after a couple of weeks a new gym routine gets boring to me - that’s why I love shark diving there’s always new problems to solve. It’s important to mix things up with unorthodox training once in a while like a ballet warm up or, one of my favourites, forest obstacle running. Doing something totally different not only trains your muscles but trains your brain, reflexes and nervous system to deal with new situations.”
4. Drink disgusting smoothies
“When life is busy and stressful, one thing that happens is we don’t eat right and then get sick and lose training progress because we’re not getting the nutrients we need. An easy hack to keep healthy is to drink smoothies. Yep, they can be disgusting - but healthy smoothies work so man up and get over it. Mix up some kale, garlic, berries, ginger, turmeric, pepper and protein powder and it’ll work wonders. Trust me, it might taste awful but it helps!”
5. View your workouts as a holistic body experience, not to just target your biceps
“A lot of people work out just to look better but, personally, I work out to improve the amazing things I can do with my body. Think about how you can make your body a more badass tool to do crazy things with rather than just targeting individual muscle groups like biceps or abs. Trust me, you’ll look good too as a result.”
6. Meditate for focus
“I made a crucial mistake a couple of years ago; I started to work out without listening to my body and ended up pushing past my limits and injuring my shoulder badly. Meditating for just five minutes a day has helped me dial in, listen to my body and explore my limits without pushing too far and hurting myself. It’s an amazing tool - and everybody has five minutes.”
7. See a physio every few months
“Injuries are the number one setback when it comes to fitness goals. When I injured my shoulder I was lying in bed unable to move - let alone work out - for two years. I lost 14lb of muscle mass and it took me years to recover. So why wait until you have an injury when there are experts who can go through your routines and help you fix any problems before they lead to injury?.”
8. If you’re on the road, create a mobile gym
“I’m usually on the road for at least four months of the year which makes it difficult to get to the gym. So I’ve developed a range of workouts I can do in my hotel room without any equipment. Create your own ‘mobile gym’ with challenging workouts you can do on the road to keep your training routine up, even if you can’t find a gym nearby, and keep yourself fit while you travel.”
9. Remember you don’t have to be a superhuman to be fit and healthy - anyone can do it!
“I strongly believe everybody can do something amazing with their life. Take me, for example: I had no idea about training when I was in my early 20s but I used the tools around me to transform into a competent freediver who can dive with some of the world’s biggest predators. I’m not a super athlete and I don’t have the best genetics but I did it. If I can achieve it, anyone can.”
Words by Melissa Hobson