The Offseason Grind of a Pro Cliff Diver (PT. 7 of 10)

Posted by Joseph Miller on

If you’ve been following along with our USA Cliff Diving series, you might be wondering by now, “what does it take to become a competitive cliff diver?” The short answer: a lot. It takes year-round, intense training and dedication to keep the men of the USA Cliff Diving team in top performing shape. Like any talent you want to polish and perfect, behind it comes countless hours of practice and a passionate desire to be your best.

Marv Watson / Red Bull Content Pool

Marv Watson / Red Bull Content Pool

When the members of the USA Cliff Diving team are in off-season, they’re typically found residing in their perspective cities around the country, working on personal and professional careers, but this doesn’t deter them from concentrating on what’s to come. The key areas of attention in off-season preparation are training in strength, flexibility, and stamina, with intense workouts leaving the athletes sore for most of their weeks. The main training areas for the competitors are Los Angeles California, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Monticello, IN, and Ötztal, Austria.

"Everyone is a little bit different depending on his or her location and employment.  Typically for me it’s a pretty basic cycle: 6:30am wake up, 9:30-11:00 gym, 12:30-5:30 work, 6:00-7:30 pool.  I’m at the gym typically 5-6 days a week and diving in the pool about 3-4 days a week.  I would say on average, at the very low-end, it’s about 4 hours of training per day" says Steven Lobue. 

Once the season starts approaching, the strength training slows down and the diving aspect becomes more pertinent. During these training weeks, the athletes will spend 5 to 6 days in the pool for several hours, diving from only about 10 to 12 meters. Because the dives aren’t as physically intense as those during the Red Bull World Series, the practice of meditation and mental agility are incredibly important. The trick is to visualize, model, and view the real cliff dive through every perspective possible, understanding each move precisely for perfect execution.


“With no real high diving training facilities, we’re forced to train at traditional diving wells from lower heights for the majority of the year, therefore it’s imperative to train your mind and be prepared for the stress and fear that comes with every dive.” – David Colturi


For this team, there are no coaches assisting the athletes, passing down advice from personal experiences to help ameliorate the trial and error process. The guys see it as a learning adventure, figuring tricks and skills out as they go along and lending guidance and counseling to one another to make the team as strong as it can be.

To get a better view of the training process for the USA Cliff Diving team, check out the (slightly comedic) first episode of their web series, giving a visual insight into their training routines.

Ep. #1 Preseason Training from USA Cliff Diving on Vimeo.



Part 1 - The History of Cliff Diving

Part 2 - The Men of USA Cliff Diving

Part 3 - The Evolution of Cliff Diving

Part 4 - Diving In Paradise

Part 5 - In The Hands of Judges

Part 6 - Injuries, Sketchy Conditions, & The Risks of Diving From 90ft.



Joseph Miller is a freelance writer based in Richmond, VA. He received his BS in Creative Advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University. In between writing editorials and content pieces, Joseph is currently training for his first half marathon, though his love for snacks may stunt his performance. www.josephhuntermiller.com 


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