FitDiver® Mobile App for Scuba Diver Fitness

FitDiver Mobile App: A Treasured Chest

“Navigating the waters of fitness for scuba diving may seem daunting however, these tried and true exercises for the major muscles of the upper body are as certain as the tides to develop A Treasured Chest.”

ScubaFit® debuts the first in a series of mobile fitness applications for scuba divers. To purchase the application click here.  Available now in the Android Market, and soon in the Apple market, search for it by “fitdiver” or locate it in “scuba diving” or “fitness”. Link to the application through the website at Divers may also find FitDiver® on Facebook and Twitter.

“It is the only fitness application for scuba divers you’ll find, but we have more on the way,” says Gretchen M. Ashton, CFT, NBFE, and founder of ScubaFit®.  This project compliments the PADI ScubaFit® Diver Distinctive Specialty Course, co-authored by Ashton.  Gretchen explains, “While all divers now have access to our specialized workouts, the exercises will be most meaningful for divers who have completed the ScubaFit® Diver Distinctive Specialty.  Both instructors and students have the greatest understanding of the benefits of physical fitness for divers and the applications function as an extension of the certification.  The workouts encourage all divers to embrace a healthy, fit and active lifestyle.”

FitDiver® Workouts are based on sound research including a health profile of the diving community and the unique physiological demands of the underwater environment. Scuba diving is often considered moderate-intensity activity. Yet, there are differences in the physical requirements for diving depending on the type of diving and the conditions. Diving may be recreational, technical, industrial or military. Conditions vary greatly in water temperature, visibility, currents and surf. Further, other stresses on human physiology must be considered in an underwater environment. Along with the proper gear, divers must also prepare with proper training, including physical fitness, for safety and performance. The ultimate physical fitness recommendation for scuba divers is to be in excellent health; free from disease, medical conditions and injury. As we go through life, we often have difficulty maintaining this clean slate. It is important for divers to know how to become and remain physically fit, prevent illness and injury, and rehabilitate and manage conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, and obesity.

In addition to improving health and quality of life, physical fitness for scuba diving:

  • Improves transportation of oxygen to muscles
  • Reduces amount of air used
  • Extends bottom time
  • Increases physical endurance and reduces fatigue
  • Facilitates carrying less weight
  • Improves mental acuity
  • Reduces the risk of decompressions sickness (DCS)
  • Improves agility on boats and uneven terrain
  • Improves comfort and movement on the surface and underwater
  • Improves fin-kick efficiency and diving performance

Certain to capture the interest of scuba divers, the featured exercises were photographed at the Ponto Beach Overlook in Carlsbad, California, with the beautiful Pacific Ocean as a backdrop.  This location is an excellent site for running stairs with the spectacular view as a reward.

The application(s) are developed, designed and marketed with the expertise of Phrogger Interactive, Designs by Brie, jb design, and Loren Kurz, Fitness Model. For more information contact:

Volunteers needed to “Dive The Coast” for ocean organizations

CALIFORNIA – Divers along the 1000 miles of California coastline are gearing up for the largest mass scuba dive in the history of diving. Test dives are being done to gauge dive distance, depth and air, all of which will be formulated for diving longer distances during Dive the Coast scheduled for June 2013. Dive teams will first perform calibration dives to determine distance. Additional dives are relay dives where one team dives a distance then hands a flag to another team and so forth.

Volunteer divers and organizers to help with promotion, planning, and future dives are still needed. Dive the Coast Chapters have been formed in San DiegoOrangeLos AngelesSan Luis Obispo,MontereySanta Cruz and San Francisco counties. Visit to contact the coordinator for each county. San DiegoLos AngelesOrange and Monterey counties also have FaceBook pages. Coordinators are still needed for Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Contact to become a coordinator and/or supporter.

Upcoming events and news statewide include:

March 17, 2012, Los Angeles: Join divers in Los Angeles for a series of dives with the goal of covering the entire Palos Verdes Peninsula. Day one divers will cover at least three miles, from Malaga Cove to Rocky Point, with possibly another four miles added on to reach Old Marineland Cobblestone Beach. For more information, call or email Brian at 661-270-6072,

La Jolla Cove, California

May 5-6, 2012. Orange County: Coastkeeper and OC-DTC will be promoting Dive the Coast at the Scuba Show in Long Beach.  OC-DTC participated in the 31st Annual Avalon Harbor Clean Up at Catalina Island on February 24th, 2012.  Participants were interviewed by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli who was at the event filming his new Lonely Planet adventure roadtrip airing on  BBC America in a few months.

June 8-10, 2012 – Dive the Bay, Monterey: Join divers from across the state for a weekend of camaraderie and diving in beautiful Monterey, home to some of the best diving in the state! The event begins with a social gathering Friday night, then two days diving the entire Monterey Bay as a prelude to the statewide event. “Dive the Bay” is really just an opportunity for everyone to meet, swap stories, play with any sea lions and harbor seals that might be hanging around – but mostly, to build excitement about, and support for, 2013! For more information, call or email Chris at 408-694-7483,

The goal of Dive the Coast is to bring divers across the state together for a common goal and to raise money for ocean conservation and education organizations. It will also provide an opportunity for divers to explore areas of the state where they would otherwise not go, and gives exposure to the sport as a whole. Organizers are coordinated by county and each of the 15 counties select deserving organizations to benefit from their fundraising efforts.

Kimberly White, founder of Dive the Coast, originated the idea in Santa Cruz in August 2011, and participants have since been conducting outreach to dive clubs, dive shops and non-profit organizations, as well as forming partnerships to help accomplish this epic endeavor.

Supporters of Dive the Coast throughout the state are:  Silver PrinceCalifornia Diver Magazine, Aquarium of the BaySeven Seas Scuba80 Proof DiversChannel Islands Dive AdventuresOrange County  and  San Luis Obispo  Coastkeeper,  Save Our ShoresO’Neill Sea OdysseyMAKODIVER, Ocean Adventures Dive CompanyCalifornia Ships to ReefsWaterhorse ChartersFin Forward, Hardcore Dive TeamScubaFitOceanicLeisure ProDarkfinSubseriesBeachopper IIE-Diving.comSharkys Eco Dive, Team Sharkys, Addicted Dive Gear, PlayHard Sports, and Pacific Wilderness Dive Team.

Pros Team Up to Bring Fitness to Divers

PADI approves brand new ScubaFit® Diver Distinctive Specialty Course

Dive and fitness instructors alike can now become certified to teach fitness to divers.  The Padi ScubaFit® course was developed by Gretchen M. Ashton, a certified fitness trainer and Stephen Mendel, a multi agency scuba instructor.

The PADI ScubaFit® Diver Distinctive Specialty Course offers new opportunities for instructors and dive shop owners to improve the health, performance and safety of their diving clients and increase diving participation.  Divers who are fit are much more likely to enjoy their diving experience and to dive more often. Classes are forming now.  For more information, interested instructors may contact: or

Ashton is a diver and the owner of ScubaFit®. She is an International Sports Sciences Association Personal Trainer and Fitness Therapist, National Board of Fitness Examiners Personal Trainer, World Champion Hall-of-Fame Athlete, and scuba fitness writer. Her training success, unique coaching style and innovative work establishing a health profile of the scuba diving community also resulted in the FitDiver® program.

Mendel, owner of Premier Scuba Diving, is a NAUI and Los Angeles County Instructor Trainer, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, CMAS and Handicapped Scuba Association and a First Aid/CPR/AED instructor. He has extensive diving, teaching and leadership experience along with a longtime and ongoing participation and interest in fitness. He is also a voice over artist with many projects to his credit.

Ashton and Mendel acknowledge both the inspiration and practical importance of Dr. Glen Egstrom’s groundbreaking research and the meaningfulness it brought to this first of its kind course. Egstrom, Professor Emeritus of Kinesiology at UCLA, is renowned for his extensive contributions including the UCLA Diving Safety Research Project and over 100 publications on the topics of dive training and safety.

“We believe that our collaboration provides the best knowledge, resources and experience to bridge the worlds of diving and fitness. We encourage dive instructors and fitness professionals who select this specialty course to enhance the teaching and learning experience by working together whenever possible, for the common good of all divers.”

The purpose of the PADI ScubaFit® Diver Distinctive Specialty Course is to teach divers who are new to fitness an effective approach toward the establishment of a foundation of general fitness and fitness specific to diving, as well as an understanding of the physical demands of diving.

The course serves as a safe and supervised fitness program for diving. This specialty familiarizes divers with the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems, hazards and enjoyment of being physically fit for diving.  Divers will learn how fitness greatly improves diving performance and reduces the risk of injury and illness.

For those divers with experience and knowledge of general fitness, in addition to the above mentioned topics, they will learn activity specific exercises and training concepts that will enhance all their diving activities. All divers will also be given an introduction to the basics of nutrition and the necessity of maintaining hydration during diving.