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A Beginner's Diary

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jan 5, 2004
Hi everyone

As a total Newbie to Freediving and the DeeperBlue forums, i thought it would be a great idea to make a diary thread, describing my progress and resources I will use.

This should hopefully be an invaluble help to beginners in the future:D

Week 1
After much reading on the net, i decided to have a go at very simple static Apnea training (dry).

I used the website www.freedive.nu (go to Bill's tips)

The excercise involved lying on a bed, and holding breath for as long as possible, then releasing and resting for 3 minutes before repeating.

Before the exercise I did a couple of warm up holds, which I only managed to hold for half a minute or so

My times were as follows:
1) 1.35
2) 1:41
3) 2:16
4) 2:09
5) 2:22

When i stopped the watch after the last hold and saw how long id gone for i was in shock!!!

What it felt like
During the holds, contractions started about 20 seconds before the end. I found that by using my muscles to gently "squeeze" with the contractions, they were much less intolerable.
I was extremely surprised at how much my time increased, and how much longer i could go without feeling any need to breathe. In the last hold, contractions only started after about 2 minutes!

I plan to continue using this exersice every day for week 1, and see how much further i get, before moving onto tables or dynamic
Ill post my progress and times later in the week!!!

Please feel free to post replies, suggestions and useful tips

Hi Daniel

Welcome to DB and Freediving. I am also relatively new to the sport, and am finding answers to virtually all of my questions as they 'arrive' amoungst the international freediving community on this site. 2'22 on a first dry static is a great effort, it gets better as you go on.

My personal advice is learn to relax...( I thought I did until I started to understand the level of relaxation required for freediving)...and always listen to your heart. ( Somedays it will not feel right to be in the water. On those days, get out.)

Dive safe,

I've been apnea training for about 5 weeks now. Your times should improve super quick to start with as you learn control. The thing that made the difference for me was learning to breathe properly in the breathe ups. I have been doing the following:

Diaphragm Breathing, using the diaphragm to push out the belly first and draw air into the lower part of the lungs which increases O2 in the body. Something like 5-1-5-1 (in-hold-out-hold) for 2-3mins

Then 3-5 Saturation breaths holding the breath in, something like; 3-5-3-0 as a final O2 top up

Then 2-3 Purge breathes; fast full inhale/exhales; 1-0-1-0 to lower CO2 and then full inhale and hold. Then it is all about relaxation and trying to keep your heart rate slow. My personal method is to imagine a large bland shape like an egg rolling over slowly in the air to try an slow my body down.

For the first 2 weeks I did 3 increasing sub max breathholds and then a max effort. i.e; 1:40, 2:20, 2:50, 4:00. rest/breath up was 3-5min between holds. I then introduced tables and apnea walking. A general week looks something like this at the mo;

mon; rest
tues; O2 table
Wed; max attempt (5:01)
thurs; CO2 table
fri; rest
sat; O2 table
sun; apnea walk, all max. attempts (8 flights of stairs in 1:19)

my last tip would be to train on an empty stomach i try to give myself 3hrs after a meal for convienience.

Thanks Alan, belive it or not you answered a load of questions I had!!!
Just to check, the purge breaths you mentioned arent hyperventilation are they? Up till now my breath-up has consisted of something like this

3 minutes slow breathing,

3 deep breaths (5-0-5-0) followed by a full inhale and the hold.

I will give your breath-up a go tomorrow.
Trained again today, although the max time achieved was only 2:01. The reason for this i think, was difficulty relaxing.

Do you know how many times a day it is ok to do simple hold and rest training? Do you do one type of table more than once a day?
Purge breaths are similar to hyperventilation except they are full breaths. I think they are a safer alternative to hyperventilation but to much of either can cause you to faint so you need to experiment. Also when you start diving expelling to much CO2 can be dangerous because you can run out of O2 before you get the signal to breathe.

As for frequency of training i'm not sure how much is to much? You would need to know how long it takes the body to regenerate after a training session. I only train once a day with one form of training for convienience but more may be possible.


Week 1 has finished! as far as static goes the best ive got is 2.45 with contractions starting around 2.30
Ive gone back to the 5-0-5-0 breathup as i found the purge breaths bought my contraction time far to close to BA, which i didnt think would be safe for dynamic.

Started dynamic today in a pool, and, well it was a mess!!! i was cold, shivering, couldnt get my heart rate down, couldnt relax, culdnt breathe!!!
Anyway, managed a distance of 25m underwater, but i need to mearn how to relax and "phase out" better in a pool if i wana reach my target (for now) of 50m.

Keep all the good suggestions coming, especially for good ways to work in a pool

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