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At what point of your dynamic do you usually get contractions?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

At which point of your dynamic maximum does your contractions come?

  • less than 30% of the actual distance

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 30-45%

    Votes: 5 14.3%
  • 45-60%

    Votes: 17 48.6%
  • 60-75%

    Votes: 10 28.6%
  • more than 75%

    Votes: 3 8.6%

  • Total voters


New-born freediver
Aug 1, 2003
This is a question that popped-up at the 'no warm-up no breath-up approach' thread..
ADR announced a new personal best around 113m (wow!) and he talks about his contractions starting out around 40 meters (around 35%). For me this is a surprisingly high
hypoxic tolerance and just wondering at which point everyone gets contractions. Also comments around ugliness and frecuency of contractions are welcomed... Seems like interesting data for the training comunity!

Thank you very much dudes!! :D
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Reactions: ADR
I would normally get contractions around the 45m mark, regardless of whether it's a 50m or a 100m or 107m (my PB).

I typically get pretty bad contractions quite early in statics, around the 1:45 min mark but about 5 purge breaths before a static will extend this out to 2-2:20 min. My PB of 5 minutes was done with contractions starting at 2 minutes, by 4:45 it looked like you could have strapped a saddle on me and had a rodeo :)
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In a 75 meter dynamic I normally get contractions around the 45 to 50 meter mark. In static I get contractions around 3:45 to 4 minutes on a 6:45 clean 1st attempt. They start very slowly and then gradually build up as time passes by. :hmm
Using no warm up and no breatheup

Dynamic - 113m contractions start @ 40m
Static - 3:23 - contractions start @ 55secs (130 contractions total)

BlueIcarus - thanks for the kind words

For my pb of 136.6m, I got contractions around 90m. I know that when Herbert did his 170m record, he got contractions around 75m. I think Seb Murat said he got contractions around 105m for a 200m swim.

Problem with this question is that it depends on how hard you push the dynamic. I have only ever had one samba in dynamic, 5 years ago, when I had a fever, so other than that, I don't think I'm ever close to the edge, especially since I only ever do it in competitions, where I want to come up clean anyway.
Thanks all for the info..
Eric, one of the things I wanted to know is a rough idea about how hard the people pushes
at max dynamics :D
I see you people push really hard.... ADR.. 170 contractions at static!!!
Dumb question ADR: So you use the no-warm-up aproach at training but what about competition?

Hmm, i am a bit of an odball there.
Dynamics i get contractions at 30-40% of the way and they hurt like hell.
Statics i get them all the way at the end. Only get contractions starting from around 6:20-6:30, which increase rapidly in frequency for 15-30 second and then i bail out.
very interesting and useful subject :) ...

another question : where do you situate following events :

1. the urge to breathe up

2. the "contractions"

is 1. supposed to come before 2., or the contrary, or 1. et 2. at the same time ?
I get the urge to breathe at about 75% of my total dynamic distance, and sometimes more. It never gets very strong, but sometimes I feel 'at the limit' afterwards, so I don't know what would happen if I kept on going.

For statics, it is about 60-70%.

I don't normally get contractions, even if I don't hyperventilate. The urge to breathe gets stronger and stronger until it is very intense, but nothing else happens.

On my 118m pb I got the first contraction around 70m.

My contractions always come at 62-70m at a max attempt.

Sometimes I can handle them and sometimes not, but I can always do 100m.

I have never had a BO or a samba in dynamic.
With hyperventilation my contractions would usualll come at around the 80m mark. PB being 126.Now trying no warm up no breath up dynamics they have been coming earlier at around the 65 m although they start alot more subtle .
I don't do a long breath up for the dynamics, maintain a hight Co2, and dive partially exhale. I stop the dynamic as soon the urge to breathe becomes uncomfortable or loose the concentration.

So far get 64m mono and 40 no fins with out contractions. A few (lot by now!!!) years back, the day after the "Grand Bleu" premiere in Paris I did a 50m pool with out fins, plenty of hyperventilation and no contractions: my first freedive :inlove

Part of the problem is that I don't have a real spotter, and I can not push the apneas. I normally do single lengths (32m) working my technique and relaxation, but sometimes I can not resist and ask someone to keep an eye on me while doing a bit more... the lack of trust make me stop at the same point than while diving on the sea alone.
I hope soon get another freediver on the pool to see how far I could go with a proper breath up...

I don't do much full lungs/breath up statics (more exhale and walk when contractions), but contractions would usually come around 2'30.

I'll guess that like naiad I'm "no contractions underwater"... but wish that like some of you this could mean that I'll swim one day over 100m :) :)
BlueIcarus said:
Thanks all for the info..
I see you people push really hard.... ADR.. 170 contractions at static!!!
Dumb question ADR: So you use the no-warm-up approach at training but what about competition?


It was only 130 contractions :) but at that point they are about 2 per second and strong. I've never been to a comp but when I go I plan to use the no warmup/ no breatheup approach for dynamic....the rest I'm not sure yet but I hope so.

I think of CO2 tolerance in two parts -Physiological and mental. I'm sure that my physiological tolerance is really poor (eg contractions start at under 1min in static) and that's why I've started on the no warm up no breathe up approach as I'm hoping to see some real adaptations in this area. My mental tolerance I'm sure has improved significantly over the past few months (50 -> 130 contractions). Interestingly, just prior to starting the no warm up training I did 8 weeks (4 times a week) of CO2 tables and increased the tables from 2mins to 3mins over that period. This gave me no improvement whatsoever in when my contractions started (physiological changes) but has improved my mental (contractions tolerance) abilities. This just reinforces in my mind that to get real adaptations we need to look for other ways and I think Tom and Seb are probably heading in the right direction.

Eric makes an interesting point about how hard people "push" the dynamic. From a stress and discomfort point of view I'm definitely pushing much harder now than I use to with warmups but it is important to note that I can do this as I'm much more clear headed. My SAO2 decline is less steep doing dynamics this way compared with what i was doing before - (validated on my oximeter doing dynamic simulations on a recumbent bike trainer). Given this, it is fair to argue that I'm not pushing it as hard as I use to as I'm further from BO/Samba SAO2 levels.......discomfort may not be a good indicator of how hard we are pushing things.

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Interesting thread as I recently had my PB of 75 yards, with no contractions. Most of the time I am practicing with out direct supervision, so I take contractions as an indication that I am getting into the grey area of safety. I never get to the point of contractions wet.

Looks like I need to start training with a buddy and see what I can do with contractions. I also need to do more dry static training to get use to contractions.
I never get contractions. Maybe (I'm not sure) I felt 1 or 2 during a hard static, but besides that, I just never have them.
Oh, and no lactic acid burning too, just a strong urge to breathe.

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When doing 75 meters, I start getting them at around 30-40 meters. The lactic acid burns in my thighs so much in the end, I can hardly move :)
Hey It's nice to hear such things, kingohyes... I felt I could never go for 75m+ having contractions at
40 meters :D
I am not quite sure I can identify the point where I get the so-called contractions... What is the physiological sensation corresponding to that phenomenin ?

When I make a dynamic apnea, I begin feeling a "thirst" towards breathing... and then I feel a strange sensation within my thighs... which worries me a little bit since I tend to identify this strange sensation inwards my thighs as a kind of pre-BO signal...

I feel unable to identify these "contractions"... what I feel is this urge to breathe and this strange feeling inwards my thighs...

Could you give some more hints about tehe succession of physiological signals preceding the time where you MUST stop your apnea...

What you probably feel in your thighs is the building up of lactic acid as a result of your muscles getting "tired" from working without oxygen.. If you feel clear headed without too much urge to breathe when you come up, I would believe that you can push it just a little bit further.

Dont be afraid of getting some strange feelings in you thighs, most probably its just some waste products. The contractions did I not have either in the beginning, but believe me, they will come.

I feel the same way when I actually start to feel the contractions almost building up starting at 25 meters..
I have yet to expreience contractions in dynamic, I thought they only happened in statics...