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Contractions start time

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.

First Contraction in my warm-up is coming at...

  • 1:00-1:30

    Votes: 11 11.2%
  • 1:30-2:00

    Votes: 21 21.4%
  • 2:00-2:30

    Votes: 31 31.6%
  • 2:30-3:00

    Votes: 17 17.3%
  • 3:00-4:00

    Votes: 16 16.3%
  • 4:00-5:00

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • 5:00 +

    Votes: 1 1.0%

  • Total voters


New-born freediver
Aug 1, 2003
just wondering. when are your first contractions
coming in your static routine?
Not in your PB attempt, but the first time you get contractions in your warm-up.
Mine comes somewhere between 2:00 and 2:30
heavily depending in the warm-up (if well ventilated..
they come around 2:30)
Does anyone knows the relationship between blood alcalinity, diet and BH times? . I think a natural, raw
diet consisting mainly in vegetables and food makes
the blood alcalinity go up, but don't know what is the result of this alcalinity in your BH times.

Thanks a lot, dudes
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First time? I get em pretty early; usually in the 1:30-2:00 range. After a half-hour or so, I've pushed that number to over 4 min. I would love to shrink myself down and jump into my bloodstream, to get a good look at exactly what my body is doing during this time. This physiological response never ceases to amaze me.
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What about those of us that don't get them? ( I assume I'm not the only one...) I've often wondered if that's related in any way to lack of reflexes in the joints, as I don't have those either.

Something somewhere isn't wired up properly :)

I think the alkalinity issue is slightly more complex. Not all fruit and veg is alkaline forming. Olives are acid forming. Citrus fruits are alkaline forming, even though they are quite acidic in content.

The last 10 days I have been on a caffeine and alcohol-free diet, with high fruit and veg plus multi-vitamin supplements. I noticed a difference in my BH times. My first 2 holds were about 10% better than normal, but my 3rd was about the same.

Probably not conclusive enough
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Hello AltSaint!

like you I think I never met such a contraction.
But my static 'record' is so bad that it could be normal: about 3mn...

So, why am I stopping my static if I have no contractions?
And why can I stay about 3mn (descent and ascent included) at 35 meters in variable weight?

I MUST improve my static record!

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Hello AltSaint...
what's your max static time? maybe it's not long enough to start with the contractions?
and.. if you do not feel contractions... what's your body signal that you follow in order to stop your
breath-hold? cause for ppl with contractions a reference to stop is the number of them (some ppl withstand 20, others 50...)
This subject is still fascinating. For 20 years, I thought that the first contraction meant black out was coming soon and I stopped. Now I expect a contraction about 50% into my dive or static.
Last week, I did my O2 tables (dry) and checked the watch on the first contraction. Seven out of eight were at 55% +/- 10 seconds. Is that good or bad or just doing it too many times?
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Hi BlueIcarus

My max static is just over 6m. On bad days I have had blackouts as short as 5m20s.

My only way to gauge blackout is that it's about 1.5 - 2mins into the 'struggle' phase. Also 15 seconds feels like 5. But very often I've left it too late once that has started happening.
G'Day Icarus - I get contractions between 1:30 -> 2:00 (usually at the lower end of that). I get them about 1 every second or two (and fairly hard) so over a 5 minute static, I'm getting a LOT.
For me so far they start at 2'30" +/- 10 sec. regardless of hold time. After that they continue very consistently every 5-8 sec to the end.

Has anyone had contractions, and been able to eliminate them? I have been trying to will them away thinking that less muscular activity the better, but all I can do is hold them off for a few seconds, and a much stronger one follows! I only seem to be able to reduce the strength of them with brain power... Anyone else working on this or have any further info?

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Originally posted by AltSaint
Hi BlueIcarus

My max static is just over 6m. On bad days I have had blackouts as short as 5m20s.

My only way to gauge blackout is that it's about 1.5 - 2mins into the 'struggle' phase. Also 15 seconds feels like 5. But very often I've left it too late once that has started happening.

Can you describe the "struggle" phase in more detail?
I mean i can't imagine enything else (worse) than a contraction.

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Hi Jure

For me struggle is just when it stops feeling pleasant. When all of those nice thoughts go out of the window, and you start feeling agitated instead of relaxed. Then I'm looking at my watch and thinking things like 'this is happening too soon'.

By the sound of it, maybe it's just as well I don't get contractions, as they sound very distracting ( although useful indicators ).
Clearly I can't avoid or eliminate them but what I found quite usefull is to release/exhale a tiny bit of waist air with each contraction - I think that's the way the indigenous spearfishers were dealing with it on their way up to the surface. However, this is probably more useful for us 'ordinary' freedivers and not for some 6-8+ minute psychos .. :mad: )
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Originally posted by Mesuge
Clearly I can't avoid or eliminate them but what I found quite usefull is to release/exhale a tiny bit of waist air with each contraction

That's interesting Mesuge. For me, I get them between 2:00 to 2:30, but I totally lose it if I let any air out. My contractions quickly get more frequent and intense, until they literally force air out of my mouth. I'd love to be able to delay or suppress them faster. Some of my buddies describe having a burning sensation in the chest, but I've never felt that, though my PB is only 3:40 (hope to break the 4:00 barrier soon).
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Hey here's a little tip, not sure if it will work with you... my contractions dry come so hard that they force air out of my nose, so I have to wear a hard sealing nose clip when I do them. BUT one little trick I've found to make them not hurt so much is to lie on your stomach... give it a go :)
Thanks Sebastian, an exhaustive study of your physiology while breatholding.. helps a lot in order to know what are the signals to listen before pass out in a PB attempt. I think "my" signal is the number of total contractions achieved

Thanks dude,

I get them after about 2"30 in a longer static. At first its just one every so often which I can usually will away if I think hard enough about something else. Then they start coming every ten seconds or so and I can't concentrate on much else other than fighting them. I find that if I really think about pushing my diaphragm down against each one then it almost feels like breathing, and most importantly, feels like I am back in control. It is a bit like what you might try and do to stop yourself having hiccups in an embarassing situation!
Right at the end of the breath hold, I find it easier to fight them if I put my feet down on the bottom of the pool, but its quite hard to judge when to do that, too soon and you cut your breath hold short, too late and you....
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Is the purpose of putting your feet down to slow down the contractions enough that hopefully you’re not disqualified for having them in your recovery? What happens if you do that too soon as you eluded too?
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I think it slows down the contractions but it also gives me more control on surfacing, if my feet are on the bottom. Only thing is I find I can't put up with as many contractions when I'm standing up as when I'm flopping around! maybe its just too easy to lift your face.
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Hi. I'm wondering what information can be definitively gleened from the time of first contraction?
Just come back from a day of relitively deep diving, where as gentle as I could breath up (about 5 breaths in the last 2 minutes of breathup), I would finish the dive with sometimes no contractions atall(which is usuall for me).
I assume from this that my blood must be quite acidic today, but I wonder if there could be other factors at work here? Can low low BP also cause delayed contractions? I think I read something to that effect in a post somewhere??
I have always done the same breathup regardless, but now I'm realizing the importance of modifying my breathup according my state that day. I'm just not shure how best to guage this. I saw Eric Fattah write recently of only doing two breaths in the last minute before diving because of high blood acidity, how did you measure or guess your pH Eric?
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