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Diving with Sebastien Murat

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.


Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2004
Hi DB Crew,

In the last thread involving a fair bit of debate over Seb's diving techniques I was tempted to throw my ten cents into the conversation based on my "traditional" upbringing in diving techniques. Instead, I decided I should keep an open mind and contact Seb to try and better understand his viewpoints and techniques before jumping on the bandwagon and voicing an opinion. As it happened he had a course in Sydney that month, so I contacted him to try and get a place on it, but unfortunately the course had to be cancelled due to events beyond anyone's control. I was rather disappointed but this is when I learnt my first important lesson about Seb.

Lesson 1: He is incredibly generous and supportive of those genuinely wanting to learn.....
Even though he had never met me, after a short phone conversation he remembered me from an email I sent him over a year before and offered to put me up at his own home so that we could do some training together and talk about the different techniques and approaches to freediving. As I had some time off between jobs I booked a flight the next day! Not long after he rolled up in his station wagon with the dog in the back to pick me up I learnt my second key lesson about him.

Lesson 2: Despite the mystique and media created perception that surrounds him, he is actually a really normal and very humble person.....
I had a view of him(media created) that has very little to do with who he is. For starters, he does eat, sleep, walk the dog, etc like the rest of us! He was very matter of fact but yet humble about his achievements which many in his position would not be.
BTW - I don't think Guinness (his dog) cares too much what we all think! - smart pup!

Lesson 3: He knows what he's talking about.....
He has mountains of diving physiology articles, research papers and test data that he weaves skillfully into the conversations to better explain complicated information to those less educated in these topics - like me!! :) Additionally the test data that he showed me from his own research was compelling in supporting his approach and when I tried his techniques myself I was amazed.

Lesson 4: Exhales as I've done them before bare no relationship to how Seb suggests they are technically executed or used in diving.
Seb is the first to agree that the way we "traditionally¨ do exhales is likely to decrease safety in comparison to the increased safety he suggests is inherent in how he does them. This may be the reason that such an emotive response to his techniques occurred in other threads.

My Results from the initial attempts.

Context - My inhale dynamic PB (to the verge of samba) is a humble 90m. To do this requires 30mins of stretching and pack stretching followed by a series of statics and a final breathup with close to max packing.

I am not going to explain the detail behind why his techniques work, as others (Seb particularly) are better positioned to do that and have...but here is what happened and this is fact:

Pool sessions:
1. Arrive at the pool and get in the water without prep

2. Shallow and very slow breathing for 10mins immersed to the neck and facing the sun. This was done concentrating on the discomfort to follow to keep the stress levels HIGH.

3. 2 full but slow breaths with a passive exhale on the second sinking to the pool floor.

4. FRC static until contractions start and then swim aiming for a 1:1 ratio of static time to swimming time.

We did 1 max effort like this each day for three days. My times and distances were:

Day 1
FRC static 30secs (first contraction) then swim - 50m
Total dive time - 1:10

Day 2
FRC static 40secs (2nd contraction) then swim - 73m
Total dive time - 1:30

Day 3
FRC static 50secs (3rd contraction) then swim - 78m
Total dive time - 1:40
(This was the best one as it was perfectly balanced 50secs static then 50secs swim)

These dives were the most uncomfortable, stressful but yet cleanest max dynamics I've done and I know that by following this approach that 100m is only sessions away. In comparison to my inhale PB - 90m this is extraordinary as it was done with no warm up, on exhale, stressed and after a static time that is equal to my swim time but yet still resulted in close to 80m!!


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When you say that during your breath up you focused on the discomfort to come in order to keep stress levels high, what is the theory behind that? Doesn't stress maximize oxygen consumption?

Fair question and it sure raised my eyebrows when he mentioned it and I immediately felt nervous about what was to come. The quick answer is that the dive reflex is a survival response and stress is very effective at initiating survival responses.

......I forgot to add that although I have compared my acheivements to my dynamic PB, Seb does not suggest this is the way to do max dynamics as his pool work is only a mechansim to train for deep performance dives. He has little to no interest in statics or dynamics for there own purposes.

Also, please recognise this is only my views on the time and experiences with Seb....he may not agree with all that I have said.


Andy mate, I think that's the wierdest warmup I've ever seen :D I'll definitely give that a go over the holidays - cheers for the info :)

One quick question - was this your first dynamic of each day? And did you do any more afterwards?

I'd also like to back you up on your first point - Seb took a lot of time out to answer my (frequent :D) emails, which a lot of lesser folks would have just dismissed.

Cheers again mate :)


PS I left a message for you the other week on Extreme, not sure if you check it any more?
Hi Brad,

Didn't see your message on ESF but I'll have a look. To answer your question, it was the first dynamic for the day(that adds to the stress as well) I was pretty much physically and mentally exhausted after it each time and the remainder of the session was technique work with short easy breath holds.

Pretty much we would get up in the morning, get a drink of water, go to the loo and then head for the pool for that max one off effort.


Another possible effect of that stress is increased perfusion of relatively inactive muscles which could then result in high venous O2 saturation.....

Aloha Andy
Thanks for sharing. After hearing all the doubts about his technique, it's good to hear from someone who went there and did that.
Cheers mate

Any chance that the one of the body's responses to stress is to make the liver breakdown more glycogen and raise blood suger levels? Maybe saving some muscle glycogen?
Though on the other hand, you're supposed to be very vasoconstricted, so maybe it's for brain/central ograns usage?

One more if you don't mind - the way you've just learned to train in the pool, is that going to affect the way you breathe up for a max CB dive (ie non FRC)? Or will your warm up still be the same?


Hi guys,

Bill - thanks mate, it was great spending time with him and trying stuff out. Even though I was amazed by my own modest performances and the rapid improvements I experienced, it was nothing compared to watching Seb do his thing. Without any warm up he does an exhale/FRC static for 1:40 and then does a nofins dynamic towing one of those water class foam waist bands for another 1:40. The big foam block doesn't even get a chance to surface once he starts powering down the pool.

Michael - not sure about the liver question (my suggestion is - ask Seb) One thing that was different from my inhale experiences was the extent of the vasoconstriction. It is so strong that it does not matter if you sprint the last 15secs or so, the heart rate just maintains the same slow pace but boy does the lactic burn when it has nowhere to go!!.

Loops - I don't know mate.....the pressure considerations make me nervous to say the least. My 52m inhale PB with Bill this year was with lots of packing and it sure felt squashed to me!! Additionally it requires more advanced clearing techniques (seb can open his Eustachian tubes and hold them open rather than constant staccato type clearing that most of us do). Additionally for me, mouthfills, water sucks etc are beyond my skills. ... I think I'll probably do both for a while as the body adaptations particularly to pressure will take time.

I'd strongly recommend to anyone to book up on his courses if interested in these techniques as I'm sure you would find that it rocks the core of your diving perceptions and premises .....and that has to be a good thing, right! ! ;)


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