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First Static Warm-up 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.

What's your first hold time to go for a PB?

  • below 1:00

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • 1:00-1:30

    Votes: 18 29.5%
  • 1:30-2:00

    Votes: 9 14.8%
  • 2:00-2:30

    Votes: 18 29.5%
  • 3:00-4:00

    Votes: 3 4.9%
  • 4:00 +

    Votes: 11 18.0%

  • Total voters
Originally posted by Alun
6min breath-ups for 6min static? i don't know anyone who breaths-up for that long - i don't see the benefit.

I said 6+ by 6+ meaning for a 7min static many people do 6min breathe-up. There are of course individual slight variations on these practices, which leaves room for somebody who does a 1 to 1 breathe-up vs static time. The benefit seems to be dependent on the person. Some people who are more acidic need to breathe off CO2 more than others who are more alkaline. Others need to do so just for CO2 tolerance. Interesting that you do not know people doing breathe-ups for that long. I think most people are taught these days to do a breathe-up slightly less than the static time and to do multiple warm-up statics prior to the max attempt.

fire breathing... it doesn't really seem like a good idea to me. no amount of breathing is going to significantly increase your O2 storage - we all know that. it seems that fire breathing just blows off tons of CO2 and raises the metabolism and heart rate.

Yes, the main point is to blow off the CO2 quickly. O2 is replenished, as slight as that may be. Then we are left with the obvious question of heart-rate and metabolism. I have found that my heart-rate does not increase significantly, which may be very dependent person to person. If one has a fairly good endurance-level, it may be that the effort to shallowly inhale/exhale is minimal and takes moments to return to normal upon stopping. At least this is what I experience so far.

the results you get from fire breathing don't really mean much on their own - you should compare them with other preparation methods.

Up to the first day I tried fire-breathing, I had gradually increased to a 7min static using slow preparations and multiple warm-up statics (usually 1 warm-up but sometimes 2). A few days after I tried fire-breathing without warm-up statics and reached 8+min. Since then I did a whole series of fire-breathing statics and have been now switching back and forth between that and slower preparations of 5+min breathe-ups with warm-up statics prior to max. Both have been giving me similar results.

Trust me I am still thinking about it and exploring the possibilities. I hope soon to land on a 9min. ;) Doubt it will be too soon though.


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the whole idea of doing long breath-ups for long statics is not really known or practiced around here. i don't know anyone who does it. that idea hasn't really caught on this side of the Atlantic.

a lot of people can do 6min statics just by taking one big breath when really relaxed - no breathing preparation at all. to me this suggests that long breath-ups may not as important as we might think. good luck with the 9min - keep us posted!

...i wonder if someone has already done 9min in training, wet or dry. perhaps Stefan Mifsud or that Finnish guy - i forget his name.
The O2 level in the arterial blood is normally 95-98% and therefor it can't rise much.

Many freedivers hyperventilate in some degree, (They have a lowered CO2 level before dives (hypocapnia)), and it seems to work.

I belive that the o2 level in the venous blood and in the myoglobin can rise after hyperventilation in combination with relaxation. That means that the total o2 level increase.
(This is just my theory)

I belive the key is to find the right state of hypocapnia for the individual. (depending on BP, blood PH etc...) To strong hypocapnia will make the statics shorter in my experience.
As far as O2 replenishing, I am referring to if you have previously done a static that has diminished oxygen level in your blood stream, or you have been active prior to your breathe-up. I am not trying to say you get a boost of oxygen. Just trying to ensure that it is clear that this type of breathing does not diminish your supply of oxygen or leave it at level that is diminished.

I think I should clarify that with the breathing technique I mentioned, I do not blow off more CO2 than my previous technique using slow breathe-up. The point is you can do fire-breathing for as short or as long as you wish, just as you can do a slow breathe-up in the same way. In general it is accepted that for each person there is an amount of too little and too much CO2 reduction at the beginning of a static.

I also find that doing the slow breathe-up preparation usually requires that I do a warm-up static or two, and many others seem to express this. However, I do not find this necessary with the fire-breathing. I just need to find the length of fire-breathing time required, which gets me contractions at the same time as normal for a max static using other techniques. This is usually around 2minutes.

For me personally with any type of hyperventilation, I have a hard time blowing off enough CO2, to be able to get contractions past 4min. With a slow preparation breathe-up it will usually take a breathe-up of over 6min to allow me to get contractions past 4min. And sometimes a warm-up static is required which means another 5min at least (1 min preparation, 3 min static, 1 min rest). So 11min until I can go for a healthy max static. With firebreathing it takes me 2min or less sometimes. This is where I am experiencing a nice benefit at this time.

I think is good to clarify that hyperventilation is not the same as rapid ventilation, in fact you can hypoventilate with a shallow fast breath, everybody hyperventilate when does some deep inhalations, even if it's slow, any volume up to the Tidal Volume (our normal ventilation), can be an hyperventilation.
I also prefer 6 min breath-up for static apnea.
Tyler and Frank; What do you think of my theory in my previous post, would be interesting to hear. I have talked to a scientist about it and he said that he found the theory interesting.

Originally posted by derelictp

I belive that the o2 level in the venous blood and in the myoglobin can rise after hyperventilation in combination with relaxation. That means that the total o2 level increase.
(This is just my theory)

I belive the key is to find the right state of hypocapnia for the individual. (depending on BP, blood PH etc...) To strong hypocapnia will make the statics shorter in my experience.

The o2 level in the venous blood is normally around 75% if I have understood the research I have read and if one could higher this level to maybe 90% the total amount of oxygen would increase with maybe 7-10%????
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Hi Peter, I'm not quite sure.
First the PvO2 and the SvO2 (pressure and saturation in venous blood), indicate how the cell is using the oxygen, a high SVO2 (i.e 90%) means that your cells aren't using well the O2, and that isn't good. The O2 in Myoglobin is another problem, this molecule besides store oxygen also helps in the transport of it from Hb to the cells, so it's more important than the amount of myoglobin, the conductance of it. Hyperventilation (see my previous post), does increase the stores of O2; but how this affect the static time is very difficult to know.
I believe that the training has to be extreme to force some changes in the body, low PaO2 levels can increase the conductance of myoglobin, in that way the cells (neurons with neuroglobin) can work at lower PaO2 than usual.
Just my opinions.
Hey Peter,

I am not gathering which of the following your theory is suggesting?:

- O2 will be increased over the long term to levels above previous resting level.
- O2 will increase in the short term (length of breath-hold) to levels above previous resting level.
- O2 will be replenished to near maximum saturation levels in the short term.
- Or is it something else?

My understanding is that venous O2 levels are mainly affected by how much O2 is being absorbed into body tissues. There are many things which can affect the % of oxygen absorbed by tissues but I do not currently have any ideas of how hyperventilating would cause less absorbtion of O2. The Partial pressure of O2 should not have changed due to hyperventilating? By hyperventilating our blood becomes more alkaline and the partial pressure of CO2 is lower.

Maybe you can expand on what leads you to have this theory?
Tyler, I will try to explain further how I mean.

My theory is this:

1. You relax very deep and your tissues use less oxygen

2. You take control of the breathing so that you ventilate more than the body needs.

-The o2 saturation of the arterial blood is now very near 100%

-If this relaxation/controlled breathing continues, o2 saturated blood will pump through the system because of low tissue output.

-If this is the case the saturation of the venous blood that normally is around 75% will rise more then the arterial blood which is normally 95%+ and can't rise.

To simplify my theory;

I belive that, in contrary to the arterial o2 saturation, the venous 02 saturation can rise by relaxation and hypervantilation and this explains why controlled hyperventilations work for long static breathholds.
The rise will be only short-term during relaxation and breathing.

I hope my english is good enough to explain how I think and don't forget that this is just my theory, not prooved facts!!

P.S The "Bohr-effect" should also be a factor. When the PH goes up due to hyperventilation, the hemoglobin "holds" the o2 at higher partial pressures?!
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Well Peter I understand your theory better now.
You are right with the Bohr effect, at higher pH, it's difficult to release O2 to the tissues because Hb "hold it" more.
If I understood right you meant that SvO2 will predict how much oxygen is using the cell, and predict how long, or what days you will have better performances?.
The question is how this will predict a performance beyond 7'. There will be a lot of changes from that initial value.
Will that measure create a mental block?. For example if you start with a SvO2 of 75%, you will say that is impossible to reach your goal.
I had made a lot of tests with my brother statics, and never could find a reliable value, not the initial heart rate, not any oxymeter saturation, not the blood pH. The performance was more affected with motivation than any other thing.
Some of his best performances was made without proper sleep and partially dehydrated.
For example, once the heart rate was around 70 in the initial 6 minutes, after the 6:30, it drop to 30 and go down until 25 around 7:30
That's why I think is necessary a molecular change (higher conductance of myoglobin and neuroglobin) to be as reliable as a diving mammal. Maybe neither my brother or me will have it, but maybe our sons will.
Some people who are more alkaline need to breathe off CO2 more than others who are more acidic.
I’m just learning about this, but didn’t you get this reverse? Isn’t acidosis, high acid in the blood, a result of not breathing off enough CO2? Would an acidic person need to breath more CO2 off?

I tried your quick breathing with no warm up holds. I did the quick breaths for 1:20. My heart rate started lower than normal, but at 3 minutes it went substantially higher than my usual slow breathing breathups and my 02 was substantially lower. I wish it worked as good for me as you, because I would love to save time and eliminate the warm up holds.
wooops, yes thanks Don, I wrote it backwards. I will correct that. Yes an acidic person, needs to breathe off more CO2.

It sounds like for you 1:20 of firebreathing did not blow off enough CO2. Actually that usually is not enough for me these days either. Try over a couple days (or with an hour in between), increasing it by 30secs per day and see where it actually begins to perform well. If you get to 4:00min of fire-breathing then I would not recommend it for you. It would be interesting to see if there is a similar response as I get in others.


I belive you are right Frank, I also think that the mental part makes more difference than physical variations between sessions etc.

My theory is based on that every human beeing is able to at least double (often more) the static apnea time with hyperventilation in combination with relaxation compared to without using the technique used in the sport of apnea.
I belive that it's not only the co2 level that is lowered but also total o2 stores that is highered with the right preparation. And maybe it's highered more than many think??

It would be interesting to see a studie of venous blood o2 saturation before breathholding in high level apneists. I have never found such a studie but maybe that have been done already, have somebody heard of such a studie??
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Hey Peter,

Yes the lower CO2 content of the blood will cause the Haemoglobin to release oxygen under greater pressure differences, but wouldn't there be a greater pressure difference since the tissue cells still metabolize the oxygen at the same rate which would imply the oxygen pressure on the tissue side would decrease, whereas the oxygen pressure on pulmonary side has stayed constant? It would depend on what the CO2 level is in the blood and how this affects the release of oxygen from haemoglobin in relation to the pressure differences between blood plasma and tissue fluids. Anybody have references to these relations?

I guess we would need to find the following:

1. CO2 decrease of 1ml = PO2 difference (between plasma and tissue) required to maintain 30% diffusion of O2

2. CO2 decrease attainable for 2min of hyperventilation on average.

3. Anything else?

However, to your point of the Venous O2 saturation increasing, I am not sure what benefit would be obtained from that? This source of O2 is just recirculated back into the arterial blood stream, which is saturated already under non-hyperventilated situations as well?

The Myoglobin is supposedly not affected by the Bohr-effect and saturates rather easily.

You express that this theory comes out of the idea of better breath-holds due to hyperventilating, but you are aware that high levels of CO2 can cause us to blackout right? So without some form of hyperventilating you will blackout from CO2 alone prior to running out of oxygen.

I guess I am wondering which oxygen stores are there that could increase? Myglobin should be saturated at rest without hyperventilating as far as I understood. The blood stream should be saturated.



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I agree about the most but..

Originally posted by tylerz

However, to your point of the Venous O2 saturation increasing, I am not sure what benefit would be obtained from that? This source of O2 is just recirculated back into the arterial blood stream, which is saturated already under non-hyperventilated situations as well?

...remember about venous blood saturation that it's the same blood that is circulating all the time and when the breathhold starts the arterial blood will not be saturated again like it is when we are breathing.

When you start to hold your breath the total blood volume will be more saturated with oxygen because x% of the bloodvolume is always located in the veins. y% (arterial) of the blood is 98% and x% (veins) of the bloodvolume is for ex. 87% saturated (compared to 75% normal).
(hope my english is understandable)

....and during breathup, more saturated venous blood will lead to less need of breathing wich in the next step leads to lower tissue output and so on...

It's like a good spiral!

Thanks for good input

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Ah yes Peter, I see what you mean. So if average blood volume is 5 litres, we have an average of 3.25 litres which is stored in the veins. This blood is say 70% saturated which means there is about 195ml of O2 capacity that needs to be replenished. If this O2 was already present in the blood, then this would account for around a 9.5% increase in available O2 during a breath-hold. (All figures using rough averages of humans of course)

Now I see what you mean. ;) Well thought out!

Sounds reasonable to me... Anybody else?


BO from CO2

hi Tyler,

"but you are aware that high levels of CO2 can cause us to blackout right? So without some form of hyperventilating you will blackout from CO2 alone prior to running out of oxygen. "

might this really happen to you during a surface static? I thought that it's an issue only when deep diving, due to the increased partial pressure of the accumulated CO2. am I ignorant of anything?

Tyler and all,
I tried 2:00 of firebreathing, but my usual little pleasant buzz at the start went ugly and I almost passed out. It wasn’t pleasant at all, and actually hurt. My heart rate went up and my O2 fell fast.

I did stumble onto something that seems to work for me. I do my normal slow breathup than 20 seconds of purge, then back to normal slow breathup for 1:30 then four purges and hold. My heart rate goes up during the first purging, but falls to its lowest prehold rate in the second slow breathup. I feel very relaxed starting the breathold and my O2 remains high.

I believe my CO2 is still lower from the purging, even if it was done 1:30 before. The 1:30 of slow breathing helps to put my O2 levels back at max and also lower the heart rate. With this technique I have been able to reach my max in just two holds.

It all makes sense to me. After CO2 is lowered it would only increase if more CO2 were produced than what is being exhaled. By continuing the large slow breathup I am continuing to exhale the small amount being produced from the little muscle activity of breathing and body metabolism functions.

The time saving of only two holds is great, plus I believe that being in hypoxia state for less time, is less taxing on the body and allows me to do more other types of freedive training during the week.

Thanks for all your input.
Juro: I previously thought this was the main reason I was having Sambas, since my statics were increasing rapidly yet I would still have sambas at each level. So it seemed to coincide with a growing CO2 tolerance. However, I am now beginning to doubt this. Especially since if by administering oxygen before a breath-hold people have achieved 15-20min. I would expect there would still be roughly the equivalent build-up of CO2 at 6min with or without the administering of oxygen. However, I suppose the partial pressure in the lungs of CO2 would be less than normal which would allow for more CO2 to be released into the lungs than normal. This would slow the buildup of CO2 in the blood (Anybody have thoughts on this?). So, if there is no dramatic difference in the buildup of CO2 in the blood, then these people still should have had a CO2 blackout if it was common for CO2 to be the reason we have blackouts. Based on this I am leaning towards CO2 not being a reason for blackouts in statics.

donmoore: That is interesting that you did that breathe-up sequence. I was playing with something very similar last night based on the idea that after hyperventilating and returning to rest, the heart-rate might decrease to a lower resting-rate. I have obtained access to an oximeter for a while so I will be attempting to verify whether this is true or not. Although, you seem to have found it effective for yourself. My initial thoughts for this were purely based on the sense of lightness and well-being that I generally feel after hyperventilating. When you are resting after hyperventilating you do not feel the stress of needing to breathe. This can allow you to breathe less, even though your O2 saturation may go down for a bit, and still feel very relaxed. However, without hyperventilating I noticed that I build up an urge to breathe every so often even though I am breathing slowly. This urge then encourages a sudden or stronger breath. After this the heart-rate usually jumps up a few beats per minute and sometimes stays there for quite some time.

It is great that you found a way to decrease the time to achieving max performances. As far as the fire-breathing, remember that it is a delicate adjustment that may be required since you are breathing at a far faster rate than any other breathe-up. So a jump from 1 min to 2 min can be similar to a jump from doing a 3 min slow breathe-up to a 7 min slow breathe-up. So you would expect to see the results you did in some people, because the same thing would happen in the change in the slow breathe-up. At 3 min you would build up CO2 too quickly. At 7 min you would have over-ventilated and get horrible contractions when they come.

It is interesting that your heart-rate jumped up and O2 went down fast. Did you do any form of slowing down after the fire-breathing? I have usually had best results by when I finish the fire-breathing doing 3-4 slow breaths and exhales, followed by 3-4 purges and then hold.