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Holding contractions

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Apr 3, 2002
When doing dry statics, when I get contractions I can either let them happen normally, or when the contraction 'hits' I can kind of hold it for a short while.Do you know what I mean? Whats happening there? The holding of the contraction is almost pleasurable, like a sort of brief respite from the breath holding.
if your talking about the same thing as me (mine feels like im doing a very small sit-up) then yes i get the same relief, and when the contractions hit harder i do actual situps (very small) and it helps take my mind of the contractions (not very O2 efficient but oh well)

anyone else>?

When I get contractions it is a nightmare on a goog hold I usually get them at around 4:04 and when I get them I can only hold a mintue or so worth but they've never been comfortable for me they always ruin the breathold.


Yes, I have the same feeling.
I can 'control' the intensity of contractions.
When they come I try to make it smooth and slowly, and the breath-hold became more pleasant.
I learned this from my brother (He reaches 7:30+) and the important fact is to focus in the stomach movement, to make it smooth and slow.
Don't know if works for all, it does for me
hi fpernett

Your brother does what 7:30 is this dry or wet that is mind blowing hey would you be able to tell me some stuff about him name:, height:, weight:, lung capacity and other accomplisments in this sport wow you sure have someone to learn of wish I did

normal guy

Hi Andrew,
My brother's best PB is 7:35 (wet) during an apnea festival in our country.
He's a normal guy, he's name is Karl, he weights 65 kgs and he's height is 1.68 mts, He's Vital Capacity is 6.8 L, Other PB:
-Dynamic with fins:125 mts
-Free Apnea: 40 mts
-Unasisted CW:38 mts
-CW: 50 mts

As you can see his measures are very "normal", but his main potential is an incredible capacity to concentrate, as I sayed before the mind is the main organ in freediving, here is his e-mail if you want to contact him (he doesn't speaks english very well, but you can try, he's very friendly): Karl Pernett
hi Frank

It would be an honour for me to talk to someone with such achievements like this, static is my favourite category. Your right about him being a normal size guy and all I thought to do statics like that you had to be sort of like Pellizari you know tall and all but 7:35 wet thats huge if I reach 7:35 dry one day i will be happy. I will ask some of these questions to him but you maybe able to answer cos youve got better english, Does he hyperventilate before statics, what sort of training does he do, how long did it take him to get there eg has he been doin this all his life etc. Im really interested in learning how to become good a static apnea this is the only category im really interested in im rather poor 5:06 dry but im still a beginner ive been doin dry statics practice about once every 3 days or so and have been doin it for around 5 weeks, thanks again Frank its good to see that my thoughts were wrong on having to be tall and heavy and that cos your brother isnt that tall and all.


ps Are you as good as your brother
Not as good

Hi Andrew,
First, I'm not as good as him, my PB for wet static is 5'24", but I'm in the way to improve, after I made my mind clear I think I'll make it.
He doesn't have an special routine, sometimes he makes 7' without warming, he doesn't practice Yoga or other mental technique.
Generally he does abdominal exercises (diaphragm):
  • Full lung packing and abdominal contractions in apnea (70-100 contractions) 3 series
  • Full exhalation and abdominal contractions in apnea (60-80 contractions) 3 series
  • 2 minutes of mild belly hyperventilation
  • 6 minutes static apnea
  • 2 minutes mild belly hyperventilation
  • 6'30" static apnea
He continues with this cycle until reach 7-7:30
He concentrates while performing in his heart beat and try to get sleep (relaxing all his body muscles)
He also avoid contractions (voluntary) making smooth and slow movements of the abdominal wall.
He doesn't have a special routine, He run almost everyday and freedive in the ocean 3-4 times in the week (I envy him for that) when freediving he use to do hangings (I saw 2 minutes of static at 38 meters of depth).
But I think his main strengt is the way he thinks about life, he is very calm, without worries.
We grew up in an Island in the caribbean, so all our life has been in contact with the sea, and started to freedive around 8-9 years old, but never too seriously, in the last 2 years He started to practice static with devotion, he's looking to reach 8'.
Hope this 'brief' explanation helped you, but talk to him, first hand information is always better
Last edited:
hi Frank

No doubt about it I will try talk with him first hand in the part where you said abdominal contractions 70 to 100 does this mean he can hold this many during a static and 70 to 80 during a negative static I can hold 1 min worth of contractions which would probably be 10 or 15 or something anyway the mild belly hyperventilation is what I use to thanks anyway your info is of great help on getting me to the bigger numbers thanks frank


Hi Andrew,
The part of the contractions are before getting into the water.
After the inhalation and packing or exhalation you should contract your abdominal wall toward your spine (as you were trying to touch it), is similar to a Yoga exercise.
hi frank

So you mean to move the stomach muscle in on pupose during the static as if you were doing diaphgram breathing is that what you mean.

Not during performance

Hi andrew
If you look closely, that exercises are before the static apnea.
During performance is better to avoid stomach movements, but if you can make it smooth and controlled.
Tell me if a made my self clear.
By the way, 3 days ago my brother reached 7:42 of wet static, I´m happy for him.
hi Frank

Ive been trying to email your brother along with others on Deeper Blue but I dont think im doing it properly anyway 7:42 If I were him I would seriously look into doing something for a world record maybe hook up with a good freedive trainer it could add the 24sec to equal Martins record that is amazing I have decided I am going to start some lung training but I will post in another thread, anyways how are you going Frank have you improved your 5:24, I went diving on the weekend but I didnt get in the water cos the vis was less than 1m shocking.

Re: Control

Originally posted by fpernett
Yes, I have the same feeling.
I can 'control' the intensity of contractions.
When they come I try to make it smooth and slowly, and the breath-hold became more pleasant.
I learned this from my brother (He reaches 7:30+) and the important fact is to focus in the stomach movement, to make it smooth and slow.
Don't know if works for all, it does for me

About the contractions still.. I used to do the same as Thin_air, just do little situp as they hit hard, but now I usually "fight" them so that when doing static holds I make them smooth like swells in the sea, and when diving I don't get them much as I concentrate on keeping myself relaxed and keep my stomach relaxed..
perhaps that is good for static holds too, I just don't do them anymore....much.
safe diving !

Hi Andrew and Pekka
My brother is looking seriously for a world record, in fact I was in conversations with Kirk Krack, but all this stuff needs money. Our country isn't in the best conditions right now, neither are us. He thinks that with his training is possible to reach the actual record, and because a World Record attempt is very expensive, He'll try in a World Championship (like Nitsch in Spain).
About the contractions my brother's advice is try to make an outward movement when it comes, avoid strong contractions inward and against the chest. It sounds weird (try to control the uncontrolable) but it's possible.
I have not improved my pb, because I made it at sea level, but I live 2600 mts over sea level, I continue my training until a competition in sept. Hope it works. Is hard to make a better time at this altitude.
My brother was in a competition this week (He won), perhaps thats the reason of his mail "problem". I'll call him tonight and ask, anyway.
sorry for the low vis
hi Frank

I dont think its your brothers email its mine cos I tried emailing walter and it dosent seem to have got to him either, anyways its interesting how you said wr are expensive I dont understand anything about international freediving and have never met anyone who does apnea so everything I have learnt is self taught and from you guys, You must feel proud that someone in your family is almost up to a wr I sure would anyawys I statred my lung training I dont know if you read my other post but i did my 10 sets of 10packs this morning I felt good after, but a few hours later it was feeling painful at the bottom of my throat and a few hours after that it was extremely hard to even swallow cos of the pain, the pain is at the bottom of my throat and the top of my chest it absolutely stings, when doing the packing I didnt feel like it was hurting, hope it goes away.

Wow that's one heck of a long sentence !
I nearly ran out of breath reading it. :duh

Ivan, nope didn't get any email from you, you did seem to get one from me which is a bit wierd.

Take it easy with packing !
If you ever get sore from it don't do it again until it goes away !
Take a week off or so.

I disagree with basco and have found that Packing did increase my lung volume within a couple of months. A few times I did get sore from it, both in the lungs & in the throat but I stopped and it normally went away within a couple of days, but I would stop for at least a week.

You have to take it easy.

Basco may have a point in that you are only young and still growing, I'm not sure if packing is all that good for you.

As far as static breatholds, there are loads of things that will help a lot more then packing. It's a mental thing, relaxation- getting your heart rate down, CO2 tolerance, getting your breathing right. It all comes with practise.

Plus with your age your resting heart rate would be quite high. Another thing that may help is some Aerobic exercise, ie swimming running, biking etc. Without doing anything even another 5/10 years from now your resting heart rate will be a lot lower then it is now.

Pack streching may give you a slight increase in lung volume, but I think the difference to a static is quite small compared to the other factors......

The main reason I learnt packing & pack stretching is for depth diving, it's made no difference at all to my static holds.
(Helped me a lot for dynamics though)

So Walter, the extra lungs volume you have added. Is it when totally inhaled, or totally inhaled + packing? Can you inhale more than before? Are you shure the extra lung volume isnt due to diving? Are you really 100% shure that its because of the packing? Just curious..

How much deeper can you equalize with your "new" lungs? I can equalize to about 42 meter without blowing up my cheeks. Thats when I pack 4-6 times. Actually never testet doing a deep dive without packing... Anyway, everyone should take it easy, you dont want a lot of scars on the lungs tissue. It'll ruin a lot of alveolis(dont know the name in english..). Safe dive.
find ideal packing

Hi Andrew,
The 'ideal' amount of packing before statics is variable, nobody can tell you how much to do before, to maximize static time. My brother and I, have found that the packing really helped us to improve statics, but you have to progress slowly, excessive packing can be harmful and dangerous. That is new to your body. I recommend you to start with low packing 5-10, and increase as you feel confortable, try to don't use to much, train mainly without packing and use progresive packing in the last 3 sets of statics. You will find, as you progress, that there is an amount of packing ideal for your static, and don't need to increase it anymore. As many things in live, take your time to make it.
Hi All,

I haven't tried packing before a static for a while, the few times I did try it reduced my static times. Guess that's something else I should practise. From Frank's post it sounds promising.
At first packing with dynamics seemed to make it harder, now I'm going well past the 100m mark and I think this is in part due to packing.

I have yet to try a deep dive with packing. My best without packing is 48m, I couldn't equalise the last 1m or so.

Regarding lung volume, after stretch packing, when I take my deepest breath, it is more then when I haven't stretched. I haven't measured but I would guess maybe between .2 - .4 liters.

It's hard to know if my 'Resting' lung volume as it were has increased due to diving/swimming or packing.

After stretch packing + Max pack before a dive there is a huge difference in lung volume. Again I haven't measured but I would guess between 1-2 litres. I can tell by how bouyant I am, I need an extra 3-6 pounds on my weightbelt when doing a dynamic.

I am now also pack stretching before I go swimming, then during the swim try to inhale to max some of the time. No Idea if this would work but thought I'd try it anyway.

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