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How to start Freediving

Aug 29, 2006
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Wellington
I read a few discussions about "packing". What is "packing" pls?

Off to try to my second freedive in the open sea this weekend. Last time, I was limited not so much by air but by equalization. Will have to learn my Frenzel soon otherwise I waste too much time and air doing Valsava. :(

Saw a whale shark last year this time at the same place, and had a chance to swim w it. The same guy appears everyyear at this time. Keeping my fingers crossed I'll see him again this weekend. :p
 
Aug 29, 2006
74
9
0
Wellington
I did some diving in Malaysia over the weekend. Just did some simple dives to 15m since I havent had any formal training. But found that it was indeed a lot easier w a bit of weight. I wore a 1kg weight which made it a lot easier to go down. Although conversely, coming up required a bit more kicking. The currents picked up and I had to stop. I find I have to equalize very slowly and frequently on descent which wasted quite a bit of air, but I havent learnt to do the Frenzel yet.
 
Likes: zacksogen

fcallagy

Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2005
2,299
393
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Sligo north west ireland
monofinboy try a search under the equipment section in forums there have been loads of threads on suits and all equipment. Elios are right up there for custom suits and i find the cressi 5mm comp good in 12o C water but it will depend whether you are freediving on a line with sfaety or recreational enetreing/ exiting from rocks etc or spearfishing etc might depend on you size but custom made is usally better for a few euro/dollars more
 

cougar

New Member
Sep 22, 2006
19
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0
Hi could you explain what these abdominal contractions are / feel like . Also how much longer can you go safely once you start getting them.Do you only get them on deep dives? As i only train in a indoor pool the deepest im likely to be is 2 meters... Thanks... Cougar.
 

DiverTodd

New Member
Jun 12, 2006
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Youngstown, OH
An abdominal contraction is just that; a contraction. Mainly, in this case, a contraction of the muscles in either your lower abdomen (your diaphragm), or higher up, in your chest. What does one feel like? That's easy enough to find out; hold your breath long enough, and you'll HAVE one. They don't hurt (although they can start to get uncomfortable eventually), and you'll know you're having them, especially if you watch your abdomen; you'll see it spasm, or it might pull in briefly. People can have them differently, too; sometimes mine are soft, sometimes they're harder. Sometimes they flux in my lower abs, sometimes they're higher, in my chest. How long you can last after having them also varies widely from diver to diver. I think I remember Mandy saying that hers usually start around 2 mins, so that means that she's having them from that point on, through the rest of her breath holds (which, in her case, can mean over 4 MINUTES of contractions). That's part of the reason we train; to increase our body's tolerance. Once your tolerance starts to improve, you'll find that you can last through more and more contractions. It's all a matter of training, and learning to read your body and it's responses. Depth doesn't matter, either, since contractions are a result of increasing CO2, and not what depth you're at. Contractions are a normal part of any breath hold, even doing dry tolerance tables, lying in bed. Hope that helps! :)

Todd
 
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cougar

New Member
Sep 22, 2006
19
1
0
Thanks mate.. just one point, did you mean low o2? I hope you did or im totally ar## about face, as i thought on a dive your o2 decreased and co2 increased. One other question if you would oblige? Do the rules for dynamic apnea state you must do breaststroke or would a hybrid stroke be ok.. CHEERS..
 

DiverTodd

New Member
Jun 12, 2006
266
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Youngstown, OH
Whoops.....yeah, I meant HIGH, or increasing, CO2 (just corrected it in the post, thanks for catching it!). Increasing CO2 is what causes the contractions, not lowering O2. Although, training for tolerance to low O2 is important, too. With my statics, I seem to be better at dealing with increasing CO2 than I am with dealing with lowering O2. It's funny how we're all affected so differently, and how we all have different tolerance levels. :) As for rules for dynamic, I'm not sure...seems to me any stroke would be allowed, as long as you're underwater! I think most go with the breaststroke, since it's the most "natural" and efficient stroke for swimming underwater (without fins, that is).

Todd
 

Akoni

I... need... AQUA!!
Apr 26, 2003
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The Netherlands
I read all posts in this thread again and I noticed a lot of people asked about the number of times the CO² and O² tables should be done. I've added my personal preference in the first post, which is twice a week. I used to do em more often but I got overtrained as a result ("static burn-out").
 
Likes: abdessalam
Nov 6, 2006
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Hi guys - first off, this site is AWESOME!! Thank you so much for creating it!! :D I am just getting into freediving and did my first breath hold tonight (in my room, not in water) and managed 1m15s. I obviously want to increase that and will do so using apnea walks for one, and also the O2 and CO2 tables. But, I dont know if im reading the tables properly!!

Akoni said:
Training Tables

CO² Tables
CO² is the common trigger for the urge to breathe. CO² Tables are meant to increase your tolerance to high CO² Levels, you do this by decreasing resting periods before a breath hold. The breath holds in a CO² table are usually 50% of your personal record.

An example of a CO² Table:
1. ventilate 2:30 static 1:30
2. ventilate 2:15 static 1:30
3. ventilate 2:00 static 1:30
4. ventilate 1:45 static 1:30
5. ventilate 1:30 static 1:30
6. ventilate 1:15 static 1:30
7. ventilate 1:00 static 1:30
8. ventilate 1:00 static 1:30
total duration 25:15

O² Tables
O² Tables are meant to increase your tolerance to low O² Levels, you do this by increasing breath holds while keeping the resting periods the same. The last breath hold in an O² table is usually up to 80% of your personal record.

An example of an O² Table:
1.ventilate 2:00 static 1:00
2.ventilate 2:00 static 1:15
3.ventilate 2:00 static 1:30
4.ventilate 2:00 static 1:45
5.ventilate 2:00 static 2:00
6.ventilate 2:00 static 2:15
7.ventilate 2:00 static 2:30
8.ventilate 2:00 static 2:30
total duration 30:45

The CO² and O² tables can be modified to suit the divers will and feeling. I personally do these tables twice a week.
In the CO2 table above does it mean that I would breathe normally for 2m30s, then hold for 1m30s, then breathe for 2m15s, then hold for 1m30s, and so on and so on? My PB at the minute for a hold is, as I said 1m15s, so do I decrease my hold times to about 40 secs (50% of PB)? Also, do I always do 2m30 then decrease in 15 seconds each time, or should that be changing over time as well?

And for the O2 tables, does it mean I breathe for 2m, hold for 1m, breathe for 2m, hold for 1m15s, etc etc. In my case, making sure my last breath hold is about 1 minute (80% of PB). Again, should the 2minute breathing change over time?

Also, I read that you shouldnt do both tables on one day - so would a good timetable be

Mon - O2
Tue - CO2
Wed - nothing
Thu - O2
Fri - CO2
Sat - nothing
Sun - nothing

and my final question!! Do you progress quite quickly using these techniques?

thanks!
 

harbour seal

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2006
225
35
68
Vancouver, BC
www.youtube.com
cougar said:
Hi could you explain what these abdominal contractions are / feel like . Also how much longer can you go safely once you start getting them.Do you only get them on deep dives? As i only train in a indoor pool the deepest im likely to be is 2 meters... Thanks... Cougar.
for me contractions feel like hiccups (of course without the expelling of air component).

i beleive that there are some people who do not get contractions at all. actually, many people do not get contractions when they first start training for breath holding but after a period of time they develop them (i am one of those people who now get contractions).

as far as i know depth doesn't play a role in contractions (if so perhaps a more knowledgable person could step in here).

contractions signal the easy phase of the breath hold is over and the struggle phase has commenced. how long you can go after they commence or how many contractions you can tolerate depends upon your breath holding capacity. as previously stated, the more you practice the better you will get.

be sure to train with a partner if breath holding in water---it is possible to samba/black out without ever getting contractions.

cheers,
sean
vancouver, canada
 
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DiverTodd

New Member
Jun 12, 2006
266
35
0
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Youngstown, OH
harbour seal said:
i beleive that there are some people who do not get contractions at all. actually, many people do not get contractions when they first start training for breath holding but after a period of time they develop them (i am one of those people who now get contractions).
Contractions do vary widely from person to person. Myself, sometimes mine will start shortly after 1 minute, and sometimes I can go over 2 mins before my first contraction. It all depends on how relaxed I can stay when I do my table. :D

Todd
 

sanso

Maker of Educators
Supporter
Nov 15, 2006
1,875
306
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Munich, Germany
wefreedive.com
For the equipment section I recommend the following thread on cold water and suitable suits (sorry couldn't resist :) )
[ame="http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?t=65357"]whats it like freediving in cold water?[/ame]
 

joe123321

New Member
Jul 23, 2006
265
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Seattle
I have been trying to do the frenzel equalizing technique for a long time, I can do the toung thrust, and close the epiglottis. I really cant get control of the soft palate. can anyone help explain how to do it?
 

sanso

Maker of Educators
Supporter
Nov 15, 2006
1,875
306
138
44
Munich, Germany
wefreedive.com
equalization: (was: Re: How to start Freediving)

joe,
You might want to look into [ame="http://forums.deeperblue.net/forumdisplay.php?f=15"]training and techniques[/ame]
There is a subforum there on equalisation that wants to be filled with lots of threads on that topic.
The best thing might be to start a thread with just that question and we can put an excerpt of that into an Equalizing-FAQ-thread.

HTH,

sanso
 
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