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Increase breath hold

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Wierd fish

New Member
Jan 30, 2003
My breath hold in the water is horrible :waterwork .
What type of training in a pool/dry can I do to increase my time?

I am 16, and pretty built, if that means anything.
I am pretty new to this, so any help will be useful :D .
Hey weird,

Before the pros get to you with advice and thread links, I'd just like to inform you that if you are using the numbers you've seen at this site (PB link and the Static challenge link) as a way to guage your abilities, your times may seem "horrible" for years. Many of the members of this forum are much more than weekend warriors; they are some of the best freedivers and spearos in the world. So before you get down on yourself about not being able to do a 3 min static when others are holding 6, remember that everyone has to start somewhere.

The search feature at the top of the page will lead you to many many many posts regarding training programs. Additionally, here's a link to some chapter selections for Terry Maas's book "Freedive". It isn't the most technically robust of freediving literature, but it is some good starter material.


Welcome to the water :).

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Thanks for that link, it was pretty cool to read.
I was in my room earlier, and hit a whopping 1:20 :hmm I think I need some advise from the experts! I would really like to get better, and maby do some bluewater hunting in the future.

You dont need to hold your breath long to do blue water hunting, and in fact most will hunt deeper on reefs then simply diving deep in the blue, when blue water hunting it is best to dive to 30-50ft and wait as long as you can for the fish to come. So you can try blue water hunting now. Watch the sharks :D

Yeah, I don't have the capacity to do that :naughty .
I mainly do the reef thing, and want to increase my time under the surface.
As I said before, I am pretty new to the sport, and want to get into it alot more.

To increase your time under water try learning how to relax. Im the worst deep diver in the world but what has helped me to get a small amount of depth is to close my eyes on descent this makes me loose track of depth without focusing on the bottom. I find that when staring at the bottom all the way down makes me anxious to get there quicker so I start kicking really quickly.

Also keep a very relaxed grip on the gun handle, I almost dont hold my gun at all. I find that if im nervous or cold I hold the handle really hard which is not a good thing cos you should be totally relaxed.

Another good trick that Aquiles taught me is, if your using a float line try coiling some of it up in one hand then as you start descending let it go this will make a friction free descent cos you arnt fighting the drag of your floatline pulling along the surface as you take your line to the depths.

On the bottom try not to make to much forced effort as this will severly hamper down time, its better anyway to stay still and even toss some sand up over your head some species like this and will come close. I find that when you are seriously trying to stay down for long try not to have your head looking to much of an up angle if you know what I mean its puts strain on my neck muscles and makes you feel out of air. A better way is to keep your neck straight and relaxed if possible.

On the ascent I like to give a few hard dolphin kicks with my bi fins. You may like to try using the dolphin kick instead of the scissor kick, I found that it boosts you to the surface a lot quicker and easier then scissor kicking.

When preparing for the next dive I like to wait till my heart rate gets back down to 60bpm then take around 5 deep breaths and go again this I usually wait on the surface for a lot longer then others and dont dive until I see a good fish or find some promising bottom terrain. But if the vis is really crap you may have to dive up and down all day, some guys here stay down for 2mins then surface for only 1:15 and repeat that is nearly impossible for most people.

Im only a 20m diver so take my advice as such, hopefully some of the DEEP guys can step in and lend some advice :cool:

dear weird i may not tell you what you want to hear but here it goes. Never dive alone. At least until you have learned your body to know when and how much to push your limits. My best advise is to learn the neurophysiology to a point where you can take educated steps. Get with a local club and go diving with its members. If you are in south florida, try long fins freedivers, spearfishers club. Free diving is an art how one adapts to aquatics. Each diver has their own mental rituals before dives, each diver have their own techniques how to approach the prey and each feel differently about freediving and being under water. You may need to find what it does for you. Unless you have specially made 7-8 liter lungs everyone has the physiological capabilities of static apnea with training of about 4,5 even 6 minutes. But that does not mean you can hold your breath 4,5,6 minutes at 20m depth. i advise you to get with someone who freedives/spearfishes, learn and have a blast of a time. don't get too fansy before you learn basics and the risks. the stronger your basics are the better and safer diver you will be.
good luck and welcome to the world of freediving/spearfishing
How do you get to Carnegie Hall?


The best way to get better at freediving is to dive. You can practice apnea anywhere. Get yourself a buddy and start training. There is no magical formula of exercise and witchcraft which will put you at 5:00min apnea in 3 minutes of practice.

The first three months is where you will make your most impressive gains. I went from 1 minute to 4:13 recently...all this in 5 months. Of course, I live, eat and sleep freediving. It almost feels like im at a plateau now, so I am having to break my habitual diving to work on cardio and whatnot. Dive with a buddy, relax and enjoy the sensation. If there is one piece of information you should brand into your brain, it is "NEVER DIVE ALONE".

All the best.
Thanks for the advise guys. I allways dive with a friend that I can trust. I don't know if there are any clubs in my area, but I will check and see.

Out of my area of east central florida, there is NO good vis anywhere to be found :waterwork . So I usually travel to the Florida Keys, and once a year to the Bahamas where the water is really clear. I really don't have much bottom time, so I like so swim the surface and look till I find something.

I will ask around town if there are any freedivers here that can help my train.


Like I said weird fish I like to stay on the surface until I see a fish it saves energy, unless its to dirty to see the bottom then you have to dive up and down.

BTW It doesnt matter at all how long you can hold your breath in the pool or on land. Like fattah says a good static diver is not always a good deep diver. Deep diving is a totally different ball game which takes a lot more experience and time in the water than statics does.

i don't know if i can help you, but my apnea is very bad... I do use it to do spearfishing. My static apnea with some preparation can go to 3minutes, nevertheless when hunting my apnea is very far away from the 3m static. When i begin, my dynamics are very close the 20sec.
So what i do, is begin to exercise my apneas. I start with 15s. Dive and hold 15s 2x. Then 30s 2x, after 40s 2x. And after that i can go until 1m30s very easily.
I'm no expert, very far from that, but it helps me a lot to do this kind of preparation.
Yeah this thread really is old...

But it has been useful...

One question, because I haven't had the chance to go properly freediving with my parner (next week is going yay!) i've only been doing CO2 and O2 tables and basically holding my breath in bed. Am I going to get better when I actually start diving, basically will I notice a change and feel great about the progressions i'm going to make? Because at the moment nothing much is changing and it's getting me a little down.

I need to get into the water tomorrow...

You are right, old but useful.

Don't worry, the more you dive, the better you will get. Right now, what you need most is simply to dive, get comfortable in the water, relax. Tables will help, statics in bed will help, but actually diving is what ties it all together. Don't be frustrated if it takes a few trips to see much improvement. There is a lot to get used to in actual diving.

Good luck and have fun

i agree its old. im 14 and very built and my apnea is great for my age. i have 4:25 minutes on dry. the best 2 ways (i think) to increase your breath hold it to breath through a straw 24/7. when you first start it will be hard but then it gets a lot easier to do. it will feel like you cant breath and you will breath out your nose. let yourself breath through your nose. after a few hours you will stop breathing through your nose and breath only through the straw. your lungs will feel like there gonna explode for a few minutes at first. dont worry it dosnt hurt. it just feels really weird. after a few weeks this will increase your apnea by over one minute.
the second way is practice.
Static Apnea Tables by Freediver.co.uk and Freedivers.net :: Graphics by Mozzi
this page will help.

be safe in the water
i dont really know if it works. i think it works i have been doing it forever and i dont know if its just my build or what. i do it as much as i can. at least 3 hours a day, usually more. but i find that the apnea tables help more than anything
Pardon me, but isn't this just resistance training? This isn't much different than using the Power Lung tool, is it? You could search the forums for 'Power Lung' for old threads regarding this. There's been a bit of discussion over the effectiveness of this training.

p.s. old threads meaning those older than this reply. just noticed this thread is 5 years old.
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