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out of water workouts for thin-air

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Sep 10, 2002
Hallo thin-

I was doing also walking apnea last year (during a complete year). I understood that your pb walking was 1: 15 to 1:30 min. and I’m not sure (sorry if I mistake) but I’m afraid that you are doing only one kind of exercise (long recovery apneas). By doing only one kind of exercise you will get bored very quickly and it will drive to you to a very poor and long in time improvement.

Let me share with you my personal experiences in walking workouts. One advice for my friends in the forum, this schedule is for medium grade apneists (4min static’s, 75 m. pool dynamic, 40 m. cw). This is not adequate for beginners.

I think that the most important think in all kind of workouts it’s to be structured in short and long term recovery series of hipercapnic and hypoxic exercises which makes longer (physically and physiologically supportable) all the phases of the apnea: phase I (pleasant), phase II (hypercapnic), phase III (exit).

I use to start my training with 5 min. of heating: chest stretching, abdomen relaxation and some calm and deep breaths (abdomen-chest-collar bone-back breaths). That will make your ventilation more efficient. And then 45 min of different series, walking always at the same rhythm, and (very important) in a flat area, otherwise you will not be able to standardize the training series. Use a pedometer or you will get used to trick lowering the walking rate when you feel the CO2 beating your legs. Here you have my series:

- First exercise (20 min): 30 sec. reps. minimum recovery:
Take a single breath each 30”. Repeat this eight times and then breathe during 1 minute but keep walking. Repeat this cycle 4 times:
4 x [(30” single breath x 8 times = 4 minutes) + (1 min. ventilation)] = 20 min.

. The PPCo2 increases with each repetition, we feel contractions in the last 3 – 4 reps and we get trained to be in a constant hypercapnic situation which is the aim of this exercise because that makes us prolong the phase II of our apnea which starts moments before contractions appear and finish seconds before we break our apnea (phase III), going further means BO. Also your legs get used to afford very lactic situations. Tension in the abdominal muscles is a natural reflex of our body to hypercapnea situations so, in all kind of exercises, but especially on this, use the apneic time between breath and breath to relax your abdomen otherwise you will not be able to perform a good breath in the next rep. (and here you only have 1 breath/rep.!!!!). During the first week it is very important to fix your walking rate. Don’t walk so quickly that you break your serie before the repetition number 8 or so slow that you finish the repetition number 8 being able to make one more. Balance this with the rhythm of your walk; it must be constant during the 20 minutes. One pedometer can be useful. When you fill comfortable after weeks of training increase the difficulty of the exercise by increasing the walking rate but don’t modify the timing of the exercise. Don’t try to stay the complete 20 minutes making single breathings each 30 seconds because for that you must lower so much the walking rate and that’s means lowering your heart beats/min rate. So increasing the difficulty of this exercise means increasing your walking rate but keep fix the number of repetitions and his timing. Don’t run please.

- Second exercise (20 minutes): one serie of 20 reps of medium term recovery:

20 x (40” apnea + 20” ventilation) = 20 reps x 1 min. = 20 min.

Adjust your walking tempo in the way of being able to reach 40” in apnea during your first week of training. When comfortable, increase the difficulty of the exercise by adding 1 second more to de apneic time and taking one second less to the ventilation time from (40” apn + 20” vent) to (50” apn + 10” vent). Keep at least 2 weeks in each step, otherwise your progress will never be consistent. The aim of this exercise is to go further in prolonging the end of the phase II. You will see that your feelings will be completely different to the exercise number one.

- Third exercise (10 minutes): one serie of 10 reps of long term recovery:

5 x (1.10” apnea + 50” ventilation) = 5 reps x 2 min. = 10 min.

Adjust your walking tempo to be around 1.10” your pb in the first week. Increase the difficulty idem second exercise. Don´t stop walking when you start breathing just after breaking your apnea, I know it is really very tough but keep walking. The real prolonging of the apneic time in this exercise has arrived to me by training short recovery series (exercises number 1 and 2) not because number 3 by himself. The main purpose of this exercise is get psychologically used to long dynamic apneas, recognise and realize the sensations you feel when you are just entering phase III (I personally call phase III to the 5 or 7 seconds before you get BO) and cope with them till the exit point. I have never been able to prolong consistently phase III by doing walking walking workouts so I personally don’t recommend making more than 5 long term recovery series.

- Fourth exercise: 6 minutes of 2 (hypoxic + hypercapmic) series.

9 x (5” full inspired + 5” apnea + 5” full expired + 5” neg. apnea) = 9 x 20” = 3 min.
3 x (30” vent + full exhale + 30” neg. apnea (doing neg carps to empty more)) = 3 min

Apneic dives has not to be necessarily hypoxic if we never cross our barriers and if our ventilating patterns are appropriated to each kind of situation, but I think it is necessary we know what a hypoxic situation it is and the sensations you feel when it arrive because are completely different to the Hypercapneic ones.

All this must be in a weekly and monthly program. I personally recommend for this medium level training each week: 3 days apnea workouts, 2 days hard cardio training (footing, cycling, swimming, etc but not in apnea) and to days rest, for a minimum of 6 months/season. log daily the things you feel, the conquers you make, were your walls are, the days you train the days you don’t. This is very important because it will give to you a realistic point of view of your performance. If somebody starts with this program and needs some help to “crash the walls” which don’t let him progress let me know, I have some advices that works.

I hope this to be useful for thin-air and all the friends in the forum interested in out of water workouts. I would like to read your own experiences. All remarks are welcome.


thank you very much for that information, its exactly what i was looking for

hi guss

very good info indeed.
ihave just recently discovered apnea walks as out of water training (reading about it in the forum) and it sure sounds interesting.

i haven´t done any real training so far but one of my experiences goes like this :

i just (for the fun of it) exhaled and continued walking. when i got low on o2 i had a very immediate and extremely unpleasent, almost burning, sensation which made me breath immediately.
when doing exhale dives i hang at the line for a good while and the urge to breath approaches in a much more comfortable and easy way.

any idea why it is so incredibly uncomfortable while walking?? is it just lack of training this way??

i´m curious.

thanx again for the thread


different situations


It’s impossible you get the same feelings because you are in two different situations. Negative walking apneas are dynamic apneas and neg “hanging on the line” apneas are (not pure but) static apneas. The PPCO2 at somebody lugs making dynamics increases really faster than the PPCO2 of someone making statics. When we include this circumstance in one continuous dynamic exercise (apneas made walking without stopping) the hypercapmic situation of the air in our lungs increases even faster. If you are doing it with empty lungs them it arrives even quickly and roughly because the CO2 coming out of the muscles of your legs come in a very reduced volume of air, that means the CO2 partial pressure is going to increases very rapid. To this you must add that in full exhale the extreme hypoxic situation arrive to your lungs just a very few seconds (20” – 30”) after exhaling. In statics you can consider more than one minute. Summarizing: “continuous dynamics + neg apneas” is a multiplicative factor of the speed in which hypercapmic and hypoxic situations arrive to our lungs.

As you can read in my profile I work on the wood industry. One of my supplier sawmills is located in the south of Germany close to the Austrian border (area of Rosenheim). I use to visit him twice a year. If you live close to the border maybe we can meet next time I go to my supplier and share some freediving experiences. Only one thing, if we meet you pay the beers.

Hope answering your question

hi guss

thanx for the explanation. definitely makes sense. i think if i continue with training that way i´ll just gotta get used to it.

still, exhale apnea is by far the most unpleasent sensation i´ve experienced so far. normally i get rather great enjoyment out of doing apnea. even holding contractions until it gets almost painful doesn´t compare to this violent unpleasentness.
i´m just thrilled by that effect. evil, that´s what i´d call it.

send a message if you are in the area. beers sounds good to me.



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