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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Dec 2, 2003
Hello deeper peeple :)

I'm trying to gain an added understanding on the effectiveness of packing and was wondering about other people's feelings about it so .......

how many packs can you do?

How many packs do you do before the clock starts?

When do you stop packing, what body feeling do you get when
you stop? (pressure in back of throat? when your ears pop)

Whats your rate of packing (pack/unit time)?

do you pack only during training (and not during competition or string for PB)?

Is packing useful for you? Does that added time packing really increase your performance, rather than just one deep breathe, significantly? if so, how much more time have you gained by doing so?
Hi Dude !

Packing has been discussed quite regularly in the forums, may I suggest you go to the 'forums' and look under begginer freediving or 'training techniques', and you should find plenty on packing.

Also look at www.ericfattah.com , I think thats the address, has some great stuff.


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Hia jeff,

I have been looking through the forums for a while and have read eric fattahs 'frenzel' paper which have been very informative and helpful. I have just 'discovered' how to pack and to do the frenzel technique just recently. My questions are more directed to the readers 'feeling' and their personal assessment of the effectiveness of packing for them, because I don't know how effective packing would be for me (don't have a spirometer to tell how much more air I'm "packing") so my main intention is to determine if i'm wasting time trying to pack.

do you pack? how much? etc.

Aloha Mark
Packing is very interesting. With a little training you can pack a litre in 10 seconds. That will give you an extra minute of O2 static or 20 seconds dynamic but you use almost half of it by packing. The amount of air per pack and the effort involved is very individual specific. Some use fast small packs and others take big mouthfulls. Build up slowly, as the torn muscles will hurt for weeks, trust me on this one.
The best uses of packing and reverse packing seem to be for lung flexibility, topping the lungs with the least effort and as needed for depths below 50-60 meters.
BTW when you get a chance, please fill out the profile so we know who, what and where you are.
welcome aboard
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Hi Bill,

thanks for the response. I suppose I'm so new to the sport that it is difficult to notice the difference in performance between packing and not (started in october). At this moment, it seems to decrease my performance, bordering on useless. Right now, it takes about 4 packs before my ears pop, and at about 5-6 it starts to feel like chest pains or heart burn. now i need to figure out what the volume of my pack is.

deeper blue forum is awesome,

ps. bill, i filled in my profile:) I noticed that you live in Kona! We're neighbors! (island-wise) me<---Waianae, Oahu
I'm not terribly experienced here, but I thought the advantage of packing was to increase the depth at which lung squeeze becomes prohibitive and you lose the ability to equalize effectively? Packing doesn't seem to increase my bottom time, but it sure seems to make deeper dives more comfortable.
Statics aside, there are certainly some benefits to diving from packing, although I would say that those benefits are less than most realise. I used to pack, but don't anymore.

I started doing it for the first time in 2000 at the Nice world cup. I reached my maximum equalisation depth on the very first day of training. I saw other people packing, so the next day I tried it and I dived deeper. Over the next 3 days I put 12m on my max equalisation depth. So I thought that it was best to pack.

However, when you think about it - I never tried to dive without packing again for years, so in fact I never knew wether that gain in depth was due to the extra practice of ear clearing at depth or the extra stretching of the diaphragm, or from packing. I think it was a mixture of all, but at the time I put it all down to packing.

There is no doubt that packing will add a few extra metres in depth above your max ear clearing depth and possibly a few more seconds in bottom time - but is that relevant to most diving, and what are the downsides?

There are the obvious dangers, i.e. if you overdo it you can damage your muscles. However, there are more dangers - the potential for an air embolism, and the risk of ishaemic blackout from the heart being 'squashed'.

There's even more to it than that. Packing tends to stop people from focussing on getting a really efficient and full last breath. So they waste time packing a volume of air in, that they wouldn't need to pack if they had spent the time learning to get a good breath.

Most of my diving now is done at FRV, or a tiny bit above it, both recreationally and for deep dives. I much prefer this way of diving as I really like the reduction in weight (on the belt, sadly not on me) that it entails and that you float higher out of the water, getting better bigger ventilations in. I find it is more relaxing and you get a bigger blood shift, and your surface intervals seem to reduce and all this with a very minor loss in dive time. The stretching of the diaphragm using this kind of diving really helps you to extend your max ear clearing depth.

So even if I were practicing deep diving often, I would no longer pack.

Sorry for rambling.


For us lowly spearo wannabe freedivers, what the hell is FRV? Please excuse the ignorance.

I have a question

Who introduced packing for freediving ? where they get the idea from ??..I never heard about packing before in cuba for the all time I have beeing doing spearfishing and freediving..

I little of history about this will be good

just a question


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Hey, I'm a spearo too!

Scott - sorry I shouldn't have used the abbreviation. Functional Residual Volume. AKA Passive exhale. The lower end of tidal volume. Basically, if you are sitting about breathing gently/subconciously, it is the point at which you finish the gentle exhale. It generally equates to about half of the total lung volume (not half of vital capacity - which is how much you can actually exhale after a full breath).

When you start diving this way, even at the start of each session, it feels slightly uncomfortable - but the main reason for that is lack of stretching (yes, I am a lazy toad) and mere familiarity.

Pete (Laminar), Eric (efattah), Sebastien, Alun and many others practice this way of diving as part of their repetoire. I don't know if anyone else uses it as their 'standard' technique though.....presumably some must......anyone? I can't be the only idiot doing it.... :t

Great question Daniel - I suspect it has been around for millenia. I certainly knew how to do it before I knew that it would be useful for diving. There may be a point at which it was introduced to competitive diving though....which some old boys (& girls) might remember.....?
Speaking of negative packs and spirometers, doing as many negative packs as you can do, before the inhale measurement on a spirometer test, is a great way to up the measurement! It really impresses the nurse administrating the test ;)
Bob Croft has been credited with inventing packing, but obviously it's been around for years.
I also read (maybe here) that Obo-players used the technique in the past to give them the ability to hold notes longer.
Erik Y.

Oboe player?? that is insteresting...

Singers use a similar breathing metodo we use for freediving-
also ..Trumpet players ect


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Hi Erik,

I know of one technique woodwind players (oboes included) use to sustain a note forever but doesn't involve packing: They exhale and hold a cheekful of air from their lungs and blow steadily while breathing in to refill through their noses, kind of like backward-airflow packing but the player in fact breathes normally. Correctly done the player can give the illusion of infinite lung capacity.

Happy New Year DB'ers!

Peter S.
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I never heard that one Peter. Sort of human bagpipes I guess. Happy New Year.
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can anyone help out a begginer who wants to get started with a few basic static and dynamic techniques for free diving. Could someone suggest a good freediving book filled with practical training. Much appreciation.


Some info for newbies on [ame="http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?t=64959"]this[/ame] thread.

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