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please i really need help with free diving

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

New Member
Jul 27, 2003
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First of all id like to say that it is a privlage to have this forum and interact with some of the greatest freedivers in the world . and would like to thank them for all the positive input that they contribut to the forum..
Anyway I have been snorkelling for about 12 years. and been smoking for about 17 years. but recently stoped smoking,to improve my freediving. i recently managed a 17 meter dive for 29seconds desent + ascent.and i think i can go 20 metres. my problem is i cant hold my breath for more than 30 seconds underwater but can hold it for 3 minuts out of water i dont know why. if i hyperventilate i can push 1.15 but im afraid of blacking out and im always told not to hyperventilate. when i am underwater the urge to breath is to much for me to handle but out of water i can handle it better. also i noticed that since i stoped smoking the erge to breath while breathholding has become a lot more strongger resulting in shorter breath holds. is this possible or am i imaging it.
should i be running ,working out at the gym, swimming,to improve my endurance.also what should i be doing to control my erge to breath. also what training should i be doing to lengthen my breath holds.why do my abs burn and legs burn when i do apnea walks.i have tunns of questions.i know i will never be a world class free diver but i want to be the best i could be . if i can acive a 2.5 minut dive to 20 metres i will be more than happy.anyway great to have this forum and all the best to everyone in it.any help to train and motivate my self will be much apriciated.my goal is to dive to 20 meters stay at 20 for 1 or 1.5 minnuts and surface .help please im desperate thank you good bless
 

squip

New Member
Mar 26, 2002
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What you need, is harmony underwater...

Obviously you have the capability to hold you breath for longer than 30sec(you do 3:00 dry).

How to find the harmony, differs from person to person.

One thing that work really good for me is really concentrate on "slowing down" body and mind. Work for me...

Another thing can be that when your breathing through your snorkel(if you have one), your not breathing as you would do when you do your 3min dry holds.

Hyperventilating is not the way to go, be carefull with that stuff.

Thats just my 0.02$ worth of.

Good Luck!
 

icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
2,880
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Originally posted by john micallef
and interact with some of the greatest freedivers in the world . ]


You're welcome! :D


I think first off, you'll want to ease up and simply spend more time in the water. I know that if I go more than a couple of days w/o some type of water work, I seem to lose some of what I gained the last time out. That and I get cranky as Hell... just ask the current hottie.... :hmm

I'd start off working to replicate the ease at which you can go more than 30 secs in the chair while in the water floating face down and sucking on the snorkel. Doing a wet static is a very simple way to get at ease with the listening of your heart rate, being bouyant and warm and just kinda lyin' there feeling things out. AND THIS IS DONE WITH THE HELP OF A BUDDY!!!!

Then head off to the blue and do the same... tie off to a piece of kelp or rig a down line and hang out. Then when it's all roses, dip under and see what happens. Your times will not be exactly the same as your dry statics, but I think you'll be surprised at the ease with which you'll pass 30 secs. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

bluecape

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2003
574
164
83
Hi John

Also stopped smoking to start freediving, and also new to this stunning lifestyle. With my very limited experience, I think that Squip's post hit the nail on the head...ie..find the harmony in whichever way suits you. It's amazing how going into the water with just a small amount of negative karma / over-anxiousness / excitement and determination can stuff up your dive !!
Virtually all sports I know, you train hard, pump that heartrate, and then get all pumped up to do your best...but freediving is showing me more and more that i need to train hard, but get as chilled and laid-back as possible for the dive.

Stopping smoking has in no way made my performance worse, breathhold feels similar, but my recovery and energy for more dives is improved. And my breathhold will improve faster, thats a medical fact.

My 'harmony' is as follows, it may help you. Before EVERY dive, I sit alone for a period ( It varies), and just relax, stretch slowly, and think of nothing but calm, smooth, slow movement. Kit up slowly, then 'melt' into the water, and enjoy. It works for me. The day I stopped worrying about my bottom time and started this relaxation method was the day my bottom-clock started ticking longer on it's own !

Thats my 5 cents worth, again I stress that I'm a newbie!!

Good luck.

Jeff

Cheers:D
 

Brian Hamilton

Subsea Sniper
Jun 15, 2003
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John, I can only agree with what has been written above. The name of the game is relaxation underwater. Try to slow everything up. I do the following before a dive

Do not eat for at least four hours prior to diving.

Upon arrival at dive site prepare all gear (descent lines etc)

Keep warm. Wear warm clothing and relax for ten minutes, breathing slowly.

Breath deeply and slowly for five minutes.

Suit up. Do this methodically and efficiently.

Go to waters edge.

Do twenty reps of 5:0:10 breathing (five secs inhale, zero secs hold, ten seconds exhale)

Enter water. Do this slowly and do not jump.

Go to rope / float.

Continue 5:0:10 breathing for 2 to 3 minutes until co2 drops noticeably (tingling fingers if possible).

2-3 breaths which are as deep as possible. Breathe out and empty lungs as much as possible. On last breath take as large a lungful of air as possible.

Go into dive position, face down in water. Equalize on surface then move into surface dive


NB: During all breathe up routines begin inhale from abdomen extending to chest then finally to throat. Consider pulling shoulders back when breathing in and slouching towards chest when breathing out. Purse lips according to preference.

I hope this is the kind of info you are looking for. Speaking from a personal point of view I find this routine very relaxing.

Cheers.
 

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
487
173
Personally I believe that if your fingers are tingling, you have been overbreathing.... I recommend doing a 2 minute surface static, then breathe slowly for 90 seconds and then go.

Personally I also eat right before I get in the water, but in the beginning, eating seems to impair performance. Eventually your stomach learns to shut down as soon as you start diving.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 

zipy

New Member
Nov 19, 2002
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Originally posted by efattah

Personally I also eat right before I get in the water, but in the beginning, eating seems to impair performance. Eventually your stomach learns to shut down as soon as you start diving.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada [/B]
:confused:

My friend had a BO presumably because of eating just before diving. He was snorkeling in 3m deep watter! Luckly his girfriend pulled him out when pased out at the surface.

Maybe eating a piece of cokolate or something to give you some energy but not enything more.

Jure
 

armorking

New Member
Jun 3, 2003
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"my problem is i cant hold my breath for more than 30 seconds underwater but can hold it for 3 minuts out of water i dont know why"

Hi i am also a newbe in freediving

Hmm, my problem is the opposite, my breathe reflex is harder to control out of water than under water?! I feel more comfortable under water than above. The deeper i go everything slow down and i feel comfortable.
today me and 2 friends go from a rock with kind of stairs down to 22m and about 1 min. when i start go up breathe reflex push me hard on shalower water and is harder when more close to surface

I have some serious problem to do more than 3,30 static but feel very comfortable by the pressure a bit down ?!

BTW i dont smoke but use "snus" a very common tobaco in Sweden.
 

Jason Billows

New Member
Sep 17, 2002
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John,

I'm not surprised to hear that you're getting the urge to breath more quickly since stopping smoking.

Smoking kills much of the tissue in the lungs and that includes the receptors that tell your brain to breath due to increasing CO2 levels. Since you stopped smoking, these receptors are working better and are doing their job.

The good thing is that you can now use those sensations and subsequent contractions to guage how you progress through your breath holds. And remember, just because you have the urge to breath sooner doesn't mean that you HAVE to breath sooner. It's just going to be a more uncomfortable ride.

On another note, I notice your from TO. Have you joined the club there? The other club members will be able to answer lots of questions for you.

If you're ever coming towards Ottawa we've got some great dive locations.

Jason
Ottawa, Canada
 

OceanSwimmer

Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2002
482
69
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....meal/intervals and freediving...

Originally posted by Brian Hamilton
Do not eat for at least four hours prior to diving.

--Brian, This got my attention; why four hours?
I could understand 1 hour after meals...but four? Would you explain what the principals are behind the idea? This is new information for me...
--since you are asking your body to perform strongly, where is the source of your available-energy?
--Like Eric, I eat before diving/swimming. Ideally, about 45 minutes to an hour before, and not a lightweight meal, either. I like entering the water feeling like I've got plenty of fuel available!
--After a good 2 hour swim, I'm ready for a bit of something to eat, something light like fruit, or bread and cheese and water....lots of water.
--As far as having available energy before a dive, high-protein meals seem to 'sit' best on the stomach.
--Drinking plenty of water before and after is important.
--Caffeine causes some peripheral vasoconstriction. During the winter, I avoid it before swimming in cold water. Afterwards, it's not a problem.
John--I know this topic started as a reply to you; sorry about that! :eek:
 
Last edited:

Brian Hamilton

Subsea Sniper
Jun 15, 2003
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I usually don't eat for four hours before going into the water as I had a bad experience when I ate a curry before going into the water and almost threw up. Schoolboy error I know. I usually dive about noon and eat breakfast about 0800. I am not that hungry in the morning so eat cereal or toast then during my diving session I top up with tea and maybe a banana or cereal bar.

I can't say this would work for everybody but it does for me and so far I haven't felt that I have lacked energy during my dives.

Hope this helps
 

OceanSwimmer

Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2002
482
69
118
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Originally posted by Brian Hamilton
I usually don't eat for four hours before going into the water... I usually dive about noon and eat breakfast about 0800. I am not that hungry in the morning so eat cereal or toast then...

------->during my diving session I top up with tea and maybe a banana or cereal bar.

...I can't say this would work for everybody but it does for me and so far I haven't felt that I have lacked energy during my dives. Hope this helps

--Thanks for the reply, Brian.
To clarify; you eat at 8:00am; during your dive-session you take a break and have tea and a banana or cereal bar.

That sounds more like it! :cool:

--This paints a different picture entirely (glad I asked)
It sounded like you were recommending not eating for four hours, diving, and THEN eating after the dive was completed.
I misunderstood! :eek:
 

caymandiver

give me gills!
Jun 18, 2003
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What a wonderful topic! It's so wonderful to see so many freedivers around the world can and have put their 2 cents in. It is truely amazing that world's top freediver lives and breath this web site. They are experts at freediving and I cannot agree enough to the things that has been mentioned by those before me in this thread. I personally feel very lucky to have this kind of connection available. Thank you for your time tested and safty minded advices. You guys have paved the way and making the trip so much easier for the rest of us. Thank you!

If I could add any cents to the table, and I am still very much a newbie:eek:, is empty lung training.

I've been training much lately with no air in my lungs dude to my friend Jim from Fiji. He heard it from "the Sub".

I'm not sure if it really works because I've only been doing it for a limited time but it has helped me feel ... how do I say it.. more experienced(confidence)under water. Honestly I can say that it added another dimension because of it.

I always start with empty lung dives, I've actually heard it can save up to 30 min before your diving reflex fully kicks in. For more info on the technical side of this check out Erik Young's site. He does a facinating job, as always!, explaining this miracle process. http://www.2james.net/ey.html

After diving I breath out, just enough air to equalize, I submerge under water and dolphin kick as far as I can back to shore. I get to a point where I can't go any more and take a breath. From there its up to me how badly I want to beat my self up that day. :D

I also do various land exercise, underwater things, and breath hold practice with my lungs empty.

I've found two key elements that helped me greatly during my short freediving life. One is not reaching my limit on purpose. Getting to and exceeding my limit leaves me with an experience where I don't want to go back and do it the next day. I rather leave the place taking it easy so I'm more motivated to return.

Another is the importance of a buddy. If you are blessed enough to have a person looking over you while you dive or train you are blessed with having able to spread your wings fully. I often feel that those innocent empty lung breath hold swim at -7ft to the shore is more dangerous than easy 2:30 at 40ft.

I am honestly not good enough diver to tell you what kind of training to undertake. I'm doing them my self. :eek: But if you do have the time I sincerly recommend checking out Erik's site. http://www.2james.net/ey.html Erik had the experience that I don't have. It's just so awesome these guys are willing to share all these hard earned wisdom!

If it wasn't for you guys I won't be half of the diver I am today.

Cheers!
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
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Thanks Christian...it's Anderson's site actually. I just wrote the one article. There's a lot of other good stuff on his sight, including Andy's great photos.
And any time I am thanked, I must thank Eric Fattah and probably every diver on the West Coast of Canada!
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

caymandiver

give me gills!
Jun 18, 2003
129
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Hey Erik!

Sorry, thought it was your site. :duh

I love the pictures on the site. Especially the ones from Cayman! :D

I like your signature quote man. It's a good one!
 
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