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Static Challenge

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.
Eric F. wrote here about the twofold purpose of contractions.

But aren't those just two physiological consequences of holding the breath while having contractions, which seems to be a rather unnatural state to be in (although it's our passion :eek:)

Isn't a contraction just an involuntary spasm to make you start breathing again? Like an "auto-pilot mode" of the body in need of oxygen (triggered by a high level of CO2) so when it contracts, it expands your lungs and pulls air into them.

By the way, I never ever get contractions :confused: . Perhaps I experienced one or two in more than 2 years training with a handfull of samba's. Does someone have an explanation for this?

Fred S
Fred, out of interest, what sorta of static times were you getting, both PB and when you samba'd?
PB in water is 5':02" and dry 5'.18". I samba'd at several static times, although they were all "light" samba's. And most of them occured when I breathed up too intense.

Fred S.
I've never really tried a training program, but from time to time I do hit the pool. My wet and dry times are about the same, somewhere in the 2-3 min range. I was in a rec center near my house, once though, and I was doing a wet static, and when I'd hit almost 3 mins, the life guard started freaking out (thinking he had a 15 year old doing the dead man's float in his deep end) and the next thing I know I'm being hauled out of the water. LOL

First day of training
I have managed to get some more people interested in doing statics with me , however today was rainy and at seven this morning there was no sign of life on Koh Tao ...:hmm
After five days of chi gong I am getting more fluid in the movements and my breathing feels more free .
Anyway , I did a 3:00 min ; then a 3:30 and a 4;00 min static .
I will stay with the 4:00 limit for a couple of days before trying to improve .
It's GREAT to be back ...
Ok I don't think I've ever experienced contractions - My personal best is 3:31 dry...

I have some questions regarding contractions, and the physiological urge to breathe brought around by increased CO2 and decreased O2.

Is one of the keys to transcending your limits to be able to overcome and resist the urge to breathe?

Or is it a matter of delaying the onset of these urges?

If it is the former, then does the urge dissapear temporarily only to return later with more force?

Do contractions occur during this overcoming stage?

Would appreciate some insights into this question, as it is one i've been wondering about for a long time.


Good going Abri, I'm glad you're excited about training. I'll do some this week too.

Originally posted by [xeno]Julios
Is one of the keys to transcending your limits to be able to overcome and resist the urge to breathe?

....absolutely: you will, with a little training, overcome the urge to breath (not necessarily contractions though). It does not take much training to be able to train to the point of unconsciousness....then you must try to learn how to stay conscious longer!

Or is it a matter of delaying the onset of these urges?

...for some, it means delaying contractions, for others the contractions are "allowed". Contractions are beneficial to a point, but take energy too. Some people like them, some don't.

If it is the former, then does the urge dissapear temporarily only to return later with more force?

....I have just started experimenting with "not allowing" contractions, and when I relent, they are VERY strong!


hi Abri

You da man 4:00 first day eh pretty damn good, not quite as good as Erik's 6:00 first day. Cant wait to get that stopwatch should be here in a couple of days wont be expecting much though.


>Is one of the keys to transcending your limits to be able to overcome and resist the urge to breathe?

>Or is it a matter of delaying the onset of these urges?

I've been doing statics for a long time and working hard at it for a few years. The more you think about urges and contractions, the harder it is. Contractions are individual specific. My first one is about 40% of max. Try to ignore everything and relax.

Some divers can concentrate or focus on an object (a watch or a pool tile) and others work best with something boring or repetitive. Counting seconds works here. When I lose count, that is a sign of relaxing at another level and chunks of time disappear. Similar to hypnotism.

Eric said something like ' 5 minutes is all mental'.

Thanks guys ;
Today's results same- same yesterday , but the 4:00 much more comfy .
Still no training buddy :(
I might have to put a sign on my back to avoid giving some innocent passerby a shock on finding me gently bobbing around in the rockpools ...:hmm

re. relaxing
I used to be able to "blank out" between 1:00 and 3:30 ,only coming around when the first contraction arrived . Anyone else experience this ?
Ok i'm in..

Hi Abri / others.

I have done 5:33 dry ( sea level ) and 5:09 wet ( sea level ) I definitely find a 20 % odd difference between 1650 msl ( home) and sea level.

I have done 4:49 wet up here and my goal will be to eclipse my 5.33 dry and go on to 6.00 by the time this thread runs dry.

All these times were in preparation for, or actual, for the Hawaii Pacific Cup.

Today on the floor in the office; 2.00 / 3.00 / 4.30.

New "wet" PB

About the time this thread was started, I joined a pool in order to do dynamics over the winter. Although, the past couple of trips to the pool I tried statics. I felt more comfortable once I got to know the lifeguards. Didn't want to cause a commotion. Anyway, I tried the "fasting" yesterday that I've read about here. Well, only a 6 hour fast, after breakfast. It didn't seem to help, or maybe it did, as I never did wet statics before. The wet static was 5:20, after a few "5's", first. (5:40 dry). I worked up with a breath-up about a minute less than static. Contractions usually start a minute and a half before I give out, and are never too severe.

You mentioned a numbing in the legs. I get that on long, deep dives that use a lot of kicking. Only in the right leg though. In the rear of the thigh. (Hamstring?) This summer I hit a pb in the ocean of 120', and that numbing scared the hell out of me, although it's happened before. Do you think training will prevent it? It seemed to start before ascending, as if it was a pressure or cold water thing.That's why I just joined a pool. I also start to get it at the end of my max dynamics, which are presently around 68.5M (225'). Do you think there is reason for concern being only in the right leg? I have noticed during dynamics that the left leg seems to kick harder. Hope there are more here that experienced this, and know how to overcome it.

Great thread here, real fun.
Skidiver mate is that metres or feet above sea level?
Jersey Jim Dynamics


Is that dynamic w/o fins? If so, I'm way jealous. I think that I'll have a 75 yard unaided dynamic by this spring, but right now my max is about 60 yards (and I'm kinda wasted after that).

Can we lure you out to Dutch to freeze w/ us on New Years Eve?



Still no watch but I tried something yesterday. Eric Fattah posted in another thread that Ravelo did a 3min static followed by a 125m dynamic. So I jumped in our 9m pool with dads face watch and tried to see what I could do. I ended up with a 1min static followed by a 63m dynamic without fins, a bit trash compared to Ravelo but I will get over it. So i guess my latest static pb is 1min Ha ha.

Hi Skin , welcome to the challenge :cool:
I almost didn't train this morning , had a headache from watching the latest James Bond trash ...:hmm
Anyway , got distracted by some curious wrasse and suddenly noticed I was on 4:12 .
Well , just like Renoir I prefer full , round(ed) figures , so went on to 4:30 :D
Hope to get some buddies soon .

Ivan ,
If you have someone spotting you they can check the time on a normal watch and keep you posted with signals .
Thanks Erik and Bill for the quick replies - I'm still not 100 percent sure I understand - i'll try to be a bit more specific:

I don't think I've ever experienced contractions: my main concern is with the burning urge you get to breathe - the urge that intensifies more and more until you simply must breathe - it's that horrible pain of suffocating that we're all familiar with. When i refer to that burning urge, that's what I mean.

Can u reach samba/blackout without ever experiencing an intense burn?

If you "ride" the burn and bear it (which i've never done so i'm not even sure if it's physically possible yet) will it pass and dissipate, followed by a smooth and easy period of apnea?

Or is it a matter of psychologically adjusting to the pain and transcending the "breathe reflex"? In which case the burn actually still exists and gets progressively stronger, but the will to overcome it remains on top.

I just can't seem to grasp how it is possible to over come this burn - i've never held my breath to the point where i feel dizzy, yet i've experienced incredibly intense urges to breathe - you know... the ones where if you submit to them you experience incredible relief as the life of air flows through you.

Thanks again for past and future replies


Until you push past that unbearable urge to breathe you will not click what everyone is talking about.

Just when you think you are about to die.. you must try hold your breath for up to two minutes longer. During ths phase you will experience your body automatically trying to make you take a breath, almost like 'throwing up' type convusions. ( contractions)

I dont think i would ever have had the will power to enter that phase if it was not for the fact that i was in my first league competition and watched as others heaved in the water every few seconds and realised that i must somehow go past the burn ( die) phase.

My first ever static was 1:25 with no contractions but i thought i was going to die, and then 3:33 with contractions (after watching others going after me have contractions)

You are still pre - contraction and are having a hard time believing that there can be anything after 'death'.. :)
Just fight it.. and you will feel your diaphragm pulse about 10 - 15 seconds after 'death'. :) You can keep this up for an average of 2 minutes more.

let me know when it happens for you.


PS. Loopy.. I mean 'Meters' above Sea level.
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Cheers mate... it's wierd but here in Aus saying like 1650 amsl means feet above mean sea level... go figure :duh

Reason I ask is that I live at around 1900' (600 odd metres) above sea level, thought maybe I could squeeze an extra 20 secs at sea level like you did :)

Cheers mate, and safe diving

static training results

I think it's a great idea to share training results and methods.

Except for the first warm-up dive I hyperventilate slightly to prepare for apnea. I do all static dives with 15-25 packs. 30 packs is my maximum packing capacity. I train in a pool with 28°C water temperature where I use a 5mm wetsuit.

Here are the results of my last three static training sessions:

2002-11-14 - 75-minute static session:
warm-up dives where I abort while still feeling comfortable:
4'00'' - 1st contraction at about 3'00''
5'16'' - 1st contraction at about 4'30''
6'17'' - 1st contraction at about 5'30''

maximum attempts:
6'38'' - 1st contraction at about 5'15''
7'01'' - 1st contraction at about 5'20''

2002-11-21 - 80-minute static session:
warm-up dives:
4'00'' - 1st contraction at about 3'05''
5'31'' - 1st contraction at about 4'40''
6'01'' - 1st contraction at about 4'45''
6'31'' - 1st contraction at about 5'20''

maximum attempts:
6'35'' - 1st contraction at about 5'00''
7'01'' - 1st contraction at about 5'30''

2002-11-28 - 45-minute static session:
warm-up dives:
4'00'' - 1st contraction at about 2'55''
5'01'' - 1st contraction at about 4'15''
6'00'' - 1st contraction at about 4'45''

maximum attempt:
6'36'' - 1st contraction at about 4'50''

Between the dives I recover for 5-10 minutes which includes breathing up for the next dive.