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Question tips for beginner

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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philh1

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
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Hi . I have always loved snorkelling bu am terrible at holding mr breath. I would like to learn to be less terrible.
My understanding is that there are a few things i can do to improve. Are these right?
1) o2 tables. How often should I be doing them?
2) co2 tables. Again how often should i do them?
3) breath up 2 mins before breath hold, exhaling for twice as long as inhaling.
4) Just practise holding my breath. Should I do this immediately after tables? one breath up for 2 mins before breath hold? or should the tables be done hours apart from practicing breath hold ? How far apart should the tables (o2 and Co2) be from one another?
Any other tips?
Many thanks
 

DivingNomad

Active Member
Sep 21, 2015
205
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Your best solution/answer is to take a free diving course. That is the most efficient and safest way. There are MANY free diving instructors in the UK, you should have no problem finding one.
 
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philh1

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
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Your best solution/answer is to take a free diving course. That is the most efficient and safest way. There are MANY free diving instructors in the UK, you should have no problem finding one.
I was going to do but the pandemic got in the way.
 

Spearito

Member
Sep 19, 2019
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I was going to do but the pandemic got in the way.
Hey Phil,
Yes COVID is proving to be a pain in the arse for most of us.
there is an aspect of liability to your question so I don’t think anybody will say: “get out there and hit it hard!” Ha ha ha!
If you’ve never don’t this before I would first start with a few dry exercises, set your base line and go from there. Do not underestimate the power of apnea walks! Plenty of tutorials out there, specially from Adam Freediver on YouTube etc.
Would you mind if I ask, what specifically are you trying to achieve? More time down? Deeper?. I’m asking because there are many many things you can do to up your spearfishing game without have it to hold your breath like a sperm whale.
Anyway, stay safe and have fun!, I hope the winter is not too harsh this year in UK
 

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
400
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The best tip I can give to a beginner is to take it all slowly. This is not the sport where you can rush into elite levels by simply training harder. Next to just not getting there by training harder, without the right knowledge and understanding it can be extremely dangerous too (so don't skip the chapter on safety!).
 
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philh1

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
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Thanks guys, very much appreciate the feedback. My aim is to improve the length of my breath hold. for snorkelling trips. Not too interested in going especially eep.
 

stefpix

Member
Aug 15, 2015
59
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Running and cardio may help your body to get used to work with low O2 levels.
if you have access to a swimming pool with other people you could do swim laps and alternate with an underwater lap, or swim on the surface a lap without lifting your head from the water. It is not a specific exercise, but it helps
 
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perphectnumber

Active Member
Oct 18, 2011
3
6
43
Mostly self-taught underwater hockey player with a max breath-hold of 4:00 here. I would focus on 2 things primarily:
1.) CO2 tables. When you're starting out, these will produce results much faster than O2 tables (because CO2 buildup is almost certainly your limiting factor on all your breath-holds currently... low O2 levels don't come into play until you're already doing fairly long holds). You can do them as much or as little as you like... 1 table per day will produce pretty rapid progress. If you have time, go for 2 tables per day... if you're busy and can only find time for 2-3 tables per week, that's still better than nothing. My go-to CO2 table looks like this:
hold / breathe:
1:10 / 0:40
1:10 / 0:30
1:10 / 0:20
1:10 / 0:10 x 3
1:10 / 0:05 x 4
1:25+ on final hold (my best is ~2:00 on this final hold, and I try to make at least 1:25 every time I do the table)
You can modify as needed. Start with 0:35 or 0:40 on the holds and increase as you get more comfortable. If you're at sea level, you might get your holds substantially longer than 1:10 (I'm in Denver, ~5000')
2.) Adding breath-holds to your exercise and everyday activities. I used to do a lot of breath-hold running (back when I used to run), and breath-hold rowing (on an erg, not in a boat). You can also add breath-holds to lots of around-the-house activities (particularly useful when doing boring chores like washing dishes or vacuuming) This will get you used to holding your breath while you're exerting yourself. No need to be super rigorous with timing... just hold your breath randomly while doing stuff.

If you're a normally tense, over-thinker type, the other big thing you can do to improve your breath-holding is to practice zoning out and relaxing. You can study meditation/relaxation techniques for this, but basically, anything you can do to turn your brain off will help. Go to your happy place, practice relaxing all your muscles, let your mind wander, etc. etc. Big progress usually gets made when you get to the point where you can successfully forget about the clock :)

Good luck!
 
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philh1

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
4
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thanks this is great. i have started doing C02 tables the last few days and managed to get my longest breath hold up to 3 minutes. Im amazed , absolutely amazed. Im doing the c02 tables twice per day. what about 02 tables how often should they be done?
 

Bailey Freshwater

New Member
Oct 15, 2020
1
0
1
21
Hi . I have always loved snorkelling bu am terrible at holding mr breath. I would like to learn to be less terrible.
My understanding is that there are a few things i can do to improve. Are these right?
1) o2 tables. How often should I be doing them?
2) co2 tables. Again how often should i do them?
3) breath up 2 mins before breath hold, exhaling for twice as long as inhaling.
4) Just practise holding my breath. Should I do this immediately after tables? one breath up for 2 mins before breath hold? or should the tables be done hours apart from practicing breath hold ? How far apart should the tables (o2 and Co2) be from one another?
Any other tips?
Many thanks
Just calm down and take deep breaths
 

perphectnumber

Active Member
Oct 18, 2011
3
6
43
thanks this is great. i have started doing C02 tables the last few days and managed to get my longest breath hold up to 3 minutes. Im amazed , absolutely amazed. Im doing the c02 tables twice per day. what about 02 tables how often should they be done?
Nice! That's fantastic :)
As for O2 tables, I do them less often (CO2 tables are more appropriate for the kind of diving I do in underwater hockey, plus O2 tables generally take longer, so harder to fit them into my schedule). You can certainly do them daily if you have the time, but might make more sense to just do them a couple of times a week, or build in one week of daily O2 tables every month, and spend the rest of the month focusing on CO2 tables.
My standard O2 table starts at 0:30 hold and goes up 0:15 every hold, with breathe time being equal to hold time (so hold 0:30, breathe 0:30, hold 0:45, breathe 0:45, hold 1:00, breathe 1:00, and so on). Open-ended on the other end... just go until you can't go anymore (or pick a target end-point and stop there if that makes you more comfortable).
 
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Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
400
221
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I tried tables before, but I seriously hated doing them. As a result they felt very hard to do and at some point even led to not liking to hold my breath anymore.

The only dry-land training I do now is holding my breath when going somewhere. Be it walking, as a passenger in a car, in the corona-market... I do them with the style of the crazy-tables ('one breath and hold'), but I push myself almost never. I stop just a little past the point of comfort and do a max-time only when I feel like it. The progression this way will be slower for sure, but it keeps the fun in it. We humans are simple creatures and I don't want to pavlov the emotion of disliking or struggle to holding my breath. I want the opposite, to link my breath holding with a feeling of nice, fun, comfort and welcome.

If you can find your feelings of positiveness in doing tables and challenging max-holds then all the better. This is different for everyone. The impact of psychology cannot be ignored however.

I also don't time my breath holds, nor do I use a depth-gauge when diving. I'm not competing, so I don't see the advantage of linking numbers to my diving. What are those numbers going to say? That if last time I did 4"00 breath hold but today can only do 3"20 with the same effort, that I'm doing bad? Or that I can go to -30m, even on one of those days where everything feels like a struggle, because 'I'm a 30m diver'? There are just too many factors influencing your performance. So if you go down the route of using timers, etc, I would recommend computing your results as a moving average and using that as the guideline of your proression.
 
Last edited:
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Spearito

Member
Sep 19, 2019
17
10
18
41
I tried tables before, but I seriously hated doing them. As a result they felt very hard to do and at some point even led to not liking to hold my breath anymore.

The only dry-land training I do now is holding my breath when going somewhere. Be it walking, as a passenger in a car, in the corona-market... I do them with the style of the crazy-tables ('one breath and hold'), but I push myself almost never. I stop just a little past the point of comfort and do a max-time only when I feel like it. The progression this way will be slower for sure, but it keeps the fun in it. We humans are simple creatures and I don't want to pavlov the emotion of disliking or struggle to holding my breath. I want the opposite, to link my breath holding with a feeling of nice, fun, comfort and welcome.

If you can find your feelings of positiveness in doing tables and challenging max-holds then all the better. This is different for everyone. The impact of psychology cannot be ignored however.

I also don't time my breath holds, nor do I use a depth-gauge when diving. I'm not competing, so I don't see the advantage of linking numbers to my diving. What are those numbers going to say? That if last time I did 4"00 breath hold but today can only do 3"20 with the same effort, that I'm doing bad? Or that I can go to -30m, even on one of those days where everything feels like a struggle, because 'I'm a 30m diver'? There are just too many factors influencing your performance. So if you go down the route of using timers, etc, I would recommend computing your results as a moving average and using that as the guideline of your proression.
I liked that, thanks for sharing man.
 
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