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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
Apr 16, 2004
hi guys,

I am new to this forum and new to the whole apnea game as well. lAst night in bed I was having a little trouble getting to sleep so I thought I would see how long I could hold my breath for. After about a minute or two of relaxation I took a deep breath...and held it for 3.15. I was pretty impressed with myself until I started surfing the web today to find out more. Couldn;t believe how many of you could hold your breath for 7 minutes. Seroius respect.

Anyway I was hoping that you could pass on a few simple tips on how I can improve my time. I'm easpecially interested in this "packing" method but not really sure how it works.

Also, I was intrigued to hear about these yogi chaps, can they really hold their breath for 20 minutes or is this just a myth?
Top tip. Browse through these forums, use the search option, and you'll find all kinds of information about training and statics... I think the static poll is all wrong..someone screwed it... Hackers:naughty


Welcome to the forums. A time of 3:15 is pretty respectable for a newbie. Don't be disappointed though if you hit the water and find it hard to do half that time, particularly on active dives. Having a big discrepancy between "dry" practice and actual diving , particularly under less-than-perfect conditions, is a little demoralizing if you're not prepared for it.

As far as packing is concerned, my $0.02 is that it is something that you shouldn't hurry into. Packing successfully and comfortably takes practice and you can make plenty of progress w/o it. In fact the tension that it places on the diaphragm and rib-cage can actually stimulate the urge to breathe. It can also trigger sambas and BOs on surfacing unless you exhale a bit because the expansion of air in your lungs as you surface inhibits blood flow. Personally, I don't really like the sensation of packing and seldom pack when I dive, unless I am going past 30M (makes it easier to equalize).

I think that you'll find the the quckest initial gains come from:
  • Breathing properly. (Quick but relaxed inhale to about 3/4 capacity w/ 10 to 15 sec exhale through pursed lips is a simple pattern that lowers your heart rate and get's you oxygenated)
  • Learning to relax (which you seem to have a good grip on)
  • Doing a few statics in a row (I usually hit a decent static on the third or fourth try)
With a time of 3:15 right out of the gate, you should be over 5:00 in no time.

Wow, from 3.15 the other night, having just read a few posts on this forum and done, 1.00, 1.30, 2.00, 2.30, 3.00 have just done a pb of four minutes. Very happy, think this little hobby could get addictive.

Have tried what I think is packing. Is this where you take a full breath and then take 3-4 smaller gasps without exhaling. Very weird sensation, head goes all cloudy for about 15 seconds and then I'm fine but have to puff out cheeks, this looks slightly silly at work!

quick question: has anyone noticed that after practicing apnee foir a while and being able to hold for a long period that it has helped thenm in other areas: sport/aerobic capacity or just generally in life. Ig et the impression from this forum that a lot of apnee is state of mind, do people find that they have been able to extend the calmness of a static into their general life.
Congratulations. Hitting 4:00 right off the bat is pretty unusual.

What you descibed doesn't sound quite like packing. You can fing tons of info on packing in the archives.

Be careful, you can black out from packing and/or you can EASILY build up the pressure in your lungs to the point that a serious injury results.
"think this little hobby could get addictive." rofl Indeed. Welcome to DB. Your first acheivments sound great.
I'de say that you should'nt change a winning horse (or however the saying goes), you're improving fantastically, why mess with packing or other technincs. Enjoy the ride.
Regarding packing and statics, some people report gain, but not for me. I just started trying it in the last 2 days (doing a row of holds with 3-5 packs each time) and it was much less comfertable and much harder to me. I think I got as much as twice the diaphram contractions (something normal that might happen when one has a strong urge to breath) I would've get otherwise.
In the long term it could be worth it, I'll wait and see, but no hurry.
For now, there are so many technics on the market to choose from and you've just started, I'de say packing is defenitly not needed, it's nice as a techinque but I think having a basic start and changing your methods slowly brings a long term benefit, you're body had barely a chance to start adapting for normal apnea and you wanna make it adjast to packing already?
It's not like advanced freediver pack everythme they hold their breath, they do it for spesific reasons, and experiment with it when it's the only variable - when you know your performance and body well enough.

Keep on breaking your personal bests.:)
Packing for the first few times is a bit of a misleading activity. Since your body has never been put through such a state, for say 20-40 years, the surrounding muscles of the lungs and rib cage are quite rigid and not very fond of expanding much. It is like any other muscle in your body. If you try to bend down and touch your toes, yet have never attempted this before or even for the last year, then chances are you will feel extremely uncomfortable immediately, hurt in your back and legs, heart-rate will increase, and breathing will be irregular. From that one can not conclude that stretching is possibly not beneficial.

Packing is the same. I did not pack until I was holding my breath for 6:30 so I agree that it is not important for statics in the beginning, yet in general the benefit of the stretch is that your lung volume increases. So it is often recommended to do packing just for the sake of stretching the rib-cage and muscles in your torso. That is not while performing a static. Eventually you will be able to touch your toes; you will be able to pack during a static and feel comfortable. But it all has to be body specific. That is you pack only as much as is comfortable for your body and do not compare to the number of packs others do.

If one begins pack stretches, then keep in mind to remain in one position and stay still until you understand how packing affects your body and to what degree you are comfortable with. Often you can pack more than you should and ten seconds later or something, you discover it is too much. So if during those first few seconds you move suddenly you might rib a muscle or put inappropriate strain on an internal organ. It is even possible to crack a rib I believe.

It should be good enough to just pack until your find that the effort at the mouth to inhale another pack is becomming difficult. Holding for 30 seconds in this position and repeating a few times, should have plenty of beneficial effects.

I would emphasize to do packing as a stretch as opposed to for statics at first. I have personally achieved 7:21 without packing at all. Yet the packing stretches may have influenced an increased lung volume on my full inhale.


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