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Using time as motivator?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2004
I am a beginner to freediving (1 month) and have been making okay progress in static training (thanks to Kirk's 12wk Performance Freediving training course I'm in now). However, I wanted to know what truly signals people to give up in statics?

I can push through a fairly long period of contractions (starting at 2:30-so early!), and often use my watch (or buddy time signals) as a motivator. So far, this has enabled me to extend my time moderately (best wet: 5:00 (no HV, no packing), dry 5:43 (w/ HV, no packing) ).

At the end of the statics, I come up more often because of an internalized goal time, rather than any clearly different signal from my body -- as my body is giving me strongly unpleasant signals for a long time, and I do my best to ignore them. :mute

I do, however, notice slightly different sensations towards the end: eg. after 4:30, get blood pumping in ears feeling, contractions seem to affect more of body, contractions almost every second, etc.

I am concerned because I am relying more on a goal time than a certain body signal. So, how would I recognize a "bad" day, where a particular goal time will no longer be achievable/safe? (I haven't experienced a samba yet)

Perhaps using time as a motivator is a bad habit? :confused:

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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There's no other way to get the experience. You're very lucky to have a group working on static in Vancouver. Can you talk and/or train with them? Five minutes of one-on-one with any good competitor will help you better understand how apnea works. It sounds like you'll be able to learn to do static with the best of them, heck it took me about fifty years to do my first six. Even if you don't talk to them or get any help, watching can be a great lesson. Things are different for each of us. At the Pacific Cup, I was surprised when Martin had his first noticeable contraction around 3:15. Until then, I thought that contractions were very bad and you had to fight them off to get a good time.
As in any other sport, the most important thing is to start a training program that you can live with for a long time. If all else is equal, then you will keep improving for seven years. Keep an open mind. Many divers, including some very good ones, stay with the first method that works. It may not be the best for you or even them. Long breath ups, for example, are mostly psychological. Maybe learning to relax fast works better. When Eric stated that four minutes between holds was ideal, I believed him and within six months they became ideal for me. When the 'new' O2 tables came out, I thought that the 2 minute breathing was a little short and only used them to shorten the training time to about an hour. After just a few months the 2 is working the same as the 3 I used last year.
One view;
>80% of the O2 used comes from your last breath.
You get better at what you train.
If you don't samba you don't know your limit.
Learn to relax between contractions and you gain a minute.
Learn to enjoy contractions and you'll be able to beat them all.
P.S. Are you sure you want to do this. People will start calling you crazy or wild.
Last edited:
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Hey, call me crazy, but 5 and 5:43 after one month ain't nuthin' to be ashamed about. At all.

As with der Billiam, devloping something that you can live with, (and the ironies involved in this give me contractions) is going to help you not only improve, but as, or more importantly, enjoy this stuff.

Relax and count the blessings as with the minutes.
Thanks for the suggestions. I am in the training right now, so no doubt it'll come clearer over time with practice. I was wanting to ask the forum as I wondered what sort of signals others use as their end trigger.

The PF course has been wonderful and I am so glad to have the opportunity locally.

I think the biggest hurdles I find are (for statics, at least):

  • Negative thoughts. How can I eliminate or redirect these thoughts into a more positive direction? Currently, at some point, my happy state of relaxation shifts abruptly to internal questions like: "I'm not going to succeed like last time", "why am I doing this?", "it's only training, is it worth it?" :)
  • Fear of samba/BO. Since I don't know my limits (yet), I also don't know how much more I can push. I suppose that since I have access to training in a safe, controlled environment, I should be making the most of it to push past the limits now... so that I can learn what signals may jump out at me.

This has opened up a whole new world, and I am very excited about all of this!

Thanks for the help.
I also aim for a certain time when doing dry statics, but sometimes I will change my mind, for example if I am aiming for 4:30 but at 3:45 I get a strong urge to breathe, I will decide at that point to aim for 4:00 or 4:15. I don't get contractions and can easily go over the limit in the pool, so there is no special signal I can use as an end trigger. However, I am going to work on this over the next few weeks, so if I find one, I'll keep you posted.

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