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What's your breath preparation for a dive?

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.


New-born freediver
Aug 1, 2003
Here's mine:

Around 5 minutes of absolute relaxation in order
to lower my HR to around 60 bpm.

Then, around 2 minutes of 5:1:5:1 breathing
(5 minutes inhale, 1 minute retention, five minutes
exhale, 1 minute retention) breathing as "thin"
as posible.

Then, 2 deep breaths, maximizing exhalation,
and the BIG inhalation an GO!!

How do you folks ventilate before a dive? I actually
think ventilation is much more important than physical training in order to dive in an alpha state,
but also with high O2 levels and low CO2..

Do you breath deep, thin and long or do you breath
short and inflating all your lungs... or long and 100%
lung volume? I actually ventilate filling what i feel is my 30% lung volume, concentrating better in acheiving alpha meditative state rather than filling my lungs

Thanks in advance guys... This forum rocks!!!
I feel very isolated here in Spain nobody knows what freediving is!!!
>> 5 minutes inhale, 1 minute retention, five minutes
>> exhale, 1 minute retention

I hope you ment 5 sec inhale 1 sec pause 5 sec exhale 1 sec pause
Yeah I shook my head at the 5 minute inhales too, man than some slow breathing!

I've been trying to experiment with this every weekend at the lake. What seems to be working best for me right now is 2 minutes of 4/4/8 (4secs inhale, 4 secs hold, 8 secs exhale) to slow my heartrate. Inhaling to about 50% but trying to focus on breathing with my diaphram and inhaling using the bottom half of my lungs. This is followed by 3 - 5 purge breaths, fast full inhales and exhales about a second each. Then I take a full inhale filling my entire lungs, a full exhale really working to empty my lungs. I inhale fully, take 3 or 4 packs to top up and head down.

We've been trying to minimize our time between dives as the depth is only about 30m in the lake so its more about time underwater than working hard to get deep...
hehe... sorry for the typo...

5-1-5-1 pattern... all in secons!!

If preparation was 5 minutes... how long will be the dive!!!! someday Pipin will reach than ventilation
If preparation was 5 minutes... how long will be the dive!!!

You can't look that like that. It depends on many factors: your training, relaxation and preparation...
Last edited:
Originally posted by BlueIcarus
someday Pipin will reach that ventilation
...I doubt that. Pipin blacks out from 3 minute Nolimits dives. Nothing against Pipin, just that there are a lot of much better divers around.
Erik Y.
Just kiddin Erik,
Of course there are lots of freedivers MUCH better than Pipin. He has just sold his freediving ambassador image real well. Pure awful marketing It was just and example.....

Yesterday I found what worked real good for me
to ventilate in a breath up... again extracted from
infinite Yoga knowledge.

The yoga premises for pranayama were:

a) Do not make any noise while breathing. Complete silence or you are doing it bad

b) The air flowing from your nose in an exhalation
must be as short as posible... i.e. not much distance from nose you must not feel any air from the nose.
A beginning measure for pranayama is around
10 cm. 5 cm better. You can check with a mirror
or the corner of your wet palm

c) Breath with your diaphragm: Breath from the belly, but putting at tension the "abdominal belt" below your navel.. so that pushing your belly out
makes your lungs inflate up to your chest and later shoulders, in contrast of making a belly pot.
It's like griping tight your lungs at its base and fill them at this point to make the entire lungs fill.

Count heartbeats (the Yoga way!!) instead of seconds, so you must breath at a rythm where your heart goes at a steady tempo. i.e: no heart acceleration at inspiration nor dec at exhalation.
So.. the must is breathing cheking your pulse with your hand and counting heartbeats. If your HR goes up at the beginning of inhalation... you simply are doing it to strong.... make it easier and slowe... and you'll go to alpha state, HR at around 60 bpm
and ventilate your whole lungs at the same time!!

My breath pattern was 6:1:6:1 and later
6:1:12:1 for around just 2 minutes and did a PB in static (with a couple of cleansing breaths before retention)

Well... more stuff for the discussion :D. And hope that helps to someone.



PD: I'm beginning to think that the key to breatholding is good Pranayama knowledge, I mean: the real details of the thing

I always suck in my Diaphram when inhaling and push it oout when exhaling. Is this the opposite of what I should be doing.

hi ivan.

The diaphram is a muscle that goes down
on inhaling and goes up on exhaling to squeeze the lungs and due to the negative presure, suck all the air out. But i think you are refering to your belly when you talk about "sucking in".

The correct breathing (according to Pranayama)
is first the belly (abdominal breathing), pushing it outwards, but controling its tension in a way that it does not make your stomach inflate completely,
but stay rather flat, so the pressure you put in the bottom of yout belly will go up with this "abdominal brake" and make you inhale with your chest (intercosal breathing) and then with your shoulders (clavicular breathing)
To know if you apply correct abnominal tension (best: abdominal control), just put a finger above your navel and another below it. The finger below your navel should stay quiet and you must feel some tension there (this is the point you must control with your abd muscles), and the finger above should be moving outwards slightly as your lungs inflate. This is correct breathing

If you apply that abdominal control and breath with your belly, you should note how the lungs begin inflating and the bottom, then naturally in the middle and last at the top, without added effort apart from contracting slightly your abdominal muscles. It must feel quite natural (the most natural way of breathing) or you are doing it wrong (according to Pranayama knowledge, which of course is just one way of breathing, not necessarily the best,although with this breathing i have acheived my PB's )

Hope that helps,


I just tried an inhale and from my ribs down whatever that is gets pulled in on inhaling kinda so you can see all your ribs come out and you can put your hand under there and feel under your ribs.

while on the surface i always try to breath 5:1:10-15 to put myself into deep alpha mode. the only time i break that pattern is if i stick my head out of the water for some reason. my breath up before the dive is nothing more than one deep inhalation without packing. I usually hunt around 15 meters and my bottom times are usually around 1:45 - 2:10 minutes. last saturday i did a 22meter dive and the bottom time was 2:20 minutes. incedently that was my last dive of the day.
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