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What's your preferred aerobic training for freediving?

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.

What is your preferred aerobic discipline for freediving?

  • Swimming

    Votes: 28 26.7%
  • Running/Treadmill

    Votes: 30 28.6%
  • Cycling

    Votes: 35 33.3%
  • Rowing

    Votes: 2 1.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 10 9.5%

  • Total voters


New-born freediver
Aug 1, 2003
What discipline you feel is the most effective in
order to prepare your body for freediving?

How frequently and how long do you train?
In which heart rate?
I prefer swimming, but I've been finding lately I can't get my heart rate up fast enough in the pool. So I've switched over to using the treadmill set at its highest incline. I walk at a 3 mile an hour pace for about 30min a day, my heart rate gets up around 145.

I tried the stairmaster and it kills my knees, the bikes seem to be too uncomfortable.
aerobic exercises

Swimimg,running are aerobic exerciese performed at the correct rate promotes cardiovascular fitness,an optimal state of health in with the heart pumps more strongly,slowly and tieh greater efficiency..

static activities as weigthtlifting do not improve circulatory heath,although they can boost muscle strength and size..


To me, few exercises are as good as plain old running.. That is because there is no rest. Short runs of 2/3 mile to 1-½ miles done at fast past work best for me. I was getting good results by doing full breaths while running, like in breath up exercises. But its doesn’t seem to be doing as much now, so I think I will go back to concentrating on speed.

Dynamic walking seems to emulate freediving well. I recently did 130 yards, which was right about 2 minutes. It’s a great way to past the time when you have to walk somewhere and your bored. Sometimes I get some funny looks from people who pass by and try to interact with me.
well.... my doubt is... i really feel like swimming
is training my lungs (because of the breathing
patterns performed at swimming... i:e: with retention) but not my heart... i feel like my heart isn't
going fast enough, although i know that when you are at water, your HR is usually 10% lower than at
surface... i swim at 3 km/h during 45 minutes,
and i'm at aprox. 135 bpm

When i run i feel like it has a been a great aerobic
workout, and i feel a much faster progress when running consistently. I run at 150-160 bpm. My age is 28 years

But it has always been said that swimming is a great
aerobic exercise, so that confuses me. And also
when i swim at that pace i feel like overtrained...
tired, restless, irritable...
it doesn't happen when i run...

any comments??
...as the name states...

I found that I was not getting much of a challenge swimming laps; it got boring and the weekend use in summer leaves too many contaminants in the water (not just chlorine...:yack)
--When I switched to roughwater swimming I discovered a whole new world; tides, surf zones, changing conditions, dolphins, seals, fish :p and much, much more!
--A good two-hour swim in the ocean 4x a week leaves the body feeling great and the heart, mind, and soul renewed!
--As far as heart-rates are concerned, feeling which way the current is running and swimming against it will guarantee you'll hit the % mark you seek.
--That, and swimming when there's plenty of chop/swell. If the current is really moving, it is possible to get quite tired in 45 minutes; if it's calm, 2 miles or 2 hours.
Find a sport or exercise you love and go for it.

A nice alternate for those 'off days' is a workout w/weights. Gotta keep the calcium on them bones. Plus, the added muscle mass increases your metabolic rate.

Nice thread, BlueIcarus.
If running is what makes you feel better after a session, then maybe your body needs that, and it is the right discipline for you. Wear good shoes, be good to your knees...
most of all, enjoy.

See you in the water!
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Reactions: cjborgert

The best conditioning for the cardiovascular sistem is aerobic,or dynamic exercise.Swimming,running and bicycling all this activities involve large groups of muscles-,Oxigen ,needed to transform nutriens into energy, is pumped to the muscles by the heart.

One of the best indicators of cardiovascular fitnes is the amount of oxygen the lungs can deliver to muscles

" How many are your work O lord ! In wisdom you made all"


I currently utilize an elliptical machine called the ReeBok Body Trec

I use the interval program in the machine and do this for 30 minutes. At a predetermined time, I then go into a state of Apnea while maintaining the same rhythm in my cadence for 15 - 20 seconds.

This Apnea is done every 3 .5 minutes, regardless of whether it is the easy portion or the hard portion of the program.

My heart rate is elevated and maintained for the duration to approx 170bpm for that period of time - I cover 2.25 miles on this machine in 30 minutes. Since time is precious to me, it is an excellent workout and I get use to the feeling of contractions while under load.

I do this routine 4 - 5 times a week and alternate days of upper and lower body weight lifting after each cardio session, again keeping my heart rate elevated by setting my rest period between sets to no more than 2 minutes, which typically allows my heart rate to drop to around 140 bpm - my typical target heart rate for someone my age.

I listen to a CD that contains music at a constant 140 bpm in its tempo so that I can concentrate on maintaining this rate in my exercise routine.

It has worked very well for me for freediving, but may not work for others.
Last edited:
I have been doing an inclined treadmill for 45-50 minutes every morning. I do 4 minutes at 80% of max followed by 1 minute at 90% of max. I use the incline treadmill because it is easier on my knees and the X-C machines weren't getting my heart rate high enough.

I follow the treadmill up with weights. I do reverse pyramids of 100 reps for each machine- I start at a certain weight and drop 10-20 pounds every 20 reps until I reach 100. I try to keep my heart rate at 70-75% during the weightlifting phase. I switch off upper body and lower body days.

I tired the apnea weight lifting but ran into a couple of problems. First, it takes too long and I don't feel like I am getting my money's worth for the time I am alloted at the gym. Second, it was getting very frustrating to do my "breath hold until contraction" and have someone else come up and start talking to me asking if they could do a set while I "rested".:head

Maybe if I had a gym at home to train in it would be different and I would like apnea lifting, but in a crowded YMCA it doesn't go over too well.:duh

I kind of like Loic's idea of no training, just stretching. I saw that he had a series of stretches listed in anold copy of FREEDIVER magazine. I wonder if he does other things besides this? That sounds like my kind of program, and he can certainly do the big dives!

I like the pool, but I can get my heart rate so much higher, and keep it there more consistantly, than in the pool that I find myself in the gym more often than not.

Just my $0.02;)
I prefer swimming both regular and dynamic in fast pace.
I have also began to run sometimes but i dont run mile after mile , instead i do intervalls 5*100 meters at 60-70% of full speed.
It works fine for me, i dont know if it gives me that much to my diving to run after that type of program, but it is for sure a good opposite to my calm and easy freediving.
It feels well to get up my heart rate near maximum somtimes, and it must be better to run short and fast distances then to not run at all.
Wich means that i hate to run for long distances i get my piece of aerobic ,when im out for 3 hours-diving sessions anyway

I take Loics attitude towards training as in no exercise. I do a fair bit of stretching and some statics once every couple of weeks. I tried running 5km's 5 times a week a while back and if anything my statics decreased :(

Hi Ivan

do you know what are Loic's strectching exercises? where can i read about his training regime? are then yoga exercises? what are yours? (including static exercises)

Thanks dude,

Originally posted by BlueIcarus
Hi Ivan

do you know what are Loic's strectching exercises? where can i read about his training regime? are then yoga exercises? what are yours? (including static exercises)

Thanks dude,



Mate I dont know what Loic does for training.

But I learnt my stretching exercises from Erik Y. First off I fill my lungs then do a few packs, raise my hands above my head and hold hands together. I do this on my knees, I kinda tilt my body over left the right so it stretches. I then pull my arms up behind my back and kinda push my chest out, (You will will this quite painfully the first time) Thats basically it, I repeat this a few times slowly increasing the number of packs.

Statics I rarely do anymore due to work, but when I do all I simply do is 6 max attempts in a row to have a go at a pb.

Something like this

30sec breathe up : Static
30sec breathe up : static
1min breathe up : static
1min breathe up : static
2min breathe up : static
2mn breathe up :static

The breathe up may be too short according to Erik so I have yet to try longer breathe ups of 5mins + This is just how I do them and im not interested in co2 tables or any of the other latest training techniques.

But above all like the man above said JUST TRY DIVE


I think freediver is sport as any other sports-we have to be familiarize with:



-Cardiovascular endurance
-Muscular strength
- Muscular endurance
- FLexibility
-body composition


- Agility
- Power
-Reaction time
- Balance
- Coordinacion

Especially familiarize with everything has to do with the respiratory sistem-his function-cardiovascular -hydrodynamic-
in case you do unassisted or use fins is good to know the breastroke-coordination of the arm- and legs-the dolphin kick- the body position in swimming ect

In my case i don't have a trainer-all that i have learned is from friend and some resource i do by my self at the library-i just take the information that is convenient for me.

In my opinion naturally speaking the sciencie and the sport medicine has the most of the answer and principle we need for freediving..



In one of your earlier posts you mention feeling "overtrained" after swimming. Maybe that's an indicator that you're getting the most effective workout of all while swimming.

I used to do quite a bit of pool training when competing in lifeguard competitions and found it extremely beneficial. I would do a combination of swimming lengths, running stationary in the water (shallow and deep), and using paddles on my hands to provide resistance on some muscle building movements like a simulated "peck deck" for example. I found that this program improved my cardiovascular health quite a bit.

Regardless of what you do for exercise, the key is to work hard enough that you heart and lungs are challenged and given the opportunity to improve.

Ottawa, Canada
I do something a bit like Cliff's. On a bike or cross trainer I do a pyramid pattern of apneas going up to a max and then down again at predetermined intervals. I try and do this in max heart rate range which for me is over 150. It is really hard and feels a lot like a dive at the long ones, but I have to watch out I don't fall off the bike! I don't run cos I hate what it does to my knees.

Love the idea of getting music to match the heart rate you want, how do you tell what the BPM of a track is? ask a DJ???

Cardio training makes me feel good but is hard work. I also do yoga and stretching which I hope helps everything spring back into place after being compressed at depth and also helps the breathing.

Here's one for ya'.I'm a avid surfer and a few years ago while living in Hawaii I picked up underwater running with the "rock stone" which has since been glamorized in the movies Blue Crush & InGod's hands.It works !!!My hold down time and my freediving bottom time have greatly improved.Some tips though from years of doing this cross trainer,1.Da' rock,HEAVY,2.Start waist deep3.Use guide stones or bouy to judge distance4.Technique
it works

I used to do that at the beach-when i was living in cuba -Under water running with a rock stone-i don't now how many meter i walked but It really work " Fantastic"........ Now how are going to do that in a pool? thank you Jhon for remember me something...


"Pacience is power With time and pacience,the mulberry leaf becomes silk".
Pool? Walk? I guess i'm biased since I live on an island.Sand bottom beach and run,although it's really like a jog, your healed over meditating on the bottom.A rock is not pool friendly!We use a channel marker to judge distance,and some guide stones keep the run inline.As mentioned above, we start in waist deep to obtain maximum breath without additional pressure on the diaphram and go toward the deep.,only 15' or so.Getting back takes multiple breaths and at that depth a nose clip isn't necessary.On the way back after a breif rest at thesurface I jump up holdig the rock to gain a quick breath and repeat sooner and more often, as the depth decreases and heart rate maxes until I can simply walk back to the starting point.This wouldn't work at a steep beach, though.
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