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Why is my static decreasing?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Oct 6, 2010
Lately I have been very frustrated because my static is decreasing a lot. When I first started freediving I got to 4:00 pretty quickly, and gradually increased it to 4:30. I could always get to 3:00 and on a good day 4:00 was not too hard. then I started diving a ton and didn't really worry about it because I was progressing in diving so I didn't train too much. Now I can't dive as much so I have been running a lot, going to the pool almost every day and doing dynamic, and doing tables once or twice a week. The problem is my static is going down, and I don't know why. I also don't seem to be getting much better at dynamic. I don't know why and it is really frustrating.
Anybody have any ideas as to why or a way to fix this?
I guess I don't care that much about static because it really doesn't equate to depth or bottom time in the ocean, but still I am worried I am getting worse even though I am training more.
Any tips or insight would be great,

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Reactions: Rik
interesting! Not advancing in dynamic, even though you are in the water regularly, or static, probably is motivational. Do you have a partner near to your level? Pushing yourself with a partner to beat/saftey you is an amazing way to advance.

The only other thing I could think of would be a big lifestyle change: drink, worries, drugs, bad diet, stress etc.
Hey pete,
there has been a lot of discussion on this board on how distant running can actually hurt your statics. Something on the lines of distant running improves your bodies ability to exchange gasses. Meaning o2 leaves your lungs faster and your blood is thinner.

I live in bremerton and go to school in seattle. What pool are you training at? I wouldn't mind getting some training in.
Azapa, you could be right that it is motivational/mental. I often get frustrated with my first or second breathold in a table so maybe I am just messing it up for myself by being negative. I haven't had any big lifestyle change. I'll try focusing more on the mental side of it.

Although the other day for example, I wanted to try for a good breathold before bed. I did a couple short ones for a warm up, 1:30 and then 2:00 I think. Then I spent 15 minutes or so just focusing on relaxation and and really getting into the perfect mindset. I felt great and I knew it would be a good static. When I started the static I felt great, totally let my mind wander and just got lost thinking about swimming around in the ocean. When my contractions hit I thought, wow I have been going forever. then when they got pretty intense I looked at the clock and it was 1:45... so I held to 2:15 or so and felt I probably couldnt' have gone much further.

wolftalker, That is very interesting, I will search for info on that. I don't run very far though as I am not a great runner, usually just 3 or 4 miles, maybe 3 or 4 times a week if the weather is decent. I train at the bainbridge island pool, I actually live on B.I even though my profile says seattle. but I would be down to train together sometime or go diving.
The only other thing I could think of would be a big lifestyle change: drink, worries, drugs, bad diet, stress etc.

don't think about elephants! rofl you know how the saying goes - i agree w/azapa it might be just stress and worry. it may be that since you are thinking about it so much it is has become the focus and a blockade. do you have an ipod? you can get water proof ear buds and a case to use during statics - very relaxing.

you can also try doing an inventory of your body from each toe on your foot all the way up through each section of the body to mentally record how it all feels - it's a good exercise to really feel each body part and takes your mind off.

also make sure (if you can) that you are not eating before statics - that can help. leave at least several hours if not more (i personally like 5 but it's an individual preference..)

good luck.

If i can give you a suggestion if you focus on static and you don't have good result take a lil breake of it, static is a discipline where you mind make the 70% of your performance,external/internal stress will only make things worse, i reach 5++ minutes easily in normal status, but if i have some problems or worries i suffer like an animal to touch 4 minutes,i had a period where a decent static was impossible to made so i took a break and after some weeks withouth training started to make again 5++ minutes easily, just try to do not focus on time and if you want a suggestion leave your watch at home in this bad period and when you do static training only the confortable part for some session in this way you avoid the bad feelings when you go in the red zone, performing only the confortable part of static will leave you a nice sensation of static and after a while you'll have nice performance too, ofc forget about time and watch in this kind of trainings in this way your performance will be based only on sensations and not by time=performance. I hope it helps ya
Dear Pete,

There might be two factors that can explain a decrease in Static Apnea breath-hold time.

Running does improve the ammount of oxygen your body can metabolise. This is known as the VO2max. One of the effects causing this increase in oxygen transportation is that your body will respond stronger to an increase in carbon dioxide, the waste product of burning oxygen.

This can therefore explain the experience that contractions occur earlier, and that they are felt heavier. Running isn't nessecerily bad for freediving, it does improve your cardiac performance, and while you might find yourself doing shorter dives, you might also find that you can do longer dive sesions.

The importance of running within freedive training is dependent of your goal (recreational or competitive) and to which extend you can use a training scheme.

The second common reason why static do decrease is overtraining. This can sound strange. How do you overtrain with such a short static, and relative few training sessions? The problem with static apnea is that pushing static apnea cost a lot of mental will power. Trying to beat or equal a previous personal best each dive session will leave yourself mentally exhausted.

Frequent (near-)maximal training is an unhealthy training habit that is an important cause of divers quitting freediving. You can train yourself very well with using training tables on less then 50% of your personal best. In freediving, you need to invest in technique and condition. Performance will follow in time. Take time for progression and only do an maximal attempt once every two months or even less.
Hi Pete,

I feel I know what you're talking about, and think that many here above already gave you some good insights. However I want to highlight Wolftalker's point on O2 exchange improvement.

Like stated by Rik your VO2 max goes up with running. Meaning your muscles are getting better in extracting O2 from your blood. But does a high CO2 level seems to improve this ability? - I don't know yet.

A model.
Trying to envision a mechanical model for this, I like to think with Aerobic training, your blood vessels and muscle cell membranes get better in 02 throughput, 02 bandwidth.
Now when you consider the distance the O2 needs to go into the muscle tissue, you'll see there is a "bandwidth" which depends not only on throughput but also distance to the 02 rich blood. When we sprint our muscles demand more 02 than they can get, thus forcing the muscle tissue to start operating anaerobe. With running this threshold value will rise allowing you to perform in an extended aerobic range. This range could be 0 - 10 Mph for instance, above that your muscle will shift to anaerobe mode.

Changing your O2 bandwidth.
To get your body back to a lower transition speed, you can either stop with aerobic improvements, or increase the needed volume of O2. Meaning that your muscles will again have a greater demand than the bandwidth allows for.

Knowing that a good aerobic ability is beneficial for longer session time, and better cardioid performance, the focus of my training is the latter option, increasing the need for O2 bandwidth.

Increasing the need for O2 bandwidth.
In dynamic training I make sure that just before I get contractions I step on the gas and swim faster than my body is able to supply O2 to the needy muscles. This will ensure that the O2 in my blood will be available to my brain, heart and lungs, and not (so much) being consumed by my muscles. I've tested this on land and in water, yielding two personal best, after years of stagnation.

The other thing you can do is build more muscle mass. This will extend the muscle to vein distance and thus lowers the O2 bandwidth too. At the same time it increases blood volume, and carry more O2. About 50% of the O2 we have is in the blood.

Model verification.
Rik, and others, I've this model distilled from experience and observation, trying to understand the mechanics and principles, can you please verify the valid and invalid for me?

Mental part.
Apart from the mechanics, there for sure is a mental component. I think your enjoyment of freediving is not solely reliant on numbers though. Changing the learning focus to different aspects will allow recovery, understanding and growth.
Keep on asking, for you questions are teaching me greatly :D


Love, Courage and Water,

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THank you guys this is all very helpful and informative. I think for now I will continue to do statics but not use a watch. just go for as long as I like and enjoy the feeling as RDDK suggests.

Kars it is very interesting about speeding up once contractions start to keep the muscles from using up all your blood

But do you guys think I should stop running? I run and swim a lot and it does seem like my static started to decrease around the time I started doing more cardio. about 4 months ago. Although my actual ocean diving doesn't seem to be getting any worse, so I don't know. Is there some other type of daily excercise I could do that would not increase my VO2max the way running does?

My suggestion is to do also strength and sprint training, to build muscle mass and anaerobic endurance.

If you're already short on time and energy, trade some aerobic action for anaerobic action.

As a suggestion for strength and endurance, the good old push ups. Done the correct way. Squads and sit ups are also fine. Try to build the muscle groups needed for the swimming.

Why running does not appear to influence depth abilities? I suspect it's because the pressure at depth will help to induce vascular constriction and thus prohibits blood supplying the muscles.

I hope the rest of my previous post was clear.
So the more muscle I have the more blood and o2 I can hold, that makes sense, but I thought that more muscle was bad because it meant more o2 from your heart/brain and important stuff would be used up in the muscle? I hope I am understanding this correctly and I hope I'm not making you repeat yourself.
Muscles are like a sponge, containing blood. When you experience vaso constriction, the muscles are squeezed and the blood circulation is limited to the vital organs, brain, heart, lungs.

Muscles can use a lot of O2, but also can be very low in O2 consumption when you manage to relax them.
Hence I swim slow the first 50m, to avoid my muscles depleting the O2 in my bloodstream and lungs. When that becomes lower I step on the gas again avoiding my muscles using O2 by forcing them into anaerobic mode.

- Just check out the bodies of today's top freedivers, all have firm set of substantial muscles, with low body fat to boost.
Also notice that top freedivers work in the following way towards a record. First months mostly cardio, than for a few months mostly muscle mass, than in water training up to attempt.
Maybe a nice training idea for you to embrace?

Love, Courage and water,


ps I appreciate people taking the time to carefully read each others post, many here contain years of experience, research and thought. The easiest way to express ones appreciation is to acknowledge what's written, a little effort filling the need to be listened to. Also understand that English isn't many people's first language making it a bit more difficult to understand the texts at a glance. I'm still striving to be as clear as possible, in a world where people read less and everything seems fast and fleeting. Though I can be a bit melodramatic about this cultural change, I should see it as a challenge and recognise mine and other people's inner needs.
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ALright that makes sense and I will try gaining some muscle and sort of follow the training idea you suggest.
Thanks a lot man I really apreciate your time answering my questions.
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