The little story of an enjoyable and efficient way to train (and teach) static apnea.
This article is for more advanced freedivers or instructors. Sometimes it may appear too technical for beginners. Trying some of the exercises described below may put your health at risk if you do not have a clear understanding of what you’re doing. Never ever freedive alone. Train with a qualified and reliable safety buddy. Eat 3 fruits a day.
Static apnea is floating like a dead fish but face down. It is also an opportunity to better one’s ability to relax ; Observing, accepting and enjoying the ‘now ‘. When I started static training a few years ago it was almost all about resisting and eating contractions. I did not enjoy it very much. Apart from looking at the stopwatch to find some happiness there was very little pleasure in it. In addition, I later saw myself teaching beginners for their first water sessions, …static apnea, something I was not enjoying… it was feeling very wrong.
Now is a different story. Whenever I choose to do a static session for me or my students ; It is enjoyable ; As I know how to make them enjoyable. Of course, it is subjective. If for you, repeating CO2, O2 tables , apnea walks, x times x minutes of contractions is enjoyable, maybe it is good for you and we just have a different approach of freediving. I am into being patient and extending my comfort zone by repeating easy exercices. So far I like it and it supports my depth training nicely.
With each static session, i try to be honest with myself and always work in a comfortable way. The stopwatch is considered as a tool, not a goal. During a session I pick a dominant exercise that I repeat 2/3 times after or without a warm up. Very important is, I decide what I do only once I am in the water in order to follow what I feel like doing and not something planned. During almost every session I pack and hyperventilate. I do not consider packing and hyperventilation a problem as long as they do not make my practise of freediving unsafe or armful.
What I call dominant exercises are :
Take full lungs and start your breath hold exhaling as slow as you can with a constant flow of air.
– PARTIAL INHALES.
Starting on a passive exhale and holding your breath, topping up by thirds 3 times to end the exercise full lungs.
– PASSIVE EXHALE AND BREATHOLD.
– FULL LUNGS NO CONTRACTIONS.
You start your breathold full lungs and when you have a contraction you stop the exercise.
– NO WATCH.
You can do anything you want but you do not time yourself.
A day you feel strong, you go for 3 long full lungs breatholds
– ONE MAX SESSION.
Repeating easy sessions will make you curious at one point and happy to shake the coconut tree. You feel like it is the day for a max, just do it and enjoy.
In the STATIC IS FANTASTIC Chapter 2 article, I will describe each exercise ; How they can be properly executed and what I feel is enjoyable and positive about doing them.