Pre-Master program 2.0-STA Training

Let’s get you to 3min30s

We love Static Apnea

Introduction

Static apnea is the foundation of freediving. From now on, you need to change your mindset regarding STA training. I do not ask you to like it (I hope you will at one point, though) but to not dislike it. Understand it is a fantastic tool to train your CO2 tolerance and hypoxic response, learn to accept the effects of breath-holding on your body, practice relaxation, body scan, and prepare your nervous system to face the breathing muscles contractions. 

“If you want to improve your freediving skills, you have no choice but to practice STA.

If you read these lines, it is maybe because you had some difficulties passing the 3min30s. Do not worry about it. This breath-hold time is difficult for you because you need to work on your CO2 tolerance and prepare your nervous system. 

This is exactly what this training will do, and you know what the beauty of it is? You can do most of it dry, in the comfort of your home.

Let’s go

The Contractions

In your brain, you got a chemoreceptor. Its mission is to monitor the level of Carbon Dioxide. When the level of CO2 reaches a threshold, this chemoreceptor sends a message to the breathing muscles to contract in order to exhale the extra CO2. 

The first step for you is to train your chemoreceptor to accept more CO2 before triggering the contractions.

The second step is to train your reaction when they are here.

The Nervous system

We possess a superpower that is keeping us safe. Our nervous system controls this superpower. It is a complex system of nerves and chemistry triggering automatic reactions. For example, when you are afraid, your heart beats faster. It happens without you thinking about it. When you hold your breath, a voice starts to whisper in your head that you should breathe. Of course, you want to keep on going with your breath-hold, but your whole body contracts at one point. You have to let go and realize you could have kept going, even if it was just a little. 

When the contractions start:

  1. Scan and relax every single part of your body
  2. Try to delay them. In the freediving world, we call that “ blocking the contractions.” It is imperative not to accept them at first. We have the bad habit of triggering them (Unconsciously? or Consciously? It depends) because we connect contractions with the idea that the breath-hold is almost over. That is a mistake. Stop thinking contractions are indicating anything else than your CO2 level is high. It is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
  3. When they are here, scan your body, and release all physical tensions. Then remove all mental tensions. This is the time you are training your nervous system. 

Keep in mind that they are unconditionally part of freediving. Remember that YOU decide how you approach them. They are your friends and are there to remind you to breathe and stay alive. You just need to show your nervous system that you are safe at 2min30s but also at 3min00s and 3min30s.

The Training

You need to train 3 times a week ( Monday, Wednesday, Friday). All of the pieces of training can be done dry, but I strongly recommend doing at least one in the water (if you have a trained buddy, of course, remember we never freedive alone).

How to breathe?

Breathe slowly through the nose without thinking about it for 2 minutes.

What are the deeper breaths before the big breath?

Inhale using your mouth for 4 seconds, and exhale using your mouth for 4 seconds. This is 1 deeper breath. Repeat as many times it is indicated in training. 

When to train?

The best time is in the morning on an empty stomach. But if the only time you can train is during the day or in the evening, go for it. Training is better than not training.

When to move to the next training?

When you can complete a full table without failure. If you cannot then you repeat the same table 2 days later. Keep repeating until you can successfully complete it.

Training 1 (Monday)

BreathingBefore the big breathBreath-holdRecovery
Round 12 minutes5 deeper breaths2min00s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 22 minutes5 deeper breaths2min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 32 minutes5 deeper breaths2min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 42 minutes5 deeper breaths2min30s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 52 minutes5 deeper breaths2min30s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 62 minutes5 deeper breaths2min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 72 minutes5 deeper breaths2min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 82 minutes5 deeper breaths2min00s3 to 5 recovery breaths

Training 2 (Wednesday)

BreathingBefore the big breathBreath-holdRecovery
Round 12 minutes5 deeper breaths2min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 22 minutes5 deeper breaths2min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 32 minutes5 deeper breaths2min30s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 42 minutes5 deeper breaths2min40s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 52 minutes5 deeper breaths2min40s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 62 minutes5 deeper breaths2min30s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 72 minutes5 deeper breaths2min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 82 minutes5 deeper breaths2min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths

Training 3 (Friday)

BreathingBefore the big breathBreath-holdRecovery
Round 12 minutes4 deeper breaths2min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 22 minutes4 deeper breaths2min30s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 32 minutes4 deeper breaths2min40s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 42 minutes4 deeper breaths2min50s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 52 minutes4 deeper breaths2min50s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 62 minutes4 deeper breaths2min40s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 72 minutes4 deeper breaths2min30s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 82 minutes4 deeper breaths2min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths

Training 4 (Monday)

BreathingBefore the big breathBreath-holdRecovery
Round 12 minutes4 deeper breaths2min40s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 22 minutes4 deeper breaths2min50s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 32 minutes4 deeper breaths3min00s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 42 minutes4 deeper breaths3min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 52 minutes4 deeper breaths3min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 62 minutes4 deeper breaths3min00s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 72 minutes4 deeper breaths2min50s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 82 minutes4 deeper breaths2min40s3 to 5 recovery breaths

Training 5 (Wednesday)

BreathingBefore the big breathBreath-holdRecovery
Round 12 minutes3 deeper breaths2min50s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 22 minutes3 deeper breaths3min00s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 32 minutes3 deeper breaths3min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 42 minutes3 deeper breaths3min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 52 minutes3 deeper breaths3min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 62 minutes3 deeper breaths3min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 72 minutes3 deeper breaths3min00s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 82 minutes3 deeper breaths2min50s3 to 5 recovery breaths

Training 6 (Friday)

BreathingBefore the big breathBreath-holdRecovery
Round 12 minutes3 deeper breaths3min00s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 22 minutes3 deeper breaths3min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 32 minutes3 deeper breaths3min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 42 minutes3 deeper breaths3min30s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 52 minutes3 deeper breaths3min30s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 62 minutes3 deeper breaths3min20s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 72 minutes3 deeper breaths3min10s3 to 5 recovery breaths
Round 82 minutes3 deeper breaths3min00s3 to 5 recovery breaths

Conclusion

The secret is consistency. Give time to your body and mind to adapt to a long breath-hold. You will succeed, there is absolutely no doubt about that.