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Freediving Secret - The Silver Bullet


Errol PutignaJanuary 23. 2012

Freediving Secret - The Silver Bullet

by Errol Putigna

We hear and read about these freedivers diving incredible depths and having spectacular breath-holds. We often ask ourselves, “How do they do it?” “Are they super-human?” Some “perhaps” are but the majorities are normal human beings with an innate aquatic ability that can be easily tapped into by proper instruction and guidance.

We often look for the “silver bullet”, the “secret” on how we can improve our diving ability. I recently gave my brother a FII Level 1 class for Christmas and got him to take the class. He is an emergency medicine doctor, practicing in Orlando, has 5 kids and a real knack for learning, especially when it comes to the human body. He has dabbled in freediving since he was a kid, just like me. We would go with our father spear fishing and plenty of diving to the bottom of the pool to fetch keys. He enjoys the water very much so. When I took my first FII class, he was the first one I called and told about my 5:00 breath-hold. I was super excited and he was in disbelief. To be honest, I couldn’t believe it myself.

Freediving CourseHe has been tormented with a problem in one of his ears and has complained about having trouble equalizing for quite some time. He was very skeptical that he would do well in the class but I assured him it was not about doing “well” in the class or chasing numbers. It was about learning to freedive safely and putting it all together.

He took the weekend off and came down to Jupiter, FL to take the class. He seemed pretty attentive and obviously knew the science behind what we were teaching. I love teaching physicians and/or anyone in the medical profession because they know the science but never put two and two together to see that it really can be done. After the academic portion of the class, we headed to the pool, did our safety and freediving skills and proceeded to the static apnea portion of the class. He did his series of breath ups and finished with a 3:00 breath-hold (the limit of the Level 1 class). He was fired up, but his real concern was the open-water portion and his equalization. I told him not to worry, just do as he had been taught and everything should work out.

Freediving SpringsWe got to the ocean and it was a bit bumpy. We started with all the skills taught in the academic and confined water portion and started reaching deeper depths. Most of the students were blowing past the personal bests, including my brother. He ended up reaching 66ft 3 times (depth limit of the class). For the next 3 days, he was calling me super excited about his accomplishments. He said, “I don’t know what I did different from before”. I told him, “There is no silver bullet or one thing you did differently. It’s all the little things you did and put together that allowed you do to what you did”.

I often get asked advice about freediving. It’s not about the one thing that makes it work. It’s about putting the puzzle together and making all the pieces fit to make it all work. Perhaps this is what we could call the “Silver Bullet”. That’s what freediving is about. Dive safe!

Errol Putigna

Girls - Get Freediving!


Niki Roderick || Freediving courses with FII (Freediving Instructors International) www.freedivinginstructors.comJanuary 11. 2012

Girls - Get Freediving!

by Niki Roderick

 I n the United States, freediving is still looked upon primarily as Spearfishing - a man’s sport. Where as in Europe the ladies have been reaping the benefits of this recreational sport for centuries! So, why is

Girl Freediving, Apnea, Freediving courses, FII, Freediving Instructors International || www.freedivinginstructors.comNow, I have no desire to convert you all to fish killers, rather I would like to open the door to what freediving means to me and thousands of others. Freediving in its simplest form is mastering the art of breath control and movement underwater; it is interacting within the underwater realm in the most natural way possible. And, as a pleasant side effect, we keep fit, healthy, and eat pretty much whatever we want.

If you browse through all the top workout trends of 2010-2011, you will find a common thread: Interval Training. Whether spinning your way to smaller derriere or Tracy Anderson’ing your way to Paltrowesk thighs. They are all utilizing the rapid and effective results of Interval Training. What most don’t realize is that freediving is pure Interval Training. So, why don’t we consider our weekend freediving as serious IT? Because it didn’t feel like a workout, in fact, it was relaxing! Spinning and other interval training methods are classed as hard-core, sweat-till-you-drop; I want to die kind of workouts. I call these my ‘1 Hit Wonders’, in other words, I went hard, went home and never came back (although really wanted too). I salute all you women out there that love sweating in a tiny room with 30 others listening to thumping house music. You deserve those legs! I'll take the easy option.

Freediving with Whales || FII Freediving courses, www.freedivinginstructors.comFreediving is a girl’s best friend. It specifically targets key problem areas for women (without a personal trainer), plus it calms the mind, de-stresses the skin all the while growing us long, lean muscles. Freediving forces us to master the art of both mind and body control, something we all need to lead happy, balanced lives. The key to getting and maintaining a healthy body is finding a sport or activity that you love…and it’ helps if it doesn’t  feel like a workout ;-) Freediving offers women an easy, complete workout that defines fun and your derriere - no soundtrack needed.

Are You Ready for Winter?


markDecember 6. 2011

Are You Ready for Winter?

by Mark Lozano

As winter approaches the sea conditions start to become less than ideal or desirable. What do we do then? FII Headquarters has started a wonderful winter training program, which we look forward to debuting here on the west coast next winter. However there are other options to winter if you cant make it to south Florida. Sitting around and gaining twenty pounds from all of the holiday food is not an option. No matter where you are there are ways to stay active. Personally I choose to head to altitude, where I teach snowboarding at Bear Mountain Resort in southern California. With winter storms slamming the west coast rather frequently during the winter, the opportunities for getting into the water are limited, therefore I chose to increase my hemoglobin percentage instead. There are other options however, surfing is a great way to stay wet during the cold months, however the surf is much larger than during the summer months, and should only be approached if you are comfortable with what you are going to be getting yourself into.

12-6-11aA great way to prepare yourself for the large swells produced by the northern hemisphere is to try out the new Waterman Survival course! Already I have received reports of amazing results. After the completion of the last course two of the graduates headed down to Todos Santos, a popular big wave spot in Baja, Mexico. While there they encountered twenty foot plus surf, one reported taking a bad wipeout and having to dive under twelve foot plus white wash and was held down for quite sometime. He let me know that because of the training he, "handled it like a boss!"

On the other hand, if neither of those options suits you and you insist on being in the ocean, one could head south and visit Chile or perhaps New Zealand or Australia, heck even South Africa! If exploring those regions doesn't cut it, there is always the FII favorite: The big island of Hawaii.

For those of us that cannot take the time to head away from home, your CO2 and O2 tables have probably been sitting and collecting dust since the third week after Level 2 when you gave up on them. Theres no better time than the present to start your tolerance training again, and do not forget the exercises that were introduced to you as well. If you did not know, FII released a stretching DVD last year, could make a great stocking stuffer, or gift to yourself. As we know, stretching is a vital part of freediving training.

There are endless options to shoo away the winter blues, think about what it is that you want to do and go for it. Until next time, dive safe and stay warm!


Mark Lozano


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