Profile Series: Frederic Buyle

Your Name: Frederic Buyle

Nationality: Belgium

Age: 29

Accomplishments in freediving: Wow, well I’ve been teaching Freediving since 1991, and have set 4 world records since 1995. I was the winner of the Red Sea Dive Off, the first international individual competition, in 1999. I also have had several wins in international team competitions including two rounds of the 2000 World Cup.

Why did you become involved in freediving? The sea has always attracted me. I remember one of the first books I read, when I was around 4, was about Spearfishing…I still have it. I then started freediving properly in 1982. Later, when I was spending around four month a year on the family sailboat, I found it a good way to practice and finally got into serious training in 1990.

How often do you train? I train almost every day. Most of my training is on land for the moment. However, lot’s of gym, running, swimming. There’s also a big space for stretching, breathing and recovery.

What is a typical day for you in your training routine – without divulging any special techniques that you don’t feel comfortable revealing: When I do deep training, it’s very simple: I wake up, I eat a light breakfast with tea, then I do some stretching. I go in the water around four or five hours after I have gotten up. Warm up is two or three statics at the surface, then one dive around 40m. I then wait between 8 and 12 minutes and I do the "big dive".

Do you have any special dietary needs or preferences that you feel helps your training? Do you have any recommendations regarding this topic? Nutrition is very important for performance. I usually don’t eat meat because it’s leaving a lot of waste in your body. I replace meat by fish and dry vegetables, lot of fruits and vegetables also. I also take vitamin and antioxidants supplementations.

Where do you mainly train – i.e.; pool, open water, etc. In the past 5 years, I have mainly been training in the sea, in Porquerolles, a small island in south of France. But this year, I will be training much more on land. I will be trying different training method because it’s interesting to try new things, otherwise you get bored. Like I was 6 months ago!

What is your favorite discipline in the sport of freediving? Constant weight for sure! It’s real freediving, you can do it anywhere, and it’s the best way to discover the sea. We shouldn’t forget that freediving is first about exploring, not only diving along a rope. Too many freedivers seems to have forgotten that…….!

What is the most memorable dive or attempt that you have had – positive or negative: I don’t have one particular dive in mind, but I’ve always had good memories of diving with one or two friends, and when somebody in the group is doing a personal best. You share very strong connections during these moments. Some encounters with the sea life too. I remember a huge wahoo that swam around us for almost an hour during a deep training last year in Guadeloupe. However, record or competition dives never gave me great memories! You are just happy that it’s finished!!!!!

What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in the sport of freediving? Try it! But do it with people who know what they are talking about. The best way to improve is to dive with other freedivers. Even at high level you can learn things from any other Freediver, never forget that!

What do you do outside of the sport? Coming from an artistic family (photographers and painters), I’ve interest for antiques, painting and architecture. When I will retire, I may do something in that direction. Otherwise, I feel more and more attracted by mountains. It’s a great way to change your mind and your marks.

Stephan Whelan
Stephan is the Founder of DeeperBlue.com. His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years-old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a passion he pursued in all his spare time. In 1996 his passion for the underwater world led him to setup DeeperBlue.com. When he gets time he enjoys both Freediving and Scuba Diving when not traveling for work or enjoying time with his family in London.

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