Monday, May 17, 2021

World’s First Scientific Study On The “Perfect Breathe-up”


Professor Alison McConnell – an expert on breathing physiology who also happens to be a freediver – is on a mission.  That mission is to try and discover what makes the perfect freediving breathe-up.

Surprisingly, there currently isn’t a single scientific study that sheds light on the ‘breathe-up’, let alone how to achieve the perfect one.  Professor McConnell and UK’s GoFreediving Instructor Trainer Emma Farrell are looking for experienced freedivers to take part in this important piece of research.

The study will compare freedivers heart rate response during a ‘breathe-up’ and subsequent static breath hold under four conditions:

  1. Their usual ‘breathe-up’ for 5 minutes and subsequent dry static breath hold
  2. Their usual ‘breathe-up’ for 5 minutes in the pool* and subsequent static breath hold
  3. A 5 minute ‘breathe-up’ paced using a Smartphone App at a specified breathing and subsequent dry static breath hold
  4. A 5 minute ‘breathe-up’ paced using a Smartphone App at a specified breathing rate in the pool* and subsequent static breath hold *you will be face down in the pool breathing via your own snorkel, but without a mask.

The study will occur on July 12th 2015 in Bath, UK and results will be published in a scientific journal which will help current and future freedivers achieve the optimum preparation for their freedives. The data may also provide some insights that will aid the development of breathing regimens for patients with high blood pressure.

To register your interest in the study, please visit

Freediving Breath Up

World's First Scientific Study On The "Perfect Breathe-up" 3
Stephan Whelan
Stephan is the Founder of 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 lifelong love affair with the oceans. In 1996 he set up and helped grow the site to be one of the largest diving websites around today.


  1. Hey, got a question about those 5 minute breath ups.

    First off all there is few different methods of doing it as in “4 section breath up” , ” no warm up breath up” and
    Which ones are you gonna try, are you just gonna breath for 5 minutes? That plays a big factor i think.
    Also why only for static exercises? I’m more comfortable hyperventilating for a static exercise then in a deep dive to cheat it up. Due to the fact that i know that it wont matter if i B.O in a static and can get more time out of it and its easier.

    I think it would play a huge role in the different breath ups if you consider what you want to achieve, i would never do my Static Breath Hold Breath up while im Freediving/Spearfishing or just Deep diving.

    Im really interested in those results and what will be tested! Hopefully you get many people that sign up.
    I wish i could help out and volunteers , but im currently in New Zealand.

  2. Safety always–never hyperventilate. Ever. Even in a pool. Practice in a pool the techniques that you will use for the open-water.

    They may be doing static studies only for now to arrive at some preliminary/baseline results. Then add dynamic apnea later, which has more variables to consider. Since this is supposedly the first study of its kind, it’s okay to start with just static.

    SUGGESTION: in addition to heart rate, the researchers should also monitor oxygen and CO2 levels in the participants.

    Good luck!

  3. Has Professor Alison McConnell already contacted Stig Avall Severinsen, Umberto Pelizzari, Stefano Tovaglieri, and Ms. Street about this study? Stig has already done some studies on breathing. We would not want all of these people stumbling over one another in their individual studies.


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