When it comes to training, a lot of freedivers waste time & energy doing things at the wrong time or volume. In this episode of The Complete Guide, Thibault Guignes breaks down his training routine into 3 distinct categories - base, sub max & performance - and looks into how to plan your training correctly and get a peak of performance when you need it.

Base Training

Base training is volume training, it should represent around 50 to 60 percent of your total training time, and you should limit yourself to around 70 percent of your maximum target depth. It's a stage where you build confidence through repetition while refining your technique. You want to aim for the perfect dive, try to have perfect technique, perfect equalization, perfect relaxation, and depth will just become a consequence at one point. It's also the stage where you have time to work on the fundamentals, your fitness, your hypercapnia, hypoxia, your flexibility and mobility, your equalization, and your mental preparation.

Sub Max

After the base training stage comes the sub max.  This time it should represent around 30 percent of your maximum training time. You do less volume, get closer to your target depth progressively, but still limit yourself to around 85 percent, 90 percent of your maximum depth. You can keep a little bit of stretching and even fitness, but now is not the time to work on your fitness, you maintain it, but you're already fit from your base training.


Finally comes the peak time, that's when you're gonna do your maximum performances. It should take 10 to 20 percent of your training time, in most sports, I would say  5 to 10 percent. In freediving when we do max performances, a lot of time we do only one dive and every second day, so you can spread a little bit longer than on other sports. It also depends on the depths you go to. If you are in a range of 20 to 50 meters depth, you can repeat even those depths in one same session. If you are at great depths, then again you can do one dive and usually, you even take one day off after. 

The best is to take indicators, to make sure you're not overtraining during that time. You can take your heart rate every morning, every evening, you will see variations very quick towards the higher range if you are starting to overtrain. In this period you focus on deep diving and deep diving alone. You can stretch a bit if you find it enjoyable and also for recovery. And one piece of advice, if you don't reach the target depths during those periods of time, don't try to make it longer,  sometimes you're just not ready or it's not just the right time. Just start another cycle of base training and another progression, you will get there eventually. But by extending this peak period you are just trying to do exactly the same thing, hoping for a different outcome randomly.  So, just stick to your plan and trust the process.

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