In the previous week, I represented for the first time one of my successful athletes - Santi Lopez who manage to improve for more than 30 meters his personal bests in pool disciplines, and won two bronze medals in the Spanish National Championship.

For those who missed the article, you can reread it here.

Today, I have another outstanding success story who joined in my online coaching services in 13th of last October 2017. From then until now, he achieved amazing results and he enjoys his new capabilities underwater more than ever!

Do you want to learn how he managed to increase his static breath hold time from 4'36'' to 7'14'' and also to decrease his body weight for 19 kilos in only six-months of tailored made training plan?

Then Continue to read!

In his first email, Nikos described his passion and enthusiasm for the depth training and more specifically for the spearfishing. He used to be trained his physical skills mostly in the trader-ship which he is currently working as a marine engineer. For a four-month period, Nikos would be out of the water, and the spearfishing or any other freediving activities like; snorkeling would be an elusive dream!


At the end of his email, he asked me to find a solution for him and preparing a tailor-made workout plan with mostly dry exercises for the period that he would be working on the ship, in order to be able to maintain his freediving skills when he will return to the homeland.

I accepted the challenge and prepared his periodization plan, based on fundamental principles for the best depth adaptation.

More specifically, my goal was to develop for him the following skills:

1. The decrease of his Residual Volume. 2. The Increase of his strength and the specific elasticity of his lungs. 3. The Increase of the strength and the overall functionality of his thoracic cage. 4. The better activation of his Diving Reflex mechanism with some particular drills on land. 5. The strength of his mental capacity under the low oxygen circumstances.


According to his daily schedule, and take seriously all the above into account, the weekly training plan for Nikos included 5 workout sessions per week with a minimum thirty and a maximum sixty minutes training each time.

During the whole training period of three months, I asked Nikos to record his data and the results from each training session.

Below, I present some training results of him, from the 1st month of training.



Nikos, told me that after the end of the third-week he was feeling much more comfortable not only with the static apnea tables, but also with all the rest workouts from this first training plan.

I explained to him that his body responded exceptionally well at that time and the only thing he needed to do, it was to continue the workouts with the same intensity, until the final 4th-week.

At the end of the first-month training phase, he managed to increase his static breathold abilities with empty lungs but more importantly, to feel much more comfortable than the first training session with ‘’NO AIR INTO HIS LUNGS.’’

The Personal Best time of Nikos in dry- static with empty lungs during our collaboration is 2' minutes & 25 seconds.

Another significant exercise that I prepared for Nikos, was the Apnea Walking with a few seconds breathold before start to walk. He also used a heart rate monitor in order to track:

(1) his adaptation of Diving Reflex (DR) response and moreover,

(2) the intensity of each apnea-walking attempt.

This specific exercise with a combination of static breathold in the beginning of each attempt, was looking promising for his case, just because, he was not able to perform any dynamic apnea training in the pool or any depth training in order to prepare with more specific way his DR mechanism.

In only seven (7) weeks of training, he managed to increase his apnea walking time for - 1 minute and 20''.

* The 1st attempt was 2'06''

and now he is able to systematically perform:


At that time, he knew that he made outstanding progress in all workout drills that he had in his training plan, and now was curious how those results will convert in better performances into the water when he will return to the homeland.


On April 30th, I received an email from him and described that he has already hold his breath during one of his training sessions, for more than seven minutes...

I was shocked!!

-The original e-mail was came in Greek language, so in order to be able to understood completely, I posted after the automate google translation (sorry for the English :) )

Furthermore, after two weeks he sent me another email with a video from another static apnea session and the time was 7 minutes and 14 seconds :-)

Unfortunately, the video that I have has a deficient quality and the angle of the camera was not the proper one, in order to see him clearly during his fantastic performance.

Next time, I will ask from him to perform one more long breathold but at this time with a heart rate monitor and an oximeter on his finger, in order to record some significant data for meta-analysis.


As I've written before, the major objective with me and Nikos during our collaboration was to find an ideal training method for depth adaptation without going to the pool or into the sea.

The results were evident from the very-first depth sessions.

More specifically:

1st spearfishing session after 4 months of depth-abstinence: - Average depth: 20-25 meters

- Average dive times: 3 minutes...and he was able to stay more!

Previous depth recors before our collaboration:

- Average depth: 18-21 meters

- Average dive times: 1'30'' - 2'05''




DEPTH: 21 meters

DIVE TIME: 3'43''

31.05 a post from a current depth training in Greece!


From the beginning until now, Nikos follows the nutrition and supplementation support that I offer through my Premium plan services.

In early December, before starting the diet plan was 89 kg. Now, after six months of significant changes on his nutrition habits and careful restriction of calories, managed to lose significant weight (-19 kg) and now enjoys not only new freediving skills and other aspects of his life more than ever!


The case of Nikos was a real challenge not only for me, but also for him. The outstanding results from him was a result of a ''combination recipe'' of the following parameters:

1#. UNUSUAL CONSISTENCY - He never missed a workout plan during the six-month period of training. Even if his job schedule started at 05:00 AM.

2#. UNSTOPPABLE WILLING - His was so driven to push himself to pass all the struggles which were getting in front of him, who found the motivation that he needed through this direction!

I'm feeling delighted with the progress of Nikos because he managed to improve his freediving skills and his physical conditioning, through additional methods and exercises out of the water!

I want to finish this article with some words from him:


''I am a 37 year old spearfishing enthusiast who seeks to advance further any skills and instincts involved to prolong my stay in the sea bed just by holding my breath.

To begin with, I would like to state that my case was a new challenge for George as he had to adapt and improvise all his programs to fit for a person that has no contact with the sea or a swimming pool for a minimum period of 4 months, at least twice per year.

The initial goal Mr. Panagiotakis set for our on-line coaching was to eliminate the adaptation period required to get back to shape, and maintain my peak form throughout my stay on board the vessel.George consulted me to go for the Basic Program at first and judging by the results we would consider the Premium Plan for our future collaboration. Although the training was strictly dry, I can only say that the results of our work together were beyond satisfactory.

George managed to pin point and improve my weaknesses with a dedicated set of exercises along with advises and scientific explanations, whenever these were required. By the end of the Basic Plan the results of my improvement were beyond expectations.

The main target was to develop my CO2 tolerance levels, strengthen my lung muscles and improve my overall fitness.

All the aforementioned targets were achieved by following my coach's instructions.

George and I are currently working together on the Premium Plan. Since numbers speak for themselves my PB breath hold time after 6 months of training is now 07:14'', my depth adaptation comes naturally without any equalization difficulties, my endurance has increased (over 2 minutes dives with 1.0kts current and constant finning to maintain position), and I managed to lose 19.0kg of excessive weight and get into a very competitive shape.

To anyone that is reluctant to chose one of George's programs for online training please be informed that all my progress and efforts were recorded in log-books that are available via George''.

PS: If you feel motivated from the above success story, please contact me, and I will help you to reach your goals with the most efficient way!

Stay tuned!

More success stories coming soon!

Until next time,

Keep on training!

#spearfishingtraining #freedivingtraining #advancedepthtraining #Crosstrainingforfreediving #Coaching #DivingReflextraining #drystatictraining #Freedivingcoaching

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