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Manual of Freediving: Underwater on a Single Breath Paperback – September 4, 2004

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Manual of Freediving: Underwater on a Single Breath + Breatheology + Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves
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Product Details

  • Series: Freediving
  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Idelson Gnocchi Pub; Rev Upd edition (September 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1928649270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1928649274
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


September 2012 Legendary filmmaker James Cameron (Titanic, Terminator, Avatar) gave a video message to legendary freediver Umberto Pelizzari and talking about his amazing pioneering work as a competitive freediver as well as his Manual of Freediving . .... Ciao Umberto, It is Jim Cameron here and I m sorry I missed getting this video ready in time for your party, but I m sure you had a great time anyway. I just wanted to add my voice to all those who are celebrating you and your accomplishments. You are one of the great pioneers opening the frontier of human adaptation to the depths. Not only as a champion athlete but as a teacher and a guide. Your book Manual of Freediving is my new Bible and I take it with me whenever I spend time in the sea. May be I can film you underwater sometime and show the world a man truly at one with the Ocean. Thanks for all you are doing. Bravo, Ciao. Ci vediamo dopo. --Umberto Pelizzari

The most comprehensive text ever written on the sport of apnea also known as breath-hold or freediving. --Pierce Hoover, Sport Diver Magazine, 2004 --Pierce Hoover

From the Publisher

This is the English version of the training manual at Umberto Pelizzari's Apnea Academy Academy (school of freediving) it is grounded on techniques and teachings inherited from Enzo Maiorca and the late great Jacques Mayol and perfected by Pelizzari and co-author Stefano Tovaglieri. This is the definitive guide, illustrated and up to date, for the aspiring apneist. From theory to practice this manual will accompany the reader in the discovery of a fascinating sport. It is a manual that should not be missing from the itinerary of any diver (apneist or otherwise) who wishes to improve their techniques of respiration, swimming and diving whilst broadening knowledge and theory. Dozens of underwater exercises, illustrated with helpful sequences of pictures allow both students and instructors of apnea to follow a simple and effective teaching path. From the experience of two sportsmen, with years dedicated to competitive and instructive apnea, finally a manual that unites theory with practical experience.

Customer Reviews

This book must be on the shelf of every serious freediver.
Thomas J. Pavlik
In this new book, MANUAL OF FREEDIVING, UNDERWATER ON A SINGLE BREATH, two champions share their knowledge of breathhold diving.
John Christopher Fine
I like the book. it's very informative and has tons of helpful stuff.
R. Leaverton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Andrey Stepantsov on December 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
The book will work instead of a freediving instructor, even if we are afraid to say so. Not only does the manual cover everything that a freediver must know about physiology, physics, techniques and safety, but it also contains a practical training guide given by the one of the best, for those, who want to experience the athletic side of the sport.

I went beyond -40 m. in constant weight, 100 m. in dynamics and 5:30 in static, before I met my first freediving teacher. I was exacting student, but my teacher was the great one, he gave me the knowledge structured and detailed in the very same manner how you'll find in the book.

Analyzing the chapter about training I found that my techniques are very similar to those described in the book, though I spent years looking for some of them! For a beginner I would recommend to read the book instead of inventing things that are already there. This great book helps me to reorder and complete the structure in my mind.

I would recommend the book to all the people who love freediving or want to know what freediving is.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David on April 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've been practicing Freediving a lot over the last 3 years. This book covers it all, from history to physiology. It is well explained, and almost every aspects of the sport is covered. I especialy felt in love with the yearly training program at the end of the book. It's bee 2 months now and I realy did improve my statics and dynamics. The book was writen by a profesionnal freediver, and a profesionnal sport educator, so you'll learn all you need to practice and improve yourself.
The only reason why I don't give it a 5, it's because it's even too complete... there are sometimes way too many details, so it gets long and heavy to read. Anyhow, the first and perfect freediving bible for anyone.
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104 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Larry OBrien on February 18, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's always difficult for a beginner to review a textbook, because there's always the chance that your reactions are entirely offbase. It is possible that some people, trying to learn to hold their breath longer while underwater will value 360 pages of advice as "Getting Dressed. Start by putting on the trousers: insert the legs, first one then the other," and "We complete the scaling of the existential levels by passing to the colour violet, where we stabilise a contact with our most intimate reality, that which we call the spiritual dimension," while foregoing any significant discussion of strategies for dealing with the sensations of holding your breath.

To me, this book is infuriatingly short of relevant information. Not only do you get advice on how to put on pants, there are sections that seem relevant (the 2.5 pages on the circulatory system, say), that jump between streams of grade-school exposition ("The heart is a hollow muscle that has the capacity to function like a pump; expanding and contracting, it sucks blood that is delivered continuously by the veins and pushes it to the peripheries of the body through the arteries....") and trivia ("...[blood] is propagated by their elastic walls at a velocity of 9 meters per second. However in the arterioles of the periphery the velocity drops to one millimetre per second....") without actually introducing any relevant facts (does blood velocity have something to do with freediving? Maybe. I wouldn't know it after reading this book. And the book is packed with clearly irrelevant information, such as 2 pages on the Beaufort wind scale).
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jerald Winter on December 1, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received this manual yesterday. It is the manual I've been looking for. I have hunted (and printed) many web pages to find detailed techniques for freediving. This book will save you the tiring hunt and get you started in freediving. The manual provides a brief history of freediving, a succint review of the physics of freediving, and a concise, pertinent review of anatomy and physiology. The authors spend the rest of the book going into great detail on how to freedive: equipment, relaxation, breathing techinques, equalizing, entrance, finning technique, and safety.

While this book is a good precursor to taking a professionally taught class on freediving, it does not substitute for hands-on training clinics like Umberto's or Performance Freediving. It is an excellent book for a freediving group to use for training. I am recommending this book to all my friends who have expressed interest in freediving.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Cliff Etzel on August 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a freedive instructor, I feel that this book should be manditory for ALL freedivers who wish to learn from a master of the sport.

This is probably the most complete book on all aspects of freediving, and is manditory reading before taking one of Umberto's Apnea Academy courses.

I have trained with Kirk Krack, Pipin Ferarras and Aharon Solomons and can tell you that each has taught me something, but it was the combination of Aharon's teaching along with Umberto's book that took me to a new level of freediving. Since Aharon is an Apnea Academy Instructor, it was only natural to have this book be my required reading. As far as I am concerned, it is the best source available outside of taking one of Umberto's courses for learning how to freedive correctly, efficiently and effectively.

Do yourself a favor - get this book, forget about the hype - it is an instruction manual - learn from it - you won't regret it.
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