126 episodes

The world's dedicated freediving podcast. Longform interviews with the deepest humans on Earth.

The Freedive Cafe Podcast Donny Mac - Freediver

    • Sports
    • 4.8 • 55 Ratings

The world's dedicated freediving podcast. Longform interviews with the deepest humans on Earth.

    #125 | Ted Harty | The Art of Instruction

    #125 | Ted Harty | The Art of Instruction

    On today's show we have a Freedive Cafe favourite returning to the show. Founder of Immersion Freediving and the Freedive Live Podcast, Ted Harty came back and we had a conversation sharing some of our experiences and advice regarding the instruction of freediving. 

    So this episode may offer up some helpful or insightful information for new or aspiring freediving instructors and my even hold a few gems for experienced instructors too.

    In this episode we discuss:

    Ted has moved to Georgia!
    About the 2022 Freedive Live Summit
    Conversing on the art of instruction:
    Walk through the first open water session.
    Pre-dive session briefings.
    Saving money by not losing gear!
    The surface buoyancy test/surface safety test.
    Randomising rescue practices.
    Safety and equipment checks done before and during the session.
    The biggest beginner instructor mistake.
    How do you cope with student anxiety and water fear?
    A question from Patron Andrea Claussen... How do you deal with students who lack patience and have a tendency to push too hard (and risk injuries)?
    Managing varying abilities during a course, one student going ahead of another...
    What are some ways to make the whole experience more fun for the student?
    Why we're not covering EQ in this conversation.
    Managing student expectations.
    What separates a good instructor from a great one?

    • 1 hr 33 min
    #124 | Maria-Teresa Solomons | Soul Medicine

    #124 | Maria-Teresa Solomons | Soul Medicine

    MT Solomons is a link to the early days of deep freediving before the modern competition era, along with her partner at the time Aharon Solomons they were there in the time of Pipin and Audrey, Umberto Pelizzari and Davide Carrera, a young Martin Stepanek was around, Kirk Crack, Tanya Streeter, a whole host of freediving royalty, a time when things were simpler in the world and also in freediving, when freediving was still very exploratory and deep diving logistics and training were being figured out as they went along.
    You'll also hear about the shared history I discovered I had with MT and Aharon with a place called Agios Pavlos in southern Crete in Greece, which blew my mind, and then we'll move on to talk about MT's life in Baja, Mexico, where she is running unique freediving training courses and we talk about her experiences with plant medicines and the ultimate potential of the deep diver outside of just training and performances.

    In this episode we discuss:

    MT was back in the UK for the holiday season when we spoke.
    About the Huniquin people, Ayahuasca ceremonies.
    How MT discovered freediving.
    Our shared history of Crete, Agios Pavlos, Triopetra, Derek Ireland and shout out to Helen and Phil at Yoga Rocks.
    How Aharon Solomons introduced her to freediving in Crete.
    Diving with a yellow submarine!
    The days of early deep diving with Pipin Ferreras, Martin Stepanek,Umberto Pelizzari, Davide Carrera and Tanya Streeter.
    How MT got started in Mexico.
    The ecology and weather of the Baja Peninsula and the Sea of Cortez.
    How diving works in MT's area and the experience on offer.
    MT's relationship with plant medicine and how that experience ties in to the experience of freediving.
    The deeper experience of freediving and the possibilities of deep human diving.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    #123 | Vitomir Maričić | Training Talk

    #123 | Vitomir Maričić | Training Talk

    World Record Holder Vitomir Maričić returns to The Freedive Cafe to answer the legendary Training Talk questions!

    We also discuss his experiences with nitrogen narcosis and decompression illness.

    The Training Talk Questions are:

    What is your favourite freediving discipline and why? 
    Do you have a coach and who do you train with? 
    Do you periodise your training through the year? 
    What kind of dry training do you do?
    Do you have a dry EQ practice, if so, what kind of exercises?
    Describe your favourite pool training sessions, if you train in the pool.
    How do you structure depth training sessions and how does it change through the year or the season?
    What are you doing, in your mind, in the 2 minutes before your deep dives?
    Do you do warm up? How? Or why not?
    Do you pack? How many times?
    At what depth do you begin your freefall?
    Do you count your kicks or strokes?
    Hands up or down on the ascent?
    Do you exhale before surfacing or remove the noseclip before surfacing?
    Do you do recovery or hook breathing?
    What is your experience with narcosis and how do you deal with it?
    Have you ever experienced decompression related symptoms?
    Do you drink coffee, alcohol or smoke?
    What is the one piece of nutrition advice you would give?
    Do you take any supplements?
    What lifestyle or mindset change helped you improve more than anything else? Which person, or persons have influenced your own approach to freediving the most?
    What do you like to do on rest days and do you have any strategies to speed up your recovery? Describe your deepest dive in detail.
    What is your favourite memory so far from your freediving journey?
    What was the best place you ever freedived?

    • 1 hr 24 min
    #122 | James Nestor | Breath

    #122 | James Nestor | Breath

    Originally aired on Thrivers Podcast exactly one year ago, in this fascinating interview we discuss James Nestor's latest book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.

    James Nestor originally appeared on episode #19 of The Freedive Café when we discussed his previous book Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and what the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves.

    In this episode we discuss:

    How did the Coronavirus situation affect the release and promotion of the book?
    Was James nervous to go on Joe Rogan’s podcast?
    What is the basic premise of Breath?
    What is the scientific backing for the information in the book?
    Why is mouth breathing so detrimental to health?
    The experiment documented in the book which James took part in with Anders Olssen.
    Traditional Native American views on mouth breathing.
    Practical advice on how to work with nose breathing.
    The earliest modern pulmonauts.
    Why should we be breathing LESS, rather than MORE!
    Link to Patrick McKeown interview on The Freedive Cafe Podcast.
    The story of Emil Zátopek.
    All about breathing slow and the 5.5 second rule.
    The importance of chewing your food properly!
    The right time and place for hyperventilation.
    Can CO2 be breathed for therapeutic reasons and to treat anxiety?
    What interesting titbits didn’t make it into the book?
    DESERT ISLAND QUESTIONS! Patreon Exclusive.
    James has another idea for a book!
    How can people find out more about James and his books?

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #121 | Chris McKay | Safety Angel

    #121 | Chris McKay | Safety Angel

    Chris McKay was Chief of Safety at the 2021 AIDA World Championships in Cyprus and runs Freedive Tulum in Mexico.

    In this episode we discuss:

    How was Chris' whole experience of the AIDA WC 2021 in Cyprus?
    Did the issue with Taiwan flag negatively affect the athletes?
    Chris is from Queensland in Australia.
    A start in freediving through spearfishing.
    Enjoying depth but not competing.
    Comparing freediving to climbing.
    Chris came from a safety and rescue training background, working in adventure tourism.
    Talking about organising safety at Vertical Blue.
    Which competition memories stand out most for Chris.
    Remembering Sayuri Kinoshita.
    How has the safety situation changed over the years in freediving competitions?
    Identifying potential problems with divers and predicting possible negative dives.
    Chris' most challenging experiences during comps.
    Is there anything missing from rescue techniques in freediving education?
    A Patreon question from Mauricio about 'bad spots'.
    A Patreon question from Kai about rescue techniques.
    A Patreon question from Jan about becoming certified as a safety diver.
    A Patreon question from Christian about safety divers not taking part in competitions.
    Shout out to Linda Paganelli.
    A Patreon question from rescue swimmer Dalen about diving alone.
    About Chris' set up in Tulum, Mexico.
    DESERT ISLAND QUESTIONS - Patreon Exclusive
    How to get in touch with Chris?
    Freedive Tulum

    • 1 hr 19 min
    #120 | Tom Peled | The Power of the Breath

    #120 | Tom Peled | The Power of the Breath

    Tom Peled is a breath coach and freediving coach from Tel Aviv, Israel. Join us for this fascinating conversation on the power of the breath, working with trauma, helping athletes to their peak performance and much more.

    In this episode we discuss:

    Shout out to Madison and Alice Modolo
    Tom is from Tel Aviv, Israel
    He joined the Navy when he was 18 and eventually became a scuba instructor.
    Discussing the diving conditions off the coast of Israel.
    Did Tom get involved in the competitive scene?
    Meeting up with Aharon Solomons!
    The research phase begins...
    How Tom's teaching methodology developed.
    How does Tom define breathwork and how is it applied?
    Helping victims of trauma with breathwork.
    Inspiration from the oxygen advantage method.
    How breathwork is integrated into the athlete's training strategy.
    Hypoventilation and reduced breathwork.
    When complementary training is and isn't useful.
    Tom's thoughts on the benefits of running.
    What a year of training would look like?
    Respiratory health, treating asthma, COPD with breath work.
    Tom's take on respiratory training devices.
    Tom's thoughts on supplementation, what is garbage and what is worth taking? Creatine, beta alanine, citrulline, NAC, ashwagandha.
    Mental work, long distance athlete's mentality.
    Talking about the 2 minutes before the dive, the "breathe-up".
    Hyperventilation - is it always bad?
    How to get in touch with Tom and get some coaching.
    DESERT ISLAND QUESTIONS - Patreon Exclusive
    Tom's plans for the future.
    Why does he freedive?

    • 1 hr 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
55 Ratings

55 Ratings

Craig Allen 808 ,

Very informative.

Interesting guests. Well done.

merlissa. ,

Best freediving podcast

All freedivers should be listening to this podcast! Donny is great and I’ve learned so much from his interviews with the world’s top freedivers. He gets deep, insightful thoughts as well as clever training tips out of his interviewees all while keeping the show fun and entertaining.

Nick in Nature ,


Love this podcast! I’ve listened to every episode, so multiple times! So much information. Has greatly helped me through my first year as a certified freediver.

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