I already broke a world record some years ago for 'the longest breath hold upside down' in the Italian version of the Guinness World Records Show in Milan. Since then, I know how nasty this is. Although I’m quite good at holding my breath, doing it upside down is a big challenge, because all the blood goes to your head, your heart starts pumping and you are stretched, as you are fixed at the feet with a rope on the ceiling, and your head is in a small aquarium.
It's not really enjoyable, and when an Iranian freediver broke the record some years ago, I didn’t plan on trying to get it back, although I knew I would be able to do so. The original record set by me in Milan was 4:29 min and was beaten with a time of 4:40 min.
I then received an offer to attempt to break the record during a popular TV show in Germany. As, due to coronavirus, there was nothing else to do, and I wanted to challenge myself, I decided to try again.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, the show was a bit different than I expected. We were in our room all the time, only allowed out for the toilet and final training, and of course for the record attempt during the show.
The training went well, although I ate a lot of chocolate bars and drank too many cappuccinos as I was bored. I spent the whole day doing apnea tables and breathing techniques as I never knew when they would ask us to come to the studio.
Anyway, the training went well, much better than the training I had done in the gym room of a friend where I fixed myself upside down and held my breath.
On the record day, one day later, I was a bit nervous, and my contractions started earlier than the day before. Despite this, in the end, I beat the previous record and set a new one with a total dive time of 4:51 min.
Today, I am sure I will never try this again!
Photos by Record Holders Republic