Herbert Nitsch

Freediver & Author
Risk & Stress Management

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Herbert Nitsch: "Each time I think I’ve reached a limit...there is a door...it opens...and the limit is gone."

Herbert Nitsch is the current freediving world record holder and "the Deepest Man on Earth". This prestigious title was given to him when he then set the world record for freediving at an incredible depth of 214 meters (702 feet) in 2007 in the No Limit discipline.

Lectures // Topics // Take Aways
Herbert lectures world wide for a variety of audiences, corporate venues and for industry leaders. They include exciting audio visuals and videos. His lectures andlecture durations are always adapted to the client’s wishes.

Risk & Stress Management
This lecture is about the professional approach of an airline pilot & elite freediver applied to business. Herbert shares how to book results in areas none have ventured before. He learned that by taking and weighing calculated risks, one can achieve extraordinary goals. Managing stress is one of the most important factors in achieving exceptional results. Herbert recognized how these mechanism works within the human body and mind, and is able to communicate these skills to either a large audience or
to a smaller group.

Back from the Abyss
This lecture focusses on the deepest and most extreme of all freediving disciplines: No Limit. It explains what happens to the body and mind at depth, and what occurred during the deepest dive to 253m/831ft, the severe decompression sickness that followed, being wheelchair bound and fighting back to becoming an elite freediver again.

The Deepest Man on Earth
Herbert tells his story about freediving, both as a competition discipline and as a hobby for everyone. He explains how anyone can learn to double his breath hold time within a week, and how best to efficiently prepare your body to adapt at depth. Having mastered all of the free diving disciplines, and having set set world records in all of them (an accomplishment feat until now), Herbert is able to relate how freediving can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. His world wide travels and dives in many oceans made Herbert aware that the ocean deserves more respect then it gets. He touches base with his passion to conserve the seven seas and being an Advisory Board Member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

There is No Limit
There is no limit in achieving anything in life and in business by using innovative ways to be better than the competition. As a freediver Herbert is known to be an independent thinker and pioneer. His background as airline pilot and yachtsman add to his ability to "think out of the box" and to pursue a route that differs from the norm. Herbert understands what it takes to self-motivate and succeed regardless of the circumstances and environment, and how to outsmart the competition. "When you use methods and techniques that others have taken before, you can only as good as those others. Therefore change course, learn, listen and innovate."

We are "Homo Incredibilis"
By understanding your physiology & psychology you can push the physical boundaries of your incredible body. Herbert has overcome severe physical challenges related to decompression sickness from his last world record of June 6th, 2012. He was wheelchair bound and fought back against all odds to being fit again. He knows like no other how to remain a believer in oneself and how to achieve one’s objectives by understanding your body and by using your mind. Herbert relates to audiences how to fulfill goals and dreams, and how to never give up on these, as the impossible is truly possible.

On June 6th, 2012, Herbert surpassed his own record with a No Limit dive to 253.2 meters (830.8 feet), but suffered from severe decompression sickness (DCS-type 2). With a prognosis of remaining a "wheelchair-bound care-dependent patient", he dismissed himself from longterm facilitated care, and took his healing into his own hands. Two years later, against all odds, Herbert is training and deepfreediving again.

Herbert can hold his breath for more than 9 minutes and has set 32 world records in all of the 8 recognized disciplines – unrivaled achievements in the freediving history. He is the first freediver ever to go below 100m without fins or sled (Free Immersion), and the first to go below 200m on one breath (No Limit). Herbert holds an additional world record in the traditional Greek freediving discipline Skandalopetra.

Unlike other elite freedivers Herbert is self-taught. He is a pioneer in every way.

He developed his own freediving techniques over the years, a methodology that largely differs from the traditional styles. He brought many novel ideas and innovations to the sport, that meanwhile have become common elements in the current freediving scene. High safety standards and detailed planning are always part of every dive Herbert makes.

Herbert was an airline Captain for the Austrian Airlines Group for 15 years, a profession where check-lists and worst case scenarios were on his daily schedule. This risk-avoiding and high-security attitude helps him to achieve his ambitious goals within freediving. Furthermore he is keen about every technical detail and design of his equipment. Together with his international technical team he designs and produces highly innovative gear with hydrodynamic shapes and lighter materials. He is currently designing an oceangoing-eco-boat and submarine to further explore the oceans at large.

Herbert´s motives are about the unknown, about crossing physiological boundaries, achieving goals that seem beyond the limits; overcoming mental challenges; and exploring, understanding, controlling and fine-tuning his own body and its bodily functions (heart rate, blood pressure, blood distribution, oxygen intake and consumption, understanding energy efficiency, etc.).

Herbert is one of the few freediving athletes who cooperates with a scientific advisory board and medical doctors. Very little scientific research has been done so far on the physiological effects of freediving, especially as deep as Herbert is diving. His lung volume has been measured to be 10 Liters, which Herbert can expand to 15 Liters with a special technique called "packing" or "buccal pumping" (healthy adult males have a lung capacity of 6 to 7 Liters).

In December of 2013, Herbert proudly joined the Ocean Advocacy Advisory Board of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who is active in protecting the ocean’s wildlife and environments.

Print and TV media world wide have covered Herbert’s freediving adventures. He has graced the pages of Red Bulletin, Men’s Health, GQ, Playboy, ESPN, Spiegel, Apnea, Deep, Tauchen, Stern, Paris Match, L’Equipe, HOME, Profil and others. He has appeared on various TV shows and documentaries for CBS 60 Minutes Sports, BBC, ORF, ZDF, ARTE, SRF and for RedBull and Stern TV.

His unique freediving career started with a single coincidence. In the late nineties, while Herbert was on the way to a scuba dive safari, his diving equipment got lost somewhere in transit. So Herbert went snorkeling instead of scuba diving during the entire vacation. There Herbert discovered his natural talent for freediving very quickly. He was fascinated by the nature of this sport and was progressing fast. After freediving for 10 days only, he was two meters short of the Austrian National record.

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Video & Audio
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