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General Freediving Area If Apnea Diving rocks your world, talk about it here!

View Poll Results: How long can you hold your breath?
< 2 minutes 61 22.76%
2-3 minutes 78 29.10%
3-5 minutes 89 33.21%
5-7 minutes 37 13.81%
> 7 minutes 3 1.12%
Voters: 268. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-03-2016, 02:26 PM   #31
AK_FishTech
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

My max static is 5:15 but actual dives average around 1:30.
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Old 01-20-2016, 02:00 PM   #32
freedivemd
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

The range selections here should be changed. I can hold my breath for 5 minutes, do I check the 3-5 or 5-7 box?
Better to have it as:
0-2
2:01 - 3
3:01 - 5
5:01 - 7
7:01 up
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:59 PM   #33
Shark B8
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

^
I agree with the proposed range selection to be changed. Also, does this breath hold poll constitute a static breath hole or breath hold while diving?
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:26 AM   #34
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

Hey man, you really need to be doubling your dive time on the surface. a 1:00 dive should have at least a 2:00 surface interval. Yes you may get a little bored but you are increasing your chance of not having a hypoxic issue. Always dive with a buddy who is within arms reach of you on the surface. No fish is worth your life. Dive safe.

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Originally Posted by Water Donkey View Post
My max static is 3:42... My dive sequence is usually a minute up a minute down. I'd like to spend more time on the surface in order to spend more time down but my problem is I get bored on the surface after much more than a minute, and really want to head back down. I've had dives in the 1:30+ range...

The other big question I have on this one though is consistency, why does it vary so much? I avg 1 minute dives, those are usually a good target that I shoot for, but some dives I look at my watch and I'm at 1:30 without even thinking of going up and other times I'm scratching for the surface after 30 seconds....
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:27 PM   #35
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

When I was in good shape running 5 miles @ 7 mins/Mile I could stay under hunting for 3:30 minutes at 70 feet. Not anymore. Cardio is so important. The next thing is being calm and efficient finning to get down. Muscles burn oxygen quickly. The dangers of CO2 are real. Can't say enough about longer intervals between dives, takes time to purge the Co2. I'll leave it to the young bucks, unless I'm in the shallows or breathing Nitrox!
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:54 AM   #36
Mullins
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

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Originally Posted by Shotmaster View Post
Cardio is so important.
Eh??

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The dangers of CO2 are real.
Eh???
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:37 AM   #37
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

Cardiovascular conditioning will improve your time. While you are holding your breath, your blood is being saturated with CO2 and being depleted of oxygen. Without proper surface intervals, your CO2 levels (hypercapnea) build up, and that is just as dangerous the lack of oxygen (hypoxia).
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:34 AM   #38
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shotmaster View Post
Cardiovascular conditioning will improve your time. While you are holding your breath, your blood is being saturated with CO2 and being depleted of oxygen. Without proper surface intervals, your CO2 levels (hypercapnea) build up, and that is just as dangerous the lack of oxygen (hypoxia).
No, this is wrong. Hypercapnia tends to be very uncomfortable and can lead to temporary head ache, coordination issues, and a certain amount of temporary stupidity but it also helps maintain consciousness. Outside of a world champion diver doing a 20+ minute pure O2 hold, there is no way for a diver reach a CO2 level that is actually dangerous.

Hypoxia leads to blackout, which can kill you, hypercapnia is just uncomfortable.

While 2:1 surface interval is incredibly conservative, a longer surface interval is advised for deep continuous diving to avoid DCS, and it helps clear some of the metabolic byproducts of anaerobic metabolism (lactic acid buildup), a process which uses O2.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:30 AM   #39
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

because of high hypercapnia, the Bohr saturation curve is shifted, and the affinity of hemoglobin to oxygen os reduced. this is very bad for recoveries, because you are not able to bind oxygen on hemoglobin in blood, and will be leaving for the next dive already pre-hypoxic. Intensive hypercapnic training is not as safe as one often learns, and can lead to a plain hypoxic (not hypercapnic) blackout too. So there is more to the story than just being painful and making you want to breath. Free diving is not as benign as most want to believe. I have learned a lot and realize I was very lucky both free diving and diving scuba using the old Navy tables. I am much better educated now and I encourage anyone who is breath holding to learn more of the gas science and physiology rather than listen to some guru. It's your life and safety.
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:24 PM   #40
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

Doubt hypercapnia substantially inhibits gas exchange at the lungs, that would be a pretty poor adaptation! Arterial O2 saturation (blood leaving the lungs/heart) shoots straight up to ~99% in a few seconds post-dive regardless of how hypercapnic you are, the alveolar O2 and CO2 gradients are so high once you start breathing. Remember it's local pH that counts, and if you're exchanging CO2 / O2 rapidly in the capillary bed then you're increasing pH in that particular solution, which allows O2 to bind. The issue with hypercapnia is more that it's indicative of ongoing oxygen debt out in peripheral tissues with slower perfusion.

Cardio is unrelated to max apnea depth/time/distance in my experience. I know several top freedivers who do no cardio at all and are quite unfit. Conversely, plenty of very fit people who are terrible at apnea. Cardio is good for recovery though if you're doing repeat dives (e.g. spearfishing and some apnea training).
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:50 PM   #41
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

2 things here ^^^. 1, You guys are making me feel dumb. 2, I feel better about my dad bod now.


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Old 06-22-2016, 04:56 PM   #42
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

I will defer to the true experts that study the physiology and have real medical and scientific expertise on this subject. Information is readily available for those who desire to learn more, and want to understand what transpires within the body during breath holding and conducting work (free diving). I am by no means a subject matter expert, however, I know and understand more than when I began as a "skin diver", and as I said previously free diving is not as benign as some people would lead you to believe. I stand by my statement that cardio is important and Hypercapnia should be understood and respected. I don't doubt that there exist out of shape free divers, however from my military career, I never saw an out of shape soldier perform any physical task well where endurance was required. The one time I didn't keep up my cardio as normal and still performed well was after working in Colombia at high altitude for several months I returned to my unit having not conducted exercise due to security restrictions and still was able to run 5 miles under 36 minutes with my unit without a struggle. Our unit doctor said it was because our bodies had produced more platelets in response to the thin air, and would be like doping at sea level. So the divers you know and claim do no cardio, would probably be even better if the did. Us mere mortals definitely benefit from regular cardio.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:04 PM   #43
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

My max apnea performances drop slightly when I do cardio. The effect goes away after 2-4 weeks of freedive-specific training though and I'm back to near-normal. I ended up doing cardio simply because I was tired of being weak and unfit after years of freedive training. They are very different types of fitness and I can accommodate the two, but I need to be careful how I sequence them. It's pure speculation for you to say that I and other freedivers would improve with cardio. Some may, but plenty of people definitely don't.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:08 PM   #44
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shotmaster View Post
I will defer to the true experts that study the physiology and have real medical and scientific expertise on this subject. Information is readily available for those who desire to learn more, and want to understand what transpires within the body during breath holding and conducting work (free diving). I am by no means a subject matter expert, however, I know and understand more than when I began as a "skin diver", and as I said previously free diving is not as benign as some people would lead you to believe. I stand by my statement that cardio is important and Hypercapnia should be understood and respected. I don't doubt that there exist out of shape free divers, however from my military career, I never saw an out of shape soldier perform any physical task well where endurance was required. The one time I didn't keep up my cardio as normal and still performed well was after working in Colombia at high altitude for several months I returned to my unit having not conducted exercise due to security restrictions and still was able to run 5 miles under 36 minutes with my unit without a struggle. Our unit doctor said it was because our bodies had produced more platelets in response to the thin air, and would be like doping at sea level. So the divers you know and claim do no cardio, would probably be even better if the did. Us mere mortals definitely benefit from regular cardio.
It is pretty normal for serious freedivers to have platelet counts well above or on par with EPO dopers and altitude trained athletes; it is a natural response to hypoxia, whether from altitude or breath hold.

So, what you are REALLY SAYING is that runners and soldiers should do more apnea. Agreed!
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:21 PM   #45
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Re: How long can you hold your breath?

I have a high platelet count from sleep apnea. So high that my doctor told me to donate blood. It has not helped my breath hold times at all. I know my time will improve though now that I have started back to a regular exercise regimen. I have my past performance as a yardstick. I am older, less fit and 20 lbs heavier right now. Let you know if the cardio helps improve my times or not.
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