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BearClaw Bigsby
11-20-11, 14:57
I have started swimming a lot for the first time in my life and practicing long distance subsurface swims and was just wondering how long an average person can hold their breath.

Is being able to hold your breath for a long amount of time a reflection of you cardiovascular or aerobic fitness?

My record sitting on the couch is 2:18 but it is a lot less underwater. My furthest sub surface swim has been about 40meters

BCmJUnKie
11-20-11, 15:02
Its all conditioning.

WHo was that one lady that was a free diver, she could hold her breath for around 4 minutes or something.

The more you do it the better you get.

I cant remember the term exactly, but its basically "Loading" or "Charging" your lungs by taking around ten deep breaths right before you go under

zacii
11-20-11, 15:13
I dunno about swimming, but in singing there are exercises that one can do to increase their lung capacity. The more oxygen that you can store, the longer you can go between breaths.

KevinC
11-20-11, 18:23
Free divers condition their lungs for long breath holds. There are certain exercises you can do.

Me... back in my free diving days I could go down around the 30ft. mark and hold my breath for about 2min.

KevinC

Skintop911
11-20-11, 20:05
I dunno about swimming, but in singing there are exercises that one can do to increase their lung capacity. The more oxygen that you can store, the longer you can go between breaths.

Is it an actual increase in capacity, or in utilized space? Development of deliberate diaphragmatic breathing techniques will drop the diaphragm farther than most breathe normally, but does not make the lungs any bigger.

I do know that when I played wind instruments regularly, I could hold my breath longer in the water and out.

zacii
11-20-11, 20:14
Is it an actual increase in capacity, or in utilized space?

No, it doesn't make your lungs bigger, but it does increase utilized space. Which in turn increases your oxygen capacity.

I honestly don't know exactly what's biologically happening. That's just the way my singing instructor explained it.

J8127
11-20-11, 20:30
I work with a lot of pararescue washouts (lol) and they all say the same thing, it's mental. You have plenty of oxygen in your body, you just have to fight that urge to surface.

Heavy Metal
11-20-11, 20:38
The urge is the body's response to a build-up of CO2 in the bloodstream, not a lack of Oxygen.

One way to extend your breath hold is to pre-breathe several rapid breaths to lower your blood CO2 level.

The can be DANGEROUS if done for diving underwater by an untrained individual as you can black-out and drown. You will run out of O2 before you crave another breath.

iGun
11-20-11, 20:51
Heavy Metal is correct. Respiratory drive is largely a function of CO2 and blood pH, not O2. Hyperventilation causes an increase in blood pH, temporarily blunting respiratory drive. But high blood pH causes vasoconstriction of blood vessels in the brain, and can cause dizziness and loss of consciousness.

DavyJones
11-20-11, 23:25
There is a big difference in holding your breath underwater and holding your breath over water. Underwater you got pressure on your lungs.

sniperfrog
11-21-11, 14:03
It is kind of a mental thing as alot of people can hold their breath for about 2 minutes, static, before passing out. If you're swimming underwater you're going to burn up more O2 so it will be alot less. If you're in reasonably good shape you should be able to do a 50 meter underwater swim. It hurts but is really not as difficult as you think. At BUD/S, I think we only had 3 or 4 guys in my class that failed the 50 meter underwater swim. This is done pretty early in the course, like the second or third week.

It really has nothing to do with lung capacity. There are other physiological factors at work.

It is easier to hold your breath underwater, especially the deeper you go. If you're going to do this make sure someone is watching you as you can easily blackout. I know a SEAL who died doing breath holds in the 50 foot tower at BUD/S. If you go deep you feel pretty good, like you can hold your breath forever, but as you come up to the surface you can have a shallow water blackout.

It's also easier to hold your breath in really cold water.

They have breath holding contests and the pros can typically get over 8 minutes underwater. The world record is 19 minutes and 21 seconds underwater. You read that correctly. 19 freakin' minutes and 21 seconds by a swiss free diver.

I believe part human, part demon David Blaine held his for 17 minutes.

It takes alot of training to get up there in the extreme ranges. There's some tricks they do, and there's specific exercises that help as well. It's also very dangerous and kills alot of brain cells.

BCmJUnKie
11-22-11, 00:13
This is pretty amazing.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1251251/Freediver-breaks-record-holding-breath-underwater--19-minutes-21-seconds.html

Heres the training part

http://www.freedivecentral.com/a-the-methods-of-free-divers-training-8584.html

BearClaw Bigsby
11-22-11, 07:06
This is pretty amazing.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1251251/Freediver-breaks-record-holding-breath-underwater--19-minutes-21-seconds.html

Heres the training part

http://www.freedivecentral.com/a-the-methods-of-free-divers-training-8584.html

that is insane.

kartoffel
11-22-11, 10:00
The urge is the body's response to a build-up of CO2 in the bloodstream, not a lack of Oxygen.

One way to extend your breath hold is to pre-breathe several rapid breaths to lower your blood CO2 level.

The can be DANGEROUS if done for diving underwater by an untrained individual as you can black-out and drown. You will run out of O2 before you crave another breath.

^^^^^ Thanks for bringing this up, Heavy Metal.

Hyperventilating before holding your breath doesn't really give you any extra oxygen, but it does remove CO2. Without as much CO2 in your system, you won't experience the urge to breathe until later, when your body is lower on oxygen and closer to passing out.

From the article at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shallow_water_blackout

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2a/Shallow_water_blackout_diagram_1_revised.svg/400px-Shallow_water_blackout_diagram_1_revised.svg.pnghttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/Shallow_water_blackout_diagram_2_revised.svg/400px-Shallow_water_blackout_diagram_2_revised.svg.png

anthony1
11-23-11, 03:12
l just held my breath for 1min 48secs, but lm just laying on my couch. Underwater swimming l'd guess l wouldn't fare to well maybe 45 secs? I do swim alot but not underwater and not holding my breath. Intersterting topic though.