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A quastion about braething "right".

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DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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A quastion about breathing "right".

I've been told that the "right" (eastern way) is form buttom to top, like you're pouring liquid into your lungs:
Inhale fully starting with the diaphragm, and then continue with the intercostal muscles (rib muscles=chest).
Exhale, the same but in reverse order: first empty chest, then diaphragm.

On the other hand, in a site with some medical flash movies, I looked at what they call braething, and the definition of "exhaling" was to "realease" both muscle groups (diaphragm and intercostals) and then the chest cavity contracts normally, and makes you exhale.

I braeth in normally as described in both ways.
My "natural" exhale is not the "eastern" type but the "releasing" type, I'de like to call it the 'lazy type'. :)

When I train statics I put a big emphasis on proper breathing (never hyperventilating!), and I'm not sure which method of exhaling I should try to adapt, and I was wondering if there are any differences between.

Well, I know it sounds like I'm fussing about insignificant things, but if anyone has an opnion about which form of exhaling is better I'de like to know.
 
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Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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relaxed exhalation...

I always exhale in a relaxed way... but tend to control the exhalation rate by pursing lips or using a snorkel...
when diving I fill from bottom up to about 90%VC for each breath (deep breaths), at a rate of about 4-6bpm, then do full exhales and inhales on the last 2-3 breaths.
For static, I found it's important not to inhale much using the top part of my lungs... where you start using the intercostals. This is quite strenuous (in relative terms!) and not good for relaxation. So at a rate of about 4-6bpm I fill only the bottom part of my lungs to about 60%VC, then only on the last 2 breaths do I use my entire lung, then pack just a little bit. It's well known that the bottom part of the lungs have the best circulation, and the lungs are almost conical in shape. So the bottom part is the most important part for efficient breathing.
Things like this make a big difference for me- after fine tuning my preparation over a few weeks I reached over 7' a few times and once over 7'30". This was when I was static training 6 months ago. I kinda lost interest after a while... maybe I'll do some again. Good questions though. Breathing pattern and technique is a big factor for setting up a good static in my experience... definitely relaxed exhalation.
 
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Bill

Baron of Breathold
Oct 17, 2001
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Aloha Michael
Let me suggest that you try an experiment. Use you're favorite warm up routine ( mine takes about twenty minutes ) that ends with a static of 65-70% of your best, one minute rest, three minutes of one breathing style and max static. Next time, use a different style. I think you'll find that there isn't much difference and the 'style' that allows you to relax more or is more comfortable will be the winner. For me, 20-22 deep breaths in the three minutes is within 10-15 seconds of the best 6-10 minute prep I've tried. Deeper out is more important than deeper in except for the last one.
best wishes
Bill
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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Alun:
Things like this make a big difference for me- after fine tuning my preparation over a few weeks I reached over 7' a few times and once over 7'30".
Wow! 7:30?? that's a top score! why did you stop?
Is there any special technique you are using? like pranayama or chi gong? or you just did like all odinary folks, a couple of statics per session, till you hit 7:30 and decided it was enough?

And if you are using some technique/diet/secret, how far did you get before using it?

I do also about 4-6 breath/min, when doing slow "right" breathing I find it inevitable to do "conscious" breathing, unless I start my exhalation the other way described above. It's just that I was thinking that I might be using my diaphragm muscle also when not needed (for moderate exhalation), and it might be a bad thing.

Bill:
Let me suggest that you try an experiment. Use you're favorite warm up routine ( mine takes about twenty minutes ) that ends with a static of 65-70% of your best, one minute rest, three minutes of one breathing style and max static. Next time, use a different style. I think you'll find that there isn't much difference and the 'style' that allows you to relax more or is more comfortable will be the winner. For me, 20-22 deep breaths in the three minutes is within 10-15 seconds of the best 6-10 minute prep I've tried. Deeper out is more important than deeper in except for the last one.
Yeah, I guess that trial and error is the best way, although it'll have to wait since I think that I'll get to 5:20-5:30 next time I'll try a max attempt, in all my 4-5 last practices I finished with a 5:00, and it wasn't a though fiver. I even done a 'dry' one today, surprised me actually.

Hmm, Maybe any method I'll stick with will become the best, and not the other way around. :)

10x for both of ya'!
I hope more poeple could learn from this thread as well.
 

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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why did I stop?... I had been doing the training for a few weeks and reached the level I wanted. Then I just lost my motivation and so I gave up. I've not done any long statics since then, and instead just focussed on diving deeper as the summer approached. Maybe winter is a good time to get back into it.

No special techniques or diet.

Typically my preparation was quite extensive, about 30mins, but this may not have been necessary... not sure?

I would build up my tolerance to CO2 (very important) by doing a series of statics: one breath : 2min+ static : one breath : 2 min+ static : one breath etc over and over for about 15mins, *but* with no contractions. Then I would do a couple of empty lung statics of about 3mins each. Then I would do one normal static to about 75-80%, and then the main static to 95%. (I say 95% because I consider 100% to be the point where you are about to samba!).

The things that helped the most were the very relaxed efficient breathing that I mentioned before, which helped keep my HR low, and the very high tolerance to CO2. On my PB static, my contractions started at about 6'30", so I only had to tolerate just over a minute of them. This is the way I do my statics. I was feeling an urge to breath by about 5min but I mentally supress the contractions for as long as possible (6'30" is the longest I've done it). The thinking behind this is that muscular contractions use up O2, so if you are able to resist them mentally then you should last longer.

The other thing about contractions, is that when they begin, subconciously you know 'it's the beginning of the end'.... If you can resist them for a long time (not easy) then I think it gives you a psychological advantage. It works for me?! Some people suffer over 4mins of contractions like Martin Stepanek who can do over 8mins in static - I dont know how they do it!

alun
 

narked

New Member
Jul 10, 2002
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Contractions

I found on my PB static, the contractions were extremely easy to ignore. Even though I only got to 3:30 (not tried at all to beat it recently, about to get back into it) the contractions hit at about 2:30. As I had decided to check the time when they hit, I was delighted, as this was about a minute later than they usually set in. I then found it VERY easy to ignore them, the minute just flew by, possibly related to how good I was feeling about the attempt.

Alun, where axactly in Wales are you located? Happen to know if there's any decent places to freedive off Anglesey? Wondering as soon I'm getting myself a small second hand inflatable and a small outboard, so might venture out for some diving there once spring/summer sets in.

Cheers,
Matt
 

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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I live on the Isle of Anglesey (or Ynys Mon as we call it here).
Sure there are some good places to dive, but not especially deep. On the Eastern side you can head out 3miles and still only find about 25m. It's generally better on the Western side, with more interesting features plus some more depth available. Mind you, I wouldnt consider freediving for depth in the sea around these parts - far too danergous and unstable. There are some nice sites out from Trearddur Bay - popular with the scubies.
Just make sure that your boat is totally seaworthy otherwise you may make yourself rather unpopular with the local RNLI crew! ;)
In fact, these sites are best done as shore dives, entry and exit is much less of a problem when freediving.

alun
 

narked

New Member
Jul 10, 2002
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Trearrdur Bay is where our scuba club always launch the RIB when we go out, so might have a look around there.

As for making sure the boat is totally seaworthy and properly equipped, don't worry about that. I'm also a regular on a forum all about RIBs, and a few of the members there are RNLI crew themselves. Everyone has plenty of advice, and once I actually get the boat I'm having it properly checked, and getting one of those free RNLI safety checks done (followed by a decent donation, gotta admire the work the RNLI do for no pay).

Cheers,
Matt
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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Alun:
I would build up my tolerance to CO2 (very important) by doing a series of statics: one breath : 2min+ static : one breath : 2 min+ static : one breath etc over and over for about 15mins, *but* with no contractions. Then I would do a couple of empty lung statics of about 3mins each.
Is that your 30 min preperation?
Did you do it wet or dry?

Nice workout, I also did 'one breath 2min statics' trains only twice, but I did them after doing statics, not before, since I considered them a "spoiler" for "le grande attempt".
Never tried empty lung statics yet, but 3 minutes sounds quite impressive.

About contractions and such, today I did a new PB (third and last time I'm mentioning it on DB :mute) of 5:34.
Unlike you, I start feeling unease BEFORE the contractions come, this time it was at 4 minutes. contractions came at 4:30, and it took me about 4-8 contractions to get to 5:34 then I broke.

Since I don't feel that it's a tough record for me to dupliacte, it should'nt be though to break as well, but that's just my hope.

If I were you, and contractions would've came at 6:30, after no hyperventilation, and stopping at 7:30, after practicing for a few weeks, I would've thought about taking a shot at the WR.
Though it probably gets harder exponentialy erlative to the time. :)
 

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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That static was dry. There is no real difference between wet statics and dry statics, you're still in apnea for X amount of time - where you are is all pretty irrelevant. If you have little access to the pool with a buddy (like me) then it can be difficult to achieve the same times in water, but that's mostly due to psychology, and remaining warm etc (always a problem for me). If you do have enough in-water time, to overcome those barriers then you should be able to do *longer* wet statics than dry! Remember, you don't get any benefits of the diving reflex when doing dry statics.
Yes, that would have been about 30mins of prep with the 75% static. 3min empty lung statics aren't so great. I've heard that some guys can do over 4mins! I've never done that much. Roughly half of your oxygen is stored in your blood and muscles, so if you can do 6-7min statics, then you can expect to do about 3min on an empty lung - very rough theory. They are a good exercise to do.

congrats for the 5'34"! :king

If you consolidate a little in the 5'30" region, you'll find it's a very short step to reach 6mins. The consolidate again, and press on... Regular practice makes a big difference. You'll be amazed how quickly you can progress.

"Unlike you, I start feeling unease BEFORE the contractions come"

... no, no, you are like me, I *was* feeling an urge to breathe at 5mins - before the contractions actually started. The point was that I mentally supress them. (It's a very hard thing to do, and takes practice.) If I hadn't supressed them, then they would have started around 5mins.... and if that happened, then I dont think I would have lasted as long as I did.

Try it...!


alun
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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I am doing longer wet statics, that's what I'm glad about, that I think it sais I can do more.
For me dry quite less comfertable. And I actually have to opposite problem, when doing dry practice I get too hot, thay's the climate difference between us. For this record I had to turn the AC on.
And yes, I also have a 'buddy defficiency", and no regular pool.
Most of my wet statics were made in the bath. :)
And since I came here (DB) and read about all the dangers, I started doing my wet statics "half wet" - I keep water level below my airways, so if I pass out I'll have no trouble breathing.
And about emtpy statics, there's more to it than just the percentage of O2 stored in the body, since the lungs are also used to evacuate Co2, and you're still creating it at the same rate (if not higher), so you should get more unease when doing emtpy due to higher CO2 ratio. Atleast that's what I think, ofcourse that should'nt affect the time if you have good CO2 tolerance, but I guess mine's just ain't good enough yet.

And yes, I need to repeat that 5:30 again a few times, the same way I did with the 5 mins, to get comfertable and confident.
Maybe I'll start practicing again next week, I took a break for now. :)

And about delaying contractions, well, I try also, but it usally don't work for more than 20 seconds, do you have a specific method?

By the way, contractions are not the thing that makes me top my attempt, although I consider them unhleathy if repeated alot (I don't think that a max attempt per day is a good thing), but it's still some other urge that makes me breath in the end... can't quite describe it.
 

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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The reason you get quite hot when doing statics (especially dry) is due to the increased blood flow to your head. Generally, the greater the amount of CO2 dissolved in your blood, the more blood flows through your cereberal artery. This is of course a good thing as it helps you maintain consciousness. Ok, if feels uncomfortable, but then man was never designed to hold his breath above water! :duh

Heat build up isn't as noticeable in water of course because of its cooling effect. So this makes is easier in a sense when underwater - providing your metabolic rate is not raised fighting to maintain your body temperature.

A/C?... yep, you really need it over there. I went to Tel-Aviv once - never experienced heat like that before! Walking out of the hotel felt like walking into an oven.

Empty lung statics... it all depends on how you ventilate. To do long empty lung statics, i think it's necessary to hyperventilate to a degree - not too much though as it increases your HR. It can be easy to samba or B/O when doing empty lung statics after hyperventilation, so care is needed. You probably find that you have no urge to breath for about 80-90% of the static, then all of a sudden, during the last 10-20% you will feel like sh*t - extreme hypoxia. With practice you get to know how much you can safely tolerate, and learn never overstep the boundary. You can easily distinguish the difference between hypercapnia and hypoxia... it's a different feeling.

Specific method for delaying the contractions? no, not really. It's all done mentally - i can't explain it? :confused: All I can suggest is practice and develop your own way.

alun
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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Alun:
A/C?... yep, you really need it over there. I went to Tel-Aviv once - never experienced heat like that before! Walking out of the hotel felt like walking into an oven.
roflrofl
And to think that I say the same thing about warmer places in my country!!rofl
Why did you come to Tel-Aviv?

Empty lung statics... it all depends on how you ventilate. To do long empty lung statics, i think it's necessary to hyperventilate to a degree
:( I'm against hyperventialtion, I prefer not using it as long as I'm progressing, hopfully to discover at some point that I never need to use it. For normal statics it didn't give me better results, slightly worse actually.
And no matter how dry & safe I am, I never wanna expirience a samba or a blackout, I'll take it as a failure if I ever will. I feel the same about blood coughing, but that's for some other thread.
 

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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Tel-Aviv... just went on holiday to Israel.

Oh, I whole heartedly agree about hyperventilation... for normal statics. As i said before I breathe typically at a rate of 4-6bpm, as you do.

I ventilate more than usual when doing empty lung statics to allow me to reach those hypoxic levels. Without that extra ventilation the hypercapnia would be too much to tolerate. For me the point of doing them is to become very hypoxic, as a training exercise. Hyperventialtion (to a degree) simply helps you reach that state.

I have the same attitude towards samba and B/O, but it never needs to happen if you learn your limits, with practice.

alun
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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I hope you enjoyed your holiday. Been to anywhere special?

About hyperventilation, I don't quite get you, maybe you switched one of the terms accidentaly?

Hyperventilation is defined (as i see it) as ventilating to lower your blood's CO2 levels = hypocapnia.
Helps you feel better during statics because it takes longer time to get to hypercapina=high CO2 levels.
Blood saturation of O2 is almost imidiate either way you braeth.
Good breathing helps you clear C02 from the lungs, and saturate tissues with O2, since tissues take longer to recover from Hypoxia (low O2).
I'm not sure how you get Hyperoxia though, and what it neans without lowering your CO2 levels.

Problem with hyperventilation is that it makes you more comfertable till you might ignore hypoxia, and then samba or blackout.
What more is that hypocapnia (low CO2) makes your blood more alkaline and makes it "harder" for the blood to give away it's O2 to the tissues, which means that if your blood is alkaline, you might b/o or samba with a higher O2 in your blood than when your blood is acidic.

So it's not only makes you more comfertable, but will make your max apnea time shorter.

I don't understand the advantages you stated in your post, sorry.
 

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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Tel-Aviv... oh, that was way back in the 80s. Went all over Israel - to see the various sites.

Hyperventilation is necessary to a degree to achieve good breath holds. As you know, you need to remove some of the dissolved CO2 in your blood (increase your blood pH), otherwise the hypercapnia will become intolerable before you are anywhere near your hypoxic limit. I consider 4-6 deep breaths per minute to be hyperventilation, because I'm breathing faster and deeper than my body requires. It all depends on how you define hyperventilation! :duh

To reiterate, for normal statics I don't "hyperventilate" in the traditional sense, but it is still hyperventilation in a medical sense.

For empty lung statics, I do hyperventilate in the traditional sense (to a degree, not experiencing carpopedal spams though! :blackeye) to enable me to reach hypoxic (not hyperoxic) levels more easily. The whole point of doing the empty lung statics (for me) is to experience extreme hypoxia. Without hyperventilation I would find the hypercapnia intolerable before becoming hypoxic, thus spoiling the whole point of the exercise.

"So it's not only makes you more comfertable, but will make your max apnea time shorter."
...yes, true, but that doesn't really matter, because the point of the exercise is to become hypoxic. The time I achieve isn't that important. I never samba when doing these exercises, because I still know exactly where my limits is, just through practice.

Ah, you've read about the O2 dissocation curve and how it depends on blood pH etc. (One book I recommend is Respiratory Physiology by John West.)

cheers
alun
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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O, so the exercise's aim is to become hypoxic... now I get it! :)

Ah, you've read about the O2 dissocation curve and how it depends on blood pH etc.
Ah... yes... I think. :) some of Eric's posts and maybe others as well.

So there isn't anything like getting 'hyperoxic', right? your just breathing to get max. saturation of O2, and beyond that there's nothing... right?
 

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
763
83
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Not the only one who avoids contractions....

I read this interesting post by Karl just now.... He uses the same approach to static as I do. I'm glad that someone else does the same thing. He has been reaching some very long times this way. I feel like trying statics again to see how far this approach can take you! :)... then again, not sure if I can be bothered - prefer to spend my time actually diving! :D

alun


"......I avoided completely the contractions, and you now the results.
I think that contractions are not good, but if you can´t avoid it at all, try to make smoother and slower than usual, and try to reduce the frecuency of them. A strong contractions consumes a lot of oxygen.

......I focus in my heart beat and avoid voluntarily the contractions.

....... Try to avoid the contractions, initially with low static time and go further as you feel comfortable with it. Try to focus on your feelings and your heart beat. Forget the watch and don´t set an arbitrary goal."
 
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