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Question Apnea walk, tables style?

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ClimbAndDive

Member
Jan 31, 2019
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Hi Everyone :)
Something I've been wondering about, with apnea walking:
Am I just trying to repeat walking as far as I can with breath held, or do the same principles as O2/CO2 tables apply?
I could keep walking the same distance, but with progressively shorter rests in between like a CO2 table. Or walk progressively longer with the same rest time like an O2 table.
(By rest I mean walking with normal breathing.)
I'm not quite sure how the training physiology of it all fits together.
Mark
 
Jun 8, 2018
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I use the same principles as CO2 and O2 tables.
I sit and rest, do an apnea sitting and then start walking a standard distance or first the distance and the the sitting apnea.
Sometimes on FRC also. The goal always must be: train your body to accept higher levels of CO2 (hypercapnia).
Walk safely.
 
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Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
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Hi Everyone :)
Something I've been wondering about, with apnea walking:
Am I just trying to repeat walking as far as I can with breath held, or do the same principles as O2/CO2 tables apply?
I could keep walking the same distance, but with progressively shorter rests in between like a CO2 table. Or walk progressively longer with the same rest time like an O2 table.
(By rest I mean walking with normal breathing.)
I'm not quite sure how the training physiology of it all fits together.
Mark
You could do table style exercise on apnea walk, or in water dynamic..

However, in my opinion classic CO2 tables and even O2 tables, to a certain extent, are a complete waste of time for both STA and DYN variants.

If you choose to do apnea walking, you're much better off doing reps of sub-max target..

For example if your longest walk was 2:00..

Then do 5x1:15 walk.. or 3x1:30.. after 3-4 weeks test a maximum walk to see how much you've improved and then rework the training based on similar percentages.. 5x55-60% 3x70-75%..

Do these reps with full recoveries like 2-3:00..

--

Or, you could do another exercise (I cannot take credit it's Aharon Solomon's) which is based on your target dive.that you're training for..

For example, if you're aiming to do a 40m deep dive it will take about 1:20..

You will then hold STA in a chair for 40s, and then get up and walk for 40s (total hold time is 1:20).. what's important is that you do what Aharon calls a double-step.. you must walk fast, at a pace of 2 full steps per second.

You can repeat this 3-5 times, again with full 2-3:00 recovery.

--

If you're wondering why I believe classic co2 tables are a waste of time..

You waste the first 6 holds getting to the last two which are the only ones that really do 'anything'..

Also, isolated CO2 training is very advanced.. I'd say that nearly 90% of freedivers are not at the level where they are ready for other forms ofC CO2tables.. especially on a regular basis..

if you consider.. I'm a 90m CWT diver and I'll only do strict CO2 training once every 2 weeks (1/6-8 sessions)

i also coach my girlfriend in DYN and she does 140-150.. she did 1 CO2 table in 2 months of training..

both of us complete our dives with almost no urge to breath..

when I was mainly doing CO2 exercises, urge to breath was my main limiting factor in every discipline.. it stopped being a factor once I dropped CO2 training..
 
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ClimbAndDive

Member
Jan 31, 2019
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Thank you both, very interesting. There's a few things for me to try there.
I'm curious, Nathan, what training did you focus on after dropping CO2 tables?
 

Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
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Thank you both, very interesting. There's a few things for me to try there.
I'm curious, Nathan, what training did you focus on after dropping CO2 tables?
Things very similar to what I recommended in the thread.. I do all my training in the water (no dry apnea) but the principles apply to dry STA or apnea walking..

1) Reps (10-12) of a short distance (50m DYN) that I didn't have any urge to breathe. Over many sessions, I slowly reduced recovery time until I could do all 10 reps with no urge to breath and only 25s recovery.. (this took about 1 year FYI, starting from 1:45 recovery times) **I wasn't only doing this exercises for 1 year.. It was an occasional thing around my deep diving.

2) STA + DYN (40s + 40s) example I shared with you.. I worked up to 2:00+60m (3:00 dive time) with no contractions over a couple of years..

3) Threshold table: (I've had success giving other divers this table this year (all set STA PBs over 5:00 (5:10-5:35))

Basically split your Personal best into sections.. the main one I use is 50% + 25% + 25%.. so for 4:00 STA you'd have 2:00 + 1:00 + 1:00

Then you do these 3 holds with 1-5 breaths recovery between.. Start with 5 breaths and aim to reduce it over time to 1 without any noticeable increase in urge to breath. **only remove a recovery breath when your current umber is noticeably easier. Repeat the table 3 times with 3-4:00 between each set.

4) Threshold table (DYN variation). Same principle as above.

Load CO2 with 50m DYN, then hit 2+ 25m DYNs with 1-5 breaths recovery. Total distance per set should match your target.. So for 100m DYN do 50 + 25x2.. For 150 do 25m + 25x4.. ETC..

**The aim of #3 and #4 is to load Co2 to the point just before contractions start.. And then balance recovery breaths on the shorter holds to maintain just a slight urge to breath.

--

Depth exercises

1) Dive to maximum depth you can do without ANY urge to breath.. (2-5 reps).. for most people I'd recommend 5 reps, but at a certain point you need to limit reps because of nitrogen.

2) Fin to freefall, hang until first contractions and ascend.. (3-5 reps) again depending on depth, and time.. Out of shape, I can tolerate 5.. In shape when the times are much longer, 3 seems to work better..


--

You'll notice a very important theme in all of those exercises. I'm never going to maximum in any sense. So not maximum distance or depth, and not maximum effort in terms of how much urge to breath I'm exposed to..

The best training is right in the balance of skill-level and difficulty-level. So getting rid of contractions, making them more manageable, or increasing the time before the start all revolves around doing breath-holds that are just on the edge of contractions/urge to breath.. Either just before or just after it starts, and watching that time increase slowly over time..
 

ClimbAndDive

Member
Jan 31, 2019
7
2
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46
Thanks Nathan, top quality info and insight!
Now I gotta find a pool I can get to...
I'll try it dry for now, static and walking. And will try not pushing it to the max as you suggest :)
 

seacucumber

Active Member
Aug 10, 2014
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Nathan, I did train with Aharon S as coach some years ago. As I remember, the walks should also be all-out, maximum effort walks. Only stop if you get tunnel-vision or cannot walk in a straight path. A good idea is to get assistance from a partner and walk only on grass or other soft ground! No more than 3 repetitions in one session, trying to go a little further on each repetition. At least a couple of days rest until next attempt. Count your steps and note them.

Aharon was also an advocate for empty lung walks, with no static part, just empty lungs completely and then walk. These will of course become shorter, but will kick-start your dive response and make you used to the feeling at depth with lungs compressed to residual volume.
 

DarrenLott

Member
May 14, 2017
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This is a basic Apnea Walk Table I carry on my iPhone. It's a custom table created in an iOS application called Freedive Pro (no affiliation). It speaks to me to "Breathe" for the set time and also "Hold". Super simple to use as you don't look at the phone at all during the walk.

It starts very easy but you'll find the holds get tougher 2/3rds thru with one tough one at the end.

Without having to adjust the times as you adapt, you just walk a bit faster next session. I have also used it twice in a row.

Hope someone finds this useful.

Apnea_Walk_Table.jpeg
 
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Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
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Nathan, I did train with Aharon S as coach some years ago. As I remember, the walks should also be all-out, maximum effort walks. Only stop if you get tunnel-vision or cannot walk in a straight path. A good idea is to get assistance from a partner and walk only on grass or other soft ground! No more than 3 repetitions in one session, trying to go a little further on each repetition. At least a couple of days rest until next attempt. Count your steps and note them.

Aharon was also an advocate for empty lung walks, with no static part, just empty lungs completely and then walk. These will of course become shorter, but will kick-start your dive response and make you used to the feeling at depth with lungs compressed to residual volume.
I'm sure Aharon has changed his mind since then.. he explains the exercise I mentioned above in his 2nd freedive cafe episode.. he said, static time = 1/2 dive time, then walk the second 1/2 at 2 steps/second.. not max.

He explained his use of empty lungs walks and that was: max comfortable time.. if you push empty to true max you just teach yourself to be uncomfortable at depth..

--

Either way..

Theres no sport on earth where maximum effort training is the "ideal" way to train..

You build strength by lifting a 10rep max weight for 5 sets of 5 reps (no single set is max effort)

You build endurance by sustaining 60 to 80% max heart rate (not max effort)

You build hypoxic tolerance for mountaineering by living at base camps (not ascendung until BO and then trying to climb higher the next time)

Sports science "agrees" (the researchers) that the human body and mind don't respond very well to maximum effort.. we respond much better to a higher volume of submaximum effort in the 50-80% range for building all physical, mental, and technical qualities of sport specific fitness.
 
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seacucumber

Active Member
Aug 10, 2014
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There seems to be some scientific support for positive effects of s c High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT, with training sessions of typical 8-15 minutes with peaks of maybe 90% heart rate or more. This is only for cardio training. I have done some training like that on a Jacobs Ladder climb machine, with positive results.

There is another guy, forgot his name now, who also does empty lung walks for comfort with breathing while still walking inbetween the breatholds. Objective would be to increase the empty lung part but still with comfort.

Ah, so Aharon did another Freedive cafe episode, have to listen to that one also! :D
 

Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
279
179
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There seems to be some scientific support for positive effects of s c High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT, with training sessions of typical 8-15 minutes with peaks of maybe 90% heart rate or more. This is only for cardio training. I have done some training like that on a Jacobs Ladder climb machine, with positive results.

There is another guy, forgot his name now, who also does empty lung walks for comfort with breathing while still walking inbetween the breatholds. Objective would be to increase the empty lung part but still with comfort.

Ah, so Aharon did another Freedive cafe episode, have to listen to that one also! :D
My response was a little simplified.. Of course there are plenty of methods to train different things.

As for the HIIT training I agree that the variable heart rates you see using that method works very well for cardio too.

However, even with the HIIT, the 'best' ways to do it is to not give your true maximum on every workout, but rather to give about 70-80% of your true maximum, but do the workouts more often..

So for example, if you could do 1:00 on 1:00 off of kettle bell swings (spiking HR to 90%) for 10 sets, you'd be far better off in the long run if you only did 7-8 sets, leaving 2 in the tank.. If you trash yourself so bad you need 3 days recovery, you're just loosing 3 days of potential training, which in the long run, those extra days are more valuable than the 2 extra sets you could have done in one workout..

The same happens with freedivers.. You might push an extra 2 dives in a table, or take everything to max, but all your doing is making it less likely you could train after 1 day off.. instead you need 2-3 days off. In a year, you'll be missing around 50% of the training volume you could have gotten making your exercises a bit easier, and doing them more often.
 
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