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Breathe Up = Hyperventalation?

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New Member
Feb 28, 2005
Hi, Im new to all this. Seems that from what Im reading, people think hyperventalating is bad so they just call it breathing up instead.

What is the real difference between the two. Before a dry static I usually just take a couple of breaths, giving me a PB of 2.52, which I would like to improve. Any help would be much apreciated,
Thanks muchly,
You have discovered a great truth! The word 'hyperventilation' has no clear meaning. People assume it means rapid, aggressive breathing to the point of getting dizzy. However, realistically, any breathing that is more than natural is some level of hyperventilating. So, I'd say there are an infinite number of 'sub-levels' or 'degrees' of hyperventilation.

The key in breath-holding is to breathe just the right amount, based on your style of diving, your day-to-day physiology, and so on. A person who has never tried to hold their breath will generally reach a longer time with more aggressive breathing/hyperventilating. However, a master of breath-holding finds that hyperventilating causes him/her to blackout much earlier during the breath-hold. Regardless, the more you breath before hand, the later the breathing reflex will come. With enough will power and enough 'breathe-up', blacking out becomes a real possibility, hence the danger of doing wet breath holds with lots of breathing; hence the need for a buddy to watch you.
Hi eejit, Welcome to DB,

As usual, Eric hit it dead center. Everybody develops their own pattern. If you are doing dry statics, lots of hpv will sustantially increase your times, at first. If you are in the water, probably not a good idea; at least have someone very knowledgeable right beside you.

This is what I do for dynamic and for general diving. After returning to the surface, 6-10 big recovery breaths, fairly fast. Then go into my "breath up", 1-2 second inhale, 15-20 second exhale. When I'm comfortable with a 20 second exhale, its time to dive again. This can take 1 to 3 minutes or more if diving deep. Then 3-5 fairly fast, deep purge breaths (15-20 seconds) and go. The fast in/slow out is, for me, a little slower than normal breathing. The key to this phase is relaxation and lowering the heart rate. This pattern is relaxing enough to numb a buffalo. The purge breaths blow off some co2 but not enough to put me a much risk and without raising heart rate much.
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