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Can Apnea Training Induce Splenic Growth?


New Member
Aug 13, 2013
Eden, Utah
Hey guys,

My name is Jason Keck and I am an altitude training researcher. I became interested in apea-training as a potential alternative to this elite training practice. Does anyone know is there is any evidence that splenic growth is a long term adaptation to a apnea training? I have seen a few studies that correlated splene size with apnea performance in elite free-divers and was curious whether this could be acquired.

Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks everyone:D



Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2010
Toronto, Canada
Not sure about splenic growth, but I've been doing apnea training hard for a couple of years and pretty sure I'm "suffering" from hypergonadism - I get my wetsuits custom made.... ;)

More believeably, I believe Eric Fattah (efattah on this forum - do a search) has done some empirical work (AKA self-experimentation) on red blood cell / hemoglobin increase with heavy breath hold / hypoxic training.

I believe some of his findings were that you could increase it with very intense work (most people could not train this way if they tried), but went back to baseline quickly once stopped - perhaps in the order of a few days.

Also, I assume that you're interested in this training for endurance athletes and other elite applications.

This type of hypoxic training is VERY draining & requires proper rest and nutrition. It might take away from your athlete's core (sport-specific) regimen.

In our sport, it's a great adaptation and useful for our purposes, but not sure you'd want to train this way JUST to achieve this end.

Sleeping in a hypoxic tent might be easier!

What applications are your clients training for?
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Well-Known Member
Jul 19, 2010
I know that some people have hypothesis that spleen growth is an adoption to freediving training, but I do not know that it is properly controlled.

Deano 647

Jul 29, 2019
Prof Erika Schagatay has done a lot of work on this issue, I just listened to her pod with Donny Mac on Feeddive cafe. She found for instance that the Badu people had much larger spleens than the average person and the best of the Badu divers had the biggest spleens amongst their fellows.

It was also news to ne that the spleen is not technically part of the MDR, but operates on a completely different pathway. She is intrigued by the contradiction that tests have proven that individuals who do warm up dives, induce the spleen to dump RBC which is why warm ups work (elevated CO2 probably helps too I suppose) But that contradicts athletes like Alexey who smash out PBs cold with a first dive. She ponders whether these athletes have developed an ability to get the spleen to dump simply by their breath up/preparation, since it is not pressure related.

Also staggered to here that dome people have multiple spleens! One subject they studied had three. Mind blown ... - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


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