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Experimentation and the worst feeling ever

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New Member
Aug 9, 2002
Here I am, at the mid-range of my potential. I have tables that help, I have different training techniques (from this board), I have a wealth of knowledge(these forums) to pry from. I have some CO2 tolerance tables because this is the thing I hate training for the most. My buddy Marcel and I do 25m swims with less and less breaths each two to three laps. Recently, I just can't do them. I feel like I have such a oxygen debt after the first 3 to 6 laps! When I started this, I could do 30sec breathing/ 30 sec dynamic for at least 10 to 15 laps. Now, I can't seem to do anything close to that.

Back to my story...

So I am in the mid-range of my abilities and im on the tread mill, running. I think to myself, "hey, what if I do negative pressure running?" So I slow the machine down to 4.0 mph, then decide that I might want to slow it down to 3.8. I walk at 3.8 for 2 or 3 minutes while repleneshing my lowered oxygen supply. I tell you, I must have been a sight, stretching, breathing extremely deep, packing, and exhaling loudly while running. Then I do it.

I exhale completely and start counting steps, just as an experiment...sure...right. I get to 8 and have to inhale quickly. "its a fluke...i've got to be able to do more than eight." I tell myself. So I do a quick breathe up, increase speed to 4.0 mph, and hold....as I get to 10 steps, my mind goes fuzzy, my legs feel wobbly, I feel like im about to fall over and it feels like my lungs are being sucked inside out. I have enough sense to quickly put my feet on the sides of the treadmill and inhale, because brothers, it feels like im going out for the count.

HYPOXIA is what im thinking at this point, so screw it, I do it again. I breathe for a few minutes and then I do 14 steps @ 4.0mph. I get a similar feeling this time, but im not close to passing out like I was earlier. My lungs feel like they're hooked up to a vacuum, I get kind of fuzzy but not as bad. I start breathing again. A little later, I was able to do 17 steps, but the feeling hit me as bad as the first time.

This feels dangerous. Im debating whether or not to do this anymore. Any opinions will be appreciated.

Understatement of the year: "this feels dangerous..."

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I'm thinking you might have wanted to stop after the first bad experience. I also think that I might have some milk at home that's gone bad if you want to try it. ;) What were you thinkin T? We don't want to see the headlines that say, "Freediver Blacks Out and Gets Devoured by Treadmill". Just bustin your chops man! But for God's sake be careful out there!


I tell you, anyone can reason anything at any time. My reasoning was that i'd rather do co2 tolerance dry than in the water and risk passing out, even with a buddy around. Does this sound like co2 tolerance training??? I tell you, whatever it was...it sucks.

Unless anyone can point out any positive effects from this...
Your exhale walking exercise will have tremendous positive results if you do it in moderation, with lots of antioxidants and tons of sleep. Your blood and myoglobin will increase if your diet contains enough iron, B12, folic acid and B6. Lacking those nutrients, lacking sleep or lacking antioxidants, the exercise will only damage you and torture you.

The exhale walking will do little for your CO2 tolerance. You'd have to do inhale walking to build CO2 tolerance, or else CO2 tables.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Thanks for your response. I guess it would be like hypoxic training. I eat bananas and an occasional apple. I don't eat a lot of fruit because of all the extra sugar. I am left with veggies and centrum one a days with Lycopene. What is a good source of anti-oxidants besides these vitamins? Also, I do worry about absorption so I crush the vitamins up and drink them with water.

It is my personal opinion that putting your body through potentially damaging hypoxic training (not to mention the psychological trauma!), should only be done with extensive care in the area of diet & nutritional supplementation. Making minor diet changes and adding a multivitamin, in my opinion, will not be enough. Taking that approach, you might have some benefits, but my personal attitude is that I want to get every ounce of benefit from every second of pain I put myself through, and I don't want to ever experience what I call the Athlete's Paradox.

The Athlete's Paradox:
- An athlete tries to improve by putting himself through grueling training, and in the end, suffers injury, illness and/or lack of improvement in his field

I have been a victim of the athlete's paradox too many times. That is why I tend to slightly undertrain (rather than overtrain), and I spend the extra time caring to my diet, supplementation, sleep & meditation.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Man. I should have pumped you for info a long time ago. I might be at 5 min right now. Actually Eric, I eat well, I sleep well, I have taken the training to a less "hurtful" level. My IN WATER static has improved from 2:05 on the third attempt to a 2:20 on my first attempt (I didn't do any after that for fear of being less);) as a matter of fact, this was my first IN WATER static in at least two months.


I could be eating better, I agree. I could sleep a little longer, I guess, but i've always been an early riser no matter what time I go to bed. I just got into a lighter training program designed by a College Edumacated Gran-u-late in Exercise Physiology. Its for much better overall fitness rather than the ground and pound routine I was doing. I like the athlete's paradox. I think that there are lots of people that have suffered this but haven't had a name for it.

Thanks for the info.

I feel that I must also make a reply here, TMcKee, I have also been doing simular exercises ( dont really know what tread mill is .. ) but mine goes like this. Since I like walking, I hold my breath when I walk and try to make distances instead of time, so I can walk like 50-75 meters but then I'm very dizzy :)

I try to make 3-4 repetions of 50 meters to get best effect of this training and it feels like my overall time in static gets better.

efattah, what do you think about this training. Or should I change it somehow or run instead?

Any ideas are welcome.
I have heard very good things about apnea walking. I also heard that a dutch freediver walked 232 metres in apnea (which took more than 2 minutes).

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
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Its called apnea walking. I do this quite a bit, and I firmly believe that this is one of the best exercises you can do for static/dynamic performance. I do it in sets of 35/50/75. Wonderful exercise.

thanks for your reply's. For how long and what repetion would you recommend? 35 meters of apnea-walking, 30 seconds rest, 50 meters apnea-walking, 30 sec.. and so on?`

/ Zoros, were interested of freediving :)

Efattah, by the way. How have you learned about this. Where have you got all the info you master?
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First off, Im no expert. Im telling you what worked for me. The thing you must remember is that not every exercise will have the same effect on everyone. There is no set training regiment for any of us. For example, I do a lot of apnea walking. Someone else here may believe that the best way to get better at dynamics is to get in the water and do them.

For a new diver I would reccomend starting with a lower number, 15/25/35. If it seems too easy, increase each one by 5 until its not easy. I also wait around 2 minutes before the next set.

Good Luck, Be Careful.


-freediving is a potentially deadly practice. I will not be responsible for any injuries, fatalities, injuries leading to fatalities and/or uncomfortable bowel movements this training may cause. Do this at your own risk.-:naughty
Same thing

Something similar happened to me.
I mainly do bycicle training (static cycle). And I started to make apnea while sprinting.
I noticed an extreme fall in my HR when holding my breath. Usually I was in 150-160 bpm and it fall to 70-80 as soon as I hold my breath. When the HR was around 50 I felt like I was going to BO, and stopped. I usually made 30 secs apneas with 1' recovery. An as Eric said that's very stressful to the body, but very good to enhance performance.
I had to stop that training for a while because I live at moderate altitude (read low O2) and I notice high blood pressure all the day. I stopped and return to normal. I'm working now on fitness, nutrition to start it again.
Glad you mentioned the static cycle Frank! I was just thinking about that the other day. At the gym they have the stationary chair-type bikes. I'm thinking I may tack some time in there before my pool workouts. One thing I would caution people about this stuff is just to use your head. doing static walks on the sidewalk may not be your best bet if you're going to push it even a little bit. I always look for something that I can do and have a nice soft landing. It would be a shame to wake up with a bloody nose and a dent in your head! :duh

Cheers all,

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