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Freediving and calories burned

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jan 31, 2002
I've just got hold of Terry and David's 'Freediving' book, and inside it mentions that freediving burns more calories than all other activities except for log chopping.

I was wondering how this could be, considering you spend a lot of time relaxing on the surface, and keep energy used to a minimum. Can anyone explain how freediving burns a lot of calories? Does it use a lot of calories when you re-surface after a dive, and get that breath of air and your hearth starts racing? But what about running, jogging, tennis etc?

The book is excellent by the way, got some good tips from it already (ive been freediving for about 6 months now)

Hi Barry, I think it might be all the things you mentioned plus one: diving in colder water. I know I'm always starving after 2 hours in the water I dive in which is usually around12C to 16C. Same with pool training, I'm always hungry after. The body burns a lot of energy just trying to maintain core temperature.
Erik Young
When diving in the red sea..water was above 20c and sun was shining....still after about 2h of diving I got sooo hungry and usually we did only 3 dives a day from the shore, about 2h each, but after day like that huh man We were so exhausted that as we rised our equipment we were redy to bed and I thought that I was in good condition...
Real evidence

We had a beginner here in Vancouver who was a bit overweight. He never exercised. Within 3 months of cold water diving 1-2 days a week, he had lost 20 lbs and had problems staying warm. His wetsuit no longer fit at all. He didn't change his diet, he didn't exercise, and he had no idea why he lost weight until we told him.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
dead tired

aquiles and i spearfish in water that's about 78 degrees F for about 6-7 hours with only a few food/fluid breaks. by the time we get back to the docks, we're ready to pass out. :hungover

no wonder why our filets come out looking so funny. rofl

...your fillet's are looking funny because the plates at the dinner table are looking so big in comparison, Anderson!rofl

Yeah, like everyone has said, the cold water, even at 75+F can do a number on you. Add in that you're also balancing yourself, keeping stable while the surge moves you around, and that involves ALL the muscles, especially the one between the ears, and that takes some calories to make work too.


PS...Anderson- SB in April. Tell Aquiles to get his papers.:ycard
are you saying i could develope a new diet that would envolve
1. freediving all the time
2. in ice with only a bathing suit

he he he that would make them lose weight , it would also probably make them die of hypothermia hhhhhhmmmmmmmmm. that might not work so well

is that why you dont see any fat eskimos/inuits? rofl

oh well i get another day off school because of crappy weather SWEET
this reminds me a bit of a diet I once read about . . .had something to do with ice, vodka, and doing both until you didn't breath as much . . but that's all I remember.
Does the amount of depth have any calculation in the whole "freediving burns calories"?
Especially after summer diving days (generally 8-9 hours long without any food and drink break, shore diving as well) i observe that my waist is few cm's thinner than when i hit the water. Unfortunatelly i take all the calories back coz i ate like crazy after those dives... rofl
Writing a diet book is one of the best methods to get rich quick, so maybe I should keep this idea for myself. There was an article on losing weight a long time ago. I think it was meant as a joke. I don't remember it very well but it went something like this.........

one calorie will heat one gram of water one degree C.
32 calories will change one gram of ice to water at 0 degrees C
then 100,000 calories will heat one kilo of ice from -30 to body temperature

here my thinking is a little hazy but.....

one food calorie = 1000 heat calories
one kilo gram of fat can produce 7,000 food calories
heating 70 kilo grams of sub zero ice to body temperature consumes one kilo gram of fat

stay with me, we're almost there....

conclusion: If you go to bed with 10 kilos of ice each nite and let your body warm it up under the covers, you will lose over four kilos per month of fat.

caution: Don't try this at home without rubber sheets, discuss any diet plans with your doctor and all usual disclaimers apply.

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Hmm, this could be the fad to bring back water beds...Better buy some stock soon!

But seriously, there is hydrospinning, among other things...I'm looking to take this one step further and introduce "dynamic apnea with a bicycle" at our local pool. Or perhaps some money could be made in hydrospinning in 0c water. Guaranteed to get "results" fast!
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haha...now the question is... is sleeping in a bed full of ice less crappy than running? if so..then i think you guys got a winner!!

obvisouly the freediving/spearfishing is WAY less crappy or we'd be on longerblack.com or some other runnign nonsense page!!!! So who's gonna start doin the actual tests to decide either how many feet down burns how many calories.. or things like that?
Freediving on an empty stomach is dangerous, I have data that shows that you increase the risk of a BO without feeling it if you are short on food and exercise for a long time. The reason is that burning fat costs more oxygen and produces less carbon dioxide than burning carbohydrates. Since carbon dioxide is important to start the contractions and the urge to breathe this means that you may go diving for a day and feel that it gets easier and easier to hold your breath until you pass out.

The reference for further reading on this is: Peter Lindholm and Mikael Gennser, Aggravated hypoxia during breath-holds after prolonged exercise, European Journal of Applied Physiology 93: 701-707, 2005.

I just think its important to eat properly and maybee drink sportsdrinks if you go breath-hold diving, it will increase your performance (oxygen consumption will be lower)

Peter Lindholm
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I find that apnea, even static, makes me eat a lot more. I haven't done any hard training for a while, so maybe when I start, I'll eat even more!

Lucia, I find apnea has an exact opposite effect on me.

I eat less and don't get as hungry when I practice apnea. It could be that dive reflex slows down the metabolism and removes blood supply from the digestive organs (just guessing).
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