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Heart rate during static

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THere Are NO limits!!!
Jun 12, 2002
When I do statics, sometimes I measure my heart rate and it increases during the breathhold.Why is that?
Hey Alex!

Normal "behaviour" of the hearth in apnea is increasing hearth rate at the beginning of the static (tachycardia - spelling ?) then slowly decreasing hearth rate (brachycardia - spelling again). So when you measure hearth rate , take your time, cause the rate should drop.
The faster you get into the "down tempo mode" the better your static is going to be. That is done by practice for a longer period of time...
Martin Stepanek's hearth rate after one minute of static is 30 bpm! But his hearth rate also increases at the beginning.


same here at the start of a static my heart beats quickly, then slows down then speeds up near the end when im out of air.


ps in cold water my heart is really slow yet I cant hold my breath long in cold water.
mine doesn't rise when entering the struggle phase.. usually have about 35-40 bpm after 2 minutes.. but at the end, 4-5 mins, It usually drops dramaticly..it feels like it gonna stop.
Maybe you are primarily focused on measuring your heart rate. Try listening to the noises of the water first and listen in the background for your heart to slow. I have had many friends tell me they use the sound of their heartbeat as an indicator of being in the "Zone" (dive reflex). The more I think about this activity, the worse I get at it. The human body "knows" how to do this apnea thing. Letting go with the gray cells is the hard part!:)
'Free your mind'

I have to agree 100% with Octo.
Relax your whole body.
Cath the movement of the water.
I tried to get sleep (fortunately never happen).
Try to hear your heart in the distance and feel that is going slower and slower.
As Morpheus said: Free your mind
physiology behind static apnea

interesting subject you guys are discussing:

the phisiology of it is like this:

first you take a deep breath, once you hold it, the venous return to your heart increases (this means your heart is taking up more blood) and this causes your heart rate to go faster initially because of the negative intrathoracic pressure. after a while, your heart regulates itself and begins to decrease its rate and there are several reasons for that

1. vagal stimuli (reflex that slows your heart beat) which is stimulated by the cold water, by your breathholding effort and by the hypoxia ( as the time runs)

it´s called the mammalian reflex: is really a vagal response. after doing specific trainning you can develop more rapid response, like stepanek, your vagus kicks in and you go into bradycardia quicker

Exercise 1: try doing static apneas with full exhalation and you will notice how your heart beat will drop up to 30 bpm in no time! (don´t forget to have a buddy with you as these tecniques can be dangerous, for you are doing them in very hypoxic conditions)

Exercise 2: measure your heart beat breathing normally, then take a full inhalation and measure it again. what happens: your heart beat goes up 10-12 bpm. then measure your heart beat after a full exhalation. it goes down again. this is called respiratory arrhytmia and is a physiologic phenomenon explained by the changes in intrathoracic pressure and how it affects the venous return and cardiac output.
It's fascinating to read the physiology behind this since I've had (since the age of 10) bouts of tachycardia that I discovered I can "stop" by precisely using the 'static apnea with full exhalation' technique that homodelphinus describes.

As a competitive swimmer these bouts (bps 200-240) would occur during periods of high-stress and I discovered that I could quickly could "stop" the bouts with an full exhale and a descent to the bottom of the pool for about 15-30 seconds. It was/is always harder to stop the bouts using the same techniques at the surface or lying down, but it could be done as well.
I found that using this technique my heart-rate would drop rather quickly to between 30-40 bps...slightly below my resting rate of 45-50bps and "bounce-up" to around 50-60 upon surfacing before slowing again.

As a newbie freediver I'm noticing that as I begin to practice statics, etc is that my times are pretty poor as I've become quite accustomed to slowing my heart rate rather quickly and then my natural reaction is to stand/surface after my heart-rate has driopped significantly. I guess I'll have to work through this some more.

- Keith
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