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Herbert did 95 constant!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Gerald wrote:
>3. Equalization depends on the relative pressure increase between surface and target depth

Very nice idea, and good analysis!

However, #3 is only true if the diver inhales & packs to his absolute maximum. If the diver at sea level does not pack to the max, then at altitude he can pack a few more times to make up for the low pressure... However I assume Herbert did pack to the max!

Here around Vancouver the lakes we have are deep, but small enough that the surface never gets rough at all. Alouette Lake is 152m deep but quite small and always flat. Harrison Lake is 275m deep and only slightly bigger. I believe that in the future most records will be done in lakes or oceans which are similar to lakes.

During Mandy's last record attempt a few days ago, she told the scuba divers to 'clean all the red jellyfish off the line as they descend!' That's the only thing I don't like about diving with no suit in vancouver; you have to watch for the red jellyfish which sting you. No red jellyfish in lakes!

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Another interesting comment: Not long ago Tanya Streeter set the women's variable weight record at 122m. Before that, the AIDA record was 95m by Deborah Andolloh (FREE record was 105m). So, if Herbert had done his 95m CW record just a month earlier, he would have equalled the AIDA women's variable weight record!

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

You are right about the effects of the altitute on equalization. In Sao Paulo we dive in a lake at an altitute of 650m. I begin to have equalization difficulties at -45m, while I had no difficulties with equalization in Kona or Cyprus at same depths.

Even without knowing any formula it is easy to understand that at higher altitutes, with thinner air, you get less air in your lungs before diving, thus more difficulty to equalize.

Concerning propulsion in fresh vs salt water, I agree with Eric. For FI freshwater is an advantage if viz, temperature and currents are compareble. For CW, you will probably have an advantage in salt water, if you are used to it. A stiffer fin in fresh water might help to reduce the density/viscosity differences.

Anyhow, you will have to be used to the conditions and adapt your technique.

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some comments from Herbert Nitsch himselft about his attempts....

Thanks a lot to everyone!
Vielen Dank an Alle!

@Erik F. (since I was not able to post at deeper blue I do it here to clarify the order of attempts).

you know almost more about my dives then me.
ste3an got most of my attempts correct.

1. day (arrival at the lake) FI late afternoon 100m, safety rope tangled with my rope getting stuck and passing the discuss (since I am going feet first and having to touch the 100m with my hand I have the 100m mark 125cm above the discus). LMC on the surface. Since the depth gages read even more, the rope was measured again for the next day.

2. day FI at noon, because I couldn't hear the depth alarm I raised my hand to hear it and missed the 100m mark by 15cm although my other hand was way below (but not on the rope) - not valid. Martin, the safety deep diver (100m) suffered DCS after this dive and was flown to a decompression chamber. He joined the party after the event – so everything is ok with him!

In the afternoon I decided to play it safe and asked to put a mark at 95, 96 and one at 100m. (I made a prerequisite dive to 98m a few days before). The marks I wanted to use didn't work so the judges Luc and Bill fixed some small lights with tape in the last minute. Due to the fact that I was afraid that I might get stuck with my lanyard at those lights (no bottom diver), having valid 2 attempts already, not having more than 1 or 2 attempts left, I decided to take the first mark. This was my 1st WR, in CW 95m.

3. day was actually the first day of the competition and not planned for my records, so we started earlier (not early enough). FI 100m - OK.
Afternoon, all the divers and apneists were already at the pool, while we didn't have safety divers and scuba tanks. We were about to cancel the attempt, but in the very last minute after many phone calls, we could full fill the requirements for the attempts. I was very stressed but still decided to give it a shot. I got the 100m tag (light) but had a short LMC.
The doctors took the speedboat to the static competition right after.

4. CW competition: My top time was 13:00h, 94m. I have not done one dive with a regular mask since Cyprus, so it was interesting to see how this would work out. For some reason I felt even better then on my 95m dive with my special mask.?!

At ~ 15:00 (including 30 min delay) I did 50m CW without fins - no time for a second dive.

More details in a few days (weeks?).

so actually he did his CW record before his valid atttempt in FI. Sorry fo that mistake :duh
Hello everyone - thank you for all your support!

Sorry for joining in so late, but after those records, I had to spend some time on earning money.

I first want to point out that I was breathing 100% O2 (with a csuba O2 regulator) for 15 minutes after all deep dives and furthermore reduced my warm-ups dives to a maximum of ~12 m. I strongly recommend any serious freediver to use and not just to have O2 for emergency.

Originally posted by Will
At the Carinthians Herbert Nitsch sets an amazing WR in CW, but only manages 6:04 static (a mere 70% of his PB). Why such a discrepancy between concurrent performance in different disciplines? I have noticed the same inverse relation between dynamic and static, and even between dynamic and 'dry dynamic' (hypoxic running).

Well there are different factors causing that split between CW and static:

-I had done 2 x 100m that same long day
-Had some headache, probably because of too much sun
-One static training within the previous 2 weeks (about 18 static
sessions in Cyprus)
-Crowded, hot and humid indoor pool
-6’04” was enough to win :confused:

However I think the last 3 factors were influencing the static performance most.
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Originally posted by efattah
However, #3 is only true if the diver inhales & packs to his absolute maximum. If the diver at sea level does not pack to the max, then at altitude he can pack a few more times to make up for the low pressure... However I assume Herbert did pack to the max!
Well Eric you are right that I usually pack to max. However your conclusion that one who doesn’t, can make up for the low pressure, by doing more packs at altitude does not seem to be correct to me.

E.g.: I don’t pack to max for CW without fins because:

-I am less buoyant
-I don’t deed the volume for equalization at those depths
-the amount of O2 gained by a 100% pack (versus a 95% pack )
is less then the O2 consumed due to the higher effort and time

All those benefits would be lost – so you can not make up for the lower pressure by doing more packs – right?
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Originally posted by Herbert

I first want to point out that I was breathing 100% O2 (with a csuba O2 regulator) for 15 minutes after all deep dives and furthermore reduced my warm-ups dives to a maximum of ~12 m.
Hola Herbert
First than everything congratulations for that performances. I think it was not allowed to breath Oxygen before any performance. It's only for static?
Congratulations again
it sounds like a good precaution to breathe O2 for a while after dives of that depth.

Herbert, i'm surprised that you do a 12m warm-up! can you tell us more about your typical preparation for deep dives? i was also wondering what safety system you decided to use... did you go for a counterweight system or were you relying on compressed air in some way e.g. scuba divers with lift bags etc?
I think Herbert is correct about the dangers of DCS. In fact, I believe that very soon, someone will get DCS on a single CW dive. Going down with lots of air in the lungs not only causes DCS, but N2 narcosis, CO2 narcosis, deep CO2 blackout, O2 toxicity, etc...

This is why more and more people are adopting Sebastien Murat's system of exhaling before going down, like seals and whales. Unfortunately the AIDA rules are not favourable to divers who exhale before they go down. This is unfortunate, because for these types of depths it is much safer to exhale, because you can't get DCS/narcosis/toxicity down there. However, to equalize to 100m+ on an exhale is extremely complicated with a mask, but it is still possible (requires sucking water into the mouth, the letting the water flow into the sinuses with the head in the correct position while pinching the nose, after already doing the standard mouthfill to the correct depth etc...)

Of course, diving deep on an exhale requires an extremely thin wetsuit (or no wetsuit), which means you need really good cold tolerance, and a very flexible chest. The bonus is that you sink the whole way down, and so your descent technique is 'perfect' every time.

If the 2004 AIDA world championship is here in Vancouver, I am hoping to compete (with no wetsuit), and I will be exhaling before I go down. Using this method, I can train to the max depth 20 times per day if I need to, and I can do a 'warm up' dive to the max depth if I need to, and I don't need to carry around oxygen cylinders to 'off-gas' between dives.

Remember that in any sport, the best way to train is to do the actual sport itself. If you want to train to do a very deep dive, you should do very deep dives AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE PER DAY. Unfortunately, if you inhale before you dive, you CAN'T do many dives per day, because you will get DCS, so you can't even train properly.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Eric- are you talking about a full exhale, or partial? And how come you cannot wear a suit or at most a very thin one? This is interesting stuff.
Eric, didn't you say recently that your ocean waters are almost like freshwater... are you not worried that this will ruin your dive profile? i.e. you'll sink too fast and will have to work extremely hard to ascend. maybe a diet of BigMacs and fries would help counter that :)

to be honest, i'm not really convinced it's possible for humans to dive to depths of the order of 100m on empty lungs. do you have any evidence / figures / logical reasoning to support your belief that this is possible?
The dives are NOT done on a forceful exhale. It is more like a very gently exhale -- as you read this at your computer, suddenly stop breathing without inhale or exhaling. Imagine a lung volume slightly below that; if you could breath normally, and suddenly stop yourself on the bottom of your exhale (during passive breathing at your PC) that would be the approximate volume.

The reason that you must use a very thin suit or no suit is that one of the main advantages of an FRC (exhale) dive is that you sink the whole way down. Kicking or making effort in the beginning of the dive is by far the most 'expensive' time to exert yourself, because you are draining your O2 supply; kicking on the ascent is more anaerobic, especially when your chest becomes as collapsed as it gets during an exhale dive. With a thick suit, you cannot sink the whole way down, so you lose one of your main advantages. You can do exhale dives with a thick suit, but you won't be able to go very deep.

I managed to get some FRC dives done here without a suit a few weeks ago. I seem to sink at quite an ideal speed actually.

Concerning 'convincing' people that it is possible to go 100m+ on an exhale, I agree with Seb Murat that the freediving world will not ever be 'convinced' of this possibility by writing things on paper and making 'theoretical' arguments. The proof is in the pudding. Besides, I would rather people remain skeptical. If only a few people are training this way, then they maintain their advantage. However, what worries me even more is that the 'non-believing' inhale divers will suffer DCS/narcosis/deep blackout accidents as they start going over 100m.

My buddies Peter Scott and Tyler Zetterstrom are also adopting the exhale diving method. Perhaps in 2004 team canada for men will be made up of three no-suit exhale divers :)

I would also comment that Seb Murat recently discovered that to gain the full benefit of exhale dives, you must completely eliminate any aerobic exercise, as I had previously speculated in an old thread on DB. Aerobic exercise requires thin blood, and so doing aerobic exercise prevents your hematocrit from going much over 50%. Seb says that when he stopped doing aerobic exercise and did only FRC dives/dynamics, his hematocrit shot up to 63% and is still rising. We suspect his myoglobin has similarly increased; another adapation which will not occur in the presence of aerobic training.

Pete and I both have blood analyzers and will monitor our blood each week. I have cut out aerobic training and switched to three deep exhale diving sessions per week (two of them at night after work). My hematocrit is already rising, although nowhere near Seb's level yet. I can confirm Seb's claim that 'mental clarity' at depth is absolutely unmatched. Your mind is as clear as it was on the surface. The breathe up is non-stressful; there will be no critical energy intensive final breath; there will be no packing; who cares about the breathe-up? You won't be inhaling anyway. The descent is relaxing because there is no complicated swimming technique; just equalizing to worry about. The ascent is wonderful, absent of narcosis or feelings of impending 'doom' which I experienced in the old days of deep inhale diving in the cold dark local waters. Further, the recovery at the surface, at the end of the dive, feels totally different, perhaps due to the gradual onset of hypoxia, without the sudden shocking hypoxia that occurs in the last 10m of an inhale dive (when the vacuum effect sucks the O2 out of your blood and back into your lungs).

One thing is definitely certain; if you decide to adopt an exhale diving method, beware of the following things:
1. Lung squeeze: you must already develop flexible lungs from years of inhale diving to significant depths (50m+); you can kill yourself from chest injury if you progress too quickly, and in the beginning, squeeze will be your limiting factor
2. You must already be an expert at equalizing (air mouthfill, frenzel etc..) because it only gets way more complicated at this point
3. Even once you learn to equalize on the exhale, and even when your chest cooperates, expect an oxygen limiting depth of 1/2 your old pb on inhales dives. This is because your blood and myoglobin are still that of an inhale diver. It will take at least a year of hard training (with max effort exhale dives) coupled with good nutrition to expect your non-lung O2 stores to adapt (possibly as much as 4 years for full adaptation if our calculations are correct). Your non-lung O2 stores were seldom stressed in your years of inhale diving, because you always had high oxygen at depth, due to the pressure. Now, without much air in your lungs, your blood & muscles become hypoxic even at depth, and your body adapts accordingly.

Remember that Penguins are not born with high myoglobin. Their myoglobin develops during their first 2 years of life, during which they are constantly diving.

Remember also that on average, marine mammals which inhale (i.e. dolphins, otters) have much lower myoglobin than marine mammals which exhale (seals, whales). Remember also that the marine mammals which exhale can dive much deeper than the marine mammals which inhale.

The sea otter is the marine mammal most similar to humans. It has a very buoyant suit (fur), and it takes a full breath before it goes down. Unlike dolphins, sea otters do not have large sinuses to store the compressed air at depth, and they continue to absorb nitrogen at depth. Like humans, they have very little fat. Sea otters seldom make repetitive dives over 40m, and they will always choose to look for food in less than 40m if they have the choice. The deepest dive ever recorded for a sea otter was 97m -- probably for a reason. The sea otter can dive for more than 10 minutes, so it certainly could dive way over 100m if it wanted to, but the fact that it doesn't means that diving over 100m on an inhale (with its physiology) may not be conducive to survival. Isn't that a coincidence. Inhale divers, take note.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
What about anaerobic exercise, or is that out too? How long are your dive sessions with no suit? I bet the reflex kicks in really fast when FRC diving. Thanks for the indepth analysis you just gave us, its really appreciated. Hematocrit over 60%, that's what cyclists get when they are juiced on EPO. That seems really high.

Even anaerobic exercise while breathing would produce counter-adaptations which could 'cancel-out' the diving adaptations and hurt your progress. Generally, what ever exercise you do would need to be on an exhale apnea, preferably during immersion.

How long does a no-suit session last? Well, for training purposes on exhale dives, using a wetsuit is convenient (to train longer), but for performance, no-suit is the way to go. The longest session I did in 5C water without 'pre-warming' myself was 12 minutes. In 8C water that increases to 18 minutes. However, if I use an air mattress and a vest which I take off, the time can be extended significantly, although as the air cools off and the wind picks up in winter, no-suit diving becomes a one-dive affair after a preliminary session with a suit (i.e. for example, warm up FRC dives with thick wetsuit, get out, take off suit, get on mattress, have buddy push you out, then dive).

Concerning Seb's 63% hematocrit, it is entirely different than what occurs during blood doping or EPO use. It is more similar to what occurs in high altitude natives, who have hematocrits of up to 79% without problems. When the body itself raises the hematocrit, it lowers the fibrinogen and other viscosity agents to balance everything and keep you healthy. If, however, you artificially increase your hematocrit by blood doping or EPO, then the required 'parallel' changes in your physiology don't occur, and you end up risking death. For example, Seb's 63% was measured in a state of normal hydration without splenic contraction. Hematocrit always increases in the water due to immersion diuresis (urination) and spleen contraction, so Seb's hct probably goes to 65-69% after deep dives, and we still don't know his total blood volume, which is an even more important measurement. If you train exhale apnea a lot, your spleen will probably increase in size like in seals (who themselves can store up to 24L of blood in their spleen). This enlarged spleen will not occur with EPO use or blood doping.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
do we see any pudding emerging from anyone?? i.e. what sort of depths are you all able to reach now? :)

i was under the impression that exhale diving mammals like seals have cartiligous ribs - making them fundamentally different to humans - and much more adapted to this form of diving. is it really a good idea to try to imitate them to such an extreme degree?

we have these air spaces in our lungs. your ribcage will only compress so far. beyond that the blood shift helps to equalise pressure, but even that has a limit. you do agree the blood shift has a limit don't you?

personally, i think it's very dangerous to be following this route without doing some serious research first. if it is actually possible, then you should be able to explain how it can be possible to equalise the pressure, using our knowledge of physics and human physiology/anatomy. if you're not able to do that, then is it really wise to subject yourself to these experiments?... and progress at such a rapid rate!

my worry is that deep exhale divers, especially those who prorgress rapidly, will inevitably only discover a limit when it's too late.

Notice that I don't question the O2 aspect... only the pressure.
Seb already did it, and he's still alive. Proof enough for me... Others may require 'official recognition' as proof, and if they need official recognition, they will need to wait a while, and in the mean time, they can continue what they are doing.

There was an old saying:
"Those who claim a certain thing is impossible should not interrupt those who are doing it."

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
did what?

well, if he did a deep dive, then that's an amazing achievement and i'd like to understand how it was possible. i think he should count himself very lucky he didn't become another diving statistic!
with lung squeeze, you won't know you're having a problem until it's too late...

i don't recall saying it was impossible. until now there was no form of evidence / theory / proof to suggest that it was possible. hence, my skepticism. if he wants the wider freediving community 'non-believers' to be less skeptical, then it may be a good idea to share his experiences once in a while.

do forgive my interruption... you may now continue doing the impossible. :D
For those who want a few calculations as far as surviving the pressure on an exhale, look at Pipin. 8L vital capacity, and assume he has an RV of 2L. So he starts his dive with 10L. He did 162m and could probably withstand 200m of pressure (after all, Audrey, with much smaller lungs, withstood 170m).

So, Pipin at 200m would have a remaining lung volume of (8L+2L) / 21atm = 476ml

At what depth would Pipin's lungs be 476ml, if he started the dive at FRC?

FRC is about a 3L to 3.5L FVC, so he would start with 5 to 5.5L total lung volume (instead of 10L).

Now, TLC / P = 476ml
P = TLC / 0.476L

P1 = 5L / 0.476L = 10.5atm = 95m
P2 = 5.5L / 0.476L = 11.55atm = 105.5m

So, if Pipin can withstand 200m on a full inhale (he doesn't pack), then he could withstand 95-106m on FRC.

And that is assuming that Pipin could not survive even 201m. If he could survive even 201m, then the FRC equivalent would further increase.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
This reminds me of yrs ago when the only exercise I did was karate training, six days a week, for years. After a few yrs all the muscle in the body becomes karate muscle and the feeling is fantastic. What you guys are doing is specificity of exercise taking the mammalian diving physiology to the next logical step. It makes sense and I really respect what you and Seb are trying to do. How long have you been following this regimen and has diving become even more pleasurable as the body goes through the adaptation process? To me this kind of purity and discipline is true spirituality. (personally I cannot see myself diving w/o a suit, I cannot stand to be cold:) )
ah, so we're actually talking about a half-lungful then. when i think of FRC dives, i think of a passive exhalation in water, which to me results in basically an empty lung. obviously diving with a half lung makes the pressure less of a problem...

the above calculation seems to show that, *assuming* 200m is possible on a full lung, then the 'FRC' limit is around 100m on half a lung... ok, is that really such a great leap forward from full lung diving?

so what is it that Seb is meant to have done Eric? spit it out, don't be shy! i just don't understand the apparent secrecy with all this.
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