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Increasing Lung Capacity

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
May 11, 2004
My name is Joe LeBlanc, I recently became interested in free diving after reading about Tanya Streeter on cnn.com.

I did not know it was possible to push the human body to these limits.

My question is this:

I'm a musician, a wind player. So lung capacity is obviously very important. I'm not a large person and I'm looking for a way to increase my lung capacity so I can play longer without having to refill my lungs.

What kind of training would you recommend? How much lung capacity increase is possible over time?

Thanks for your help.


Hi Joe. welcome to deeperblue.

Use the 'search' option to look for 'pack stretching', and 'packing'.
You are advised to advance very slowly with that since you can hurt yourself easly by over-doing it.
You can also search under increasing lung volume.
I don't know how much more volume you can permanently gain but several people reported gain, including some temporary gain after traing that might last for days.
You are a musician and therefore you probably know quite a lot about breathing, but incase you don't, you are also advised to research that. Good breathing technique is more important than pack-stretching in my opinion.

P.S, posting in one of these sub-forums is usualy enough. :)
Thanks Micheal,
I appreciate your help. I will do a search for those things you mentioned.

It's true wind players usually have pretty well developed breathing, but I think I could learn a lot from free divers.

I have started doing jump rope as a cardio exercise. Are there certain breathing patterns/techniques to do while doing cardio that I should be doing?

Thanks again,
No problem Joe. Most of the newbies' questions have been asked before and therefore can be answered by searching.

My cardio breathing pattern looks something like that:
Breath in/do cardio/breath out. :D
And some day it might look like that:
Breath out/do cardio/breath in. :)

I'm not much of a cardio workout person, you see. :)
When I used to ran, I used to breath in/out only through my nose (could get painfull sometimes, but so is running for me anyway) because I thought it might be more easy on the lungs because you warm/humidify the air more than when breathing through the mouth (which counts for inhale) and exhaling through the nose just gives you more resistance thuss hopfully exercising the breathing muscles more, and you might dry less quickly but not sure about that.
Anyway, I'm far from being an expert runner. Extreamly far.

I was just making sure that I do close to full breaths (as possible for that situation). Breath in filling my belly, then keep breathing expending my ribcage, then breath out contracting my ribcage, then belly.
It's the basic breathing technique, though it sounds simple, before I discovered freediving I don't think I ever pulled it right, especially not while doing cardio, and I think it did wonders on my running expirience for range and pace. But there's a good chance that I just didn't know how to breath consciously before then while doing cardio.

There is plenty more written here somewhere about it.
Thanks so much or taking the time to help me out. Last question I promise!

So you are saying that you don't breath while doing cardio right? So is there a pattern of rest? What is the breath to rest ratio?

I'm new to this so I'm not sure how long I can go without breathing. But lets say I can do my cardio for 30 seconds without a breath. How long should I wait before attemping this agian? And after that 30 second breath hold should I completely stop, or continue my cardio with normal breathing until I recover?

Thanks again,
Those are good questions, I don't have an answer to them.
I didn't mean that you need to do your cardio in apnea, that's just what I started doing this week, hoping to develop more CO2 tolerance, and maybe better anaerobic muscle tolerance.
Your traning should be focused on the gain you want to achieve.

You can search 'apnea walking' for good examples regarding apnea workouts...
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