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Knowing when to stop apnea

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jun 9, 2004
How do u know when its time to stop the apnea? How far should you push it? If you are doing static out of water how far should you push it? Is it safe to go really far even out of water or is there a risk of brain damage or some other injury i'm not aware of? I've never blacked out or had a samba so I don't know how close i am to any of these when i'm holding my breath. Some times i feel like I can go an extra 30 sec but am not sure what will happen if I do exceed my limit. But how much more beneficial is going right up to your limit during training to increase your ability of breath hold. Some times when I go far after contractions It feels like me head is "hot" or going to explode. And then when i breaathe again its like slight rush of lightheadednesss and actually is relaxing and feels good.

If you black out or samba with your head above water will your body just kick back into breathing or consciousness eventually or do you need some kind of assisstance to get over it?
These are the exact questions that I am wondering as well. Most notably, doing apnea training out of the water....
For the brain damage question, I guess no one knows exactly. It is generally agreed that the danger zone starts after you black out, but I think there's a bit of a gray area with some elite freedivers, who can withstand pretty low oxygen saturations. With non-elite divers I don't think it's much of a problem, since they usually terminate apnea well before that happens due to a strong breathing reflex (except with heavy hyperventilation). But I think it would be very hard to research how much brain cells die in certain conditions. I don't know if it can be seen as real proof, but there are some divers who have done their thing for decades and still seem to be of normal intellect, but I don't know how many of them push to their limit regularly.

Will your body start breathing again after blackout? Well, here I'd like to say yes. Yes it does indeed, for most. But it is always possible that you would be one of the unlucky ones, have some unnoticed medical condition or something that would make prolonged apnea fatal for you. I don't want to scare anyone, but I also dont want to hear how someone with a heart condition died because I said it's ok to hold his breath.

I my self don't worry about that too much and do a lot of max dry statics alone. I've never blacked out (on dry static that is) but have had a few sambas. I know that a lot of very good divers do the same and there are some who even black out regularly and sort of experiment with it.

I don't recommend this in any way, but for me, having one blackout (in dynamic) was a great lesson. First, I learned to respect the fact that it can happen quite easily, without warning and within your limit, so you should not ever fool around with it in the water alone. Second, it doesn't kill you (with proper safety) and although it should be avoided it's not something you want to put too much fear on. In short, respect it, don't fear it (I know for some, the difference may be too subtle).
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Just a small addition: You are not supposed to keep doing apnea the same day after a BO because you might be more disposable to another one and because the chance that you will not start breathing again after it increases.

quote: You are not supposed to keep doing apnea the same day after a BO because you might be more disposable to another one and because the chance that you will not start breathing again after it increases.

i was told by a doctor that experiments showed just that. test subjects (he said that monkeys were used) were breathing air and o2 was permanently reduced until they would black out. then o2 was turned back on and they resumed breathing within a few seconds. shortly after that o2 was again reduced until another bo. most subjects didn't resume breathing automatically and needed resuscitation. the doc referred to these states as first and second apnea.

has anyone any more info regarding this??


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