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Lung squeeze - what now???

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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laminar

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
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hi gianpaoloc,

Even though I know nothing about your diving skill or the depths you are currently diving to, I think we should all be careful with the logic that what works for Pipin should work for you.

Pipin has had a ton of experience with rapid descents and no limits in general. I would say that his chest/lungs must be more adapted than most (or more scarred than most!) Loic even more so (see my article about Loic's training methods and frequency). I wouldn't be comfortable in the assertion that because Pipin can do such a fast variable weight dive that you can without risk of injury. The heads up position indeed could be a factor in minimizing negative pressures in the trachea.

From personal experience, I think the safest method for improving chest/lung readiness for depth is FRC dives in the 10-25m range done extremely slowly and doing your inhale dives without packing, especially if you are relatively new to packing or have had squeezes before.

FRC dives (see other threads for info) should be done such that you sink very slowly from the surface (or after only one kick or two), with a descent speed of less than 0.5 m/s in the first 10-15m. I believe this trains the body to redirect plasma the fastest to the core to protect the lungs and also allows enough time for vasoconstriction. A mouthfill at the surface or 5-8m is necessary to keep the chest relaxed.

But as Wishbone points out, there is never any guarantee that any method is completely safe, since we're dealing with pressure and a relatively fragile human body. The advantage with doing slow FRC versus fast variable dives and negative pressure dives is that I had enough time to feel the changes in my body and stop the dive if I felt tight or uncomfortable or any pain in the chest. And results: in 3 weeks I went from diving FRC to 15m in complete comfort to 35m and my negative pressures (used as a way to judge progress only) went from 8m to 15m. This is great, but if you use packing and making fast descents, I don't think you'll fully benefit from the changes that FRC make in your body.

My opinion only.

Pete
 
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gianpaoloc

Well-Known Member
Nov 13, 2004
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Thanks for you suggestions. It was not my intention to say that what is true for anyone could be true for me. I perfectly know any of us is potentially different from the others and this is even more true for "professionals" vs. amateurs (like I am).

What I would like to do, instead, was just to have your (of you experts, I mean) opinion about a fact that apparently is there to contradict some of the conclusions resulting by this thread (i.e., the fact that it is "impossible" to mix "going deep" and "going fast").

So let me try again to stimulate the discussion: Any of you has an hypothesis how this kind of performances (reach hundreds of meters in a few seconds) does not results in accidents (or at least not so frequently as expected by the discussion occurred so far). Perhaps the fact that in variable weight the athlete does not make any effort (so the hearth rate can be lower and, perhaps, the bloody pressure higher, does helping a stronger and quicker blood shift)? Have been done studies in this specific field?

Bye
G.
 
laminar

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
1,129
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Hi G,

You're right it does seem to contradict what we've been discussing here, except that I believe that the question of "who" is doing these rapid variable dives is of great relevance.

Let's consider how many people have done variable weight to a considerable depth. Several elite freedivers have done it, the record holders and those who have attempted records. This is only a handful of people. For the countries that do not have a freediver who has dedicated themselves to variable weight or no limits, most often the national record is at a similar or lesser depth than the constant weight and free immersion record: look at Sweden, Austria, Brazil, etc...

Now, I know there have been people who try variable weight while learning to freedive. I believe that Performance Freediving used VW at one time and the Solomons use it as well to help students focus on equalizing and relaxing. But I would guess that the depths are restricted to less than 30m and I doubt that the descent would be fast at all.

How many people have done variable weight to depths between 25m-50m for the purpose of adapting their lungs and chest to pressure? I don't any. Do any of you?

The reason I put these questions out there is that I wonder if a rapid descent to a significant depth is only possible for those freedivers who already have a sufficient degree of adaptation to pressure. In my discussion above about my theoretical pathology of squeeze and ideas on how to minimize squeeze, I am mainly talking about freedivers who either a) have already experienced mild squeeze or some of the symptoms and b) freedivers who haven't done much diving below their residual volume.

Would it be unreasonable to suggest that those who can do variable weight at great descent speeds are already well enough adapted? For extremely rapid descents, we know Pipin and Audrey were the fastest (2.0 m/s +). It is interesting to note that on the Cayman record event both Mandy and Martin had difficulty adjusting to the pressure on their variable weight dives. Not surprising since they had never done it before and only spent a few days to get down to the pre-requisite depths. Martin said he felt very crushed at 130m+ and Mandy suffered a significant squeeze at just over 100m. However, this could just be explained as a case of going too deep without enough training or preparation.

Beyond this argument that only well-adapted freedivers can do the rapid descent variable weight diving, what other factors might be at play?

-for pure variable weight dives, physical exertion occurs long after a significant period of vasoconstriction and blood shift (at the bottom), whereas in constant weight, physical exertion begins with the dive. Since we don't really know the exact role of the cardiovascular system in lung squeeze, the added stress on the cv system before blood shift and peripheral vasoconstriction has occurred might be very important. Perhaps this is why the "limp noodle" FRC dive training works so well for me, because I do no work to reach the bottom. I do strive to exert as little energy in the descent in my inhale dives as well. Not packing makes it much, much easier to get down.

-no packing: Pipin and Audrey did not pack for their dives and they went down the fastest. They used salt water to equalize. Loic and Tanya pack quite a bit for equalizing, but go down more slowly. In Loic's case he has far more time to adjust his body to depth over weeks and months. He is famous for making jumps of only meters at a time in his training progression.

-No-limits: In no limits, with a lift bag assist for the ascent, physical exertion is almost zero, which could mean that stress on the cardiovascular system is even less than variable weight. I would guess that total exertion for the whole dive matters as well. Compare the novice freediver who packs, is very buoyant because of the extra air, kicks hard to get down, maybe forgets to sink to the bottom or only very deep, and is heavy (extra ballast) and now has to work very hard on the ascent (also the cv system might be impaired by the packing during the dive); the diver who doesn't pack and uses less effort; the diver who wears no suit and minimal ballast who needs only five or six monofin strokes to begin sinking and has a lot less work to do on the ascent (plus the extra stimuli for blood shift and vasoconstriction; the variable diver who does not work at all on the descent; and finally the no-limits diver who does little work at all on either the descent or ascent. That would be an interesting comparison for a study or series of studies. Dr. Lindholm?

In the end, I would not recommend a rapid descent in variable weight as a way to adapt the lungs for constant weight. Also, I think that deep variable weight dives are risky (just ask Fred Buyle and Hubert Maier!) and that for freedivers who haven't had much constant weight experience, variable weight doesn't teach them much about how to judge their state during the descent on a constant weight dive.

A slow descent in variable weight to a limited depth might be of some use. In a sense, that is what the FRC dives I mention above are all about.

Cheers,

Pete
 
A

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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"He is famous for making jumps of only meters at a time in his training progression"

this really is the best way to progress - really slow. that way you can develop consistency in your diving, adjust your technique/strategy as necessary and have time to adapt physiologically and psychologically. when you progress that slowly you're always 99% certain you'll complete the dive without any problem, so you feel very relaxed and confident.

in fact, i used to progress even slower than Loic (in absolute terms). last summer i used to increase 1m at a time, and repeat each depth twice. i would only add a metre if all three dives felt very good. diving like this means you always surface with more in reserve. it's like the tortoise and the hare. the hares are invariably the ones who end up having the sambas/BOs. :)
 
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efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
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When Kirk & Mandy were training with Audrey for the 101m tandem dive, according to Kirk, Audrey would be coughing hard after every dive.
 
laminar

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
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That brings up another possibility: that "elite" divers do not admit lung squeeze or difficulties adapting to depth because they don't want to compromise their image. Perhaps some or all the divers we've mentioned have had squeezes before.

I really don't know how Patrick Musimu will avoid it or something more serious as he trains for only a few months in the ocean for his 200m dive. :duh I hope nothing bad happens.

Pete
 
J

JasonWelbourne

New Member
Aug 17, 2004
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Well, I just want to contribute my 2 cents.
It's getting to be diving season here, and I plan to dive every weekend. Last year I had a problem that caused my friends and family a lot of concern. When I dive deep, I feel the pressure, I have a hard time moving air from my lungs to my mouth, and sometimes I even panic from too much CO2. But all of my dives go great. I have never blacked out, and I have never experienced a squeeze, and I have even on my last session made it to 10m on FRC.
Nonetheless, when I dive I cough blood 50% of the time. I think I have a rational explanation. Ya'll tell me how wrong you think I am. I dive in a pretty big quarry. Near the entry point it is only 10m deep. I do my warm up dives, get accimated to the cold, etc. After an hour it is time to do some deep dives. The swim out to the deep part is a pretty good distance. Sometimes I overweight myself a little, and in general I am not as bouyant as some of you. I attribute it to a small lung volume. Anyhoo. I swim out to the bus. I dive. It is an assault on my body because of the cold. When it is time to swim back I am tired, and usually operating within a time contraint. Now understand that after my dives I feel great and do not bleed. After the swim back to shore I am physically exhausted. On the way my throat gets dry. My heart beats @ 80-90% of max for the entire trip which takes atleast 5 minutes, and when I get there my throat feels cracked, I am coughing bright red blood, and I am at the point of muscular failure. After resting, the bleeding slows, and becomes specks mixed with mucous. My lungs never hurt in all of this. I suspect that the air exchange necessary to fuel to trip back is drying my throat to the point of hemmorhaging and cracking. What do you all think. Am I trivializing my own demise? Next time I plan to take an inflatable air matress, and maybe even some fins!
 
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SanSan

SanSan

New Member
Apr 22, 2005
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hey Jason

If U ask me the blood U'r caughing up comes from U'r lungs. U didn't tell much about for how long ur throat hurts. I would say that if u'd really hurt ur throat so much it would hurt quite a bit for a few days and u'd have trouble eating, drinkig and even speaking. I'f u read this threat through u noticed that lung sqize normaly doesn't hurt because there are no nerves in ur lungs and it's not necesary to emediatly caugh up blood. I't could be that on ur return when ur swimming fast and need more aire and start breathing faster and deeper u get the urge to caugh up.

I would say this is a mild sqize and I would go to a doctor for a cheq up. I belive ur personal doctor could tell U the blood came from the throat or not but it would reqire a specialit to determine if it is a sqize.

That's my opinion but im fairily new to this, so...
 
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gianpaoloc

Well-Known Member
Nov 13, 2004
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laminar said:
...
-No-limits: In no limits, with a lift bag assist for the ascent, physical exertion is almost zero, which could mean that stress on the cardiovascular system is even less than variable weight. I would guess that total exertion for the whole dive matters as well. Compare the novice freediver who packs, is very buoyant because of the extra air, kicks hard to get down, maybe forgets to sink to the bottom or only very deep, and is heavy (extra ballast) and now has to work very hard on the ascent (also the cv system might be impaired by the packing during the dive); the diver who doesn't pack and uses less effort; the diver who wears no suit and minimal ballast who needs only five or six monofin strokes to begin sinking and has a lot less work to do on the ascent (plus the extra stimuli for blood shift and vasoconstriction; the variable diver who does not work at all on the descent; and finally the no-limits diver who does little work at all on either the descent or ascent. That would be an interesting comparison for a study or series of studies. Dr. Lindholm?

Thjis is exactly the kind of question I would like to have answered but I understand that our sport is probably too young to have such a deep understanding of the mechanisms guiding it.

laminar said:
A slow descent in variable weight to a limited depth might be of some use. In a sense, that is what the FRC dives I mention above are all about.

That's exactly what I was planning to do this summer: using VW as a way to (after this discussion I say "slowly") acclimatize to deep. I tried FRC just a few times and my feeling is that with VW I can stay longer at deep and be more "relaxed", which seems beneficial for my goal. Any of you tried both kind of trainings to increase their attitude to deep diving? What's better (not considering the fact that FRC diving is definitely easier to organize than VW)? In other word, if you add the equipment and organization to easily do VW, would you still prefer FRC training?

Cheers
G.
 
P

pat fish

staying in the blue zone
Feb 19, 2004
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I had the chance to go for a Nolimits training week in august last summer with Heimo Hanke. The conditions were superb and the sled just great! What I did then, I put in several FRC dives down to 25m as a warm up for deeper full inhale dives. What I found the biggest advantage with NL is that you can completely relax and must not worry about the ascent (If the air tank is full :) ). Indeed to set up all the equipment is not only expensive but also time consuming. I would love to have more chances to train VB or NL... :hmm

yours
pat
 
laminar

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
1,129
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Hi G,

Although I have only tried variable a few times, but have not trained extensively with it. I personally like FRC for the following reasons:
-you don't have to go as deep (15-30m is sufficient)
-safety is much easier (safety freediver coverage is reasonable)
-no extra equipment: weight, sled, etc...
-no need to haul up the weight after a dive unless someone is helping you, which adds an extra complicating factor (i.e. physical exertion following a dive)
-very easy to control descent speed
-(for me) is really very effective for lung/chest adaptation
-narcosis greatly reduced
-allows you to pratice sinking phase of dive in relative safety (at 5m-30m rather than 30m-60m+)
-specific to constant weight technique

On the other hand, a slow inhale variable weight dive would be technically more specific from the point of view of lungs (inhale) than FRC, but I suspect it would take longer to get the same benefit as you would see with FRC. If you pack, it will obviously take a deeper dive and longer time to adapt.

What I don't like about variable is that it is so easy to go very deep with it. If you are experienced and take things gradually, then that is good, but being pulled down "a little deeper" has led to some accidents and blackouts. Since you don't burn nearly as much CO2 going down as with constant weight, it is much harder to judge your state at depth when you are superoxygenated by the pressure, especially if you are used to diving in constant weight. If effect, with variable, you need to start from scratch and learn the new sensations on the way down. Same with FRC.

Also, DCS would be something to be aware of if you are doing repeated variable dives to over 30m-40m. Will you be swimming back up or using a lift balloon?

JasonWellbourne,

Go see a doctor, man! Bright red blood is not a good sign. While squeeze seems to materialize within 10-120 seconds after a dive, you may have something else going on. Pulmonary edema and bleeding can occur from exertion as well and has been reported in swimmers. Whether it's the cold or the diving, something's not right. Being cold while diving is bad news for squeeze in my opinion because it means that you are more likely to be tense, inflexible and have involuntary contractions of the diaphgram. While diving, none of those are good!

Dive safe!

Pete
 
J

JasonWelbourne

New Member
Aug 17, 2004
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I am going to become good friends with a dive float and hope it never happens again. I feel that it has never happened in connection with depth. It has always been surface exertion. If I am wrong in that it will become evident in short order. As far as lungs and pain, I attest that a person can certainly feel pain in their lungs. I have had pneumonia bad a few times and it was extremely painful.
 
fpernett

fpernett

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Nov 7, 2001
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JasonWelbourne said:
I am going to become good friends with a dive float and hope it never happens again. I feel that it has never happened in connection with depth. It has always been surface exertion. If I am wrong in that it will become evident in short order. As far as lungs and pain, I attest that a person can certainly feel pain in their lungs. I have had pneumonia bad a few times and it was extremely painful.

You are very young to have had pneumonia "few times", and the lung doesn`t have inervation that`s why you don`t feel pain, when you have pain due to pneumonia is from pleural inflammation or pleural effusion.

You better see a doctor
 
J

Jussi

Well-Known Member
Sep 23, 2003
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Hi Laminar,

When doing FRC-dives as a tool for adapting to depth, how much air do you take down with you? Do you just relax your diaphragm and rib-cage and then dive, or do you take a bit more? Do you take different amounts of air for different dive depths?
This is the main problem I have with FRC-dives, it's hard to be sure how much air I have in my lungs. If I just relax everything and let the air flow out by itself, it seems that my lungs are almost at residual volume.

Jussi
 
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JasonWelbourne

New Member
Aug 17, 2004
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Now I am not saying anyone is wrong, but I find it odd that there are numerous posts on DB relating to lung squeeze and pain. As for my welfare, I tend to be suspicious of the medical establishment, which is why I had pneumonia last time anyway. I understand the gun I am playing with. I have a solid life history of taking excessive risks, and am content to keep tossing the dice. Will be sure to let ya'll know how my experiments turn out as that sure as heck beats the alternative.
 
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laminar

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
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Hi Jussi,

Generally, I do sub-neutral breathing on the surface for FRC and inhale dives because it's relaxing, extremely hard to hyperventilate and wastes little energy. Sub-neutral meaning that I never fill up my lungs. I suppose this would also help encourage blood shift, since it is known to happen even at the surface.

In my breathing, I become aware of the neutral point with each inhale and exhale. When I'm ready to go down, I'll just stop breathing somewhere in the middle and go. I'll also vary the amount of air in my lungs by small amounts if I need to.

Pete
 
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pat fish

staying in the blue zone
Feb 19, 2004
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I call an FRC dive an FRC dive when I breath like as if I was sitting now in front of the pc (not thinking of breathing) and then simply start the dive after letting go the air in my lungs, relax the diaphragm/thorax and dive. I try not even to think about holding the air. As soon as I start my dive, the epiglottis shuts the airways anyway. So this worked best for me: simply not thinking about the breathing -relax -go.

yours
pat
 
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motek777

New Member
Sep 12, 2004
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so, do you say NO to any hyperventillation before an FRC dive??? it might sound a very newby question, but its just hard to imagine someone going down to 30 with FRC
 
laminar

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
1,129
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Hi Motek,

Yes, no hyperventilation at all. If your ballast is correct you should sink from the surface at a very slow rate or maybe with one gentle kick. So an FRC is a static with a dynamic phase at the end (the ascent).

It does take some practice and getting used to. Proceed slowly and with a spotter. I just repeated 20m over and over again until it felt really good. That alone made a huge difference in my diving.

Pete
 
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motek777

New Member
Sep 12, 2004
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Thanx Pete. My lung is still not perfect yet, so all I do is FRC statics and dives. Its been 5 weeks since the squeeze occured, but still, every time i try to make a 100 % inhale it hurts a bit. It looks that I really have to take it slow.
 
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