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lung volume

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Feb 13, 2004
had to take med. test rec, (job related) measured lung volume, nurse said i was able to get 5.07 liters of air in lungs,most people get only 3.5. is this true? if so could this explain why i can hold my breathe longer than normal(in respect to other people). would love some help on explaining this

Mate was the 5.07 the FVC or VC reading if you read my thread under Spirometry test you can see their is apparently a massive difference.

The reason why you can hold your breath longer than normal can be a number of reasons, if your relatively new the ability to relax in number 1 reason to your advantage, then learning your own breathup and warm up techniques is a big advantage as well. I think the average lung capacity for humans is around 4.5L not sure if that is FVC or VC but your lungs may give you a small advantage over other "normal" people.

In our club we have this 'toy', a 3 feet long plastic tube from an old aquarium, which we often play with when all that swimming becomes too much. There are liter measures on the thing and we fill it with water and go underneath it in the water with full breath (no packing) and empty as much of our lungs as possible.

From this thing, we can see a slow increase in lung volume as we train longer. Newcomers quickly rise in volume. My self I'm pretty steady on 5,3 liters, but others are much higher. Our club record is f.i. Lars Mou Andersen who blew almost 8 liters into the thing one night. I have also seen Bill Stromberg (Sweden) blow 10 liters (!) into a little hand-held machine (a spirometer?), and Hubert Maier (Germany) they say is up at 12 liters.

I believe the lung volume rises naturally from training, both fitness training (running, cycling, swimming) but also breathhold training (lung packing, etc.). Also the taller you are, the higher your volume is (Lars Mou is 6'4").

Of course lung volume is only one detail in being a good breathholder. There's also your fitness level, your techinique in the current discipline, fysiological adaptations (muscle types, etc.) and of course the 'trance' factor. The big lungs in freediving are like the height in basketball; it helps, but it's not a requirement.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen

"Be like water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
Just tried a spirometer today, got 5,5liters.

Whats the difference between FCV and VC??

You can't emty your lungs totally...how much is still left there after I blow in the spirometer? Is there a % ratio or something?

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