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Pumping Iron...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Feb 16, 2005
I have heard that lifting light weights while holding you breath is one of the most efective forms of trianing for freediving. I was woundering if it is realy ture?

Thank you very much,
I'm no expert, but it's likely true since you're training your muscles to work without a fresh supply of oxygen, similar to freediving. However, I would caution doing apnea weightlifting, as it's quite possible to pass out and easily injure yourself. Also, holding your breath while straining to lift a weight could potentially burst blood vessels...not good. That said, I think the blood vessel danger would be more likely while lifting heavy weights, which isn't the type of training you'll probably want to do for apnea. I'm guessing you'd want to do light(er) weights, with lots of reps? Someone feel free to correct me... :D

I would imagine doing apnea leg curls (hamstring and quads) on a machine (not free weights) using a relatively light weight would be beneficial and relatively safe.
Yeah, I don't think anybody recommends free weights while breath holding. I think a little common sense is on order: look at the machine and decide for yourself how much damage it would cause if you were black out. The squat rack, for instance: probably not a good idea. :duh

As for bursting blood vessels, it's a real danger. Doing it on machines like the leg press, where you are on your back and pushing the weight up, can actually be lethal. Between gravity, abdominal compression, and breath holding, major vessel in the chest or brain can rupture.

I have always had success with light weights (on the order of 1/4 of my max lift) and machines that aren't going to land anything heavy on you if you lose consciousness. If nothing else, the old standards of apnea crunches and pushups go a long way, IMO.
I forgot to add one tidbit: I've been told that the danger of damaging blood vessel while lifting can be avoided by "pulling" on the closed throat with the diaphragm, as though one were trying to inhale. I don't know if that's true or not.
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