• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Question Safety Discussion / Non-hyperventilation breath hold

D

Dodoeye

Member
Nov 8, 2020
10
1
13
47
I've been freediving now for a year, and continuously exploring ways to ensure safe return to my family. Having completed proper freediving courses and learned of the dangers of hyperventilation. I was shocked to learn from an article - that I've actually been hyperventilating before my dives. I really want to make sure to minimize risk as much as possible, and understanding the right way of breathing is key.

The aforementioned article stated that: "Fundamentally, hyperventilation is the process of breathing faster or deeper than you need to, beyond what you require to maintain your current homeostasis."

1) 3-5 larger than usual, deep breath in & out [This is clearly hyperventilation - and what the freediving course taught me to AVOID]
2) normal breathing, and on the final breath - deeper intake of air before diving[I've recently came to learn that this is ALSO consider hyperventilation] - the freediving course actually taught me THIS method.
3) normal breathing EVEN on the final breath - avoid large inhalation of air beyond the normal breathing that you typically do[kinda feels like a 1/2 to 3/4 full lungs]

Can I understand what is the safe way of breathing prior to diving? It seems from my research, that (3) is the correct way to do so
TIA!
 
H

hansa123

Member
Feb 26, 2021
27
2
13
28
Could you provide your reference? I think what you describe here is very conservative. Most divers would really, at least, take one final, very deep breath to use 100% of the lung, especially when you are diving deeper where lung volume is relevant for equalization.
 
D

Dodoeye

Member
Nov 8, 2020
10
1
13
47
Could you provide your reference? I think what you describe here is very conservative. Most divers would really, at least, take one final, very deep breath to use 100% of the lung, especially when you are diving deeper where lung volume is relevant for equalization.
Indeed, which is why this is a shocker for me. Without a FULL breath, I would experience urge to breath probably 15 second earlier.

Of course the article does make some sound logic as well, since urge to breath is really the body's way to communicate with you... we shouldn't artificially dulled down the symptoms.

 
D

Dodoeye

Member
Nov 8, 2020
10
1
13
47
Could you provide your reference? I think what you describe here is very conservative. Most divers would really, at least, take one final, very deep breath to use 100% of the lung, especially when you are diving deeper where lung volume is relevant for equalization.
Indeed, which is why this is a shocker for me. Without a FULL breath, I would experience urge to breath probably 15 second earlier.

Of course the article does make some sound logic as well, since urge to breath is really the body's way to communicate with you... we shouldn't artificially dulled down the symptoms.

I am unable to post it here, google "The Dangers OF Hyperventilation when freediving" by freediveUK
 
7BDiver

7BDiver

Active Member
Sep 5, 2019
179
66
43
34
I do not agree with the 2) statement being considered "risky" hyperventilation. Unless I fundamentally do not understand the issue, the primary risk of hyperventilation is driving CO2 levels down and has little to do with how much O2 you breath in. Full inhale does not necessarily imply a longer breath hold as comfort and ability to lower heart rate are going to be affected by chest flexibility.
 
D

Dodoeye

Member
Nov 8, 2020
10
1
13
47
I do not agree with the 2) statement being considered "risky" hyperventilation. Unless I fundamentally do not understand the issue, the primary risk of hyperventilation is driving CO2 levels down and has little to do with how much O2 you breath in. Full inhale does not necessarily imply a longer breath hold as comfort and ability to lower heart rate are going to be affected by chest flexibility.
Let me rephrase myself. The final breath is a COMPLETE EXHALATION - to the point it feels like you have no more air FOLLOWED BY a DEEP inhalation

The act of completion exhalation has the effect of decreasing your CO2 Saturation surely?
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,065
802
218
72
It is possible to go overboard avoiding hyperventilation. Provided the surface interval is long enough and not filled with hyperventilation, a couple of purge breaths to clear the lungs of co2 is not likely to be a problem. Evidence is the thousands of divers who hyperventilate more than that and have had no issue. The trick, of course, is avoiding what, for each diver, is too much hyperventilation. Hard to know how much is too much.

I'm a fan of avoiding hyperventilation. I dive half lung and adjust my breathup to minimize ventilation and build up a slightly higher than nomal blood co2 level, followed by a couple of purge breaths. In that context, purge breaths are hyperventilation, but the period is so short that the overall blood co2 level isn't affected much. I get longer, more comfortable and, I think ,safer dives like that.
 
SubSub

SubSub

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2015
496
191
83
44
Of course the article does make some sound logic as well, since urge to breath is really the body's way to communicate with you... we shouldn't artificially dulled down the symptoms.
As far as I have understood, the urge to breath is because of CO2 buildup in your blood, not lack of O2.
 
hteas

hteas

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
992
143
148
74
There were old threads here by a diver named Trux. He was constantly reminding divers not to hyperventilate. Eventually he learned that even "normal" breathing before submerging is technically hyperventilation. Everybody does it to some extent, even when we are sure we don't. Just don't do 10 deep inhales, followed by deep exhales.
 
K

ken boring

Member
Nov 15, 2019
4
1
13
58
I've been freediving now for a year, and continuously exploring ways to ensure safe return to my family. Having completed proper freediving courses and learned of the dangers of hyperventilation. I was shocked to learn from an article - that I've actually been hyperventilating before my dives. I really want to make sure to minimize risk as much as possible, and understanding the right way of breathing is key.

The aforementioned article stated that: "Fundamentally, hyperventilation is the process of breathing faster or deeper than you need to, beyond what you require to maintain your current homeostasis."

1) 3-5 larger than usual, deep breath in & out[This is clearly hyperventilation - and what the freediving course taught me to AVOID]
2) normal breathing, and on the final breath - deeper intake of air before diving[I've recently came to learn that this is ALSO consider hyperventilation] - the freediving course actually taught me THIS method.
3) normal breathing EVEN on the final breath - avoid large inhalation of air beyond the normal breathing that you typically do[kinda feels like a 1/2 to 3/4 full lungs]

Can I understand what is the safe way of breathing prior to diving? It seems from my research, that (3) is the correct way to do so
TIA!
For anybody wanting to explore the wonderful world of freediving, a fundamental understanding of the acid/base balance and the role it plays in the body is crucial. And even "with" this understanding, equally important is knowing your own body like the back of your hand. Developing strong alkaline blood buffers takes years--if not decades--to fully bring to fruition. Know your limitations ABOVE THE WATERLINE is essential. Perform apnea walks utilizing 02/CO2 tables and then . . . apply CONSERVTIVELY what you've learned in the water. It matters not what your "depth or times are" but what your comfortable doing. And then build on that. Ie; if you are only comfortable going to 10 meters, then ONLY GO to 7 meters and relax before slowly returning to the surface. If your time at 7 meters doesn't increase along with comfort levels---don't go deeper--until it does. I promise, you will improve, but only in YOUR TIME. Remember, no two people are exactly alike. Please take the time to read, watch, and discuss ALL you can about breath ups and most importantly PRACTICE, PRACTICE PRACTICE!! Doing so will minimize your risk of injury and increase your comfort levels. A GREAT READ is Freediving Manual by Mike McGuire. I have watched dozens of videos ( Adam Stern, Ted Hartly, Guillaume Nery and of course ). I've participated in Zoom videos with Stig Severson and others where I was able to ask very technical questions about breath ups and safety concerns. All the resources are out there, you have to be willing to reach out and find them!
I'll never forget--it was only for a second--the first time I actually "forgot" I was holding my breath. My instructor said to me "congratulations, you've discovered what it means to truly free dive"

Dive safe,
Ken
 
S

ShakaZoulou

Member
Apr 16, 2020
7
2
13
35
Indeed, which is why this is a shocker for me. Without a FULL breath, I would experience urge to breath probably 15 second earlier.

Of course the article does make some sound logic as well, since urge to breath is really the body's way to communicate with you... we shouldn't artificially dulled down the symptoms.

I think because there is two kinds of the called full breath, there is the good one, where you just inhale a litle more of air from the regular breath and there is the really full breath where you try to put the maximum which cause the muscles to strech longer, and if not enough to cause a disconfort it is enought to break the relaxation, in a way that you are puting more oxygen in, but that wouldn't give any help to reach along and secure breath hold time. What is need is to pratice outside the water to fill the maximum possible the chest in way of traning the muscles that when you do the last relaxed full breath before diving the lungs capacity are bigger. Don't forget, doesn't matter the quantity of oxygen in the bloodstream, what is important it is how the tissues can access to that oxygen and the rate they burn it. Lot of people can freediving with exhale technique, the only problem is to be able to equalize without to much avaible air in the lungs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: annc
hteas

hteas

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
992
143
148
74
When all is said and done, the deep inhale before starting a dive will have no effect on the partial pressure of CO2. You are adding O2 but not lowering CO2. you need to exhale.to lower CO2. As long as you don't push the partial pressure of CO2 down you won't be entering the hyperventilation zone.
 
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing

ABOUT US

ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2022 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Spearfishing and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.

ADVERT