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SCUBA concerns for training

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Pipe and Flippers
Dec 29, 2002
I've just entered my first freediving competition, this year in May.

The weekend before, some friends from work are off on a SCUBA trip, and want me to come along. I'm wondering if this is a good idea:confused:

A lot of the training I'm doing at the moment revolves around conditioning the body to tolerate increased CO2 / decreased O2.
Isn't SCUBA a reversal of this? If I do a dive to 10 metres, then my Oxygen partial pressure has doubled. If I was breathing Nitrox, I'd have even more oxygen for my blood cells to enjoy.

I just wonder if the conditioning effect of my training will be undone to some extent.

Has anyone else found that SCUBA has had a detrimental effect on breatholding?

Needless to say, I don't freedive after SCUBA on the same day....
never really thought of it like that before. I am sure someone can give a more scientific answer but I would have thought that the relatively short amount of time you spend breathing air at depth compared to normally would have very little effect.
I have been mixing freediving and scuba for a while now and would say that my biggest problem with them is that carrying all that clumsy gear around makes my back stiff which plays havoc with my monofin style so now I would avoid mixing the two near competition time but only for that reason and because if I'm near water, near a competition (and most of the time now really!) I'd only want to dive FREE! - my recommendation, go on the holiday but leave your scuba behind and persuade one of the others to do the same!

Hi, As sam I don't think it has a detrimental effect on your training, but I will be more concerned with nitrogen, it depends on the depht and time of your SCUBA dives, and the depth of your CW performance. Also the time between the two actvities, the DCS in freedivers is real.
Follow his advice, and just Freedive
Well, I'm just off on a trip where I'll be doing a mixture, so I might be able to see if it makes any difference. As long as psychology doesn't interfere....

Good point about your back, Sam. I often put my neck out bouncing around in RIBs, and I wouldn't want that happening a week before.
Hee hee hee

Frank - it is HER, not HIS !!!!!

Oh what fun...


To address the question - SCUBA helps freediving because it helps increase CO2 tolerance. Remember that at depth the Co2 tries to stay in the blood due to pressure and also more can dissolve. If you ctry and reduce your breath rate underwater, you may notice a training effect. I have observed many time over the years that divers who consume little air whilst on SCUBA transfer to freediving reasonably well and have a fair degree of CO2 tolerance.

About the O2 - you don't actually get much more O2 into your blood under pressure because the only extra O2 is dissolved rather than bonded to Haemoglobin - you can't get more O2 bonded to Haemoglobin. So I doubt that it would have any effect.

I would certainly heed the advice of the others - nearing competition - cut back on the SCUBA.

We do know that breathing 100% O2 has a disastrous effect on apnea ability; both Brett LeMaster and Pipin experienced this detrimental effect after trying statics on 100% O2.

How that relates to scuba is another question.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Now I'm back from my trip ( mixed SCUBA / freediving on alternate days ), I can't say I have any conclusive evidence.

My CW results were faster times, but not deeper depths. ( Better fins and hydrodynamics.)

Statics were another matter - added another 37 secs onto my previous PB. This could have been down to the relaxed and rested state I was in, or maybe the effect that Ben G suggested.

So, at least there didn't seem to be a detrimental effect ( for me, anyway ).