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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Apr 3, 2002
Hi.I was just reading an old post about packing, and part of it mentioned the use of a spirometer as a means to test the amount of extra air packing enables you to take in. Wouldn't it be possible (in a very basic, crude way) to use a simple balloon to get an idea of how much air you can take in? I know it wouldn't show the actual amount, but it could show how much more air can be inhaled one way or the other.
Yes you can

Hi Ike,
You can use it, but I don't think it will be accurate.
You have to account for the distensibility of the ballon, and that will affect the amount of air you can drive inside.
With a Spirometer you can only measure your Vital Capacity not your Total Lung Capacity, because there is an amount of air (Residual Volume) at the end of a full expiration.
Any way, I don't think freediving is just a matter of lung volumes,
A good physical shape, a huge love for the ocean, a 'free' mind and some drops of insanity are enough for enjoy it (self opinion)
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Reactions: andrsn

Im with you on that one frank as pellizari says use the mind and not the chest.


perhaps you can try this

take a glass or can from which you know how much is in it
fill with water
take a strow (spelling??) and suck water in your mouth as much as you can (like packing)
spit out the water and do this again
count how many times you need to "pack"for 1 liter
calculate how much is each pack
i do 3.8 for 25cc
i can do 30 packs this is for me :
197cc nearly 2 liters

i found out that after fully inhaling :
press your hand on your legs (try this right now)
pull up your shoulder and chest and get some extra air (do this before packing)
after this i can pack only 12-13 times
saves me 15 to 20 seconds (1 sec per pack)

this really works for me

good luck

Good tips about that extra air must try them


It is difficult to come up with exact numbers but, comparison testing is easy. Are you really interested in measuring how much air you can inhale while lying on the kitchen floor?
I did some measuring a while back, when Eric reported big differences in lung capacity for different positions. By standing in water up to my chin and inhaling fully, wearing a belt with 9# of lead and putting almost one litre of air in a plastic jug, I could sit on the bottom. Any more air in lungs or bottle would float me. I tested after a workout and it seemed to be repeatable. Then it was easy to measure the number of 'real' packs it took to equal the air in the bottle.
Another easy way, in calm water, is a heavy enough weight belt to make you neutral at 10-15 feet and measure the depth change (pressure actually) when you change lung size. The total numbers will involve approximations but, the change can be measured closely.
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