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Static apnea encouraging progress!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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matrixed82

matrixed82

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2004
183
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SEDATE said:
Because my ears(i feel full everyday).i mean i am like deff.i feel every minute and every second a little pain in my ears and i hear not clear(still goes) and also in my heart i got some pain after study but it has gone after following the day .
Hello,

I just did a max static and I experienced this feeling like being deaf, there was no pain though. Not really deaf but the same feeling as when you equalize on the surface but it went away after 20 minutes or so. I think it was cause I took too much air, I did'nt pack but forcefully inhaled.

Do you still get these pains when inhaling less?

About the heart pain I would take a few days of rest and then if it persists maybe see a doctor about it.
 
Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
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I have a stupid question. I'm sure this must be mentioned somewhere in all the freedive threads, but I hope you will forgive me for not wading through them all.

I am not a competitive freediver- I am simply a freediving spearfisherman, and I don't even compete in that sport. I am under the impression that doing static apneas will do nothing to extend the amount of time that my body can survive without a breath, but will simply train me to suppress the urge to breath that results from C02 buildup. Is that true?

If it is true, I have absolutely no interest in suppressing my body's warning signals. I want to come up when I need to come up, and I don't have trained backup guys there to watch me samba or keep me from sinking if I experience swb before I hit the surface. If I surface and have any tingling my in legs, seeing stars, or even a serious urge to gasp for air, I consider it a failed dive and a near-death experience.

Please be assured that I am not knocking you guys who do this for sport. I'm simply trying to find out whether there is any purpose at all in my spending time on static apnea, and whether it in fact will put me in more danger doing what I do.


Thanks
 
Bill

Bill

Baron of Breathold
Oct 17, 2001
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It's hard to come up with a response but since there are no stupid questions, I'll try not to give a stupid answer. The only question that I can see is the one that asks if your statement is true or false. It is both.
What bothers me most, and the reason I'm answering, is your next paragraph. Most divers think that they can tell when they need air. We lose a over hundred of them each year, worldwide. Feelings depend on too many variables. One good distraction may be all it takes. In my case, once, it was a pair of 8# lobster that I saw after I had been in the hole a couple of minutes and it was sheer luck that two friends were watching. Another thing is the "seeing stars...............consider it a failed dive and a near-death experience.", do you stop diving or just take it easy? After a samba the blackout usually comes early, with no warning.
Your last paragraph makes things easier. Training static apnea will let you find out what you are capable of and make diving alone more dangerous. Some day you could be on 'sand spot' at Ship Rock with a school of whites hanging out of range and you 'know' that the first contraction comes at 50% of your dive. On the bottom, looking at a watch is about as dangerous as it gets.
I don't know if you have taken one of those courses that they offer in Malibu a few times a year but most of us old timers learned a lot and they emphasize safety, big time.
Aloha
Bill
 
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Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,487
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Bill- I appreciate the response, but of course I have more questions now.

I keep hearing that feelings are not reliable indicators of a need to ascend, but no one has ever been able to give me a better alternative. If I've been swimming against a current, am tired and cold, etc. then I will "feel" like I need to ascend much sooner than if I'm rested, warm, fresh, etc. and I think those feelings are certainly giving me the facts. Again, what's the alternative? I sure wouldn't want to use my watch for arbitrary times as a guide.

I never look at a watch on the bottom for other than depth, and I use that info to let me know when I should leave the bottom earlier than usual. Its only after I surface that I look at the bottom time on my D3.

"Training static apnea will let you find out what you are capable of and make diving alone more dangerous."

I'm wondering if you meant to say "less" dangerous? The opinion that it would make it more dangerous is exactly why I have not done it.

About contractions- I guess this shows how conservative I am, but I've never felt a contraction and would be scared to death if I did. I'm in this to spear a few fish, not set bottom time records or prove something to my buddies.

"Another thing is the "seeing stars...............consider it a failed dive and a near-death experience.", do you stop diving or just take it easy? After a samba the blackout usually comes early, with no warning."

I just take it easy, but then I'm not sure what I have experienced on rare occasions qualifies as a samba.

Thanks for your kind reply. Tell me frankly if you think I should take this discussion somewhere else. As I said, I'm a spearfisherman, not a guy who freedives for time and depth, so this may well be a distration on this sort of thead that is about freediving per se.
 
E

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
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Bill M.,

Here is an example.

Diver Joe tries static apnea. After some practice, he can overcome the urge to breathe, and in the pool, with his friends watching, he blacks out at 5'30".
He keeps practicing, (minus the blackout).
One month later, he has his friends watching in the pool again. This time he blacks out at 6'55".

So, in this fictional example, we eliminate the effect of overcoming the urge to breathe. In both cases the guy blacked out. So, the 'time to blackout' is actually a much better indicator of his body's use of oxygen. In this situation, the time to blackout increased, so one cannot say that Joe held his breath for longer because he 'overcame the urge to breathe for longer.' Clearly his body either stored more oxygen, or he used up his O2 at a slower rate.

Now, the question is:
- Is the above situation realistic?

The answer is sometimes. It depends on the type of static training. Tom Sietas, world record holder in static, has made it clear that he has achieved near 10 minutes in static, doing little except practicing static. Note that he does no warm ups, goes (and reaches) the max time on the 1st attempt. Using this method his 'time to blackout' has improved for two years or more, but he trains about 5-6 days per week.

Other divers aren't so lucky. Using more traditional training techniques, I know of many divers who would black out in static at 6'20" four years ago, and still black out at 6'20" today, despite all that static training.

My personal belief is that for actual diving, the best way to make more efficient use of oxygen (and to teach the body to store more oxygen) isn't static training, but rather breath-hold exercise, such as apnea hiking, apnea stairmaster, etc... though that type of training is very stressful and can only be done about twice a week, unless special precautions are made.
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Bill M,
This is the right place, thanks for raising an interesting question. I think it has significant value to both new and old divers. You have gotten two very good answers. Here's another, slightly different angle from a background not too different from yours. My co2 tolerance is lousy and I like it like that for the reasons you mention.

Statics can help train the body to conserve o2, but it looks to me like, for most divers(especially those not into competition or down the line diving), it primarily teaches suppression of the urge. I stay away from them, and anything else that concentrates on co2 tolerance. That said, a new diver can learn a lot from some dry statics.
Apnea walking seems like a better choice. I do them half lung to minimize the co2 training. I've been experimenting with Tyler Zs IHT training ideas using apnea walking as the excercise. Another training idea is simulating the time/distance dive profile in the pool, sort of like dynamic modified to be more like diving in the ocean.

Like you, I always used my feelings as a guide. Spent a lot of years spearing in shallow water (60 ft or usually much less), sometimes doing relatively stupid things and getting away with it just fine. Since discovering DB, depth and bottom time have doubled and I've learned a heap. I don't trust my feelings any more, especially when diving deep. Personal opinion, but I think that most my improvement in depth and time comes at the expense of safety margin. A very attentive buddy is much more important than it once was. DB has been a wonderful source for buddys.
Your observation on contractions is interesting. I never noticed them either, while diving, unless I was meeting your definition of a "failed dive" (good definition). However, while doing dynamics, I noticed that contractions were there, and found the same in the ocean. For me, there is just so much else going on in the ocean that contractions have to get pretty strong before they are noticeable.

Thanks

Connor
 
E

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
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Connor & Bill M.,

One more important point.

Consider the following two divers:

- Diver Joe, does lots of statics & CO2 exercises, has high CO2 tolerance
- Diver Joe's breathe-up before spearfishing is to take just two breaths, then go

- Diver Mike, does NO statics or CO2 exercises, has poor CO2 tolerance
- Diver Mike's breathe-up before spearfishing is to take five or six breaths, then go

The effect of a few extra breaths is so huge that diver Mike will have a delayed breathing reflex compared to diver Joe. Mike thinks he's safe because he doesn't do CO2 exercises etc... in fact Joe is safer in this particular case, due to a much shorter breathe-up before diving. (This should not be confused with short intervals between dives, which can be fatal due to lack of recovery time).

There are some advantages to CO2 tolerance:
- Having a high CO2 tolerance does not delay 'signals' in your body. You still feel a tingle, but the tingle takes a while to develop, and is more comfortable
- There is less incentive to over-breathe for your dives. When diving with poor CO2 tolerance, dives can be so unenjoyable (due to early burn), that there is an unconscious urge to rest longer between dives, resulting in gradually delayed urge to breathe on each dive, due to gradual loss of CO2 during the intervals, even without explicit hyperventilating
- Having a high CO2 tolerance allows one to hold one's breath until a BO if an emergency arises, and to remain relatively calm in such a situation. If diver Joe (high CO2 tolerance) and diver Mike (low CO2 tolerance) both got stuck in some fishing line on the bottom, I'll place my bet on Joe surviving the incident....

On the other hand, high CO2 tolerance with long intervals between dives is a recipe for problems.
 
Q

quasimoto

New Member
Oct 27, 2004
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efattah-

I was wondering if you could help me out a little bit with some training advice. I have a static of about 5:00 to 5:30(my best), but i have horrible dynamic abilities, at least compared to how far the should be with my breath hold. I was wondering what the most beneficial training would be (cant do much in water training cuz i have no buddy). I read that you do apnea walking and hiking, but i was wondering exactly how much to do this (i mean like specific number of repetitions per session), as i have no idea how much would be over doing it. Another question i have is about a method you posted a while back that i finally tried - where you do a full exhale and wait till contractions, then do about 3 packs every ten seconds until you have a full breath. My question is, does it actually offer any benefit in the way of co2 or o2 tolerance? And at the end should i have anything left in me, because i found that i can still hold for another 30 seconds or so, and thought maybe i should lower it to two packs every ten seconds. Sorry for the longish post, and thanks in advance for your help:)
rory
 
N

naiad

Apnea Carp
Supporter
Oct 11, 2003
2,897
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Diver Joe tries static apnea. After some practice, he can overcome the urge to breathe, and in the pool, with his friends watching, he blacks out at 5'30".
He keeps practicing, (minus the blackout).
One month later, he has his friends watching in the pool again. This time he blacks out at 6'55".

So, in this fictional example, we eliminate the effect of overcoming the urge to breathe. In both cases the guy blacked out. So, the 'time to blackout' is actually a much better indicator of his body's use of oxygen. In this situation, the time to blackout increased, so one cannot say that Joe held his breath for longer because he 'overcame the urge to breathe for longer.' Clearly his body either stored more oxygen, or he used up his O2 at a slower rate.

Now, the question is:
- Is the above situation realistic?
Eric - Yes, at least sometimes, as it has happened to me.

I was wondering if you could help me out a little bit with some training advice. I have a static of about 5:00 to 5:30(my best), but i have horrible dynamic abilities, at least compared to how far the should be with my breath hold.
Rory - I have the same problem - I find dynamics extremely difficult, despite having a good static time. I wish I knew how to improve!

Lucia
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Good points all, Eric. I particularly agree with the comparison of hi and lo co2 tolerance divers getting stuck. I would not argue with you on the other comparison you give. However, it seems like there are so many variables that it is hard to make very useful, real world comparisions. From long observation of spearos, I think we are generally safer with low tolerance. It helps break through the concentration on quarry. Knowing my go for broke personality, I'm sure I'm safer (unless I got trapped).
Interestingly, I think this approach has been hurting me in down the line diving. The urge to breath makes me want to turn around long before it should be necessary.

Thanks for your insight.

Connor
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Eric, I would be interested in your opinion on a specific case. Diving 30-90 ft, sight seeing and spearing, I breath up, fast in and slow out, at a rate slightly lower than normal breathing, ie, slightly high blood co2 level, then take 3-5 fast deep breaths (15-20 secs) and go. I have assumed this resulted in a slightly decreased co2 level, but not enough to get me in trouble, given a poor co2 tolerance. Does this seem correct?

Thanks

Connor
 
Pezman

Pezman

We pee deep. Ew!
Sep 24, 2002
591
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Another gotcha is when injury or infection impair lung function. Sometimes this can be so subtle that you are unaware of the problem until it's too late.

My one and only BO occurred after a no-fins dive to 30 meters. This isn't an easy dive for me, but I didn't consider it to be an extreme feat either. No discomfort at the bottom and for much of the ascent, everything felt great, but a bit before surfacing I could tell I was getting hypoxic and started pulling on the line and did a face-plant the seond I broke the surface. Smellsfishy pulled my face out of the water and I came to immediately-- and promply started coughing up a little bit of blood. My guess is that I got squeezed on a prior dive (in my experience, it is rare to spit blood immediately after a mild squeeze) and that turned my CBNF from something that was a little challenging into something that was impossible.

In this case CO2 tolerance didn't figure into it at all. Apparently I had injured my lungs enough to reduce my ability to get enough O2, but not so badly that I actually noticed the injury. One of my buddies had a similar problem due to a mild respiratory infection.

Some days it just sucks to be in the water :ko
 
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naiad

Apnea Carp
Supporter
Oct 11, 2003
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I have had a very bad chest infection. It is better now, but it will be a while before my training gets back to the same level. I don't know whether the loss of ability is due to lack of training or impaired lung function, but my CO2 and O2 tolerance is much lower now.

I have quite a lot of chest infections caused by colds and flu, but this was by far the worst. I was wheezing a lot, and sometimes it was hard work breathing as there was a lot of resistance. It felt as if my lungs were full of stuff which I had to force air through, and it sounded that way too. :waterwork

It was definitely not a freediving injury, as I haven't done anything which could have caused it, and I had this problem before I started freediving.

Now I am much better, but it was a very worrying experience.

Lucia
 
S

SEDATE

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2005
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i went to the doctor.The doctor said what jon said to me
here JON's repply thanks Jon again :
Sounds like you might have some air trapped in your estachian tubes. If you've ever taken a basicscuba class they teach you how to clear your ears to relieve the pain when you decend. If you have any kind of a cold, or blow too hard, you can get air stuck in there and that will give you that feeling.
As far as how to breath up and hold, there are many different ideas and many threads on this site to talk about the differences. Some people say that your last breath you should "swallow" because it helps to hold the air down better. Others say to hold it in your cheeks because it puts less stress on your lungs and you can suck it in when the contractions start. It really is quite personal at that point and one thing doesn't work for every diver. I would suggest looking through the posts on "breath-up" routines to see if they help.

Glad the tables worked for you.

Jon]

i tried at home many times sucking my checks to get back the air in my ears.But i could not manage but i fix it after i go to sea and no more pain anymore.i can tell you how i done it.
i went to sea and dived around 10 meters while diving waited to equlaize
when it comes i forced to blow to estachian tubes.i felt i came back to the world when i was at the surface
meanwhie at home i made 4:00 minute statics several times and i though at sea i can do minumum 3 min at 9 meters .
NOT 3 min NOT 2 min NOT 1 min ..I MADE 55 sec.almost 1/4 of my statics.i stayed at the bottom like a post pone NO MOVEMENT.

where my statics has gone???????


Bill McIntyre
what D3 says about your best bottom time?????
 
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