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static breathup

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New Member
Sep 12, 2003
What do your static breath ups look like? How much do you think a good breath up pattern can affect static performance?

The reason I ask is that I am trying to get my statics more consistent. Yesterday, I was doing an O2 table (starting at 3:30 hold with 1:30 breathup to 2 X 5:00 with 1:30 breathup) and I got no contractions until 4:15 (which is about :45 to 1:00 late for me), and even then they were mild, and they were the easiest 5 min statics of my life. Today, I did some statics with longer breathups (2-3 minutes) and could not delay the contractions past 3:20.

I think my physiology may respond better to repeated holds with quicker breathups. Maybe, my dive reflex fades quickly. Anybody else get longer/ easier statics with shorter breathups?
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I think the same happens to me - doing breathups of over 2min doesn't seem to make statics any easier, and in fact my static times have got better since doing shorter breathups.

It is important to give yourself time to recover in between very long statics though, so doing more than one max attempt with only a short interval in between is not good. (At least I think so)

This is interesting because I discovered the same thing by doing tables - that very long breathups might not make statics any easier.

I will try different times and see what happens.

I do a 30 second breath up, any longer doesnt seem to make a difference but I rarely time myself so cant quantify my results and as I dont compete I dont push myself hard, when I do time myself, I get around the 4:50 mark irrespective of a lengthier breath up. I dont get contractions, I just start to loose my vision and feel sick, does anyone else have this?
The splenic contraction fades within 10 minutes. I find that a 1-minute rest followed by a 2-minute breathe-up is good. Surely no more than 5 minutes (grand total) between the end of one static and the start of the next--this assumes sub-maximal statics. After a hard, long static, I will never again reach maximum potential in the same sitting--the metabolic waste takes too long to clean up. So, going for an 8-minute target, 5'30" is the absolute max that I would do in the warm up, preferably 5'00".

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Originally posted by efattah
After a hard, long static, I will never again reach maximum potential in the same sitting--the metabolic waste takes too long to clean up. So, going for an 8-minute target, 5'30" is the absolute max that I would do in the warm up, preferably 5'00".

I won't pretend to understand the technical part - "metabolic waste", etc.

But if I were to try your recommendation, would a good rule of thumb be to stop warmups around contraction start? For example, my static PB is 3:30 - "contractions" (I think) start around 1:45 along with the "struggle phase". If I were going for a target PB of 4:00, should I do no warmup longer than 2:00? How many warmups should I do?

This actually sounds encouraging to me, since I hate the struggle phase and this means I'd only be subject to it once a day. :D
I need to get lots of contractions in the warm up (at least one minute of contractions on a single hold). My usual notation involves the time of the breath-hold, with the first contraction time in brackets, i.e.
5'08" (3'27") = 5'08" hold, with first contraction @ 3'27"

On my 8'20" pb, I did an excessively long warm up hold (6'30") because I didn't anticipate going for a pb. My saturations on the pb attempt showed I was still a bit depleted from the too-long-warmup.

Here was the routine:

2 breaths
4'30" (3'55) Min 90(89)

2 breaths
6'30" (4'45") 95% @ 3'30", Min 69(67)

2'00" sub neutral breathing, holding my breath for the last 20 seconds
8'20" (6'18")

When I did my first 8'00" pb, this was the routine:
2 breaths
4'30" (3'30")

2 breaths
4'30" (--)

3-min sub neutral
8'00" (5'49")

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Re: How does static training effect cw times?

Originally posted by jeff.richardson
I was wondering what kind of effect your static training has had on your CW or recreational dive times. Do you do separate traing for that?

Jeff, don't even think about telling me you're unhappy with your CW performance. :naughty ;)

Can you explain a couple of things in your previous post.

What is neutral breathing?

If I understand correctly, you mention that before your pb attempt,you did a 20 second breath hold prior to your final breath. Why? What does that achieve?

Sub neutral breathing = breathing on the lower 50% of the lungs. I never (*never*) take a full inhale or anything close to it as I breathe, it wastes way too much energy. I try to breathe using the minimum muscles possible, meaning only the diaphragm. Big inhales require the use of other muscles. Sub neutral breathing immediately added 20-30 seconds to my static.

I need to do a 20-second apnea right before I take my last breathe, to acidify my blood, minimizing the risk of a blackout from packing. See the 'Body Water Hypothesis' thread for more info.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
'sub neutral' breathing...

i also found this to be very beneficial when i was doing static training a couple of years ago. i was convinced that it made a significant difference - i could sense that my metabolism was running slower as a result. your intercostals have to work pretty hard to get that last 25% in... so it makes sense.

strangely i've never done it before diving, i've always taken big deep breaths in the final 60secs before diving. hmm... i think i might try shallower abdominal breathing before diving tomorrow to see how it feels. i never thought about trying that before.

For me, sub-neutral breathing in the ocean is impossible without a noodle or floatation device. Otherwise, I need to stay close to a full inhale just to avoid sinking.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Michael- In order for me to get over 5min I have to do a quick
breath-up also. Otherwise I give up at about 4 1/2 min.

I've been trying some of the tips efattah gives in these posts
and I don't think they will work with my usual quick breathing.
When I tried to breath-up and pack it almost made me BO.

So since my goal is to be at 6+ clean by next years nationals,
I have given up hyperventing and am struggling through the
contractions with full packed lungs.

With the level of meditation I've seen you use, I'm surprised you can even feel your contractions.
When I do CO2 tables, I find that during the last breath-holds in the table I become very deeply relaxed, even if they are more difficult. This happens even if I was not feeling relaxed when I started the table, and the effect is the same in the pool or dry.

Maybe this has something to do with the short preparation times or the buildup of CO2?

Originally posted by naiad
When I do CO2 tables

What are "CO2 tables"? I'm guessing CO2 tables are with decreasing rests and constant holds - O2 tables are with constant rests and increasing holds. Am I close? :D Or am I just thinking too much and you just meant static tables in general...
Yup, you guessed right - CO2 tables are with decreasing rests and constant holds, and O2 tables are with constant rests and increasing holds. :)

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