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Vo2 max. and apnea

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2001
I want to know if somebody has any experience with this:
Is the Vo2 max a good predictor of static apnea time, depth in Constant ballast or distance in dynamic?
I read that Martin Stepanek has a Vo2 max of 54.7 ml/kg/min
Mandy Rae Cruickshank of 49 and Brett LeMaster of 67.

Does anybody knows other Vo2 max of elite freedivers?
Any relation of freediving disciplines with the Anaerobic Threshold and Anaerobic capacity?
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ben Gowland
I don't think VO2 max predicts anything. Maybe the anaerobic tests predict well. When I was in shape I checked a table of running times which predicted that my VO2 max was 52 ml/kg/min. But, I did my pb's in static & constant when I was not in very good shape cardiovascularly.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
VO2 max is a rate, rather than a storage volume (as I am sure Frank and Eric know).

I take it's meaning in Freediving to be:

The higher the VO2 max, the shorter surface intervals you can safely get away with.

I have a bit of a problem with all the predictor tests there are these days for it, since there is a large variability unless you measure it directly. I did a load of maximal tests about 6 years ago and got 3 measurements within the space of 2 weeks of: 64, 65 and 72.

I was fit then dammit!

I'm about 55-60 now.

How dare you!

In fact it was too many pies, Guinesses, beef, turkey, whiskys, gravy, cheeses, brandys, cakes, shortbreads.......

....and sprouts! :t

Hi all,
I'm asking for direct measures of it.
The actual champions are very fit. (I guess).
something about anaerobic capacity?
Hi Frank

I let you know about this subject as there will be some research done about this interesting subject in the upcoming future.

Here's the reply I got in Oz in a private forum for exercise scientists and students:


You have posted a very interesting question, one that I don't believe has been studied systematically in the past. Myself and Dr Ian Stewart (School of Human Movement Studies, QUT) are actually researching the physiology of the sport if you interested in helping out.

To answer your question, many independent physiological
measures contribute to static apnea time. Personally, I believe
VO2 max may be involved, however, it does not mean if you have a high VO2 you will be able to hold you breath for a long time.
During static apnoea I beleive it is your bodies ability to conserve
energy and limit harmful byproduct formation that is the major
predictor of performance. I believe training and improved levels of fitness may alter these prior mentioned variables therefore
implicating VO2 max levels. The same principles can be applied to
the other questions you asked including balast diving and dynamic diving.

If you have further questions or would like to become involved in our research into apnea please no not hesitate to contact either
myself or Ian (currently away). Ian's email is i.stewart@qut.edu.au, if you email just let him know you have talked to me.



Andrew Bulmer
PhD Candidate
School of Human Movement Studies
Exercise and Oxidative Stress Research Group
University of Queensland

Now, personally I agree with Andrew because I have been a competitive cyclist in the past with a high VO2 max, which is helping me a lot in apnea training, BUT non-desirable muscle hypertrophy I got due to high intensity resistance training (I am currently 87 Kg at 9-10% bodyfat and 5.11 foot-1.82cm tall) is really affecting my performance.

Just take a look at Topi, who was a former competitive triathlete, his VO2 max has definitively helped him to achieve 60 m no fins. I know other cases of former endurance athletes who achieved good results in apnea.

Regards, gerard.
  • Like
Reactions: Alun
Frank - I may not be an elite freediver - but I had my VO2 max measured directly at 64, 65 and 72 ml/min/kg.

As for Gerard's reply - I think to sum it up quickly - VO2 max is a rate, not a proxy for total O2 storage capacity. However, those with a high VO2 max are likely to have a high O2 storage capacity too.

So VO2 max may be correlated with performance, but it may not be a direct cause-effect, rather a co-variable of O2 storage capacity.


Hola Gerard,
Thanks for the contribution. I'll contact Ian ASAP.
I'm a fellow in pulmonary medicine and I'm thinking to make a trial on this as my graduation thesis. Your contacts will be very helpful
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