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What should apnea feel like?

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

New Member
Dec 30, 2004
Hello out there in Deeper Blue land! I'm a newbie freediver and I have a question: why do I have so much air left after a static or dynamic breath hold?

I'll be in a very relaxed state while holding my breath (I just read Umberto's Manual of Freediving) and then when I think I won't be able to hold it any longer, I exhale and let out a ton of air! What am I doing wrong? Should I be holding my breath for longer and longer periods until all the air in my lungs has been consumed? Should I end my breath hold needing to inhale a breath into empty lungs?

How should it feel when you're reaching your breath hold limit? And then what do you do?

Thanks very much for your help.
Not to get into real detail, but the volume in your lungs doesn't really change when you are breathe holding on the surface.

Your body (most importantly the brain) needs oxygen to live. At the same time as a byproduct of cellular metabolism your body produces carbon dioxide. It needs to get rid of the carbon dioxide. These gases exchange from the blood and the alveoli of your lungs when you breathe. Oxygen into the blood and carbon dioxide into the lungs. When you are holding your breathe the exchange of gases across the concentration gradient continues to occur for these gases.

There is exchange of other gases in the lungs including water vapour, but to think of it simply just consider oxygen molecules trading place with carbon dioxide molecules...the volume essentially remains the same
is everything about experience...

You learn you limits training with other people, and safely experimenting how far you can go. Control and knowledge of your body and sensations is essential, this is why disciplines like Yoga are extremely useful. Your body knows when is time to breathe, you just need to learn his language and lessen carefully.

My advise is to never train hard by yourself... joint a group or club of other freedivers: they will help you to learn safely the basics, answer a lot of your questions and the all experience could be much nicer.

On my case the breath hold stops at the first contraction when doing dynamics (no trust on my present spotter), dizziness, warm feeling and number of contractions while doing statics or apnea walking. When doing depth I use my marks and some progressive dives to find the comfortable depth for the session.

I like to believe freeding is a relaxing and enjoyable experience: taking your time, avoiding anything too uncomfortable and use some good company should get you on the right track.

feign is right... no noticeable changes on lung volumes while holding your breath!
Thanks Feign and Pablo!

I've been trying to find some local freedivers to train with but I haven't been having much luck. Deeper Blue is a great site and I appreciate your help!

Thanks again!
Are you in the lake Tahoe area? You should try searching deeper blue or posting for divers in your area. I would suspect that there will be some guys within some range.

I posted a message looking for Northern Nevada divers with no response. I live in a relatively small town and we have three SCUBA shops but no freedivers? Seems strange but it seems to be the case. At least so far.

Thanks again for your help.
hey tahoe diver, i sent you an email. a few friends and i will be heading up your way somtime early 06 and was wondering if you would be kind enough to show us around some good dive spots?? ive been looking for a campsite to book now so we dont have to worrie about it but i cant find any :rcard
mabey i just need to search harder.
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