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Why Olympic Athletes Are
Learning to Hold Their Breath
for More Than Five Minutes

Wall Street Journal, by Matthew Futterman

Original Article

Posted By:Hazymac, 8/13/2014 11:43:57 AM

Olympic athletes are famous for doing just about anything to improve their performances. But can learning to hold your breath for more than five minutes and dive 100 feet under the ocean´s surface really help you on a snow-covered mountain? A growing number of Olympians and Olympic hopefuls who play sports that have nothing to do with water think it can. And so, a collection of snowboarders and skiers—plus a motocross racer and two surf ironman champions—recently ventured off the shores of Kona, Hawaii, for a the sort of deep dive that is usually the domain of scuba experts, beach-rescue

Comments:
Breath control leads to body and mind control, important not only in athletic endeavors, but in everyday life. Learning how to breathe properly when under pressure improves physical and mental performance. When I was in my teens I would practice holding my breath, eventually reaching the three minute mark. But the record for staying underwater while holding one´s breath was, according to 1960s editions of the Guinness World Record Book was, IIRC, thirteen minutes, forty-two seconds.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: scottyboy, 8/13/2014 11:54:51 AM     (No. 9964393)

Three min. is darn good. I began swimming about the time I started walking, spent many summers as a lifeguard and am a certified SCUBA diver. Building lung capacity and breath holding always gave me an edge I think, but my best underwater breath hold record was only just a few ticks over two min.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Newtsche, 8/13/2014 12:24:12 PM     (No. 9964439)

I also did a couple ticks over three minutes long ago but that was laying down and motionless. The divers boggle the mind, how deep is too deep?

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Reply 3 - Posted by: viking diver, 8/13/2014 1:04:18 PM     (No. 9964503)

some of the free divers are going past the 400´ mark, I would have to look up the records but I believe it is around 500´ deep. They use a sled to get to the depth and then kick back up to the surface.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: whyyeseyec, 8/13/2014 2:01:35 PM     (No. 9964625)

I doubt these numbers are correct. The human brain can go approx 4-5 minutes without oxygen. After that, brain damage or death occurs. More than 5 minutes is dangerous. As for the world record of 13+ minutes, that is nonsense.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: envirodude, 8/13/2014 2:52:20 PM     (No. 9964693)

4 - the physics of air in your lungs causes it to expand/contract allowing you to last longer on one breath at the free-dive depths, or so it was explained to me

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Hazymac, 8/13/2014 4:03:34 PM     (No. 9964763)

Re #4: I have seen a picture of the diver just before or just after he set the record--in a swimming pool--who hyperventilated on oxygen for thirty minutes before his dive. Guinness is careful to recognize only those records that can be verified. The 13:42 underwater was verified, and might even have been broken recently.

It was. (I just googled it.) Twenty-two minutes. That´s amazing for us shortwinded folks.

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/1000/longest-time-breath-held-voluntarily-(male)

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Reply 7 - Posted by: bpl40, 8/13/2014 4:36:05 PM     (No. 9964794)

While increasing lung capacity will help, thats not where its at. Relaxation and technique is what is required. There have been yogis who (unverified by Guinness) have startled doctors by stopping their pulse at will.

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