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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 12-22-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
J Eric Bauman
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Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

I live in an area with a lot of tunnels and one of the things my kids an I do is hold our breath when we go through them because we are "under" the water. Pretty dumb I know but my kids like it. We dont go through the tunnels often, just once a month or so. I have found that it iseasier to hold my breath after doing crossfit for a few months. So can breath holding ablity a mesure of overall fitness? Thoughts?
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:21 PM   #2
Rebecca Roth
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Re: Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

As you train and your body becomes more conditioned your a) maximal oxygen intake increases, b) more efficiently use oxygen, so less is needed (i.e. think of how someone well-conditioned can run while breathing shallowly, yet the unconditioned are gasping for air).
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

Breath holding ability is related to lung capacity: the more oxygen you take in at once, the less often you need to breathe. So in that sense it's a measure of fitness.

But it's also a trainable skill by itself. People who do things like free diving train specifically to be able to hold their breath for long periods. That level of breath holding depends on specific adaptations that may not have much to do with general fitness.

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Old 12-22-2011, 11:12 PM   #4
Alex Carey
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Re: Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

Breathing is stimulated by a build up of carbon dioxide in the blood. If you want to hold your breath longer, hyperventilate before holding your breath - you'll blow off most of your carbon dioxide and it'll take longer (a few minutes, depending on how long/how effectively you hyperventilate) for the carbon dioxide levels to build up to the point where you will be forced to breathe.

Just don't hyperventilate until your hands cramp up
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:14 AM   #5
Dave Traeger
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Re: Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

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Originally Posted by Alex Carey View Post
Breathing is stimulated by a build up of carbon dioxide in the blood. If you want to hold your breath longer, hyperventilate before holding your breath - you'll blow off most of your carbon dioxide and it'll take longer (a few minutes, depending on how long/how effectively you hyperventilate) for the carbon dioxide levels to build up to the point where you will be forced to breathe.

Just don't hyperventilate until your hands cramp up
He's doing this while driving through tunnels. I dont think hyperventilating while driving is a good idea
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:32 PM   #6
Jared Ashley
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Re: Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

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Originally Posted by J Eric Bauman View Post
I live in an area with a lot of tunnels and one of the things my kids an I do is hold our breath when we go through them because we are "under" the water. Pretty dumb I know but my kids like it. We dont go through the tunnels often, just once a month or so. I have found that it iseasier to hold my breath after doing crossfit for a few months. So can breath holding ablity a mesure of overall fitness? Thoughts?
I vote no.

Obviously if you can truly only hold your breath for 15 seconds you're not in good shape, but much beyond a minute is more related to willpower and practice than fitness.

Example: The longest I've ever held my breath is 2 1/2 minutes. Longer than anyone else I personally know. But I did it at like 20 years old when I was skinny and weak, and had much less cardiovascular capability. Now, I'm in much better shape, vastly stronger, and when I try I only occasionally get past 1 1/2 minutes, and almost never get to 2 minutes.

conclusion: the two aren't related.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:31 PM   #7
Paul Victor French
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Re: Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

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Originally Posted by Jared Ashley View Post
I vote no.

Obviously if you can truly only hold your breath for 15 seconds you're not in good shape, but much beyond a minute is more related to willpower and practice than fitness.

Example: The longest I've ever held my breath is 2 1/2 minutes. Longer than anyone else I personally know. But I did it at like 20 years old when I was skinny and weak, and had much less cardiovascular capability. Now, I'm in much better shape, vastly stronger, and when I try I only occasionally get past 1 1/2 minutes, and almost never get to 2 minutes.

conclusion: the two aren't related.

Agreed, I think it's David Blaine who has the record for holding his breath, something like 17 minutes although I could be mistaken.

I think it's more about practise than fitness.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
Dave Traeger
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Re: Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

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Agreed, I think it's David Blaine who has the record for holding his breath, something like 17 minutes although I could be mistaken.

I think it's more about practise than fitness.
Um, in about half that time don't you start restricting the brain of oxygen and start causing damage to it?
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:31 PM   #9
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

Blaine set his record after breathing pure oxygen for 20 minutes.
http://www.worldrecordsacademy.org/s...aine_80235.htm (WFS)

The record without oxygen assist is just short of nine minutes.

Katherine
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:06 PM   #10
Daniel Wheeler
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Re: Breath holding ability a measure of fitness?

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Originally Posted by Alex Carey View Post
Breathing is stimulated by a build up of carbon dioxide in the blood. If you want to hold your breath longer, hyperventilate before holding your breath - you'll blow off most of your carbon dioxide and it'll take longer (a few minutes, depending on how long/how effectively you hyperventilate) for the carbon dioxide levels to build up to the point where you will be forced to breathe.

Just don't hyperventilate until your hands cramp up


Any military gonnabes/wannabes reading this. DO NOT hyperventilate before ANY subsurface event. Shallow water black out is not cool and does you no good in train up.

It is reckless and stupid.

Same goes for any joe wanting to see how far they can swim underwater on one breath.

Last edited by Daniel Wheeler : 12-26-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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