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

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Old 11-02-2004, 04:09 PM   #1
Paul Theodorescu
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Can this be trained? Is it useful to train?

I held my breath in class today and lasted 1:00 before it started getting painful.

Is there a correlation between fitness and how long you can hold your breath?
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Old 11-02-2004, 04:57 PM   #2
Roger Harrell
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It certainly can be trained, but fitness will likely reduce the duration of breath holding. While you may increase lung usage, efficiencies of circulation and so forth your O2 utilization will increase with muscle mass. Now a huge componant of holding your breath is simply will power. You can go much, much longer than your body wants to without a breath with no ill effects.

Anyone know of any studies on this?
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Old 11-02-2004, 05:19 PM   #3
Roger Harrell
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I certainly can be trained.

Though my guess is that with increased fitness your ability to hold your breath will decrease. While you may some efficiencies your O2 utilization will increase with increased muscle mass, even at rest.

But, holding your breath is mostly a head thing. You can physically go much further than your body wants to without ill effect. This is what practice will gain you.
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:14 PM   #4
Eugene R. Allen
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Paul,

There is no question that it can be trained and improved upon and that it is useful. I am a whitewater kayaker and I have had several incidents where my ability to hang out upside down in my boat has kept me from having to do a wet exit. In one incident a fellow boater managed to get stuck on top of me and prevented me from rolling for at least 40 seconds. In a rapid that is a long time to be on the wrong side of the water line.

During my swim workouts, I do lots of multi-sport races, I do a 500 to 1,000 yard warm up pull with a buoy and then do a drill I have dubbed under/overs. I wear fins and swim the 25 yard length of the pool under water doing a dolphin kick and then swim back on the top at 80% speed. It was tough to stay on the minute for each send but now I am down to where I can push off every :55 for all 10 sets.

In Army Scuba School we trained that breath holding skill with crossovers. Fin the width of the pool and come up for a few breaths and go back to the other side for a few breaths and repeat endlessly. When you come up before you get to the other side get out and do flutter kicks until everyone else is out and start over. Sort of like Cross Fit I guess but with lots of yelling.

I'm not sure of any application outside of water borne activities, but if you work in, on or around water being able to hold your breath is a great skill to have.

eug
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Old 11-03-2004, 06:31 AM   #5
Frank Cruzata
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Paul,
Yes it can. To be safe it was recommeded to me on the PJ/CCT forum to do it walking. Preferably measured by distance. The reason is one of safety. While Eugene's scuba school did crossovers like USMC Recon they as well had shallow water blackouts. Is my assumption accurate, Eugene?

While not fatal when in a controlled environment at the local Y it can be deadly. Unless you can have someone with you at all times I would opt for the dry land black out. Sure you may bump your head but at least the blow may jar you back up. :proud:

There has also been some, I guess you could say research, that breatholding increases IQ. Yeah, yeah I know how that sounds but it was compelling none the less. The guys book was "The Einstein Factor" if you'd like to do a search for his website.
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Old 11-03-2004, 07:19 AM   #6
Donald Woodson
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Eugene, what you call crossovers basically looks kinda like tabata style endurance swimming, sorta.
But do you thing it really helps as far as increasing the length of time one can hold their breath? There does seem to be a paradox here where you would think that weaker and smaller muscles would burn less 02, and stronger larger muscles would burn more whether they are active or not. So increasing muscular efficiency would seem to decrease one's breath hold capabilities.
I earned my C card from Army divers at Ft. Hood Texas in 1972 (I was a brat). Back when there was no such thing as a bouyancy compensator, so the training you describe sounds all too familiar to me. Lotsa laps on top and underneath, treading water with weight belts on/no fins, donning and doffing, all that fun stuff. But I didn't get to do that much "real" diving, and had to satisfy my nautical ambitions by snorkeling in a local lake. There I learned that I could stay down much longer by going down and grabbing onto something, then relaxing every muscle in my body except for the one finger I had hooked into a rock. I practiced that a lot. I'd just hang there upside down as long as I could. I don't remember how long I could stay down, but it was considerably longer than any of the kids I was hangin with at the time.
So now I have this really useless skill...:proud:
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Old 11-03-2004, 09:33 AM   #7
Donald Woodson
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Frank, I've heard of "shallow water blackout" and the way it was described to me was that most depth pressure occurs in the top few feet of a body of water. I know this because I only have to continuously clear my ears for the first twenty or so feet on my way down. After that, I can go all the way to 130' (on SCUBA of course) with only a couple more clears. So when a free diver returns from depth to the surface already screaming for 02, the sudden expansion from that last few feet of his return to surface causes the divers C02 levels in his brain to suddenly expand and displace what little 02 is left in his brain, causing him to black out.
So I don't know if shallow water black out is even possible in a shallow pool. I know it's possible to pass out from exhaustion, but I think that's different from SWB.
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Old 11-03-2004, 04:07 PM   #8
Paul Theodorescu
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Frank, I've heard of that book. Didn't end up buying it since the reviews weren't all that good on amazon. Did strike my fancy though (and I've read similar books, some of which were good).

I'm not thinking about being around water very much, just pondered occasionally holding my breath for time while I have nothing to do. I was just checking if maybe there were minor side effects I wasn't aware of when you hold your breath for around a minute or so.
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Old 11-03-2004, 05:38 PM   #9
Donald Woodson
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I did a search on shallow water blackout and ended up here: http://www.scuba-doc.com/latenthypoxia.html
I was only partially right.
I was wrong about shallow water blackout not happening in shallow pools. Happens all the time, As a matter of fact, I'm really lucky it never happened to me as much as I did it.
As far as breath holding increasing ones IQ, that article says brain cells are the first cells to die when oxygen starved. I've been trying to get smarter all my life. I guess I shouldn't hold my breath...
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Old 11-03-2004, 05:58 PM   #10
Nick Massman
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check out freediving sites. there is a lot of training and scientific info there
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