What Every Freediver Should Know About Hyperventilation

If you have already done your first Freediving course, then you learned that hyperventilation is dangerous and should be avoided before a breath-hold. But also probably seen some elite-level freedivers doing it before their massive STA breath-hold 

So, who is right?

First, let’s discuss the theory and then whether you should do hyperventilation or not.

Your breathing rate and depth are mainly regulated by how much CO2 you produce at the moment. Usually, your breathing rate and depth match your current metabolic activity level. But if you voluntarily start changing your breathing rate or/and depth, you are more likely to do hyperventilation.

What are the disadvantages of hyperventilation?

  • elevated heart rate
  • cerebrial vasoconstriction
  • suppressing Bohr Effect
  • increased risk of Black Out

To learn more about hyperventilation, watch this video.

More about Bohr Effect for Freediving 

If HV is dangerous, then why can you see it on the STA competition?

The answer is simple – competitive Freedivers are ready to accept the increased risk of having Black Out to have their urge to breath later (in the attempt of having more extended breath-hold). 

And also let’s not forget that the safety during the competition is usually better organized than your regular training session. 

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