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Author Topic: Freediving is Bad for you?  (Read 430 times)

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Freediving is Bad for you?
« on: September 25, 2019, 10:25:21 AM »
Last year, I met a guy in passing who was a sleep apnea doctor. He said that freediving is really bad for your health and has no idea why people do it. It's always lingered in my mind. Recently, I've been training for deep reef hunting in Baja (cardio, weights, CO2 tables, pool training and weekend ocean dives). I hit a personal best of 97' last Sunday and upon posting about it, started a convo about the health aspect again. Phil Herranen sent me a few links (see below) with studies about how apnea/hypoxia training is bad for you. I'd be interested in any other thoughts or studies done on this. Not that it would make me dive any less, but perhaps just spending less lengths of time underwater. I'm also curious why it's not talked about more in freediving circles.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6434169/?fbclid=IwAR18J0tJVYdfOVgpDA2o3a_2I6GZaTZ7TolksvbSsY0yEqWwW30ZbvWxwgE

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090804071410.htm?fbclid=IwAR3WQmJgyS_QBdNDObWXF4WAAUatXwJWNc9HvbAqxeBgrLkr5Sp2SL8XF-U
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
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Offline Sea-Monkey

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Re: Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2019, 11:55:49 AM »
If you are waiting for me to say I'm concerned, don't hold your breath. Sorry, couldn't resist...
I'm sure my blood test results after my morning commute would be far more alarming!

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2019, 01:49:54 PM »
Some really good convo happening on the facebook group called Monterey Freedivers for anyone interested in learning more.
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
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Offline MATT MATTISON

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Re: Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2019, 01:52:23 PM »
so is driving on the freeway !!! and eating paint chips !!! and your point is ? everything that is fun and thrilling is bad for you ! Life is short play hard ! I would rather die young and lived a full life packed with excitement and adventure than a long life of boredom
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Offline Rob102

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Re: Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2019, 07:48:30 PM »
I call bullshit.

Offline Kshang

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Re: Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2019, 09:23:40 PM »
I would be interested in learning more about it, if there are additional studies out there. 

The NIH article talks about stress levels during dives, which is not very useful, because I'll probably generate as much, if not more, cortisol during other physical exercises, but such exercises are generally accepted as good to my health, so stress is no reason to stop such activity.  If there's evidence on the long-term effect, that would be much more helpful. 

The other article on Sciencedaily also sounds inconclusive, but it appears to be a step in the right direction.  I would definitely welcome this type of studies and research. 

I echo the others on the board that the result may or may not change how I live my life, but I thought it would be good to know.  Kind of like smoking--people can decide how to live their lives, but it would be good to be able to make informed decisions for themselves.  That said, blissful ignorance is another way to life, and in many instances the better way : )

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2019, 07:12:37 AM »
so is driving on the freeway !!! and eating paint chips !!! and your point is ? everything that is fun and thrilling is bad for you ! Life is short play hard ! I would rather die young and lived a full life packed with excitement and adventure than a long life of boredom

Wait... driving on the freeway is bad for you? Guess I gotta re-think that one too =P

Naw man. I just want to continue to learn about the hobby I enjoy. I'd be the last person you could ever accuse of a boring life =P
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
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Century Free Diver, Level 1 Free Dive Cert, EANx
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Offline kodama

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Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2019, 10:00:30 AM »
Here are some quotes that stood out for me. Reading these studies I can’t say I got worried anywhere. Nowhere does it seems to be proven that there are any negative long term effects!
The increase in s100b indicating stress while spearfishing (during a competition) I will happily embrace since I am sure that is cancelled out by the tremendous relaxing effect a day in the sea has for me. Let alone the long term benefits for my mental health.

The sleep apnea doctor should try some spearfishing or freediving himself and loosen up a bit.



“We conclude that hypoxia induced by apnea is the dominant trigger for the release of stress hormones and cardiac injury markers, whereas cold or and hyperbaric exposures play a minor role. These results indicate that subjects should be screened carefully for pre‐existing cardiac diseases before undertaking significant apneic maneuvers.”

“However, whether the sport causes any long-term damage to the brain has remained a point of contention. Studies have produced conflicting results.”

“Other sports have also been associated with a similar transient increase in S100B, the researchers noted, including boxing, headings in soccer, running and long-distance swimming. One study also reported that individuals suffering sleep apnea had elevated levels of S100B in the morning, although another study indicated there had been no change in S100B overnight.”

“However, the appearance of the protein, S100B, was transient and leaves open the question of whether lengthy apnea (breath-holding) can damage the brain over the long term.”

Offline Rob102

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Re: Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2019, 08:05:37 PM »
All marine mammals hold their breath for way longer than we do, and humans exhibit the same mammalian reflex as marine mammals. I think whales and dolphins even have larger brains than humans and they spend their lives holding their breath. I’d say that on an evolutionary level we humans were made to hold our breath. Except for apnea specialists, they were made to come up with a bunch of bullshit so they can bill you for sleeping and sell cpap machines.

Offline kodama

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Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2019, 01:13:44 AM »
Recently, I've been training for deep reef hunting in Baja (cardio, weights, CO2 tables, pool training and weekend ocean dives). I hit a personal best of 97'


It is hard to comment on your training program without knowing anything about the details but in general regards to spearfishing/freediving there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

It is best to stop or reduce training cardio and strength to a ‘maintaining level’ several months before your peak season.
Regarding cardio, anaerobic training usually in the form of intervals, seems the most beneficial for freediving/spearfishing.
Regarding strength increasing your lactate threshold in your legs certainly helps.
The reason to stop training these aspects is that the body needs time to become efficient in its oxygen use within the newly acquired muscle tissue.
Also more muscles in chest, shoulders and back often mean less flexibility in the chest unless you have been stretching specifically and often.
Focus on Pool and depth training just before the hunting season.

All the above doesn’t need to be a problem if you train periodically true the season and shift focus accordingly.

Congratulations on your new PB! A word of caution regarding depth. Mind you that there is a big difference between pb and a depth as your comfort zone. Then again your comfort zone for spearfishing, the depth where you feel totally relaxed for long ambushes, will be shallower.

Don’t overestimate your actual hunting depth based on a couple of line dives. Even hangs at depth are not comparable to pulling out a grouper out of his hole.

Let me clarify that I am only trying to give sound advice and have no idea about your ability and experience. Most of the above you probably already know but I thought it might contribute in general.

Wishing you a great trip and looking forward to reading a report and seeing some pictures.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 06:09:34 AM by kodama »

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2019, 11:33:52 AM »
Recently, I've been training for deep reef hunting in Baja (cardio, weights, CO2 tables, pool training and weekend ocean dives). I hit a personal best of 97'


It is hard to comment on your training program without knowing anything about the details but in general regards to spearfishing/freediving there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

It is best to stop or reduce training cardio and strength to a ‘maintaining level’ several months before your peak season.
Regarding cardio, anaerobic training usually in the form of intervals, seems the most beneficial for freediving/spearfishing.
Regarding strength increasing your lactate threshold in your legs certainly helps.
The reason to stop training these aspects is that the body needs time to become efficient in its oxygen use within the newly acquired muscle tissue.
Also more muscles in chest, shoulders and back often mean less flexibility in the chest unless you have been stretching specifically and often.
Focus on Pool and depth training just before the hunting season.

All the above doesn’t need to be a problem if you train periodically true the season and shift focus accordingly.

Congratulations on your new PB! A word of caution regarding depth. Mind you that there is a big difference between pb and a depth as your comfort zone. Then again your comfort zone for spearfishing, the depth where you feel totally relaxed for long ambushes, will be shallower.

Don’t overestimate your actual hunting depth based on a couple of line dives. Even hangs at depth are not comparable to pulling out a grouper out of his hole.

Let me clarify that I am only trying to give sound advice and have no idea about your ability and experience. Most of the above you probably already know but I thought it might contribute in general.

Wishing you a great trip and looking forward to reading a report and seeing some pictures.

I appreciate the concern and advice. I am aware line diving is not hunting and that big fish fight hard. Much of our hunting will be blue water for Wahoo and similar. However, I do expect to take some drops on deeper reefs. I'm currently comfortable stalking (aspetto) at 70' which is why I've been pushing and training (intervals in pool, CO2 tables 3x/w, weekend dives, light weight full body circuit 3x/w, etc) to grow that bottom time. We will be strictly buddy diving and all divers are certified. Looking forward to my first Baja trip!

Thanks again.
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
Instagram - @thekeeneroo    Facebook - @Ekeener1
Century Free Diver, Level 1 Free Dive Cert, EANx
DOTY 2018 - 3rd Place
Bring the Ling 2018 - 1st Place (=P)

Offline kodama

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Re: Freediving is Bad for you?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2019, 11:38:03 AM »
Recently, I've been training for deep reef hunting in Baja (cardio, weights, CO2 tables, pool training and weekend ocean dives). I hit a personal best of 97'


It is hard to comment on your training program without knowing anything about the details but in general regards to spearfishing/freediving there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

It is best to stop or reduce training cardio and strength to a ‘maintaining level’ several months before your peak season.
Regarding cardio, anaerobic training usually in the form of intervals, seems the most beneficial for freediving/spearfishing.
Regarding strength increasing your lactate threshold in your legs certainly helps.
The reason to stop training these aspects is that the body needs time to become efficient in its oxygen use within the newly acquired muscle tissue.
Also more muscles in chest, shoulders and back often mean less flexibility in the chest unless you have been stretching specifically and often.
Focus on Pool and depth training just before the hunting season.

All the above doesn’t need to be a problem if you train periodically true the season and shift focus accordingly.

Congratulations on your new PB! A word of caution regarding depth. Mind you that there is a big difference between pb and a depth as your comfort zone. Then again your comfort zone for spearfishing, the depth where you feel totally relaxed for long ambushes, will be shallower.

Don’t overestimate your actual hunting depth based on a couple of line dives. Even hangs at depth are not comparable to pulling out a grouper out of his hole.

Let me clarify that I am only trying to give sound advice and have no idea about your ability and experience. Most of the above you probably already know but I thought it might contribute in general.

Wishing you a great trip and looking forward to reading a report and seeing some pictures.

I appreciate the concern and advice. I am aware line diving is not hunting and that big fish fight hard. Much of our hunting will be blue water for Wahoo and similar. However, I do expect to take some drops on deeper reefs. I'm currently comfortable stalking (aspetto) at 70' which is why I've been pushing and training (intervals in pool, CO2 tables 3x/w, weekend dives, light weight full body circuit 3x/w, etc) to grow that bottom time. We will be strictly buddy diving and all divers are certified. Looking forward to my first Baja trip!

Thanks again.
Sounds like you are well prepared and have a great trip to look forward to. Have fun and let us know how it went.
I have been dreaming about a trip to Baja for years myself.

 

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