holding your breath

Bear with me, this could qualify as a silly question: :o

Does it mean that people who can hold their breath for a long time have stronger lungs, thus better endurance?

Now I know an endurance athlete can certainly win a 5k to a person who can just hold his breath for say 10minutes (and doesn’t train for the 5k), but i’m asking when comparing two people who are of equal physique/ability/background/whatever, while one can hold his breath for much longer.
Just wondering if that means anything!

Could be many things.

  • pain threshold
  • control of heart rate
  • hemoglobin
  • physcological - fear of dying
  • experience, practice


I actually used to do a bit of free diving. The main basic conditions that lead to a long breath hold (up to 5mins) are:

-CO2 Tolerance (pain tolerance, practice)
-Heart rate
-Blood ph
-The ‘Breath Up’

Above 5mins O2 saturation etc… starts to come in to play.

Of the above factors which allow good breath holds low heart rate may be an indication of good physical fitness and low stress/fatigue - this would be favorable prior to an endurance activity. More useful though would probably by blood ph. Alkaline blood improves breath hold times and it also delays the debilitating effects of lactic acid build up :wink: Plenty of fruit and veg in the diet will set up good blood ph levels, if you really wanna push it though you could feed up on some prunes and neck a tea spoon of baking powder in a pint of water. Don’t consume too much though otherwise you might never make it onto the track!

Thanks for that.

I pretty much suck at holding my breath and I want to practice getting better at it. (just in case somebody ties me up and traps me underwater and I need more than 1 minute to free myself, ya know?)
My hemoglobin is below normal.

Shouldn’t be an issue cause I’m pretty sure Dick Cheney can’t catch you!

Well here’s a quick question to find out if you are stressing yourself…

Do you feel like you have to go to the washroom at the end? If not, your breath holding is limited more by mental factors than by physiological ones. In highschool I’d get into these breath holding competitions with friends, and I think I always won simply because I wanted to the most. I never had to go more than 3.5min to win.

3.5min? :eek: I can hardly reach 40seconds… :o No bathroom needed at the end. It just hurts to hold it that long man :o

:stuck_out_tongue: I’m sure Dick Cheney wouldn’t chase me himself…

Anybody see the presidential debate where one guy said he was against torture but for waterboarding…

waterboarding = torture

That guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about…

Remember you have to outrun his shotgun too.