Lesson 7 of 9
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Breath Holds – Apnea Tables

Apnea Tables – Apnea tables designed to improve the body’s tolerance to CO2 will decrease the rest time between successive breath holds in an attempt to slowly build a residual concentration of CO2 in the lungs. An O2 table will do the opposite by holding rest times constant and increasing the duration of each breath hold.

Designing a CO2 table – start with finding out your max breath hold. Let’s say it’s 2 minutes. We will set our breath hold at 50% of our max so 1 minute. You will need a stopwatch for this exercise. 

  1. Start breathing for 2:30 and then hold for 1 minute.
  2. Each round, reduce breathing time by 15 seconds followed by 1 minute hold.
  3. Last 2 rounds should have 1 minute of breathing each. See Example:

Rd 1. Breath 2:30 Hold 1min Rd.2 Breath 2:15 Hold 1 min, 

Rd 3. Breath 2:00 Hold 1 min Rd 4. Breath 1:45 hold 1 min

Rd 5. Breathe 1:30 Hold 1min Rd 6. Breath 1:15 Hold 1 min, 

Rd 7. Breathe 1 min Hold 1 min Rd 8. Breath 1 min hold 1 min. 

Stop. Recover.

Designing an O2 table – similar to CO2 but instead of decreasing breathing time we increase hold time and keep breathing time constant at 2 minute. As a rule of thumb we will work up to 80% of your max breath hold. Lets say its 2 minutes, we will work up to a 96 second hold (80% of 120seconds) in 15 second increments. Work you way back from round 8 (96 seconds) with a minimum starting hold of 20+ seconds. If your max breath hold is 2 minutes you would use the following table. Last two rounds are at 80% of max breath hold.  You will need a stopwatch for this exercise. 

  1. Start breathing for 2:00 and then hold for 1 minute.
  2. Each round, increase hold time by 15 seconds.
  3. Breath for another 2 minutes. Repeat hold with 15 second increase according to your personal table.
  4. Last 2 rounds should have 80% of max breath hold. See Example:

Rd 1. Breathe 2 min Hold 21 sec Rd.2 Breath 2 min Hold 21 sec, 

Rd 3. Breathe 2 min Hold 36 sec Rd 4. Breath 2 min hold 51 sec

Rd 5. Breathe 2 min Hold 66 sec Rd 6. Breath 2 min Hold 81 sec, 

Rd 7. Breathe 2 min Hold 96 sec Rd 8. Breath 2 min Hold 96 sec. Stop. Recover.

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