Freediving training and lung squeeze

Today's talk is about an article, or it's taken from, inspired by an article that i read on the DAN Europe page. The article concerned genetic markers for a propensity for LUNG SQUEEZE. In other words there's a susceptibility to lung squeeze. There's been research commissioned on this, and it's an extremely interesting article. It identified some of the markers. And on top of that, it inspired in me to produce a few words on the way we train for depth. That I hope are valuable. One of the main markers is Nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has been fascinating me for the last 20 years. Nitric oxide is a gas, that is actually produced in your paranasal sinuses. it's a vasodilator and on top of that, it behaves as a gigantic antioxidant.

It munches up all those bad guys the ROS, the free radicals. Why this is important is vastly misunderstood by freedivers. There's a lot of muddle and confusion about this. And a lot of ignorance about it. And it does explain, or help us to understand, and awfully lot better, about what might be over training. Which is one of the main enemies, that we're facing today. I'm gonna begin with a little story. About four years ago I was down in Dahab. I was training a young Englishman. A very brilliant one, who was doing seventy four meters no fins. Some free divers have been diving everyday in the Blue Hole. They've been squeezing their lungs every day.

And then the next day going back, and doing the same thing over again. And every day going deeper. They were trying to get to 90 meters. In different disciplines. Anyway, they apparently thought, that lung squeeze was a normal part of deep water training. So they came up to my diver, and they said: "What do you do about long squeeze?" and he answered them, very truthfully: "I've never had lung squeeze". Well, they were flabbergasted, and they also didn't believe him. This, as far as I remember, if i can remember the chronology, was before Nick Mevoli's accident. That changed an awful lot of things. And a lot of perspectives in freedriving. In my opinion it didn't change enough. There were few minor alterations produce to the AIDA rules in competition. A lot of the safety procedures, and everything else, have not been well thought through.

And there'v been a few catastrophes in safety operations since that. Thet really need to be sorted out. However everything's a learning procedure. Going on beyond that, I think that there's a lot of confusion about deep training. And that's something i want to address. If you would have tests, to find out whether you had the wrong genetic markers, you might frighten yourself.

Even if you had the right ones, it might make you more incautious. In other words, if you were not one of the people, who had a susceptibility to lung squeeze, you might begin to think of yourself as bulletproof. So let me address my opinions, on what's happening here, and what should happen. Let's talk about Nitric oxide and what it does for us. The first thing is this, the first part of a blood shift (it is very interesting to us) it was studied in the Oxford University on Maria-Teresa and myself, back in 1998. And it was found then, that the capillaries on the surface of the alveoli, in the lungs, dilate to up to two hundred percent. Which takes up a lot of space, vacated by the alveoli collapsing.

If you can imagine, that if you're going down fast, and you weren't getting sufficient blood shift, then there would be a bigger space that would be left. This is what can produce your lungs squeeze. And this is one of the dangers we want to avoid. Can we avoid by training? YES! Now the other danger that comes in, is also where again we get help from Nitric oxide.

And that is… When… blood shift means that the blood leaving the arms and the legs and migrating to the core, to the vital organs of the core. When it floods back again, it's called ischemia and reperfusion, in scientific terms. This process produces an awful lot of free radicals. Free radicals are the real bad guys, that allow us to feel tired, exhausted everything else And the main line of defense against them, is again, Nitric oxide. This mysterious gas, that is produced in limited quantities, in the paranasal sinuses. First thing is, can we get more of it? Very hard to do.

We haven't been very successful in doing that. There are certain things, that support the activities, of certain aspects of Nitric oxide. Such as taking supplements, that are in themselves antioxidants, or help the antioxidant process. One, that comes to mind immediately, is L-Arginine. But then there's all your other things, like your blue green spirulinas, and your vitamins – A, C, E etc`. Do they do anything? They're not the answer. The answer is correct training. Which means, that in answer to free radicals, we need rest. That is the only thing that allows, reliably, the levels of Nitric oxide return to normal in the body.

For the other danger, which is the difference, or the speed, at which your blood shift comes on, to protect your lungs. The main thing is, that you want to induce blood shift as strongly as possible, and as early as possible. So what conclusions can we take from this? This was all from the article. The first one, is concerning the blood shift itself. There has been vast misunderstanding, now of the best exercises to do for that. The main one that people are talking about is, of course, FRC training. Becoming more and more the vogue. It is dangerous! Because it doesn't bring on the blood shift as quickly as it should. And there's a danger of you exceeding the depth… that the blood shift would allow you to go to.

Now, the other side of the thing is, that people have been desperately scared of doing Residual Volume diving. That means getting all the air out of the lungs … … filling the cheeks, and going for it. Close to the surface, or just under it. And using only the air in the cheeks to go down. Now what happens here? the blood shift comes on far quicker far stronger and you will be stopped from going too far by being not being able to equalize your progress depends on your equalization and the blood ship keeps pace with it that's the first part of thing and that's why we recommend of the training we don't recommend doing one or two I'll be God's after deep dive know what we recommend is doing weeks of RB training before we attempt steps training this is very very important to realize this takes time for the body to understand and to adapt and then it's your body is adapting to pressure the other thing that is doing for you is doing away with press it triggers present rigors of thing that happens when a person stops at 76.2 meters all the time and you don't know why you can take aways depth gauge you can take away all these alarms you can take away the marks on the road and he still stop there every time why a bit like somebody's first experiences of push and Tai Chi when the hand is coming towards you the closer to get you get a feeling of discomfort and you begin to tense the core area here this is what's happening the water is squeezing you like this and the moment the subconscious mind registers hey this is unknown territory that's the end of your equalization and your only option do this return to the surface so it's doing away with pressure triggers it's bringing on the blood shift these two of the most important things then it's doing a lot of other things giving you a comparison in your training all the time in the progression of your training with full of diving you can easily work out that if i have a 20-percent residual volume which is one beginning with that if i'm doing our 10 meters on empty lungs what the equivalent of that would be on full run it's a simple mathematical equation ok it's not empirical weekend most of us haven't got an idea of exactly and water residual volume is but it's a better guests than anything that we're going to get off frc which we don't know is walks off so everybody buries the whole time we have no idea whether we're progressing or not progressing so we have their a constant method of comparison but we only have one unknown we only have one x factor this is extremely useful the other thing that it allows us to do is to practice the technique of deepwater equalization first chick Film mouthfeel depending on which one you're using and then afterward equalization going back to friends will be there with no air in the cheeks and we can practice those separately we can do a lot of dives in the day in one may safely and because there's no risk of decompression sickness a dive 200 meters might take three minutes 23 minutes 40 anyone discipline you're doing a dive to the equivalent of that on any lung my taking 45 seconds at the most so you're not accumulating any debt of nitrogen that is significant that is likely to cause yourself decompression sickness so it's a safe method of training we go down always in free immersion with no weight on the body at first because you'll be going down quickly equalizing quicker you got to get used to living boom-boom-boom-boom yeah and it ensures that were not going beyond our equalization capacity so creamer she no wait on the body and we're free motion coming up as well we do not have to worry about if we do a big pool at the bottom i have not had any person have any thing mostly related to lung squeeze when doing army training and I've been doing it for years and also love my divers will qualifying for really diving want to do this so that all those factors that it can't rain are off the board when they begin the empty lungs when they begin the full loan training a good mark for beginning the full and training is doing 20 meters on any lumps on RV if you can do that and I'm really all the everything that you can squeeze out but no reverse packing guide then you really are your body is prepared your psychology is put there are used to holding your breath on empty lungs you're used to the feeling of pressure and more than anything else you've trained your blood system so this is vital for it but let's go on to the next thing that you're nitric oxide is pointing to the business about being an antioxidant I said that your body in skinny and reperfusion blood shift produces normal of free radicals this is true the free radicals give it's exactly the same effect back to the knicks accident of overtraining we feel exhausted we feel depressed we feel probably to sleep problems with appetite problems with sex drive every probably you could possibly imagine except possibly financial arm and wait for that one that's overtraining it's deeply dangerous to your psychology because it's like bashing ensure your head against the wall and you cannot go forward you start going backwards and it's depressing and the main thing that is guaranteed to bring on nitric oxide levels that is rest and I mean rest i don't mean doing alternative activity i mean really resting kicking back and taking it easy we have a particular table of how much risk is necessary for what kind of what dives from 50 meters 260 from 60 on 280 meters and from 90 meters a hundred meters Andrew 10 meters different amounts of guides you could do in a week if you're doing really does entry figures you probably want to do if it's just three figures you probably want to do too we if it's somewhere around a hundred and ten meters that you're looking at you probably want to do one a week as a little of that this idea that more training is better is a fantasy now in conclusion I'd like to go back to the article again and back to conclusions that they reach the article but today we are in a period where we could be asking down for test to see whether we are genetically susceptible to lung squeeze our that's got pros and cons for it as I said at the beginning those who come back and are the favored few or the favored many we don't know yet who have not got a susceptibility to long squeeze may feel that the bulletproof and start taking risk again i repeat the most of the accidents that we've had and most of the incidence of lung squeeze have nothing whatsoever to do with your genetic susceptibility to it most of them have been by incorrect training learning incorrect equalization techniques for death taking insufficient rest between dives and not training the blood shift as a main factor of deep diving the other thing is other people could be frightened and say all i'll never be able to go deep because I've got one or two markers that are in the wrong place again that's not true because we do not know whether they can be changed or not and my feeling is that if you taking very cautiously and that if you train in a logical manner like we only increased depth by one meter per session and then only if you can equalize on the bottom if you're going for ninety six meters affected your last equalization 90 meters does not mean to kill ready for one meter more only when you can equalize at 96 meters then you would look for one more meter so this is very important stuff and if we absorb the lessons was dissolved in this pointy to and a study of nitric oxide is pointing to then I think we can make freediving together a much much safer activity and who knows where we'll be able to go and so I wish you all very safe diving and i hope you enjoyed the ramble and the best of luck to the next time we tool

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