If you do a simple online search on how to hold your breath longer, you will end up with results that sound too good to be true.
There are some tutorials that claim you can learn to hold your breath as long as 20 minutes or more. While that may seem like a task that only stunt performers or illusionists could pull off, there are actually breath-holding competitions where divers are capable of holding their breath for 10, 15, even 20 minutes at a time.
We may not all be able to break a world record like some diving competitors, but we can take some advice from their training and practice tips and train our lungs to withstand holding in air much longer.
How to Hold Your Breath Longer in Just One Month
The following six-stage process is designed not help you learn to hold your breath for 5 minutes in just one month.
While there are plenty of tutorials on how to hold your breath longer than that, it is best to start out slow and work your way up instead of trying to go from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.
You should gradually increase your time until you reach the desired length you are content with.
First, if you are planning to go freediving once you improve holding your breath, there are a few things you should remember.
- Never dive alone, always dive with a friend who is rescue trained or a trainer.
- Dry training is much safer than wet training.
- Don’t hyperventilate. Stay calm at all times.
- Always dive within your limits. Make steady, gradual progress.
Step One – Training for a 5-Minute Breath Hold
There is nothing simple or easy about attempting to hold your breath for 5 minutes. You may attempt this technique and not be able to do it, and that’s okay.
If you achieve holding your breath for one minute, two or three minutes, that’s still impressive and can be useful when freediving or basic swimming.
- The first thing you should do is find out what your dry breath hold is currently. You need to set the bar now so that you will know how much longer you need to hold your breath to do even better.
- To prepare, sit in a comfortable chair or lie down on the bed.
- Breathe in and out calmly like you normally would for 2 minutes.
- Take a deep breath in and then exhale everything out. Then take in a very deep breath, as deep as you can.
- Hold your breath, relax, focus on something else other than the task you are doing.
- When you are unable to hold your breath any longer, take in some deep inhales to recover. Always pay attention to your inhales and not your exhales whenever you are recovering from training.
What Should You Expect Based on Step One?
If you were able to hold your breath for 1 minute or less, you should be able to accomplish holding it for up to 3 minutes by the end of the month.
If you held your breath for 1 minute and 30 seconds, you should be able to hold your breath up to 4 minutes after a month of training.
And if you held your breath for up to 2 minutes, with training you should be able to hold your breath for up to 5 minutes after one month.
You may do better, or worse.
There are no fixed rules and no right or wrong results at the end of training.
Remember, some people are just capable of holding their breath longer than others. Be proud of what you are able to accomplish and move on from there.
Step Two – Work on Your Technique
This step involves working on your technique and making changes if needed.
There are three things that you should pay attention to when preparing:
- Relaxing your muscles
- Relaxing your mind
- Relaxing your breathing
Obviously, the key to learning how to hold your breath longer is relaxation.
Your muscles need to inactive so that they will not use up your oxygen. You must be calm, if you are stressed, scared or nervous about the training, you will not be able to meet your goals.
Think of something that makes you feel calm. You may even want to practice meditation if you have problems with stress.
Your breathing also needs to be relaxed. It shouldn’t be forced or fast. You should just breathe normally. By breathing normally, you can avoid hyperventilation.
The Final Breaths
This part should be simple.
- First inhale 75%.
- Then exhale 100%.
- Then one full maximum 100% inhale.
The Breath Hold
At this point, you want to prevent the air from escaping at the back of the throat, not at your lips.
Do not release any air until you are ready to start breathing again, whether you are dry training or underwater. Your exhales will always include oxygen and you don’t want to waste it.
Relax and don’t think about anything while you are holding your breath for best results.
Step Three – Frequency, Location, and Breath-Hold Quality
The third step in training is to work on your frequency, the location, and the quality of your breath-holding.
Work on practicing CO2 tables every other day for 2 weeks. Then work on your O2 tables for the last 2 weeks. You should work on these tasks an hour a day.
A CO2 table is a technique where you have less and less recovery time in between breath holds. This allows the CO2 in your bloodstream to go up throughout the exercise. That will help you develop a tolerance to CO2 which in turn will help you hold your breath longer.
An O2 table will help you maximize your breath hold by increasing the amount of time you hold your breath with each attempt. The recovery time will always be a fixed time, such as 2 minutes. This ensures that the CO2 is released correctly from your body.
Here is some more information about Freediving and how to create CO2 and O2 tables.
Dry training can be much more difficult than wet training, but it is also much safer.
Still, you should always practice training with a friend because any type of breath-hold can be dangerous. The reason dry training is harder than wet training is because of the mammalian dive reflex that is instantly triggered when the face is immersed in water.
So, any time that you are dry training, you will not be as powerful as you are when you wet train.
Yet at the same time, if you do really well with dry training, you can expect to do even better with wet training.
If you feel that you are ready to train in the water, always make sure you have someone there with you at all times.
As with any type of athletic training, the quality should be more important than the quantity.
By focusing on the session and getting yourself in the correct mindset without any distractions, you will ensure that your quality of training is the best it can be.
Step Four – Aerobic and Anaerobic Training
When learning how to hold your breath longer, it is important that you take part in different aerobic and anaerobic exercises. This will help to improve your overall physical strength.
When you practice aerobic exercises, your body is using up more oxygen than glycogen. So by doing aerobic exercises, you are training your body to use oxygen more efficiently. Try riding a bicycle or going for a quick run and do this type of exercise twice a week.
Anaerobic is exercising without air, and that type of activity can obviously help you with your breath-hold training. This type of workout involves pushing yourself hard and causing your breathing rate to go up. This makes your muscles lose oxygen so that they begin to burn glycogen and phosphates. You don’t have to endure this type of exercise long. It is all about high energy in short bursts. Practice this type of training three times a week. Here are a few examples of Aerobic and Anaerobic exercises.
Step Five – Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating healthy is also very important while you are training. You want to stay away from caffeine and you shouldn’t take any artificial stimulants. Do not consume alcohol and drink plenty of water. Never drink or eat too much before you do aerobic or anaerobic exercises because your stomach will need the energy to digest your food.
Step Six – Put Everything Together
Now, it is time to put everything together. You need to be able to successfully do the following to complete the task.
1. Breath-up technique
2. Breath-hold technique
3. CO2 and O2 Training Tables
4. Aerobic training
5. Anaerobic training.
After one month of training exactly as described, you should be able to increase your ability to hold your breath longer for at least a duration of 50% longer.
Final Thoughts to Remember When Learning How to Hold Your Breath Longer
Learning how to hold your breath longer is a great practice that could help save your life if you spend a lot of time in the water.
These tips should help you improve your breath-hold skills, but if you don’t meet your goals you shouldn’t be discouraged.
Be patient and keep trying.
Remember that you have to be calm and learn to relax in order to hold your breath for a long period.
By practicing various types of meditation or breathing exercises, you will help to train your body to hold your breath under water longer.