CO2 tables for dry static breath-holds
CO2 tables (Carbon Dioxide tables) are what you use as a guide during static apnea training. The tables let you know how long to hold your breath for vs how long to rest for between breath-holds.
Carbon Dioxide Tables have a structured series of breath-holds that are all the same in duration.
Then between each series of breath-holds, you’re allowed to breathe for a certain amount of time.
The further you go down the table; the less time you’re allowed to breathe between each series of breath-holds.
The benefit of using a CO2 table is that it increases the CO2 levels in your bloodstream.
This then forces your body to adapt and build up your CO2 Tolerance, so you get desensitized to the discomfort of high CO2 levels in your blood (like the overwhelming urge to breathe, diaphragm contractions etc).
This all contributes to making you a more relaxed freediver, with higher breath-hold times.
Below is a CO2 Table example:
This CO2 Table has a hypothetical personal best breath-hold time of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Benefits of dry static apnea training (compared to other apnea training)
There are 3 main benefits of dry static breath-holds:
1. Safety: You’re above water on the land. If you hold your breath for too long and push things too far and pass out, it’s impossible to drown. However, it is important to do dry static breath-holds laying down, so if you do pass out, you won’t hit your head or hurt yourself.
2. You can do them alone: No diving buddies needed. You’re not underwater, so you’re not at risk of drowning if you pass out. This means you can do them completely alone and still be safe.
3. No pool or ocean needed: you can simply do them laying down on the ground at home or on your bed/couch. This makes the activity easily accessible, so you can do it more often.
Although dry static breath-holds have clear benefits; they also come with undeniable downsides…
Disadvantages of dry static apnea training
Harder than wet statics (so you’ll have lower breath-hold times): You’re not underwater, so you don’t have the breath-holding benefits of the Mammalian Dive Reflex being activated.
This results in shorter apnea times that aren’t comparable to freediving apnea.
How often should you do dry static apnea training?
Try doing dry apnea about 2 – 4 times per week.
After doing it for this length of time, you should see a pretty big increase in your breath-hold times after a week or two.