I’ve tried this myself and validated this technique with the core group of guys I work with at the pool. I’ve seen guys’ breath hold go from an initial :45-[1:15] to [2:40]-[3:28] utilizing the below technique.
First, some key information:
-Deep Breathing: “Deep breathing” involves taking a big breath in through the mouth, holding for one second, and then exhaling for 10 seconds through your mouth through your almost-closed mouth with tongue pressed against your lower teeth. It should be a hissing exhalation and make a “tsssssss…” sound. All breathing and exercises are performed though the mouth.
-Purging: “Purging” involves a strong exhalation as if you were trying to blow a toy sailboat across a pool, followed by a big but faster inhalation. Cheeks puffed out as you do the exhalation (imagine the big bad wolf blowing the pigs’ homes down). Be careful not to heave or rock back and forth, which wastes oxygen. Keep as still as possible.
1) Find a comfortable chair free of distractions.
2) Do not move around while performing this test to keep your heart rate as low as possible. This includes moving your hands & arms or shrugging your shoulders when inhaling. Any movement, no matter how small, increases heart rate.
3) Make a conscious effort on your breath hold to inhale and fill your lungs fully. Concentrate on slowly filling your stomach, then your lower chest, then upper chest, then your trachea and then your throat and mouth. Maximize the airspace available to you.
4) Distract yourself while holding your breath. Recount your favorite movie in your head or associate each letter of the alphabet with a name of someone you know.
ALRIGHT, NOW FOR THE TEST. DISCLAIMER: THIS IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. DO NOT ATTEMPT IN WATER!
Sitting still, do a baseline breath hold and record your time. Then perform:
[1:30] deep breathing, then
[1:15] purging (if you feel like you’re going to pass out, do it less intensely)
Hold breath for target [1:30], no more
Hold breath for as long as possible & record your initial and final times in the comments box. (FYI, Harry Houdini’s life-time record is [3:30]).