Over the years, free divers have developed a new kind of aquatic challenge called static apnea. In order to perform static apnea effectively, one must first acquire different techniques and skills, not just for safety, but to enhance swimming performance. Some of these techniques include deep breathing, purge breathing, and breath holding. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a 1-week apnea and respiratory muscle training (ARMT) program on dynamic apnea swimming performance and spirometry measures. METHODS: Ten healthy, college-aged, highly trained male and female (nm = 6, nf = 4) swimmers (20 ± 2 yrs, 176 ± 2 cm, 78.1 ± 0.5 kg) were identified as the target population. Participants attended a pre-testing session where height (cm), weight (kg), FVC (L), and FEV1.0 (L / s) were recorded for each participant. A Dynamic Apnea (DA) test was then carried out, which required participants to swim underwater for the maximum achievable distance with a preferred stroke method before resurfacing. Time (s) and distance (m) underwater were recorded and measured for each participant. At the end of the DA test, comfort with the DA test was assessed via a survey. After this, the participants were randomly assigned into one of two groups: control (C) or training (T). Participants in the T group performed a 1-week ARMT program in addition to normal daily activities, and then both groups repeated the DA test and DA comfort survey. A factorial ANOVA with repeated measures and post-hoc tests (significance level p ≤ 0.05) were used to determine the existence of significant differences between experimental conditions for each dependent variable. RESULTS: No significant differences (p = 0.196 -1.00) were observed for FVC, FEV1.0, DA comfort, time or distance. Post-hoc tests indicated that there was no statistical difference (p = 0.738) for distance between CG and RTG despite a trend for greater improved distance in T (66.4 ± 41.4 m vs. 93.8 ± 72.2 m) compared to C (68.8 ± 30.9 m vs. 71.0 ± 39.3 m). CONCLUSION: 1-week ARMT did not significantly improve DA swim performance. The primary limitation of the present study was the small sample size, which decreased statistical power and effect sizes for each dependent variable. Future researchers should conduct a longer duration training study, which includes additional participants, a more rigorous test familiarization procedure, and improved controls for the DA test to minimize extraneous variables.

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