David Blaine Explains His Breathholding Technique

YouTube link.

Unlike conventional modern "magic," what was involved in the underwater breathhold was not special effects or hidden technology.  Instead, Blaine prepared using a combination of hypoxic tent training to increase his hematocrit, preloading with 100% oxygen, meditation to decrease his oxygen consumption, and hyperventilation to delay his hypercapnic response.

As a useful reference point, his 17-minute breathhold time is almost the same length as this 20-minute TED talk.  It's also worth noting here as an addendum that the hyperventilation ("purging") he describes should not be attempted by amateurs to increase underwater breathhold time while swimming or diving.  The technique does allow a longer breathhold, but does not provide additional oxygen, so novices can become disoriented from hypoxia and drown.

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lol

he DID it. it was not a trick. others have done it in the same way, as u would know if you had seen the talk, did some research and not just started to troll.

i can do 4-5 minutes :)

havent ever given it so much to. now i think, maybe i should...
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Yeah Steven, we all know that magicians are incapable of anything!
Please share your infinite wisdom with the ignorant world of the fools who believe in the pseudo-scientific bullshit theory of "training hard for several months while under a strict diet". Pfah! all this jargon! I don't understand a word of it!
So what's the TRUE "comprehensible explanation"?
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Booooo, way to believe what the magician is saying.

There's no way an illusionist would give a pseudo-scientific theory to distract us from a perfectly comprehensible trick/explanation.

sigh.
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Did any of you naysayers actually watch the video? It's crammed with interesting tidbits on the science behind holding your breath. My respect for Mr Blaine has mushroomed.
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