Crossfit Encouraging Deadly Hyperventilation As Part Of Training

Underwater EMOM — Ben Smith - The CrossFit Games

Our friend Roman Castro from SpearoBlog has brought to our attention a potentially dangerous and deadly pool training technique on their Facebook page and Twitter.

The athlete in question – Ben Smith who is an elite crossfit athlete – is seen to be hyperventilating and then swimming a length underwater.  The acronym EMOM means “Every Minute On the Minute” which encourages athletes to continue this exercise as quickly as possible and repeat every minute with no or little rest.

Freediving safety basics show that with hyperventilation and no rest period will lead to Shallow Water Blackout Hypoxic Blackout – which if practicing by yourself can be fatal.

Elite athletes with training, aware of the dangers and supervised properly (as it seems Ben was in this case) are not the danger – the concern from the Freediving community is encouraging hyperventilation and then swimming consecutive lengths of a pool with little or no training or supervision is designed to end in tragedy.  Proper education and awareness of risks is what we would like to see from Crossfit.

RELATED: What Is Hyperventilation And Why Is It Such A Bad Idea?

The video has garnered 600 comments on Facebook already, many from Freedivers explaining how dangerous the video and exercise is.

If you are concerned about this video you should respond to the Facebook and Twitter posts and direct people to ShallowWaterBlackoutPrevention.org as well as your local Freediving class provider.