This is part of the DeeperBlue.com Freediving App Review Series – a collection of reviews of Freediving related mobile apps. Each app has been reviewed based on a standardized set of criteria you can see here. In this article we review the iHoldBreath App.
One of the newest Apps designed to help freedivers extend their breath hold time, IHoldBreath was developed by Kamil Bujniewicz and costs $2.99 to download.
This is a very visually appealing App on initial review…with a clearly labeled opening screen. The ubiquitous countdown timer is at the top and there are 5 tabs at the bottom. The first screen brings the user to the CO2 Table training mode. Fully customizable by the user in Settings, which are under the “More” tab at the bottom, these are standard Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Tables. The second Mode is an Oxygen (O2) Table training mode, and the third is a Mixed Training mode that apparently blends the two tables.
IHoldBreath asks the user to enter in their Personal Best (PB) Static Apnea time to populate the Tables. Using a very conservative time of 4 minutes, we started the three weeks of evaluation, using the available settings to set an audible “Sound” alert, “Vibration” mode for hands-free practice and the “Warm up time” settings. Everything was user-friendly and intuitive until I tried to customize the “Playlist” with my own music.
The developer of IHoldBreath states that the user can use the “PLAYLIST selection used for both training and stopwatch – use your own best music during trainings…”. We could not figure this feature out or how to add our playlist. Music aside, there are two other nice features under the “More” tab: the Stopwatch function, with audible alerts, is a big, digital stopwatch…easy to read and useful to stay in the App instead of having to use a separate stopwatch. The last feature is the “Logbook”, which stores your results, giving a handy training log to refer back to.
For those who are unfamiliar with the different Tables used to train Static Apnea, a C02 Table is a schedule of inhalations, holds and exhalations where the length of time inhaling (recovery breaths) decreases, while the breath holding (Static Apnea) time remains the same. This is designed to build up the body’s resistance to Carbon dioxide build up in the blood, lengthening the time before the autonomous response to breath kicks in. The 02 Tables are designed to condition the body to working with low dissolved oxygen levels in the blood, increasing the length of time a diver can effectively hold their breath. Oxygen Tables keep a fixed inhalation time, with increased breath holds on each round. The tables are usually used on alternating days, but some practitioners use both, only one or the other for a period of time or don’t use them at all.
So, after using the App for three weeks, alternating CO2 and O2 Tables, we found a significant increase in our Static time. IHoldBreath, much like others reviewed, is an inexpensive and easy to use addition to anyone’s training regimen. Freedivers and Spearos will benefit from incorporating some form of regimented and regular training into their dive preparation and IHoldBreath is an elegant tool for divers.
So, let’s see what we found:
Price: It’s $2.99.
Functionality: It works as advertised and is a clean, clearly marked and easy to navigate App. The feature to download or add our own music needs clarification, but the other features all worked well.
Relevance/Usefulness: For a new, or experienced diver, this App is a powerful addition to the training toolkit. The App includes every feature one could want during a Static Training session, making this one of the best Apps we reviewed.
Graphics/Appearance: Great graphics and easy to see numbers; the stopwatch was especially user-friendly. Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
The App can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iholdbreath-freediving-trainer/id372651119?mt=8 [NOTE: Since this review was published the App seems to have been removed from the iTunes app store]