David Blaine Attempts to Break World Record for Holding Breath

Published by
Kyle Smith

On the Oprah Winfrey Show in January 2008, magician and endurance performer David Blaine attempted to break the world record for holding his breath. He had been training for months with the goal of breaking the world record of 13 minutes. During the attempt, which took place in a sphere filled with water, Blaine wore a suit to keep him buoyant and was connected to a heart-rate monitor to allow the audience to hear his heartbeat. The objective of the attempt was to hold his breath for the longest time and beat the previous world record.

David Blaine was known for performing feats that tested the limits of human endurance, including being buried alive in coffin, spending 36 hours on top of a 100-foot pillar, and spending 44 days in a glass box without food or drink. His best time for holding his breath was 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Blaine’s training for the world record attempt included purging and holding his breath for 5.5 minutes and eating a controlled diet to lose weight and lower his resting heart rate. He could hold his breath for over 7 minutes after four months of training. However, the live TV challenge added a new element to the escape attempt that the performer needed help to prepare for, failing.

Despite the failed attempt, David Blaine decided to try a different record, the pure O2 static apnea record, which involved breathing pure oxygen to flush out CO2 and holding his breath for longer. He was given four months to prepare and train for the new attempt by Oprah. He slept in a hypoxic tent every night, which simulated an altitude of 15,000 feet and helped him build up his red blood cell count to carry oxygen better. He also trained to hold his breath face down, floating in a pool, but for the live television attempt, he had to be upright so the audience could see his face.

Despite the added challenges, David Blaine could hold his breath for 17 minutes, breaking the previous world record of 13 minutes. However, the attempt was not without its challenges and physical symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, ringing in the ears, chest pains, and contractions. He was worried that he might have a heart attack during the attempt, but he managed to hold on until the end and successfully broke the world record. His accomplishment is a reminder that one can achieve the seemingly impossible with the proper attitude, hard work, perseverance, and extensive training and preparation.



Kyle Smith

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