Holding your breath like David Blaine (and Tim Ferriss!)

Reading Maggie's fascinating post today about the "science of free diving," I was reminded of a section I just read in Tim Ferriss's book "The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman," which I'm thoroughly enjoying. Tim talks about meeting David Blaine at a TEDMED conference (video above) where he asked him how he was able to hold his breath for 17 minutes and 4.4 seconds, a world record at the time. Blaine kindly taught Tim and a dozen others his method. From Tim's blog:

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What were the results of his training?

My first baseline test: 40 seconds.

15 minutes later: 3 minutes and 33 seconds (!!!).

Out of roughly 12 TEDMED attendees he also taught, all but one beat Harry Houdini's lifelong record of 3 minutes and 30 seconds. One woman held her breath for more than 5 minutes.

Don't try this at home, but here's Tim Ferriss on "How to Hold Your Breath Like David Blaine, World Record Holder (and Now, Me)"