“I’m looking for a way to improve on my breathing during exercise, particularly moderate to high intensity exercise. Breath holding is very natural for me during more intense exercise, yet ideally more controlled breathing is ideal, although I am not convinced that is feasible for moderate to high intensity training. Anyhow, my questions are as follows:
1. Your view on breathing during moderate to how intensity exercise
2. How this program may help my breathing during exercise, particularly moderate to high intensity
3. Your view on low intensity vs moderate to high intensity”
Let’s first define these terms well.
Scientifically, intensity has to do with the % of your one rep maximum. And yet this term is often used in reference to what I like to call severity instead, that is how difficult the exercise is, whether a single rep or endurance.
Therefore, HIT (high intensity training) is actually more about high severity training.
All forms of training can be good and useful. In general, we find that anaerobic training leads to gains in aerobic training, but not vice versa. For that reason I tend to lean towards the anaerobic activities.
That being said, you can overdo that neglecting lower severity, longer duration training, which can be detrimental in other ways.
Makes sense? So now, how does breath fit into this.
My personal experience, and not the only one, is that working on deep breathing exercises, including breath holding, and the lung capacity building versions covered in Outside the Box Breathing, increase my performance in any sort of endurance exercise. Both anaerobic and aerobic stuff.
In other words, I find that breath training has direct carry over to endurance performance.
And let’s talk about breathing patterns during the exercises themselves. One thing I’ve been playing with especially in the last year or so is to breathe through the nose exclusively during endurance exercises.
Burpees, kettlebell juggling, running, doesn’t really matter what it is. This takes more breathing efficiency. While it will kill your performance the first time you try it, you might be surprised in how quickly this form of breathing becomes more efficient.
Of course, you can’t be going 110% while doing so. It forces a moderation of the activity.
Another version of box breathing that I share inside Outside the Box Breathing, is using box breathing while doing exercises. Instead of counting seconds, you count reps. This is BRUTAL because how often do you do holds and especially exhaled holds during exercise?
Hard in the moment…and carry over to when you’re not restricting your breathing in this way.
By all means, training endurance exercises, whether aerobic or anaerobic, will make you better at them.
And training your breath can be a parallel path that accelerates those gains.