I remember, there was this game that kids used to play when I was younger. Well, actually, I don’t know if you could call it a game rather than some stupid thing that boys were doing in the bathroom.
The details are a little fuzzy, but I remember seeing this kid Kevin and like 5 other boys huddled around him as I walked in the bathroom. I was like 8 or 9 and I knew what they were trying to do.
It was the pass out game and Kevin looked like he was winning…until he wasn’t. The pass out game is exactly how it sounds. A game in which you try to make yourself pass out by essentially hyperventilating.
Kevin was breathing hard, then his breaths got silent and there was this huge commotion, followed by a thud.
Kevin had hit his head on the bathroom floor…boys will be boys I suppose.
NE hoo, this isn’t a story about Kevin, I was just reminded of it because so many people breathe just like Kevin when they are at the gym and I’d like to help you NOT pass out while working out.
Breathing is a something that we all take for granted, but the biology of it is actually quite amazing. When it comes down to exercise, there are two types of breathing.
The easy breath and the tensed breath.
First, let’s talk about when you would use the easy breath. The easy breath is a nice gentle breath. You are as relaxed as possible and you just let air flow in and out of your lungs. This breath is usually for activities like yoga, or cardio training.
Yes, I understand that it’s hard to breath easy when your heart is pumping 1,000 BPM, but believe me, unless you’re playing the pass out game, you wanna try to keep your breathing relaxed and under control.
The other type of breathing is tensed breathing. This is important to use when you’re lifting heavy weights. There’s actually a name for this called Valsalva method. This is where you brace your body by filling up your diaphragm and holding your breath as you put a load on your body. This breath is usually reserved for people that are lifting heavy weights.
So there it is. Breathing. Everyone does it, but not everyone does it right. Hope this’ll help you to get a better workout next time you’re in the gym.
Jerry “respiration” Washington
P.S. In terms of actual details of how to do either. For the tensed breath, normally as you put load on, you would inhale. That’s down in a squat or a bench press. Then, as you get the furthest point you hold your breath for a quick second and then exhale. That would be for the tensed breath. As for the relaxed breath, you can just inhale the weights toward you and exhale them away. For more help with this talk to me personally. Talk soon…
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