Recently I stumbled across the impact of hypoxia training through some research into
Wim Hof, a Dutch daredevil commonly known as ‘The Iceman’. Hof’s best known for his
ability to withstand extremely cold temperatures that he attributes through a series of
breathing techniques, meditation and exposure to the cold.
This made me wonder what are the major benefits we can achieve in our performance
and health through breathing? Wim Hof explains the tremendous potential of
heightened oxygen levels to improve our energy, reduce stress levels and strengthening
the immune system to deal with pathogens. I have linked (Powerbreathe exercise)
one of his breathing techniques below for you to try.
Wim Hof: Power Breath Exercise 3X 30 inhale, exhale, controlled circular breaths on the
last breath exhale and hold. Don’t force it try and stay relaxed. When you feel you need
to breath take a big inhale of air and hold for 15 seconds then relax. Record how long
you could hold and repeat 2 more times.
Another practitioner that works with hypoxia training is Brian McKenzie. Brian McKenzie
has produced a lot of research into health and overall performance in a vast variety of
areas within health and fitness. He has produced some simple protocols to
incorporate both at the beginning, during and the end of your exercise programme.
The power of controlling and utilising your diaphragm is huge if you want to improve
your performance. Improving the rhythm of your breath is important towards developing
performance and overall movement stability. An example would be a workout like
Grace 30 clean and jerk for time.
The more you can stay in that aerobic state (oxygen is present) by controlling the
rhythm of your breath (as long as movement efficiency is present) the longer you can
sustain a pace and maximise your power output. Using not just your lungs but the whole
diaphragm will make you more efficient at energy expenditure which should lead to
overall performance and health gains.
If you want to learn more check out https://www.xptlife.com/breathing I have listed some
simple techniques below, give them a try.
Warm up in a seated position. Perform 10 Breaths repeat 2-3 times. have a smooth, controlled
rhythm. Try and use the whole diaphragm: 3sec inhale, 3sec breath, hold 3 sec, exhale 3
sec, hold on the on the outward breath through the mouth.
During your workout Nasal inhale / mouth exhale, try to match your breath to the rhythm
of your movement. For cool down Breathing, sit in a quiet place. Take slow deep breaths in
and out for 90 seconds. At 90 seconds take a last big inhale and hold your breath for 20
seconds. At 20 seconds, exhale slowly so that your exhale lasts 20 seconds in length.
(You must control our breath Repeat this for a total of three cycles.)
it’s important to know your own limits with all the techniques listed, you should never
push this type of training. As with any training, build yourself into it. Hope this helps give it
a try guys and let me know how you get on!
See you around the whiteboard