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Restore Your Breathing and Improve Your Conditioning – Part 2

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Restoring your breathing and improving your conditioning takes time. The deep diaphragmatic breathing you did as an infant has been replaced with panic chest breathing, hyperventilating, and chronic tension from the stresses of your everyday life.

But, YOU have control and you can take it back at anytime.

That is exactly what I did about 10 weeks ago and I haven’t looked back. With the guidance of Brian Mackenzie, I’ve been diving deeper into breath work and working on ‘layering’ different breath work protocols into my practice.

In the graphic above, you’ll see efforts against the same training stimulus – a mile long hill that goes straight up – that I’ve been walking over the course of 10 weeks. After the first attempt up the hill, I’ve been using weight vests and banded resistance around my legs to increase the intensity. (Special Note: The only reason the graphs don’t line up is because I didn’t leave the HR monitor on for an extended period after the training session was over. For Weeks 7-9, simply recognize

The scale for heart rate is light gray->dark gray->blue->green->yellow->red (with red being the highest HR).

In the graphic above, there are three images from top to bottom; Weeks 1-3, Weeks 4-6, and Week 7-9.

As you can see over the course of the last 9 weeks, the yellows / reds in Weeks 1-3 have turned to greens / yellows in Weeks 4-6. Now, as we move into Week 9, we see that everything is green, and for this challenge hill, I have regained control.

Below are the 9 weeks of breathing and you can see how I’ve layered different breathing protocols to develop a strategy for managing stress and accelerating recovery.

Breathing Protocol: Weeks 1-3

Uphill Protocol: (High Intensity)
5 Breaths = Nasal/Nasal
5 Breaths = Nasal/Mouth
5 Breaths = Mouth/Mouth

Down the Hill: (Recovery)
5 Breaths – Nasal/Nasal
20-30 Steps Holding Breath (CO2 Tolerance)
Repeat

Breathing Protocol: Weeks 4-6

Uphill Protocol: (High Intensity)
All Nasal/Nasal (Nasal Only) Breathing

Down the Hill: (Recovery)
3 Breaths – Right Nostril Only (Long Inhale/Long Exhale)
3 Breaths – Left Nostril Only (Long Inhale/Long Exhale)
3 Breaths – Both Nostrils / Nasal Only (Long Inhale/Long Exhale)
30 Steps Holding Breath (CO2 Tolerance)
Repeat

Breathing Protocol: Weeks 7-9

Uphill Protocol: (High Intensity)
Slow Nasal/Nasal (Nasal Only) Breathing
(long slow inhale, long slow exhale)

Down the Hill: (Recovery)
Nasal Only Breathing
3 Breaths – Right Nostril Only (Long Inhale/Long Exhale)
3 Breaths – Left Nostril Only (Long Inhale/Long Exhale)
3 Breaths – Both Nostrils / Nasal Only (Long Inhale/Long Exhale)
After full exhale
25% Inhale – 5 steps
25% Inhale – 5 steps
25% Inhale – 5 steps
25% Inhale – 5 steps
Repeat

As with all training, progression is steady if you are consistent. You can try these protocols to help accelerate your recovery and take your aerobic capacity and CO2 tolerance to an exceptional level or you can develop your own protocols and experiment on yourself (n=1)!

By on September 11th, 2017

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