Alright, for all of you that are tired of this series, this will be that last one. However, I also think this might be the most crucial for all you firebreathers looking to squeeze out another 10 seconds on your PR’s.
-How to use breathing to enhance your performance
If you have been following along, breathing is one of the most critical pieces to performing your best on a workout. In Part 1, we examined how loading changes our breathing patterns. And in Part 2, we looked at how focusing on breathing can enable us to carry on in the face of exhaustion. Part 3 focused on using breathing during movements to recover, even while continuing to exercise.
Now it is time for Part 4: preparing a plan for a workout using breathing patterns as your rest
First, you need to understand that every time an experienced athlete goes into a workout with a plan, they end up better than if they just jump in with disregard. Thus, one way to do this is to determine a certain number of breaths to rest between movements. This allows us to create a plan to attack workouts, so lets create an example plan for a WOD, examining how we can use breathing to our advantage.
For this example, we will use “Fran” (21-15-9 of Thrusters+Pullups), as almost everyone at CFSB has experienced it. Lets say that this is your 3rd to 4th time doing this workout. You know that you can usually get through the 21′s, but die on the 15′s, having to break up the thrusters and pullups, and barely function on the round of 9. (Hmm, this sounds eerily familiar of my past performances) Now, by taking a few breaths earlier in the workout, you (or I) should be able to persevere longer, doing better at the end of the workout and making up time. So a good plan would be to take 3 big calming breaths between the thrusters and the pullups, and then charge in to the round of 21 pullups. The same pattern would be used when you transition back to thrusters. This allows you to steady yourself, and get some oxygen in your system. Additionally, this moves you back to the bar faster.
Another advantage of approaching a workout with a plan is that you can shorten your rests. While this may seem counter-intuitive to those of you that enjoy your rests, this is great for those of us that always seem to rest a bit too much and have some gas in the tank at the end of workouts. By planning to only rest a specific number of breaths every time you pause, it forces you to work at a bit faster pace than you normally would, taking you farther faster.
I will again use one of my past performances as an example: “Karen” – 150 wall balls for time. My first attempt resulted in a 9:16. I then did the workout 2 weeks later, this time performing exactly 15 wall balls in each set and only allowing myself 5 breaths every time I rested. While I never felt 100% rested when I continued my wall balls, I was able to maintain this for the entire workout, resulting in a 8:10. While I felt like a blob of jello when I finished, I achieved over a 10% improvement, simply by having a plan and limiting my rest.
Thus, by creating a plan wherein breathing is used as a built in rest, this allows you to further your limits when trying to push yourselves. So, next time, try to only breathe 4 breaths between jumping back on the pullup bar or dropping for the next set of burpees and see if you can challenge your boundaries.
CFSB OUTDOORS ADVENTURE ROUND 1
Thanks to everyone who made it out for the first CFSB outdoors excursion. More are in the works. Some of the trips we are thinking of are paddle boarding, kayaking & sailing. Let us know if you have more ideas! Contact Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Savana (SavanaLloyd@gmail.com).
Workout of the Day
A. Pendlay Row 5-5-5
B. 4 Rounds:
Max Bodyweight Ring Rows
(2 scores: total ring rows/total run time)