I was asked about breathing and how they always forget to breathe when they are solely focused on moving weights, swinging kettle bells, and flopping around boxes or pull-ups.
Don’t worry…you are not the only one. I hope I say “Breathe” enough on the daily workouts that you can start to hear me in your brain when I’m not even around. Thats your brain telling you you need to chill your roll and focus on your pacing.
Majority of CrossFit athletes only work up to 85% of full capacity when going through workouts. If they went 100% all the time, the body would be wrecked!! The CrossFit Open is a little different of course. You train all year long then push yourself to that awful feeling in your gut, get queasy, can’t feel your face cuz its tingling and numb and it feels like your world is going dark!! I don’t want to feel that with every workout…Gross!
When you go through these high intensity workouts long enough, you start to strategize with your strengths and weaknesses and then strategize with someone you are trying to beat as well. Lets take myself and Steven Andrews for example.
I know he is strong and is fast in workouts that involve a barbell and moving heavy things as quickly as possible. There is no way in hell I will be able to beat him. BUT... add a gymnastics movement and I may have a chance to catch up! So I choose my battle plan. Cycle through the weights with GOOD FORM….., take my time to breathe between reps or small sets of reps because I know its going to wind me fast, then I’ll be fresh for those HSPU, Pull Ups or T2B. I knock out my gymnasty movements quick! Then regain myself by breathing and controlling my heart rate. Then again I continue to control my breathing during my weakness phase of the workout to hopefully gain some ground and come out with a fast time!
NOW…Tell me if this is you. 3…2…1…GOOO. Balls to the wall, banging and clanging those heavy-ish deadlifts for a set of 15-21 reps…then Bam. You have to step back. HUUUUFFF and Suuuuck in wind because your belt is limiting your breathing. Maybe see some spots or static in the air. Guess what you just did. You held your breath or took tiny little “ssssiiii” of air between each rep. You essentially poisoned your body from lack of oxygen to those hard working muscles that need it!
Scenario two! Workout has 4 pretty terrible rounds. Two rounds going kind of smooth but slowly losing your cool! Your heart is pounding, breathing heavy, but lets try to hammer out another rep anyways. You get another clean, snatch, 10 more kettle bell swings or 5 more wall balls and let it go. Then you stare at it like its the root cause of your future death. Walk away or in circles and giving Anthony or myself the evil eye for coming up with such a suckfest of movements as we yell at you to pick it up. You say, "I’ll just get some water…that will refresh my beaten soul back to life!" Mind you, this is only a few seconds to 20 seconds. OKAY, New wind and the stars have aligned to open the gates of heaven! 3 more reps….Crap…..Crying ensues…
This happens over and over again. seconds add up, turning into minutes over the course of the workout. How can you remedy this.
DONT GO FULL OUT FROM THE GET GO!! Nerds!
Unless you are to the point where you can essentially guesstimate your time based on your strengths and weaknesses, know your overall limitations, and know when and where to focus on your breathing…Use the first round or first few minutes as a test. Take it easy and slowly build up. You will know where you can push it and where you need some extra time.
Morale of the story here, kids… is you guessed it. BREATHE! Focus on your breath and not so much on the movement (unless its to focus on FORM of course) to fuel your muscles and control your heart rate to make the Wod work in your favor!
QUESTIONS!?? ASSSSSK MEEEHHHHHH!!!