Breathing & Training – when should you hold your breath?

The Right Breathing Pattern to Optimize your Performance and Fitness:

If you have worked out with a friend or trainer, you probably have heard someone tell you – don’t hold your breath! It makes sense that we should be breathing when we exercise, or else we will probably pass out fairly quickly. Why do we hold our breath unconsciously when we do something challenging, and how should we be breathing when we train?

Holding your breath during hard exercises has an advantage – it creates intra-abdominal pressure, or a stiffness in your abdomen and torso, in an attempt to help your torso stay rigid. This is a protective response which is very helpful for high-demand activities, but we don’t need to and should not be holding our breath for all of our training. Instead, our goal should be to maintain a low-intensity level of breathing throughout most of our training.

It will be challenging at first, but training ourselves to breath easier when our bodies are put under more stress from exercise will help us recover better & last longer in our workouts. Heavy breathing through our mouths uses up energy, and doing it for the full length of a workout will burn us out faster than if we can breath slower, easier, and through our noses.

If you have trouble breathing through your nose while exercising, slow down the pace during your next workout and see how long you can maintain nasal breathing as you increase the intensity. With enough practice you will find that you can breathe through your nose for more of the workout, and feel more energized while getting more work done.”


Cameron Bentley 


Rep 1 Fitness