Question Question on Breath-Timing

Tobias Wissmueller

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
In the book @Pavel writes:

"As you will rapidly discover, the way to survive is to slow your breath down as much as possible, to get maximum air and to increase your rest period between each set."

How to understand "as much as possible"?

Through my Butekyo practice I am learning to spend several minutes in a controlled state of air hunger, which relaxes me. Have tried several times between swings to breathe as little as possible, but was unsure on how much air hunger to create is acceptable? There is that thin line between comfort and panic, also depends on ones daily situation.

Question especially for the Buteyko practitioners that I know of (@Steve Freides, @aciampa, @Anna C, @Oscar), can the style of breathing during breath-timing be compared to the Very Light/Little Breathing of Buteyko? If so, then this would be the "easiest" way for me to understand. Or do you see any differences?
 

Oscar

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Hi @Tobias Wissmueller , I just tried it with today S&S session, hadnt tried it since I started buteyko. I managed to do five breaths per rest cycle, which I think is the initial goal of the exercise. I did it with 24 kg, my working weight. It wasnt very hard, but it wasnt easy either. By the time I took my fifth breath, my HR was already quite low. Its interesting because since you are barely breathing, you can really feel your heart beating, breathing in and out doesnt interfere. You can sense how it peaks during the second breath, which is some 10-15 seconds after the set was completed.

I think it has things in common with buteyko, in the sense that you experiment some air hunger. And also because you have to remain calm, even if feeling air hunger. The procedure IMO is completely different: I really filled my lungs in this case, while in buteyko practice I barely take a small stomach breath.

By "as much as possible" I understood and did as follows: the way to increase the rest period is to empty your lungs as much as possible and to fill them as much as possible, in the slowliest possible way. That way you increase the rest period. I enjoyed a long pause with empty and with full lungs as well. Basically, extend the 5 cycles as much as possible.

The exercise felt good and relaxing, I´ll do it more often.
 
Last edited:

Steve Freides

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Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@Tobias Wissmueller and @Oscar,

I don't have an answer for this but will offer a few observations:

S&S predates the research Pavel has done recently on breathing for athletic performance. Pavel's Second Wind seminar promises to offer more insights on what Pavel has discovered.

Buteyko is a practice focused on health. Health and performance are often at odds - sometimes good compromises can be found. I am planning to be at the first US Second Wind seminar because I want to learn more about this.

Lastly, my own observation - at rest, and during easy exercise, we can focus on using the air we have as efficiently as possible. As the level of exertion increases, at some point relaxed breathing won't supply sufficient oxygen and we will need Plan B. My suspicion is that Second Wind will touch on both best use of oxygen and intake of necessary oxygen for the increased oxygen demands of vigorous exercise. I think the idea of using a Buteyko-like approach to recovery breathing is a good one, certainly in the absence of a better method.

-S-
 

Al Ciampa

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Certified Instructor
@Steve Freides, from our brief correspondence on the matter, I don't believe that Pavel has changed his thinking on breathing during activity.

@Tobias Wissmueller... it is exactly as it describes. At rest, the amount of CO2 you are creating is far less than the amount after a set of swings, and again later into a session. "Moving as little air as possible" simply increases in volume as compared with at rest, but the effects on the body are the same.

Think of it in terms of this: hyperventilation occurs when you move more air than is necessary to exhaust excessive CO2; hyperpnea occurs when you move an increased volume air that is commensurate with excessive CO2. The latter describes a ventilation increase in response to an increase in metabolic CO2; the former describes a ventilation increase without an increase in metabolic CO2; e.g., in response to an emotion.
 

krg

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Think of it in terms of this: hyperventilation occurs when you move more air than is necessary to exhaust excessive CO2; hyperpnea occurs when you move an increased volume air that is commensurate with excessive CO2. The latter describes a ventilation increase in response to an increase in metabolic CO2; the former describes a ventilation increase without an increase in metabolic CO2; e.g., in response to an emotion.
Like it. Very clear definitions.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

I often go for diaphgragmatic breathing to get more "fresh air" in. Indeed, that way, lungs have more space so I can store more air. Plus, diaphgramatic breathing also permit to get more CO2 out.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Tobias Wissmueller

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@Steve Freides, @aciampa, @Oscar

On 23rd of May I did my first "breath only timing" swing session and since then never looked at the timer again.

Here are some HR graphs that speak a clear language.

With the timer, EMOM



Breath only timing



Must say I prefer the breath only timing sessions more, although they take longer. The biggest advantage for me is, that my legs don't get that tired so much over the course of the sessions and the week as a total. I can get more sessions in per week.

Maybe I wait a bit too long, but I like that feeling of being relaxed. Like when I am doing the "Very Light Breathing" of my Buteyko practice. Only when I can do VLB in a very relaxed manner, than I restart the set again. This is usually around a heart rate of 95bpm. If it drops more it is usually a sign that I dropped away mentally for two or three breaths.

What would be an advantage of the practice method like I show in my EMOM heart rate graph despite having a discrete time frame?
 

Oscar

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@Tobias Wissmueller I have never trained with a HR monitor, but I share with you that I feel a bit rushed when doing the swings EMOM. I personally feel more comfortable doing the sets on the 1:20 or 1:30. Some days back I did a session of 160 swings EMOM, the last 2 sets where not as powerful. Some days later I did a session of 200 swings on the 1:30, all sets felt powerful and I recovered quite well being the first time I did such a long session.

Some days back I measured the duration of the session while doing the breathing practice, 5 breathes per rest period. I ended up doing the sets every 1:20 or 1:30, more or less. This duration is in line with my experience of recovering well when doing the swings on the 1:30. My sets are of 10 reps BTW.

I don't know if there is an advantage to doing the swings EMOM. Maybe they get you used to shorter rest periods, which can be good if you have a short term goal. I don't know. I do know that the "breath mastery" sessions are difficult, and I prefer not to do them every time. Maybe a few times a week is enough? I find a set of swings with the timer at 1:30 quite relaxing and enjoyable, I prefer not worrying about breathing on most sessions
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
@Steve Freides, @aciampa, @Oscar

On 23rd of May I did my first "breath only timing" swing session and since then never looked at the timer again.

Here are some HR graphs that speak a clear language.

With the timer, EMOM



Breath only timing



Must say I prefer the breath only timing sessions more, although they take longer. The biggest advantage for me is, that my legs don't get that tired so much over the course of the sessions and the week as a total. I can get more sessions in per week.

Maybe I wait a bit too long, but I like that feeling of being relaxed. Like when I am doing the "Very Light Breathing" of my Buteyko practice. Only when I can do VLB in a very relaxed manner, than I restart the set again. This is usually around a heart rate of 95bpm. If it drops more it is usually a sign that I dropped away mentally for two or three breaths.

What would be an advantage of the practice method like I show in my EMOM heart rate graph despite having a discrete time frame?
In summary, you simply moved from higher glycolytic training toward Strong Endurance/Anti-Glycolytic training.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Question especially for the Buteyko practitioners that I know of (@Steve Freides, @aciampa, @Anna C, @Oscar), can the style of breathing during breath-timing be compared to the Very Light/Little Breathing of Buteyko? If so, then this would be the "easiest" way for me to understand. Or do you see any differences?
Revisiting this - I think the answer to your question is "yes," there is a similar benefit to be had from the breathing you describe to what we call VLB in our Buteyko practice. Any time you are trying to meet your body's demand for oxygen by making better use of what's already in your bloodstream rather than taking in more would seem a good thing to me. It is a process of, IMHO, learning to control the urge to huff in more air and requires the same kind of combination of relaxation and control.

-S-
 

Tobias Wissmueller

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@Tobias Wissmueller
Some days back I measured the duration of the session while doing the breathing practice, 5 breathes per rest period. I ended up doing the sets every 1:20 or 1:30, more or less. This duration is in line with my experience of recovering well when doing the swings on the 1:30. My sets are of 10 reps BTW.
Very interesting observation, @Oscar! I have not counted my breaths, but I think in the same time frame I might be at 10 or more breaths. That is my past weighing in here I guess.

@Tobias Wissmueller
I don't know if there is an advantage to doing the swings EMOM. Maybe they get you used to shorter rest periods, which can be good if you have a short term goal. I don't know. I do know that the "breath mastery" sessions are difficult, and I prefer not to do them every time. Maybe a few times a week is enough? I find a set of swings with the timer at 1:30 quite relaxing and enjoyable, I prefer not worrying about breathing on most sessions
Did that last year, to increase rest period form 60s to 90s and also found that very enjoyable. Basically I am back to it now, but without the timer and just breathing. For now, either timing my sets every 90s, or starting at heart rate of 95bpm, or only by watching and controlling my breathing would all result in the same HR graph.
 

Tobias Wissmueller

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
In summary, you simply moved from higher glycolytic training toward Strong Endurance/Anti-Glycolytic training.
@aciampa
Thanks, got it, then this is more of A&A am running with S&S. With what I have learned from @Kettlebelephant 's answer here
A question on A+A progression

I am running the minimum amount of sets and comparing my HR graphs with those of @Harald Motz the pattern and range is quite similar.

Together with my MAF cycling sessions to work and back couple times a week am actually doing A&A+A ... Correct?

As a side note, the cycling sessions are my most valuable VLB session of the week!
 

Harald Motz

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Thanks, got it, then this is more of A&A am running with S&S.
when I do S&S I do it in an A+A way.

Together with my MAF cycling sessions to work and back couple times a week am actually doing A&A+A ... Correct?
Correct.

I think it has things in common with buteyko, in the sense that you experiment some air hunger. And also because you have to remain calm, even if feeling air hunger. The procedure IMO is completely different: I really filled my lungs in this case, while in buteyko practice I barely take a small stomach breath.

By "as much as possible" I understood and did as follows: the way to increase the rest period is to empty your lungs as much as possible and to fill them as much as possible, in the slowliest possible way. That way you increase the rest period. I enjoyed a long pause with empty and with full lungs as well. Basically, extend the 5 cycles as much as possible.
That was how I practiced breath counting.
 

Stefan Olsson

More than 500 posts
S&S predates the research Pavel has done recently on breathing for athletic performance. Pavel's Second Wind seminar promises to offer more insights on what Pavel has discovered.

-S-
I´ve searched Pubmed, SportDiscus and EBSCO and have not found anything from Pavel. Could you please direct me towards the right database?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@Stefan Olsson, this is perhaps a language-related misunderstanding. The dictionary entry on the word "research" shows its origins in the French "chercher," literally "to search." One can search in many ways - doing scientific studies that appear later in PubMed is but one of them. While Pavel's "research" is something I know about only from reading his books, attending his workshops, and from a few, casual conversations, my understanding is that it isn't generally the kind of research to which you refer.

One of Pavel's great gifts is his ability to synthesize and distill a lot of information in order to create something for the rest of us. The rest of us don't have the time or expertise to gather all that he has gathered in the way of research (this time using the word more as you meant it), don't have the mind to come to the conclusions he has, and don't have the ability to create the brilliant, simple programs he has created based on those conclusions. One of the synonyms listed for "research" is "review." Others include "analyze," "scrutinize," and "examine."

I know more about PlanStrong than I do about Second Wind, the seminar I mentioned. I and quite a few others found PlanStrong so compelling that we attended it multiple times. The Plan Strong manual shows some of the things Pavel looked at, including various training plans that weren't necessarily the results of scientific studies into their respective efficacies but had been proven, in the field, to work. It's also my understanding, although I didn't participate in any of these personally, that many of the PlanStrong programs were created then tested during the time leading up to the first workshop, and I believe such program creation and testing still continues, not only for PlanStrong, but also for Strong Endurance (which I will attend in a few weeks) and for Second Wind, a seminar I'll attend when it makes its first appearance in the US.

I suspect that the process for Second Wind and Strong Endurance has been similar in many ways to that which led to the creation of PlanStrong but, again, I don't really know, and if I suggested that I did know, I apologize.

I hope my rather lengthy reply adequately addresses your question.

-S-
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
@Stefan Olsson, this is perhaps a language-related misunderstanding. The dictionary entry on the word "research" shows its origins in the French "chercher," literally "to search." One can search in many ways - doing scientific studies that appear later in PubMed is but one of them. While Pavel's "research" is something I know about only from reading his books, attending his workshops, and from a few, casual conversations, my understanding is that it isn't generally the kind of research to which you refer.

One of Pavel's great gifts is his ability to synthesize and distill a lot of information in order to create something for the rest of us. The rest of us don't have the time or expertise to gather all that he has gathered in the way of research (this time using the word more as you meant it), don't have the mind to come to the conclusions he has, and don't have the ability to create the brilliant, simple programs he has created based on those conclusions. One of the synonyms listed for "research" is "review." Others include "analyze," "scrutinize," and "examine."

I know more about PlanStrong than I do about Second Wind, the seminar I mentioned. I and quite a few others found PlanStrong so compelling that we attended it multiple times. The Plan Strong manual shows some of the things Pavel looked at, including various training plans that weren't necessarily the results of scientific studies into their respective efficacies but had been proven, in the field, to work. It's also my understanding, although I didn't participate in any of these personally, that many of the PlanStrong programs were created then tested during the time leading up to the first workshop, and I believe such program creation and testing still continues, not only for PlanStrong, but also for Strong Endurance (which I will attend in a few weeks) and for Second Wind, a seminar I'll attend when it makes its first appearance in the US.

I suspect that the process for Second Wind and Strong Endurance has been similar in many ways to that which led to the creation of PlanStrong but, again, I don't really know, and if I suggested that I did know, I apologize.

I hope my rather lengthy reply adequately addresses your question.

-S-
And here I was going to reply with something like, "Pavel doesn't publish his work in scientific journals".

Steve wins the internetz!
 
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