When you come into Intense 22 Fitness for the first time we take you through several “preliminary considerations.” The Preliminary Considerations are designed to insure your safety and to help you get the most out of every training session. The second of the preliminary considerations is: “BREATHE!”
It might sound like an odd thing for us to have to remind you to breathe, but holding your breathe is actually an instinctual response when exerting force. This breath holding is called the “Valsalva Maneuver” and actually involves holding your breath and at the same time forcefully exhaling. When you begin to lift up a heavy bag of groceries for example, or push open a heavy door, you instinctively perform this breath holding maneuver.
The key to efficient exercise is to load your muscles and keep them loaded until thorough fatigue is achieved. The human muscle, under sufficient load, will fatigue in a window of 1.5 to 3 minutes. Holding your breath for a minute and a half, much less three minutes, would be devastating while working out (or doing anything for that matter). Holding your breath for even a short or short on-and-off periods during the exercise is a habit that will simply set you up for bad things, the least of which could be an exercise induced headache or passing out.
Right from the beginning we want you to begin to condition yourself to overcome the instinct that you have to perform the Valsalva Manuever. To do this we teach you a breathing technique called RenEx Breathing that gives you a simple method to help overcome your tendency to strain and hold your breathe. RenEx Breathing doesn’t impose any specific mechanism on your breathing. For example, we do not want you to inhale on the negative and exhale on the positive. We just want you to breath as naturally as possible. Proper breathing that helps you avoid holding your breath entails a relaxed face and jaw while inhaling and exhaling from the back of your throat, similar to a pant. The pace of your pant is directly related to the level of tension you are experiencing during the exercise. As the load feels like it gets heavier the speed of your breathing increases to compensate and avoid performing the Valsalva Maneuver.
Practicing RenEx Breathing from the start is a vital necessity to your success using the Intense 22 Fitness System. The fact of the matter is that as you progress in your proficiency using the system you will get to a point where during each exercise you will experience the same or a greater amount of stress on your musculature as you would experience when sprinting or running up a flight of stairs. When sprinting or doing any strenuous activity you begin to breathe very heavily so that you can continue to feed your muscles the oxygen and nutrients they need to sustain your exercise and to rid your body of Co2. Even though you will be sitting on a machine in a 64 degree room it will still be necessary to keep your breathing in pace with that level of tension, especially when you begin to experience the depths of what this system has to offer.
In summary: Don’t pop! “JUST BREATHE!”