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Weight Lifting and Holding My Breath

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Old 04-14-2008, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default Weight Lifting and Holding My Breath

I've been working with a trainer for about a month, and he's been great. He has kept my goals and preferences in mind the whole time, but he still pushes me, which I really need. I'm starting to feel more confident with myself, and I've been meeting with my trainer more and more often, because I've decided that my body and my health is a good investment.

There's a problem, though. A big part of my trainer's job has become reminding me to breathe. He will actually have to stand there and say, "Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale . . ." and so on. If he stops, I manage to keep track of my breathing until I start feeling that I'm putting real effort into it. Then, I take a deep breath and hold it until I become lightheaded. In addition, if I'm keeping track of my breathing, I can't do anything else. I can't even count the reps.

I don't want to need someone else to remind me to breathe constantly. My goal is to reach a point where I can structure and complete my own workouts without needing someone to hold my hand the whole time. If I can't even remind myself to breathe, how will I ever get to that point?

I need advice. My trainer and I have gone over breathing techniques. He has explained when to inhale and when to exhale. Is this just something that's going to take practice? If he prods me to breathe enough, will I eventually just do it naturally?
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:30 AM   #2
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Maybe this will sound silly, but can you practice on your own time? Go through the motions with light weights, and just practice the breathing component. If you do enough of that, at the same tempo you'd use for the heavy weights, I bet you could make the breathing automatic, and get back to focusing on other things.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:01 PM   #3
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I used to hold my breath also. The way I changed that was to focus on exhaling on the exertion part of the rep. Inhale on the easy part. Example, bicep curl- the resistance part is lifting up your forearm (exhale) and the easy part is bringing down your forearm (inhale). Later when I started to do a slower decline part, I just inhaled a little more slowly.

Now, it's second nature.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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I also did the same. What helps me is counting out my reps--can't hold my breath if I'm counting them out.
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:55 PM   #5
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I used to hold my breath also. The way I changed that was to focus on exhaling on the exertion part of the rep. Inhale on the easy part. Example, bicep curl- the resistance part is lifting up your forearm (exhale) and the easy part is bringing down your forearm (inhale). Later when I started to do a slower decline part, I just inhaled a little more slowly.

Now, it's second nature.
I always thought that you should inhale on the exertion part and exhale on the easy part.... I was told that by inhaling on the difficult part was because this would bring oxygen to the muscle... I'm anxious to see what our experts have to say....

AutumnHarvest -- It'll get easier with practice ... DON'T hold your breath it's just asking for a massive headache
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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I had trouble with breathing when I first started with weights.

My brother, a total gym rat, told me to think of the exhale on exertion as helping me press the weight up. This worked great for chest press, shoulder raises etc, and once I started thinking of it in those terms, it got easier and easier.

PS I'm no expert!
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:35 PM   #7
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Ilene, I was taught to exhale on the concentric part of the movement (when you're working against the weight) and inhale on the eccentric (when you're moving with the weight). If I'm doing a heavy set, I consciously blow the air out as I lift/press each rep, when I'm working against the weight.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:53 PM   #8
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Ilene, I was taught to exhale on the concentric part of the movement (when you're working against the weight) and inhale on the eccentric (when you're moving with the weight). If I'm doing a heavy set, I consciously blow the air out as I lift/press each rep, when I'm working against the weight.
This is really funny, but until recently, 3-4 weeks ago, I was doing it that way... Then started doing it this new way .... It's a totally different experience too... Thanks Meg.... Maybe it's just a new way of doing it you know they always come out with new and improved ways of doing stuff ....
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:52 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions. My next session is tomorrow morning, so I'll practice without weights tonight and try the rest of the suggestions tomorrow.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:03 PM   #10
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I'm back from the gym, and all of your advice worked great.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:06 PM   #11
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Knew you could do it!
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:30 PM   #12
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I'm back from the gym, and all of your advice worked great.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:05 AM   #13
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Exhale with exertion? That's what I thought and what I taught DH.
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