Who said breathing was the most natural thing in the world? In weight training, the subject of breathing, and how and when to breath causes more confusion and comes up more often than one would imagine. So, in this article, I hope to try to explain, well, how to breathe!
First things first: breathing throughout lifting is crucial. Failure to do so will result in failure to lift very rapidly. Those who master breathing whilst lifting will go much further in the iron game than those who aren’t in control of their lungs.
Ok, simply put, imagine yourself lifting right now. Your struggling on your very last rep… it’s either you lift it or have the bar come crashing down on you. At this point, do you see yourself blowing like a maniac, or taking a breath in?
Of course. You’d be blowing air out – because that’s what people do when they are under stress such as this. The idea of breathing during this time is moot. It’s all about expelling energy: through the muscles, and through the lungs.
Breathing can either work for you, or get in the way. To avoid breathing getting in the way, always make sure you quickly draw a deep breath during the least pressurized, most convenient time – which would be when your arms are at full extension during the bench press, when you are standing upright
You should hold your breath during the lowering portion, and blow the air out during the position portion (lifting) of the rep. Don’t confuse this type of breathing with ‘holding your breath’, which generally means not breathing at all. You need to breath during your lifting, and this is the most convenient and sensible time to do so.
Having lungs full of air at the bottom portion of a rep helps to form a supportive cushion, and dramatically reduces the chances of dizziness, or blacking out whilst lifting.