A personal trainer told me that I had to “take a breath while I lowered the weight and release it while lifting it.” It’s good advice?


It is bad advice from several points of view. First, it is unnecessarily complex and difficult to coordinate. Second, as the demands of exercise increase (that is, as you get fatigued and the intensity increases), more lactic acid will be produced, which will increase your breathing rate. Consequently, if you try to match your breathing rhythm to the rate of the exercise you are performing, as you increase your breathing speed, you will increase the speed of your repetitions, to maintain the same rhythm.

This is not an intelligent action since an increase in the speed at which it executes the repetitions can lead to an increase in inertia and an amplification of forces, which lead to an injury. A wiser attitude to adopt about breathing is simply to keep your mouth open during exercise and to breathe freely, which will prevent a high-intensity muscle deployment from combining with the Valsalva maneuver. Somehow, this is anti-intuitive, in the sense that, normally, whenever one is in the position of lifting a heavy object it automatically makes a Valsalva for the simple reason that it thus retains the venous flow within the muscles. in action, which swells the muscle and increases the force exerted by the soft tissues;

However, doing this will short-circuit the raid process in the muscle (which is the goal of well-performed training) and, by combining retention of breath with a high level of force deployment, a dangerous increase in pressure can occur. blood When you feel the need to hold your breath during a series, that it’s just time to breathe faster, to hyperventilate. When we see that a client reaches the point where moving the weight becomes very difficult, we order them to breathe as if they intended to lift the weight with the air they expel. It is important to adapt the breathing to the level of effort and fatigue of each one because as lactic acidosis is established, the respiratory rate tends to arise spontaneously. Consequently, if a client needs to hold his breath, he should cancel that need by voluntarily increasing the breathing rate. This will avoid combining a Valsalva maneuver with a high level of effort, a situation that results in blood pressure peaks that compromise the venous return, which can lead to a sudden drop in cardiac output, and increase the risk of fainting.

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