Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Breathing and Working Out

The heightened activity of working out requires specific breathing practices. When faced with resistance, either with weight (lifting weights) or gravity (calisthenics), one should exhale. Conversely, inhaling during the expansion of the muscle group would be the natural time to expand the lungs. Your breathing should be natural, just with a little bit of force, as needed, during the resistance part of one's workout. The last thing you want to do when you're working out is talk. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/rethinking-the-exercise-talk-test/, this link discusses the "talk test." The ability to talk as criteria for conducting a proper workout has long been conventional wisdom. This study from researchers at the University of New Hampshire tells a different story. The idea that if you are able to talk, you aren't pushing yourself hard enough.

Your lactate threshold, it turns out, plays a critical role if you wish to become more fit. Multiple studies and practical experience have shown, persuasively, that to increase your endurance and speed, you need to work out occasionally at a strenuous intensity that hovers just below your lactate threshold. But if you can talk easily while exercising, you are not at that point, says Timothy J. Quinn, a professor at the University of New Hampshire and lead author of the new study.

Reciting Pine Street Passerby whilst doing pull-ups demanded focus. Towards the end it did become harder to speak, however I was still able to speak clearly. This research of mine, like all good research, has raised some questions. Is there a difference between catching your breath and it being difficult to talk? Is the talk test applicable to anabolic activities such as pull-ups i.e. maybe I am working really hard and the ability to talk in a non-factor in the difficulty of the workout? Perhaps, I did not reach my lactate threshold? Could I have willed it?

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