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How to Recover DURING The Event

I’m staring at this screen with a shit load in my head but no way to thread them together.

So lets get this in some sort of order……….

I wanted to talk about breathing.

I want to talk about my client Jamie winning round 2 of the Gravity Enduro Ireland Mountain Biking race this weekend. He sent me this image yesterday:


I want to talk about the self defence course this coming sunday.

And I need to find a way to tell you how we used better breath control to get Jamie into top place and how it’s also incredibly valid to the self defence course.

And i think it’s starting to come together……

Jamie had a problem.

He’s a better biker than most, he came from downhill into enduro so his strength, power, technical skill and balls are likely better than most.

The problem came on the peddley bits.

So I taught him some breathing tactics that my karate instructor taught to me approx 25 years ago.

Tactics i have taught throughout my entire career as a coach, and every time I present these techniques at a workshop anywhere i go , it’s like I’m dropping absolute gold into people laps. It blows them away.

That’s an unintentional pun.

But a good one!

You see it’s this simple:

Recovery is in the exhale. (Click HERE to tweet that nugget of gold!)

That’s it.

Blow out to get more in.

How does this work?

When we blow out we get rid of carbon dioxide, a waste product.

The more we get rid of, the more “space” we make for oxgen. After all the blood carries both gasses. Consider blood cells as delivery wagons, they need to dump their load before they can pick up the next load.

So this is a big part of why need to prioritise the exhale, get rid of the CO2, make room for the O2.

Now forget about the in breath.

I mean it, completely disregard it, only focus on the exhale.

We have the “tonic breath reflex” that pulls air back in faster than we can do it consciously. Our rib cage is a spring, so all that force it takes to compress it to exhale is simply loading it to better inhale

It’s why if you start forcefully exhaling now, blowing out quickly and deeply, you’ll hyperventilate and potentially pass out due to an excess of oxygen in the blood.

Now if you’re blowing out your arse after a hill sprint or mid fight, you have what we call and “oxygen debt” Hyperventilating can and will help you repay this debt faster and bring the body back towards homeostasis much faster than conventional breathing practices.

Breathing is just the start, it gets a lot more complicated inside the cells!

Breathing is just the start, it gets a lot more complicated inside the cells!

It’s why I teach people to use two exhales on their kettlebell swings and bodyweight squats. It’s why there are up to 5 exhales on a single rep of the kettlebell jerk. Up to 4 exhales per rep of the kettlebell snatch.

These are power endurance lifts, Kettlebell Jerks and Snatches are done for high reps with moderate loads, as are bodyweight / hindu squats.

24kg, snatched 202 times, one hand change, by a 60something kg girl. Your excuse is invalid.

24kg, snatched 202 times, one hand change, by a 60something kg girl. Your excuse is invalid.

Recovery has to happen DURING the set, not AFTER.

If you’re in a fight, you can’t afford to get tired before your opponents. You can’t let the breath get out of control and affect your mental focus.

So we have to control it. Balance the gas exchange as much as possible and ensure we are getting the CO2 out.

And that is all down to the exhale.

Breathing is a big deal.

I teach a section on breathing in EVERY workshop I run, especially the Self Defence workshop which is o this Sunday ( smooth link eh?)

Get on the workshop by following this link:

I’ll see you there


Dave Hedges

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