One of the most common mistakes that a lot of folks make when starting the 0 Excuses Fitness System (actually, I shouldn’t say just starting – so called “advanced” trainees can be guilty of the very same thing as well!) is this – they neglect the MOST IMPORTANT part of the entire System (and the exercise routines).
What is this, you ask.
It’s not so much the “how” to do the exercises – – or even WHAT exact exercises you’re doing.
It’s not so much “how many reps” or even “how often”. Although those two are important, and should certainly be on your radar, they aren’t by far the MOST IMPORTANT.
Blink and you’ll miss it, but there’s a potent little section on Deep Breathing in 0 Excuses Fitness, and how to breathe the RIGHT way – – especially when doing the BEST darn exercise ever – – and ALL the rest of the exercises I advocate in the System.
This little bit is well worth a read – – re-read – – and “tri-read” – – and so forth. In fact I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I were to say that one section alone was worth the investment you made in the System – so potent indeed are the benefits to your entire body – and BRAIN – and LIFE – if you simply take the time to BREATHE correctly!
Martin Farmer Burns wrote in his mail order course “Lessons in Physical Culture and Wrestling” that “Deep breathing has made many a sick man well, and many a weak man strong”.
There have been cases (and he goes into this in the course) where folks lying on a sick bed have improved their health and well being by doing NOTHING other than focused deep breathing – and these are true stories, by the way.
Deep breathing, my friend, done the right way is so much more than “just breathing”.
When you breathe correctly – you turn on the internal fat burner in your system and crank it up to MAX – and it STAYS there for the duration of your workout!
When you breathe correctly – you RECOVER much quicker from getting out of breath (for instance, if you’re doing sprints – or high rep squats – you’ll RECOVER a lot faster). This little tip alone is again well worth it’s weight in gold – – and those that have read the System know this.
Not only this, deep breathing enlarges the diaphragm, and ALL the underlying muscles of the chest – thereby making the entire chest and upper back more prominent, and broader than if you were to just exercise without any conscious deep breathing.
But the MOST POTENT benefits of deep breathing aren’t even fat related – they’re MIND related.
Life related, if I might say so.
I talk a lot about visualization, but deep breathing and emotion are the keys to getting those visuals “transmuted” into your current reality, and deep breathing is the “doorway” through which your emotions travel towards the Infinite, thereby making your dreams a reality.
Deep breathing makes you calmer in ANY situation. The next time you feel down – – or hassled – – or perhaps even “drowning in debt” – – take a minute or two to BREATHE deeply, and you’ll soon see that in the grand scheme of things, none of it matters very much.
Don’t believe me? Don’t think deep breathing actually works?
Well, thats because you’ve NOT been doing it correctly, my friend. It’s sad, but true – but the vast majority of adults out there are SHALLOW breathers – – as opposed to kids and babies (under the age of 5 or so) that breathe NATURALLY.
You breathe from the abdomen – not the chest. And you do so deeply!
The next time you feel stressed, or out of control, or experience any similar emotion, do the following.
- Sit in a straight backed chair. Spine straight, arms on your thighs.
- Allow the rest of your body to “relax” while keeping the head and spine straight.
- Simply start off by breathing DEEPLY – from the stomach – all the way from your toes to your head – and HOLD each breath for a second or so (you can go longer, but a second is fine).
- Once you’ve filled your lungs like you might a balloon, slowly exhale each last bit of air until your lungs are “deflated” (and yes, the above two points can be used as visualization tips when doing this).
- Repeat for 10-15 reps.
I’ll bet you my bottom dollar your mind starts to clear and the cobwebs disappear, and a whole new “reality” starts to appear in your brain (usually in the form of a picture) if you do the above right.
And that is just the beginning, my friend.
The above is the SIMPLEST way to start experiencing the benefits of deep breathing – and when you start mixing in goal setting and visualization – oh my. WATCH OUT – you’ll literally be off to the races!
So that is today’s tip, my friend. When you workout – make sure you BREATHE – and FOCUS on your breathing – WITH EVERY REP!
Hindu pushups, by the way are one of the very best exercises I’ve found to “focus on your breathing” as you train. The rhythmic up and down “ocean wave like” movement of the exercise makes it possible to focus not just on your breathing, but your goals as well.
And whether you try consciously or not – once you start doing these in higher reps, and picturing your goals as you train, you’ll automatically start to ACHIEVE those goals as well in your own life.
Might sound esoteric to a degree, but hey – it’s all true!
Try it for a while if you don’t believe me – – and report back afterwards. I bet you’ll be stunned and thats putting it lightly!
P.S. – And YES – while pushups and squats require deep breathing on every rep, so do pull-ups – or handstand pushups – or any other TOUGHIE where you might imagine “brute strength” gets it all done. No it doesn’t, my friend. One of the keys I used to skyrocket myself towards the magic 100 in pull-ups was DEEP BREATHING. I literally “breathed my way up” on some of those last reps – – and if you read the book – – you’ll know what I mean! Here it is for your reference – – http://0excusesfitness.com/pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks/