“The breath is the remote control to the brain and you can take control of your mind at any time by taking control of your breath.” – Power Speed Endurance’s Art of Breath
With the breath work that we are integrating into the Oak Park experience we are striving to give you a rich, varied experience while simultaneously equipping you with tools that you can use inside and outside of the gym to enhance your fitness and well-being. One of the tools I want to share with you today is something called “box breathing.”
Box breathing is a breath technique that you can use to down regulate (i.e. “calm down”) your nervous system and get yourself out of a sympathetic state (the up-regulated, “fight or freeze” state). It is a great tool to use when you need to quickly move yourself from an up-regulated state to a down-regulated state. Down-regulating your nervous system reduces stress, promotes calm, improves your mental focus, and can improve your mood – universally good things!
The box breath consists of an inhale, a breath hold, an exhale, and a hold on the exhale. Box breathing is so named because each part of the breath is of equal length, which gives you a simple breath cadence of 1:1:1:1 and can be visualized like the sides of a box. For example:
You inhale for 5 seconds,
You hold your breath for 5 seconds,
You exhale your breath for 5 seconds,
You hold for 5 seconds before you begin your next inhale.
Box breathing is so easy to implement. Start with 1-second sides to your box and work up to something between 4 and 7 seconds per side. You don’t have to look at the clock to time the “sides” of your box. Just count on your fingers or count in your head. Try this for 5-10 minutes before you go to bed as part of your nighttime routine. Or, take 2 minutes to box breathe before a stressful meeting at work or during a conference call with that vendor who drives you insane. Or you can begin your practice with box breathing here in the box, by practicing your box breath as you recover during the rest intervals of a CrossFit workout (today’s Competition WOD would be a perfect style of workout in which you could incorporate box breathing in the rest intervals). Whether you choose to practice inside the box or outside the box, give box breathing a try in this next week and let me know how it goes.
A) Rowing w/ Breath Gear Pyramid
B) EMOM 10:
1 Hang Power Snatch + 2 OHS (hold bottom for 3 seconds)
C) 3 RFQT:
2 Hang Snatch Pull + 2 Hang Snatch High Pull + 1 Hang Power Snatch
3 Hang (Squat) Snatch (135# / 95#)
FRIDAY’S WORKOUT ***
Franklin Hill Fitness Score
A) “Franklin Light Hunt”
Across Down Back Up Back Across
Max Light Posts Score
(10 min rest)
B) 2 Intervals on the 6:00
Franklin Hill Sprint 220m
Your “Franklin Hill Fitness Score” is the total of your two intervals times on part “B” divided by your Light Post Score on part “A.”
*** Coach Matt will be leading a FREE 30-minute performance breath session from 12:00-12:30pm on Friday, working on breath techniques to prepare for the Franklin Hill runs.