Mike "The Jet" Piispanen

Mike “The Jet” Piispanen

Snatch Balance


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Conor don't! We moved the slip and slide!

Conor don’t! We moved the slip and slide!

Hello Crossfit New Englanders! We are still collecting money for T-shirts to send to Kenya. Remember they only cost $10 and will mean so much to the students. Click HERE for more information.

Coaches Corner with Coach Geoff

Just Breathe

How many of you have been in the middle of a workout or maybe even that first round gasping for air, wondering to yourself maybe I came out of the gate too hard or thinking how on earth I’m going to finish this? I’m sure we all have, myself included. Lets first look at what is happening to our muscles when we inhale and exhale during a WOD.

First off, ATP is our fuel for fire, it’s what the cells in our muscles use to create energy. It’s what allows us to CrossFit and execute functional movements at high intensity. Our main ingredient in that recipe is oxygen, which is needed to breakdown glucose and create ATP. When our muscles use up the readily available oxygen in our bodies they go into a state called “oxygen debt,” where they begin to convert glucose to lactic acid and start to fatigue. However, if they have sufficient amounts of oxygen, our muscles will not produce lactic acid as rapidly and therefore will not fatigue as quickly.

The glucose that we consume gets stored in our muscles as glycogen. Typically, our muscles have more glycogen than oxygen, so oxygen becomes the limiting factor in creating ATP, which by now we know is essential to provide energy during a workout. Our muscles also store oxygen within them using a protein called myoglobin. It allows our muscles to have more available oxygen on tap than in other cells in our body, and in our line of training our muscles require all the oxygen they can get.

The next question becomes, how do we control this feeling like we’re suffocating? Whether we’re doing a 200-meter sprint, Fran, or a longer Hero workout, my advice to you is the same. Try to regulate your breathing cycle and think more about getting a generous amount of oxygen into your body rather than counting how many rounds you have left.

During a workout, the minute we begin to start gasping for air is the minute we have to rest and recover. It’s all we can think about, not the next rep or next round but ONLY that next breath of air. I know all of us have been in this situation, we push our bodies to their threshold then we try and push further. At that point it’s too late, we either have to drop the bar or start to slow down and rest, in order to control our breathing and get our heart rate back down.

Tips & things that have worked for me:

1) Control your breathing in rhythm with your reps or movement

2) Hear yourself breath out loud

3) When running try to exhale on different foot strikes to prevent cramping on one side

4) Practice a deep diaphragmatic breathing pattern called Box Breathing. Click HERE.