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Sprint Train Like A Cheetah

The respiratory system of a Cheetah plays a large role in its’ ability to be the fastest land animal on the planet.  The Cheetah breathes through its' nose.

We learned the answer to this question in elementary school.  So, I’m going to test your memory.  What’s the fastest animal on the planet?  YES, the Cheetah.  Now, you may not remember some of these fun facts so here goes. The respiratory system of a Cheetah plays a large role in its’ ability to be the fastest land animal on the planet.  The nostrils’ sinuses of a Cheetah are larger than any other cat which allows for maximum air flow to enter their nostrils to support their oversized lungs and distribute oxygen-rich blood to the heart and muscles for increased energy while pursuing its’ prey.  The Cheetah can reach speeds of 75 miles per hour and its’ respiratory rate climbs from 60 to 150 breaths per minute which is twice the rate of humans.  Their high speeds can be maintained for 400-800 meters before exhaustion sets in.

Being able to accelerate quickly and powerfully is a skill that should be developed in most athletes and athletic training.  In the fitness and personal training realm, high intensity classes and training techniques have grown in popularity.  There are several different ways to train for acceleration but I’m going to give you an example of one system you can start to use with your clients or in your classes starting now.  Not only will you notice an increase in performance, you clients will “feel” better and have more energy after their workouts.

Breathwork Learning Objectives

  1. How to warm-up your body from the inside out using nasal dominance

  2. Train With Hill Climbing & Power Breathing

  3. Recovery breathing steps with Alternate Nostril Breathing

Warm-UP From The Inside Out

In previous articles, I've talked about how important it is to warm-up the body through the respiratory and digestive systems with nasal breathing. Our digestive function is responsible for the removal of wastes and excessive inflammation, as well as the absorption of nutrients. It also plays a role in determining our energy source i.e., burning fats or sugars to account for the energy demand.   And like the Cheetah, we can train our respiratory system for optimal oxygen-rich blood flow to make its'; way to our skeletal and musculoskeletal systems for maximum output at the moment it's needed.

Junk miles to warm-up only destroys the skeletal & musculoskeletal system.  Let's save those systems for when they're really needed in whatever activity or sport you're training for or enjoying in your fitness routines.  "The body is designed so the muscles responsible for breathing and the heart will take priority for oxygenated blood over limb muscles, meaning the rest of the body, legs and arms; will be the first to 'go' causing premature fatigue" (1).

To warm-up, we're going to use a breathwork technique called 4-Part Breathing.  This technique involves brief retentions of holding the breath in and holding the breath out.  We do this in an effort to create more power from the muscles of inhale and exhale.

Imagine the inhale as your intention and the exhale the manifestation of the intention.  On the inhale, see the goal.  On the exhale, make it happen!  During the retentions, visually see the movement coming in the hill training.  Mindfully see the movement of bones moving first, muscles moving second and the movement happening from the solar plexus; the center point below the naval and diaphragm muscle.  Not only are we warming the body up, we're creating introversion.  We're establishing the mental aspect of the training.

Warm-Up Technique

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