Prepping for the Open 2019:  Part 3 - Feeling like you're drowning is not the goal, but it does bring things into focus pretty quick.

Have you been to class lately and experienced one of the metcons that has a specific breathing directive behind it?

Recently I have heard people say that when they have been in class for one of those workouts for the first time, this intense thought of, “holy shit, I’m drowning!” comes over them at some point.

Understanding how efficient breathing mechanics relates to movement and position can be a hit or miss topic for some.  I get it, there are only so many times I feel like I can say the word “efficiency” before it it loses its meaning.

However, experience is a very potent teacher - it doesn’t lie and you can’t run from it when you’re in it.

Today I want to discuss how the work we have been doing in class recently was designed in a manner that will help increase performance for this years Open.  I want to highlight three points that have been discussed in class.  I invite you read through this fully and consider how it could apply to your training goals this year.


This is something that should be used consistently, but requires a bit of capacity to be developed to understand fully.  Now don’t get me wrong, you can do every Open workout with your mouth closed and to be honest that would pay off HUGE in the long run.  However, it will absolutely slow your performance down and will be challenging.  My coaching advice is that you should try and stay nasal if you are willing to accept the short term-performance alterations (slower pace, a feeling like you can get a full deep breath, and an increase in workout pauses).  Truly this will help you begin on your path to efficiency, but that will take time and won’t be evident in the first few Open workouts.


This is vital to your success, but often disregarded (mainly because I don’t believe people understand the benefits).  If you take time to literally warm-up (elevating your core temperature) you become much more efficient at utilizing oxygen as fuel.  Red blood cells are much more apt and party when the temperature is hotter (nerdy bio chem joke!).  Why does this matter?  It will increase your performance, flat out.  Think back to those previous Open workouts where you are sucking wind hard, hoping for the workout to end - 16.5 anyone?  You have the ability to function more efficiently if you take time in your warm-up.  As funny as it may sounds, a warm-up is like tuning your guitar in a way.  You wouldn’t  want to play a live show if things aren’t in tune!  So don’t do that to yourself during a workout.  Get you lungs in tune with your muscles and you might just surprise yourself!


As your coaches you have heard us preach over and over again about knowing why you are training.  There is no right or wrong answer, but having a clear goal or purpose for your training is immensely helpful.  In class recently I have been discussing how we can look at workouts so that they build on one another consistently.  That message can absolutely apply to the Open this year!  Look at each workout and try to identify one thing you want to work on.  Do you want to focus on your weaknesses or see how far you have improved upon one of your strengths?  This will allow you to stay the course and build on your training over the year.  As this relates to breathing, should you choose to implement any of the gears protocols, you will definitely have to remind yourself mid-workout about why you are choosing to work on your breathing because it won’t be easy!

So as you approach this years Open, take some time to consider your approach as it relates to breathing and your performance.  Think back on the workouts we have had in class and those moments when you felt like controlling your breath became challenging. Were you in a poor position?  Were you holding your breath?  Did you go out too hot and now you’re struggling to recover?

If you answer yes to any of those questions, understand you have the ability to control your outcome if you work on it!

Below is a simple warm-up you can add to this years Open movement prep.  If you take this seriously, I promise you will be ready to compete!

Happy Friday Everyone.



A. 7 minute easy bike or row - nasal only + hold breath the last :10 of every minute

B. Dive bomber push ups: 2 x 10 - nasal only w/ FULL nasal inhale at the top of each movement and nasals exhale at the bottom

C. Lying T leg twists: 2 x 6 twists - FOCUS is to be prone on the floor with arms extended into a T.  Alternate bringing your legs to the opposite side of your body while maintaining the T position.