When should you breathe during a weight training set?

Breathing at the right time can definitely make repetitions in a training set more effective, but does it matter when you breathe during a training set? Should you breathe when you finish performing a repetition, or just before you begin, or perhaps it's better to hold ones breathe throughout the entire set? Like everything else, it seems there's always conflicting opinions, but there's one thing for sure, which is to always consider the source.

Truth is, holding ones breath is not always a bad thing, unless to the extent it causes an unusually high spike in blood pressure, or if it's chronic. It's important to note that heavy lifting will generally spike blood pressure which is typically normal, and usually not dangerous, unless you have high blood pressure to begin with, then you should exercise vigilance, as an unintended consequence could be exposing oneself to stroke. So, bottom line here is first know if you have a blood pressure issue before you start hoisting around a ton of weight.

While we're on the topic of holding your breath, something to know is without question when holding your breath, especially when lifting heavy, you're definitely stronger. So how can you have your cake and eat it without it being dangerous? First of all, know this, holding your breath causes intracranial pressure, however, even when expelling any amount of air as you lift, relieves the pressure in your skull. This little tad bit is an important training tip you and your trainer should know about.

Otherwise, if you don't hold your breath, don't get all caught up wondering when you should breathe or hold your breath throughout a training set, because it's an unwanted distraction that takes your mind away from focusing on the quality of each repetition. Your body is very instinctive, and knows when to breathe as long as you don't over think, so don't get in its way. Train, breathe, rinse, and repeat.

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Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)