~By James Villepigue CSCS & Hobie Call

Swim In The Gym!

This week’s WOD is a somewhat unique training technique and is recommended for more advanced athletes. If you are a beginner or intermediate athlete with an above level of physical conditioning, please use ultimate caution!

Today’s training WOD involves either the use of an inexpensive swim/scuba snorkel and/or a straw with an above average circumference, which will allow for a bit more air capacity…I get mine from a national burger chain and I’m lovin it! ;-)

If you’re the type of person who cares too much about what others think about you, you may not want to perform this technique in public. If you’re in it to win it, do what you gotta do and don’t worry about those who don’t matter anyway.

You can use this training technique to help with three aspects of race training, which will ultimately improve your race performance.

1) It will help you adjust and improve lung capacity during any endurance based activity – Is an amazing enhancer for high altitude training & race performance.

2) This will help to loosen up your rib cage by making it more flexible and will strengthen your diaphragm.  (This is an aspect of training that is often neglected by most athletes.)

3) This is one sure-fire way to spruce up one of your regular workouts in a rather unique way.

Here’s how to do it:

-If your workout lasts under 1 hour, set your watch to beep at the 1 minute mark and put it on repeat mode.

-For workouts lasting between 1-2 hours, set your watch to beep at the 2-minute mark and put it on repeat mode.

-For workouts lasting 2 or more hours, set your watch to beep at the 4-minute mark and put it on repeat mode.

Once you’re warmed up, start your watch and each time it beeps, place the snorkel in your mouth and breathe. Do your best to relax, as the more rigid you are, the more you will tense up and the more you increase your chances of hyperventilating. You’re not holding your breath here, but you will definitely be taxing your lungs by making your ability to take in oxygen much more challenging.

If you find that the snorkel breathing time frames laid out above are either too difficult or too easy, modify at your discretion and risk.

This is essentially direct exercise for your lungs and it will help to build up your lung capacity.

If at any time you become dizzy, stop immediately, breathe deeply and slowly and take a break.

You want the challenge to be present, but once the snorkel begins overly interfering/affecting the rhythm and pace of your workout, take a break.

Again, do your best to relax your body during a protocol like this. Once you master the snorkel on your training days, try spending a few minutes practicing your breathing through a straw on your non-training days. This is not easy, but can help to further build up your lung capacity.

As you find yourself becoming more comfortable using this technique, try increasing your straw breathing time by one minute on each consecutive non-training day.

*Be careful not to overdo the training day snorkel protocol or the non-training day straw breathing.  You don’t want to make yourself pass out and get hurt.

As always, please warm-up by going through one or two cycles of the Dynamic Warm-Up Routine. Just because this week’s WOD is more of a training technique using breathing protocols, you should still warm up to ensure safety.


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12 Responses

  1. avatar

    or swim like a beast taking minimal breaths while swimming like a shark is on ur tail… although it could be a bit embarrassing if you drown.

  2. avatar

    I really like the great ideas you have in your WODs. For me it would be benificial to see it in action. If there is any way to have a short video demonstration it would be most useful. Some exercises and techniques I’m not familiar with. So, seeing it would make it better for me to follow. Planning on my first Spartan Race at Pacific Northwest in June.

  3. avatar

    How long do you breath through the snorkel each minute?

  4. avatar

    Not very well explained. If I am placing the straw in my mouth each time my timer beeps, it will alway be in my mouth. How long does it remain in my mouth after each beep?

  5. avatar

    Really confused. Is this done while swimming? While normally working out? Are you holding your breath for a minute and then breathing through the snorkel? How many breaths/how long are you breathing through the snorkel?

  6. avatar

    You place the snorkel in your mouth when your watch beeps, do you just continue your workout as normal but with the snorkel constricting your airflow? Do you leave the snorkel in until your watch beeps again?

  7. avatar

    I signed up for this race to get my body back in the best shape it has been in for years. So I am willing to try anything to better my chance just to finish the race which is my goal at this time. I want to finish this race with a good time and not look like a fool. If nothing else i will get in the best condition i have been in for health reason. I will have to buy my straws at the store becuase Mc D. or B-king are places I do not visit hardly ever. Just a little nervous about this race never did anything like this.

  8. avatar

    Does this really help increase lung power for an asthmatic? Meditation and deep controlled breathing temporarily helps but does this activity actually increase lung capacity in the long run?

  9. avatar

    Can’t wait to try this, as I need help w/my breathing, especially during running. Question: how long do you keep the snorkel/straw in your mouth after the beep? Do you just continue w/the workout using the snorkel/straw after the first beep or use it in intervals? Thanks again for the idea.

  10. avatar

    I see when to put the snorkel in my mouth, but when do i take it out so i can put it in for the next beep?

  11. avatar

    Hi, I understand that you put the snorkel in your mouth every minute for the short workout. How long do you breathe with the snorkel in your mouth before you remove it?

  12. avatar

    Anyway, I’m gonna subscribe for your feed and I hope you write extremely articles once more soon.

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