Author Topic: Breathing and hard climbing  (Read 2771 times)

Offline shark

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Breathing and hard climbing
« on: June 14, 2017, 08:16:12 pm »
I'm guilty quite often of forgetting to breathe as I find it hard to breathe and engage core at the same time without a conscious effort. Was recently interested to hear about the Pilates approach where you engage your core and breathe in a way where your lungs and ribs expand sideways. Then last night Dan C talked to me about pursed lips breathing where instead of concentrating on the in breath you focus on the out breath.

Wondered if anyone had tried these or other techniques....
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Offline Johnny Brown

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 08:22:33 pm »
Yoga. It's all about the breathing. Pilates is just yoga with a few weights and less history.

Offline shark

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2017, 08:41:02 pm »
Yoga. It's all about the breathing. Pilates is just yoga with a few weights and less history.

Never heard this breathing technique mentioned on yoga classes.

Does Pilates involve weights? If so my interest in it has doubled (admitedly from a low base)
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Offline nai

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2017, 09:40:33 pm »
Not sure JB is totally accurate with that description, you could say it's yoga with the lights on and no incense.
Could you get loopy Lou to give you a private lesson and go through the breathing techniques?

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Offline bolehillbilly

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2017, 09:44:17 pm »
Mrs B has been going to a Pilates class as part of triathlon training for the past 6 months.  She seems to have had a lot of benefit and keeps telling me how good it would be for climbing.
Doesn't involve any weights as far as I know but lots of core work, breathing and flexibility. 
I've noticed that she sometimes talks to me with pursed lips too - its usually effective.

Offline shark

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2017, 09:51:55 pm »

Could you get loopy Lou to give you a private lesson and go through the breathing techniques?

I think I understand already. Pursed lipped breathing strikes me as something I want to try out first. Possibly similar to your horse noises?
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Offline nai

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2017, 09:55:25 pm »

Could you get loopy Lou to give you a private lesson and go through the breathing techniques?

I think I understand already. Pursed lipped breathing strikes me as something I want to try out first. Possibly similar to your horse noises?
I climb so fast it sounds like I'm galloping to the belay? #climbfaster

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Offline Dan Cheetham

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2017, 10:24:39 pm »
Alright dudes, I was thinking about this after our conversation and wondered if that kind of blowing out through purses lips and puffed cheeks actually helps improve aerobic respiration under pressure. There's minimal evidence out there I can briefly find apart from some saying it only helps pathological lungs. But there is this interesting article on. Or text ways to breathe which describes the advantages of a diaphragmatic in breath and a pursed out breath through puffed cheeks as something that helps regulate physical and psychological pressure. This would make total sense to me in climbing and fits with watching some great climbers literally appear to puff their way up routes. Whether in fits in with the yoga 'pranayama' I've no idea. But as s technique to improve efficiency and reduce stress improve focus and keep it as aerobic as possible it's gotta be worth a shot?

http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/wellness/master-your-breathing-to-perform-better.html

Still looking for a Friday sport : trad peaks partner if anyone's keen? Moat?

Offline Nibile

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2017, 10:28:24 pm »
I regularly train alternative breathing techniques, but obviously using weights so that I feel some kind of a superhuman mofo.
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Offline Dan Cheetham

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2017, 10:33:41 pm »
Nice article on what I was describing here

https://www.climbing.com/skills/relaxing-breath/

Offline shark

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2017, 10:42:37 pm »
Alright dudes, I was thinking about this after our conversation and wondered if that kind of blowing out through purses lips and puffed cheeks actually helps improve aerobic respiration under pressure. There's minimal evidence out there I can briefly find apart from some saying it only helps pathological lungs. But there is this interesting article on. Or text ways to breathe which describes the advantages of a diaphragmatic in breath and a pursed out breath through puffed cheeks as something that helps regulate physical and psychological pressure. This would make total sense to me in climbing and fits with watching some great climbers literally appear to puff their way up routes. Whether in fits in with the yoga 'pranayama' I've no idea. But as s technique to improve efficiency and reduce stress improve focus and keep it as aerobic as possible it's gotta be worth a shot?

http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/wellness/master-your-breathing-to-perform-better.html

Still looking for a Friday sport : trad peaks partner if anyone's keen? Moat?

Yes. Saw that article. Seems like there's very little out there on the subject. I like the idea because breathing out tightens the core and makes the in-breath a reflex action. We'll see
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Offline Sasquatch

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2017, 01:57:43 am »
Not sure JB is totally accurate with that description, you could say it's yoga with the lights on and no incense.
Could you get loopy Lou to give you a private lesson and go through the breathing techniques?

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I've never been to a yoga class w the lights off and incense burning.  And all of the yoga I've ever done is heavily focused on breathing, and understanding the use of your breath to release and engage during a movement or static hold.  Look up Prana, literally means breathe. 


Offline moose

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2017, 07:15:06 am »
Does practising this kind of breathing make much demand on the core?  On hard, sustained routes, my core is the element that tends to "go" - leading to difficulty raising my legs and keeping my feet on slippy smears at late RP cruxes.  I rarely feel short of oxygen mid-route - so, wondering if engaging the core for breathing might have unexpected negative consequences.  Or are the muscles involved in breathing and keeping feet on completely unrelated, so there is no conflict?

Not directly related, but here are a couple of breathing exercises / relaxation techiques that I recall reading about, and still use.

One (I vaguely recall it being referred to as "Dragon breathing") is to clear your mind and breath in, deep, slow and measured through your nose for a count of 4; hold briefly and relax your face (slack jawed and vacant expression!); and, then out through your slack mouth for a count of 4.  Repeat for counts of 5, 6, 7s, then back down in descending order.  Basically cycle long, nose-in, mouth-out breaths for ascending and descending periods (if you have time) with a relaxed face.  I use it at mid-route rests where you can stay a while but it's pretty stressful and there is a temptation to leave too early.  I find the routine helps me relax into the rest and "collect myself".

The other sounds a bit bizarre but I find it works for quickly settling down at bad rests (or at least it cheers me in stressful situations!): take a deep, long diaphragmy breath through the nose, whilst contorting your face into a huge, canine-teeth exposed grin - a proper "ghastly rictus" as oft described by poor horror writers! Then suddenly relax your face completely (jaw slack), and forcefully exhale through the mouth.   Feels daft but at shitty "a quick shake rests", I feel it encourages me fore setting off - I feel a bit calmer, yet determined and go into cruxes with a bit more oomph and resolve.
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Offline nai

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2017, 08:31:59 am »



Still looking for a Friday sport : trad peaks partner if anyone's keen? Moat?

I might be keen. Well I am keen, but it'll depend on getting stuff done today.

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Offline highrepute

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2017, 08:40:14 am »

Does practising this kind of breathing make much demand on the core?  On hard, sustained routes, my core is the element that tends to "go" - leading to difficulty raising my legs and keeping my feet on slippy smears at late RP cruxes.  I rarely feel short of oxygen mid-route - so, wondering if engaging the core for breathing might have unexpected negative consequences.  Or are the muscles involved in breathing and keeping feet on completely unrelated, so there is no conflict?

I think it the opposite is considered more true. Good breathing can be used to aid the core such that they should be practised and trained together. My example has always been tennis players are taught to exhale on striking the ball, hence all the grunting. And the trumpet blowing that climbers do on hard moves is because holding an out breath like that helps stabilise the core. So they are not independent they are the same. So I suppose there could be a negative effect or looked at differently, if exploited can give a positive effect. That is just mainly my opinion.

Offline Dan Cheetham

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2017, 08:55:31 am »



Still looking for a Friday sport : trad peaks partner if anyone's keen? Moat?

I might be keen. Well I am keen, but it'll depend on getting stuff done today.

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Nice one Ian, I'll pm you my number :)

Offline Johnny Brown

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2017, 09:25:57 am »
Quote
Never heard this breathing technique mentioned on yoga classes.

As above, it's at the core of the practice. When I was doing a lot my teacher used to hammer the rib expansion technique for the strenuous stuff. But mainly, you are continually reminded to focus on keeping the breath strong and regular whilst moving through difficult sequences, and moving with the appropriate breath. Likewise lots of exercises as Moose describes, we were also taught how a deep breathing out exercise to empty our lungs. Which came in very handy when I got breathalysed.

Offline TobyD

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2017, 09:37:05 am »


Yoga is meditation on breath, and intrinsically doesn't require anything to do with stretching... I have found it by far the most relevant benefit of yoga to climbing.
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Offline sheavi

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2017, 10:04:30 am »
Yoga means union or to merge with the Self.  Asanas and pranayama (posture and breathing to keep it simple) are one of the limbs of yoga to help bring this about.  Sorry to be a pendant.

Back on subject.  To be useful for climbing, ujjayi pranayama (breathing) I think would be the most effective technique to utilise.



Offline T_B

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2017, 10:21:14 am »
Releasing your breath also gives you more reach.

Offline dave

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2017, 10:26:42 am »
The flipside of all this talk is I think the next level of local eliminates would be to do problems without breathing. Especially longer things like powerband, stuff like that. Could be a whole new set of challenges out there. In the same way that in Kabaddi they have to constantly say "kabaddi" to prove you're not breathing in, we should do something similar for kabaddi bouldering. Maybe just chanting "waddage" during climbing.
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Offline T_B

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2017, 10:29:46 am »
Mecca sans kneebar and w/o breathing. 8b+!

Offline Johnny Brown

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2017, 10:55:25 am »
Releasing your breath also gives you more reach.

As if you need any more reach! Could be a neat leveller this kabaddi bouldering, I like it.

Offline T_B

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2017, 11:41:19 am »
Releasing your breath also gives you more reach.

As if you need any more reach! Could be a neat leveller this kabaddi bouldering, I like it.

I've actually got really short arms. I'm just good at getting my feet high, you know, getting close into the rock, releasing my breath and streeeeeeeeetching  ;D

Offline petejh

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2017, 12:10:08 pm »
Typical yoga vid! - 2mins10seconds out of 2mins16seconds contains useful practical information that anybody can follow on how to develop breathing techniques. The last 6 seconds has philosophical jargon about evening out your consciousness that will mean nothing to most people.


Could be a whole new set of challenges out there. In the same way that in Kabaddi they have to constantly say "kabaddi" to prove you're not breathing in, we should do something similar for kabaddi bouldering. Maybe just chanting "waddage" during climbing.

'Kneebari' - ancient practice of the union of knee and rock. Proponents use breathing techniques in conjunction with holding body positions, to develop a higher grade actualization.
'Kneebarrow' - a recent offshoot of Kneebari. Proponents advocate using rubber, 'marginal scums', and practicing of knee-rock union in areas previously thought sacrosanct.

Offline Will Hunt

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2017, 12:49:04 pm »
The flipside of all this talk is I think the next level of local eliminates would be to do problems without breathing. Especially longer things like powerband, stuff like that. Could be a whole new set of challenges out there. In the same way that in Kabaddi they have to constantly say "kabaddi" to prove you're not breathing in, we should do something similar for kabaddi bouldering. Maybe just chanting "waddage" during climbing.

Isn't this already a thing in high-altitude mountaineering where they do things without oxygen?
Shark's next big goal: eatswood Traverse Without Oxygen.

Offline Eddies

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2017, 12:51:59 pm »
The flipside of all this talk is I think the next level of local eliminates would be to do problems without breathing. Especially longer things like powerband, stuff like that. Could be a whole new set of challenges out there. In the same way that in Kabaddi they have to constantly say "kabaddi" to prove you're not breathing in, we should do something similar for kabaddi bouldering. Maybe just chanting "waddage" during climbing.
Explains why I'm log at trad... Chanting "I'm on toprope" during climbing and "calm the fook down" during rests for the full duration of my climbs.
There is a mono, a scoop, and a crimp, but no feet. Bj does a gnarly pounce-dyamnic-jump swoop, Daniel does some robot shit. I get into a strange stance, and dragon in hard with just the tip of the toe.It worked.Punting was the only way off at that point.

Offline dave

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2017, 12:53:39 pm »
Shark's next big goal: eatswood Traverse Without Oxygen.

But that would imply he has a specific weakness at climbing WITH oxygen, which seems unlikely.
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Offline remus

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2017, 01:34:12 pm »
Typical yoga vid! - 2mins10seconds out of 2mins16seconds contains useful practical information that anybody can follow on how to develop breathing techniques. The last 6 seconds has philosophical jargon about evening out your consciousness that will mean nothing to most people.

Seems like a pretty good ratio really. In most sports science literature it's the other way round.

Offline Will Hunt

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2017, 01:40:07 pm »
Shark's next big goal: eatswood Traverse Without Oxygen.

But that would imply he has a specific weakness at climbing WITH oxygen, which seems unlikely.

I think Shark's weakness are more general than specific.

Offline Dan Cheetham

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2017, 02:05:35 pm »
Shark's next big goal: eatswood Traverse Without Oxygen.

But that would imply he has a specific weakness at climbing WITH oxygen, which seems unlikely.

Surely it can't be hard to recognise that for an experienced focussed climber, the risks involved in climbing the eatswood traverse without oxygen are significantly less than your average punter attempting it fully oxygenated

Offline shark

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2017, 03:00:06 pm »
we were also taught how a deep breathing out exercise to empty our lungs. Which came in very handy when I got breathalysed.

I heard a rumour that the other Grit Johnny used a circular breathing technique to good effect when pulled over
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 04:19:46 pm by shark »
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Online tomtom

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2017, 03:28:23 pm »
Power braying. It's the secret in climbing no one dare mention...

I will pay £100 to a nominated charity - if someone posts a video of Shark making loud donkey noises all the way up one of his Oak redpoints.

Offline mrjonathanr

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2017, 05:50:42 pm »
Difficulty breathing when climbing- isn't that a sign of a weak core? We don't inhale as such do we? Just expand the rib cage so that air flows in to an area of lower pressure.

Good breathing habits would help, but might this not be a thoracic strength issue?

Ps as said above yoga's breathing, the stretching's a bonus
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Offline mrjonathanr

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2017, 05:54:55 pm »
I went to a workshop with Kino last year, it was quite hard work, nearly took my breath away...
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Online tomtom

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2017, 09:06:35 pm »
I went to a workshop with Kino last year, it was quite hard work, nearly took my breath away...

How much did you have to cough up for it?

Offline Dolly

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2017, 09:16:35 pm »
Power braying. It's the secret in climbing no one dare mention...

I will pay £100 to a nominated charity - if someone posts a video of Shark making loud donkey noises all the way up one of his Oak redpoints.
Does it have to be climbing ? - ie are other activities allowed ?
(Searches old video footage on phone)
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Offline SA Chris

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2017, 09:46:48 pm »
WARNING! Posting may contain traces of irony, spoonerisms, horse play, sarcasm or other attempts at humour. Not suitable for consumption by foody muckers.

Offline Nibile

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2017, 10:39:05 am »
Sorry for the late reply.
I think the main thing here, as per OP, is being able to breathe while under serious core effort, rather than simply being able to have "alternative" breathing (expanding the ribs sideways, or expanding at the belly or at the clavicles).
I've been training this by stopping at a certain moment of a strength excercise and focusing on breathing without collapsing under the load.
Typically, at the bottom of a squat, or at mid-height during a deadlift, or at full stretch during the ab wheel rollouts, or after the clean during a clean and press.
Every for of loaded carry is also super beneficial, from farmer's to overhead barbell, with the hardest of them all, in my opinion, being with the barbell carried at shoulders height without resting on them or on the sternum.

Now I will let you all practice your breathing with your lycra, your incenses and your chants, while I hide once and again in my garage full of firearms, nazi flags and posters of Arnold, George W. and Donald.
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Offline rjtrials

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2017, 02:16:02 pm »
I have practiced a bit of Ashtanga on and off over the years and the main crossover to climbing I got from it was movement WITH the breath.  The breath was the first focus, followed by the movement.

I realized that the normal breathing pattern for hand moves was 'out.'  Therefore, the breathing pattern for foot moves needs to be 'in.'  This pattern needs to be practiced with EVERY climb, but you can only learn it on easy/warmups.  If the focus of all movement is with the breath, you can't really forget to breathe, but this habit has to be formed over many days and many many moves on easy terrain where you can forge new mental and breathing patterns.

It's true, that some moves require so much tension, that no breathing is possible.  However, there is usually a space BETWEEN the moves where the breath is possible.  So having the breathing engrams in place, you will naturally grab this breath between strenuous moves.

There is also the possibility that the intercostals are not strong enough to force breath while the body is under tension so these patterns need to be trained as well.  Almost all of my supplemental core work is done on breath count instead of reps or time.  A 'hardstyle' plank held for 5 breaths will be VERY short at first because you can't really breathe with that much tension.  But as your mind and body adapt, and the breaths become slower, the TUT will become longer.  A front lever progression with breath counts instead of time is also VERY good at forcing breath during maximum body tension.

Hope this all makes sense and Shark gets enough O2 to tick a new box  ;D ;D ;D

Offline duncan

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2017, 05:31:22 pm »
... Johnny used a circular breathing technique

Johnny circular breathing


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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2017, 08:44:54 pm »
I know we're in the realms of marginal gains discussion here..... but basically, doesn't Shark just have to get stronger?

;)

Offline petejh

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2017, 10:31:06 pm »
[sound of hammer hitting head of nail]
Doesn't Shark just have to get stronger?
[/sound of hammer hitting head of nail]

Offline shark

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2017, 11:54:21 pm »
Saying 'just' suggests its easy. Which it isn't. i just have to breathe faster. Which is
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Offline nai

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2017, 08:15:58 am »
Breathing faster is now the key to climbing harder?
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Online tomtom

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2017, 08:40:42 am »
Saying 'just' suggests its easy. Which it isn't. i just have to breathe faster. Which is

The solution is easy.

The execution of the solution less so.

Put down that BMC sponsored doughnut you're about to eat and DO SOME WEIGHTS.

:)

Offline moose

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2017, 08:48:07 am »
Put down that BMC sponsored doughnut you're about to eat and DO SOME WEIGHTSED HANGS
:)

Perhaps would be more appropriate?  I don't think Shark suffers from insufficient muscle mass.
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Offline Will Hunt

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2017, 02:34:47 pm »
There's actually one glaringly obvious thing which Shark hasn't done yet which will lead to success on the Oak. He should arrive at Malham and warm up by holding a large edge at about waist height and bending his knees. He should then attempt the Oak and fall off either throwing to the horn or doing that top traverse.
He should then lower off and go for a walk to the top of the cove. This is the crucial bit. He mustn't be carried, he must walk and he must walk right to the top. Once there he can sleep if he chooses.
On returning back to the catwalk he should return to the waist level edge and hold it while bending his knees for 5 minutes.
He will then climb the Oak.

Offline shark

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2017, 02:49:41 pm »
There's actually one glaringly obvious thing which Shark hasn't done yet which will lead to success on the Oak. He should arrive at Malham and warm up by holding a large edge at about waist height and bending his knees. He should then attempt the Oak and fall off either throwing to the horn or doing that top traverse.
He should then lower off and go for a walk to the top of the cove. This is the crucial bit. He mustn't be carried, he must walk and he must walk right to the top. Once there he can sleep if he chooses.
On returning back to the catwalk he should return to the waist level edge and hold it while bending his knees for 5 minutes.
He will then climb the Oak.

Oh dear. I have done all this. My warm pre-redpoint warm up includes doing various pulls on low undercuts, having a go then doing the walk. Does this mean there is no hope?
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Offline nai

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2017, 03:07:17 pm »
No, you could replicate, and perhaps improve on,  what you did in autumn 2015?

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Offline Will Hunt

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #50 on: June 20, 2017, 03:15:30 pm »
There's actually one glaringly obvious thing which Shark hasn't done yet which will lead to success on the Oak. He should arrive at Malham and warm up by holding a large edge at about waist height and bending his knees. He should then attempt the Oak and fall off either throwing to the horn or doing that top traverse.
He should then lower off and go for a walk to the top of the cove. This is the crucial bit. He mustn't be carried, he must walk and he must walk right to the top. Once there he can sleep if he chooses.
On returning back to the catwalk he should return to the waist level edge and hold it while bending his knees for 5 minutes.
He will then climb the Oak.

Oh dear. I have done all this. My warm pre-redpoint warm up includes doing various pulls on low undercuts, having a go then doing the walk. Does this mean there is no hope?

Hmmm. There must be something wrong with what you're doing. Are you looking at the view? I mean, really looking at it. You've got to look at it and FEEL something. You can't climb the Oak if you're empty inside.

Offline shark

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #51 on: June 20, 2017, 06:01:37 pm »
No, you could replicate, and perhaps improve on,  what you did in autumn 2015?


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Offline petejh

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Re: Breathing and hard climbing
« Reply #52 on: June 28, 2017, 12:35:03 pm »