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The Flexible Periodization Method: Out of Sight, Out of Mind? (Part 3)
In Out of Sight, Out of Mind? (Part 2), we started an exploration of the types of questions I ask to determine how to integrate a certain training strategy into T he Flexible Periodization Method. Part 2 took us through the beginning stages of RMT. Part 3 f ocuses on more advanced stages of RMT, including RMT with a resistive device, RMT integrated into circuit training and interval training, or endurance training.

St ep 4: RMT wit h resist ive device and poor man’s RMT int egrat ed in endurance t raining
At the end of step 3, the athlete is able to perf orm 40 consecutive, complete, explosive inhalation-exhalation cycles with either diaphragmatic or chest breathing through one nostril. What is the next logical and optimal progression? In Step 4, we branch out into RMT with a resistive device and poor man’s RMT integrated in endurance training (including circuit training). T he type of resistive device used can af f ect both the breathing technique and the progression on “load” (size of the pipe that you inhale through). For example, the device called the power lung requires inhalation and exhalation through the mouth to experience resistance. Generally, I lean towards recommending inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the nose or the mouth (more about that later) to maximize the downward movement of the diaphragm. (1) T he device that I acquired is called the training mask. It covers both the nose and the mouth. T hus, both nose breathing and mouth breathing is resisted. (Interestingly, the training mask is not one of the devices that has been investigated, according to the review that was covered in Part 1.) T he athlete now has good technical prof iciency in explosive and complete inhalations and exhalations. Further, breathing through one nostril is out, f or obvious reasons. T heref ore, the f ocus in program C is beginning with the lowest resistance that the device allows and gradually working towards the highest resistance. T his happens when the athlete can complete 40 inhalation-exhalation cycles with good f orm. With the training mask, the resistance is adjusted through a combination of three valves that are placed on the f ront of the mask. T he combination of valves allows f or six levels of resistance, corresponding to breathing at 3,000, 6,000, 9,000, 12,000, 15,000 and 18,000-f eet altitudes. It is not clear f rom the manual how these numbers are determined and it is not important either. T he f act remains that the resistance is substantial as the athlete works through the levels.

Program C
A1. Diaphragmatic breathing (explosive inhalation-explosive exhalation), 1-2 x 40 B1. Chest breathing (explosive inhalation-explosive exhalation), 1-2 x 40

*Perf orm program C a total of 6-7 times per week. Since the athlete has developed good breathing skill in Step 3, with the poor man’s RMT, it is possible to progress the poor man’s RMT to any type of endurance training or circuit training. T he goal here is to build up to 15-30 minutes of continuous pure nose breathing . If it is an interval workout perf orm a similar amount of time with nose breathing only. It is worth noting here that the reviewed studies (see part 1) exclusively investigated isolated RMT. T hus, by integrating RMT in endurance training or circuit training, we go a step beyond what was done in the studies. T heoretically, you could keep your athletes at program C with the resistive device and expect results. In order to make the decision whether you want to integrate RMT in circuit training and endurance training, it might also be worth noting that author John Douillard of Body, Mind, Sport, reported great results by coaching his athletes to a point where they breathe in and out through the nose during all endurance events. I will assume that most readers here on elitef ts™ might be more interested in circuit training and interval training f or MMA, f ootball, strongman, and similar sports, rather than actual endurance training, such as running a marathon. Below are some thoughts on integrating poor man’s RMT into circuit training or interval training: It is recommended to breathe diaphragmatically through the nose (in and out) through this stage. To initially breathe through the nose all the time would require the athlete to significantly reduce the intensity and potentially also the volume of the training, which, in my estimate, would be counterproductive in relation to overall performance. T hus, the starting point for integrating poor man’s RMT into circuit training and interval training is that the intensity and volume is what it would normally be. T he length of each interval should also be what you would normally choose it to be. As a consequence of the above, the volume of poor man’s RMT is increased gradually in a way that should be simple and corresponds to each individual’s rate of progress. Here are a couple of specif ic progressions f or circuit training f or inspiration:

Repet it ions Per Exercise
If the circuit is structured as a certain number of repetitions per exercise, you can divide the set into quarters and tell the athlete to inhale and exhale through the nose f or the f irst quarter of the set, breathe regularly f or the second quarter of the set, inhale and exhale through the nose f or the third quarter of the set and breathe normally f or the last quarter of the set. If the length of a set is 20 repetitions, that equals f our segments of f ive breaths. Of course, you could start this system with smaller f ragments, however, when an athlete perf orms all the intervals with a certain break down, the f ragments are set to be longer (f if ths, quarters, thirds, halves, etc). NOT E: As f amous biologist Bruce Lipton pointed out, “Stress makes us stupid.” (2) When we get stressed, blood disappears f rom the thinking part of the brain. Over the years I have, on occasion, seen incomplete training diaries and it is not always due to sloppiness. T he consequence here is that you should not expect the athletes to remember a 2-2 split on one exercise, a 3-3 split on another exercise, and so f orth. Pick one number!

Time
If the circuit is structured on time, a certain number of repetitions per exercise, the system is similar, but you can instruct the athletes to start with one inhalation-exhalation through the nose f ollowed by one “normal breath.” Every time the entire workout can be perf ormed in that f ashion, the number increases 2 -2, 3-3 and so f orth until the entire training is perf ormed with inhalation and exhalation through the nose.

Int erval Training
If interval training is perf ormed,help the athlete become aware of the number of steps, strides, etc., on the inhalation and the exhalation. For example, if sprinting, the athlete may f ind that f our strides on the inhalation and f our strides on the exhalation is a good rhythm. Instruct the athlete to inhale and exhale through the nose f or as long as possible in each interval, while maintaining the rhythm of f our strides on the inhalation and f our strides on the exhalation. When the athlete reaches a point where he or she can’t inhale or exhale through the nose anymore, then a shif t is made to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. In the most demanding training the athlete may have to f inish the interval with inhaling and exhaling through the mouth. Try to keep track of how long nose breathing can be maintained in each interval and try to make that part gradually longer. T his technique has a mental component in the sense that the athlete will get a “second wind” by changing the breathing pattern.

St ep 5: RMT wit h resist ive device int egrat ed in circuit t raining and int erval t raining
Taking the resistive device of f during an interval would break the rhythm. T his is doable, but inconvenient. Putting the device back on during an interval, or set in a circuit is out of the question. T heref ore, a slightly dif f erent approach is needed when the resistive device is used during interval training or circuit training. Step 4 developed the athlete to a point where s/he can perf orm nose breathing f or 15-30 minutes. T heref ore, we can hope that in most cases the athlete is able to progress on interval circuits in the f ollowing way: Begin with the lowest resistance on the resistive device. Depending on the structure of the circuit/interval workout begin with, for example, one of four intervals with the device on, two out of four intervals with the device on, three out of four intervals with the device on, and then four out of four intervals with the device on. When all intervals in the workout can be performed with a given resistance, the resistance is increased and the pattern is repeated.

Conclusion
T his column introduced RMT with a resistive device and RMT with a resistive device integrated into circuit training and interval training. If you try the protocols with your athletes, f eel f ree to comment below to let me know about your experiences.

Ref erences
1. Yoshimura N, Abe T, Kushura N, Tomita T. Ef f ect of nasal CPAP on human diaphragm position and lung volume. Nihon Kyobu Shikkan Gakkai Z asshi. 32(11), 1043-8. 1994. Abstract www.pubmed.com

2. Lipton B. T he Biology of Belief (Audio). www.brucelipton.com

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