Think about the last time you did 15 thrusters or 30 wall balls or ran 800 meters. Could you get through it without stopping? Were you able to immediately move onto the next movement? If not, think about your breathing.
The idea of “training with a purpose” all too often gets lost in the rush of complex movements, friendly competition during class, and the relentless search for PRs. Yet part of training with a purpose is learning your individual work capacity and heart rate control.
That’s where controlled breathing comes in. The purpose of controlled breathing is to keep you from “red lining,” that moment when you realize you can’t possibly do another burpee, clean, or pull up yet there’s still 8 more minutes on the clock. The more consistent your breathing, the steadier your heart rate.
So if you find yourself gasping for air, stop. It’s counterproductive to continue because the longer you deprive your body of oxygen, the more acidic your blood becomes and the more your performance will suffer.
The better you get at controlling your breathing, the shorter (and fewer) rests you’ll need, enabling you to return to the workout faster and resulting in a better overall performance.
You can find some great blogs and videos on proper breathing for crossfitters here: