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Thread: Pyramid Breathing

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Lui's Avatar
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    Pyramid Breathing

    What is the actual goal of hypoxic training. I used to do a lot of these pyramid breathing sets when I used to swim in a group. It seems that Doc Counsilman used to believe that it simulates altitude training but now it seems they found out it doesn't.
    Why are these exercises still done? Does it have another benefit like being able to hold your breath longer while doing a sprint or expand your lung capacity?
    Last edited by Lui; April 5th, 2012 at 04:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Pyramid Breathing

    Mind control over the need to breathe ??
    What does not kill you , makes you stronger !

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Pyramid Breathing

    I think the idea is to develop "toughness". It seems to me to be a good way to mess up your stroke.Being able to hold your breathe is good for SDK,BR pullouts ,and not breathing from the flags in at the finish. Those are useful race skills,practice them and leave pyramid breathing to the unenlightened.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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  4. #4
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Pyramid Breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    Being able to hold your breathe is good for SDK,BR pullouts ,and not breathing from the flags in at the finish. Those are useful race skills, practice them
    What he said.

    I assume by "pyramid breathing" you mean something like "breathe 3/5/7/5/3 by 50s." My current coach doesn't do this kind of set but I've had other coaches give it. Whenever I would get this, I took it as a cue to do an aerobic recovery set (ironic, yes) while working on bilateral breathing and good form.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member Lui's Avatar
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    Re: Pyramid Breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    practice them and leave pyramid breathing to the unenlightened.
    I don't practice them now anyway because I train by myself mainly with workouts from this site(and I don't remember any workouts having this exercise) but when I used to swim in a group our coach would always have us do them and I often see them in training plans I find around the net or in books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    I assume by "pyramid breathing" you mean something like "breathe 3/5/7/5/3 by 50s.
    Sometimes even 3/5/7/9/7/5/3 by 50s.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member Kevin in MD's Avatar
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    Re: Pyramid Breathing

    I use them sparingly, but when I do I am usually trying to get the swimmers to calm down or go easy. In the summer when we train for open water swims over an hour I will have people start a main set breathing every third stroke for the first 5th or quarter of the set. Then on race day I encourage them to use the same strategy to avoid going out too hard early in the race. I follow the same strategy myself in races over 90 minutes or so.

    I sometimes do them looking to work on efficiency. Extra hitches and giddy ups in your stroke make it much harder to do them, I will ask the swimmers to breathe every 3 or 5 looking to eliminate any unnecessary movements in their stroke.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member gdanner's Avatar
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    Re: Pyramid Breathing

    My club team does them pretty regularly. I like bilateral breathing every now and then...sort of helps me feel balanced.
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