250320 Breathing considerations while exercising
In most instances your body is automatically going to be breathing at the right time, however there are times, particularly when resistance training, that this does not take place. Some advanced athletes hold their breath for 3 to 5 repetitions while lifting weights. If you do not have high blood pressure concerns, this may work out to your advantage.
The concern I have here with telling you to hold your breath is this if you go into a Valsalva undesirable side effects can take place without you even knowing it. When doing a Valsalva maneuver your glottis is closed, which keeps the air from moving out of your lungs. This can cause a transient high elevation of the blood pressure that can be dangerous to your health. An extreme high blood pressure brings with it the potential of blackouts, dizziness, and disorientation. All of which are not good when under a heavy load.
Since I’m not in the gym with you while you’re lifting, my recommendation is this: at the beginning of the lift take in a deep breath, hold this breath through the lowering phase and then breathe out a slight amount while you lift the weight. This should prevent any undue rise in your blood pressure.