Breathing Ladder: Breath free

Breathing Ladders – 10 breaths to calm down

You may know Breathing Ladders as some sort of training they do at Gym Jones. Gym Jones, you know, the gym training the actors of 300, Wolverine and Superman. Breathing Ladders are ideal to increase your oxygen intake and calm down your breath in stress situations. Mark Twight (Gym Jones Owner) thinks that high intensive timed workouts doesn’t work always. Breathing Ladders put the athlete in a mental and physical challenge he has to control to get the workout done. You will learn breathing and mental control, because the perfect combination of exercise, weight and repetitions will bring you to the point where total panic is only one mistake away and a zen-like calm will be the solution of the problem.

It would be interesting if Breathing Ladders improve your behavior in extreme situations (adrenaline, fight or flight, etc). I would say you become more resistant to adrenaline, so you can keep calm longer. But this effect will decrease if you don’t train Breathing Ladders anymore.

Advantages of Breathing Ladders

1) Breathing Ladders decouple “panting” shallow breathing cycles from symptoms of SNS like fatigue and sweating by forcing “calm” breathing cycles instead

2) The respiratory musculature preferentially uses (and clears) lactate, leading to increased performance

3) There are possible autonomic changes from slow breathing at 10-12 second cycles

4) Distraction. Performance can increase from paying attention to somehting aside from how you feel. I has this in common with every meditative tradition – focus on the breath makes the mind “still”

5) You may enter a state that’s best described as autonomic dissociation, in which the link between your physical symptoms and mental state becomes deregulated. In other words, you won’t care that you’re uncomfortable.

How to train

Chose an exercise, a weight or some kind of loading and do one repetitions followed by one breath. Then you do 2 repetitions and take 2 breaths. Then you do 3 repetitions and take 3 breaths, etc. You are allowed to breath as often as you need while doing the exercise, but in the pause you are only allowed to take as many breathes as repetitions you just did.

1 rep – 1 breath
2 reps – 2 breaths
… – …
up to 10, 15, 20 reps – XX breaths






1-20-1 (from 1 to 20 and back down to 1)


– Squat Thrust
– Burpees
– Thruster
– Power Clean
– Snatch
– Swing
– Sprint (25-50m)


– Breath slow! The slower the more rest you can take between sets
– start with an easy exercise
– Pull up and Push up use to few muscles to make a good Breathing Ladder
– Don’t use your mouth to breath, breath through your nose!
– You may want to gasp for air, but keep a calm breathing pattern or you will fail.
– Doing the Breathing Ladder from 1-15 is more difficult than doing it from 1-10-1. Although the 1-15 Ladder only has 20 reps more than the 1-10-1 Ladder. Intensity increases by the length of the set, that’s why 1-15 is more challenging.

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