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  1. #1
    Registered User Ensamvarg's Avatar
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    Can't catch breath when exercising

    As title really. If I'm doing any kind of weight exercise (usually on my max weight sets) I find it really hard to catch my breath, so I usually stop from not being able to breathe rather than not being strong enough to get the weight up. Why is this and how can I improve? I do cardio 6-7 days a week so that part isn't the problem. Conditioning maybe?
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  2. #2
    Registered User LlamaWithARifle's Avatar
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    Do you suffer from asthma or anything like that? How do you breath at the moment during heavy sets, a lot of people hold their breath when putting in max effort. Try pausing at the top of each rep and do a couple of quick breaths before continuing.



    Not sure if that video will be of any help to you but probably worth a quick watch.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Ensamvarg's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, interesting video as well. I do hold my breath on the max effort sets but if I'm getting short, I hold the weight at the top and try a couple of deep sharp breaths to keep going, doesn't seem to be enough though. I don't have any breathing problems as far as I'm aware. This may sound stupid but could it be because the air in the gym is quite warm? So it doesn't feel like I'm breathing in all that much compared to when it's cold?
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  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by Ensamvarg View Post
    Thanks for the reply, interesting video as well. I do hold my breath on the max effort sets but if I'm getting short, I hold the weight at the top and try a couple of deep sharp breaths to keep going, doesn't seem to be enough though. I don't have any breathing problems as far as I'm aware. This may sound stupid but could it be because the air in the gym is quite warm? So it doesn't feel like I'm breathing in all that much compared to when it's cold?
    Just breath naturally. If you're having issues with holding your breath during sets, purposely concentrate on fixing the situation by focusing on breathing.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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  5. #5
    Registered User LlamaWithARifle's Avatar
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    The air in your gym could actually be part of the reason. Once in my gym the air conditioning was broken and working out was unbearable, the air was so humid and breathing was certainly not as easy as when the air conditioning was on.

    Ask if they can turn the air con up in your gym or open all the windows if there are any.
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  6. #6
    do u even musicmaker's Avatar
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    if you're taking a pwo maybe your taking too much which is causing trouble breathing. I've had this problem before.
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  7. #7
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    I don't have this problem lifting, but I do have it running, I found breathing through a cloth (traps moisture and results in humid air in the lungs) lets me catch my breath more reasonably.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Ensamvarg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DJAuto View Post
    Just breath naturally. If you're having issues with holding your breath during sets, purposely concentrate on fixing the situation by focusing on breathing.
    I'll try this next time.

    Originally Posted by LlamaWithARifle View Post
    The air in your gym could actually be part of the reason. Once in my gym the air conditioning was broken and working out was unbearable, the air was so humid and breathing was certainly not as easy as when the air conditioning was on.

    Ask if they can turn the air con up in your gym or open all the windows if there are any.
    Yeah there is a fan in the weights room but I don't think it was on. It's even more unbearable when doing cardio. Humidity and high temperature isn't a good mix.
    BRB can't breath when running.

    Originally Posted by musicmaker View Post
    if you're taking a pwo maybe your taking too much which is causing trouble breathing. I've had this problem before.
    I don't take PWO anymore, gave me heart problems :P I have a small meal about an hour before and that's it.

    Originally Posted by KodiakClaw View Post
    I don't have this problem lifting, but I do have it running, I found breathing through a cloth (traps moisture and results in humid air in the lungs) lets me catch my breath more reasonably.
    Really? I'd have thought that would have the opposite effect.
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  9. #9
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    Did this recently start happening or always been an issue? If recent, take a deep breath in (as much as you can) and then let it all out (as much as you can). Is the duration of your exhale as long as the inhale? I always know when I'm coming down with an upper respiratory infection/bronchitis etc when the exhale is compromised. Doctor says its usually a good indication. If it's always been an issue then ignore what I mentioned and just try to concentrate on breathing techniques. I find myself getting light headed on heavy sets for the same reason. No matter how hard I try, can't seem to get the breathing right. What ends up happening is I either rush the set to get in the reps (pointless) or have to stop a few reps shy. They have a technique for bench pressing (can't remember what it's called right now so maybe someone can chime in) but it's where you do a rep, mount the bar for 2-3 seconds, do another rep and repeat. You will be able to get off a few more reps than normal with this method using the same weight, but should still be as effective and you get a chance to catch your breath.

    Just a few thoughts. Hope I didn't repeat what anyone posted already and all the best.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Ensamvarg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by XtremeOCD View Post
    Did this recently start happening or always been an issue? If recent, take a deep breath in (as much as you can) and then let it all out (as much as you can). Is the duration of your exhale as long as the inhale? I always know when I'm coming down with an upper respiratory infection/bronchitis etc when the exhale is compromised. Doctor says its usually a good indication. If it's always been an issue then ignore what I mentioned and just try to concentrate on breathing techniques. I find myself getting light headed on heavy sets for the same reason. No matter how hard I try, can't seem to get the breathing right. What ends up happening is I either rush the set to get in the reps (pointless) or have to stop a few reps shy. They have a technique for bench pressing (can't remember what it's called right now so maybe someone can chime in) but it's where you do a rep, mount the bar for 2-3 seconds, do another rep and repeat. You will be able to get off a few more reps than normal with this method using the same weight, but should still be as effective and you get a chance to catch your breath.

    Just a few thoughts. Hope I didn't repeat what anyone posted already and all the best.
    Actually yes it has started happening recently. I used to be okay before. Out of breath after the set before but at least I was able to finish it. I have had a sore throat for a week or so (not sure if it's related but might be) and it started about a week before that. I'll definitely have a go with racking the bar between reps if I'm getting short of breath. Could you still count it as 1 set though? Or really would it just be lots of singles? I have been getting light headed on heavy squats/deads/ohp as well but I'm not sure if it's cos of my breath or because I'm cutting so I'm not getting enough carbs. Thanks a lot
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by LlamaWithARifle View Post
    Try pausing at the top of each rep and do a couple of quick breaths before continuing.
    i do this on longer sets (10-15 reps) on compound pressing movements towards the end of the set. works pretty well for me.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by Ensamvarg View Post
    Actually yes it has started happening recently. I used to be okay before. Out of breath after the set before but at least I was able to finish it. I have had a sore throat for a week or so (not sure if it's related but might be) and it started about a week before that. I'll definitely have a go with racking the bar between reps if I'm getting short of breath. Could you still count it as 1 set though? Or really would it just be lots of singles? I have been getting light headed on heavy squats/deads/ohp as well but I'm not sure if it's cos of my breath or because I'm cutting so I'm not getting enough carbs. Thanks a lot
    Yea, it would still be counted as a set. You will be able to do a few more reps this way, but will still reach failure as your muscles will get fatigued. Sounds though like you are coming down with something. If it doesn't get better, maybe see a doctor. The fact that you have a sore throat and just recently started having these breathing issues seem to indicate you are probably getting sick.

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