Previously, I spoke to breathing coaches Valentine Thomas and Nabil Ali about their approach to breathing techniques and how they can be applied to BJJ. I signed up for their program and have been using it for over a month now. Full disclosure: I paid for the subscription myself and was not compensated for the exam – these are just my thoughts and experiences with their courses.
The platform’s user interface is easy to navigate and the video content is well executed. I had no issues with streaming, picking up where I left off, or any other platform issues.
On the course itself. I took a class and focused on it for the entire month to make sure I was using the techniques taught with intention and mindfulness. I chose the “SuperHold” course because I thought it would be the easiest to track improvements with hard data (timed breath holds).
The course begins with a brief introduction on how to breathe consciously and effectively. This falls under the concept of a “breath” – an exercise that oxygenates your body and relaxes the muscles in an attempt at apnea. It contained instructions for final breathing load, CO2 tolerance exercises and timed apneas. Valentine films her own breathing and does a voiceover to guide you for 1, 2, 3 and 4 minutes. I have found using Guided Holds to be essential to having successful attempts when trying to get a new PR.
I started the first week with a maximum hold of 1 minute and 32 seconds. Week 2 I hit 2 mins and 3 seconds, week 3 I hit 3 mins flat, and week 4 I hit 4:03 for my all time high. These takes were static, with a breather, and before I practiced for the day. After PR attempts and CO2 tolerance exercises, there is a recovery breathing routine that is fantastic. I use it after class, between fights and after racing. It’s been a great addition to my training and I feel like I’ve taken my cardio to a new level. I’m cooler at the end of the course than I’ve ever been, my CO2 tolerance is higher and I’m able to accelerate for longer.
SuperHold exceeded expectations and provided significant improvements with minimal investment. I can’t speak to the other classes they offer and how their other breathing techniques can be useful for BJJ, but I trust Valentine and Nabil’s coaching. I encourage you to try it for yourself here and would love to hear your experience with this, or any of the other courses they offer; so please contact me at @Jackrabbitslim on Instagram.