The Pump style of power breathing features an intense inhale and a forceful exhale through your nose. The inhale is deep in that you use your core to suck in the air until it feels like you have filled up. The exhale is forceful as you use your core muscles and your diaphragm drive the air out.
For each set of the Pump there are three intervals.
- You breathe in and out of your nose at approximately 3 complete breathes for every 5 seconds for 45 seconds.
- At the end of the 45 seconds forcefully exhale all of the air and hold, with your lungs empty.
- At the end of this period you get one long, slow inhale. Hold this for 45 seconds. Then exhale easily.
As a beginner you should start with time intervals of 45 seconds for each interval as described above: 45 + 45 + 45 = 2:25
With time, you may want to work your way up to 1:00 minute intervals, then 1:15 intervals and then, finally, 1:30 intervals.
As your numbers increase, you may want to hold your breath on the third interval for even longer. Hold it for as long as you feel comfortable.
The Pump exercise builds endurance, increased lung capacity and efficiency. It also can create the relaxation that allows you to shift from negative irrational thoughts to positive rational thoughts. This shift in mood enhances your ability to manage your emotions and let go of grievances that need to be forgiven and healed.
Establish a habit in the morning and evening to start and end the day with the Pump. Then throughout the day, do a set as needed. I recommend doing a minimum of three sets per day. I think you will find that this practice will help you to feel more rested and calm during the day, to recover faster from physical exercise and fatigue and to improve the quality of your sleep.
Travis Grant, World Champion Paddling Athlete, speaks to the value of the Pump:
“I use the Pump method every morning. It’s my way of telling my brain that we are about to get to work. The Pump invigorates my body and mind. It’s a small challenge to start the day. I usually aim for the 1:30 Pump but some mornings I fall short and only do the 1-minute hold and that’s okay. After the routine I feel ready to tackle my first task of the day, which is usually a workout.”