Andrew Huberman on breathing

Always fascinating, this episode might be of especial interest to some here.

Edit with better link:

Covers the underlying physiology and the impact on mental health etc.


So we’re overthinking breathing now?


Far from a new topic around here:

With the range of marginal gains stuff around here, it’s funny to me that this would be one that’s criticized :man_shrugging:

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Anecdotal evidence only, but I have found breathing while on the bike to be extremely beneficial to my performance.




Your Smiley is not breathing though :scream: :joy: :wink:

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Its not like the others aren’t though…hence the 1,000’s of replies going absolutely no where :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

My overall point: Why criticize topics that others want to discuss?

  • As many mom’s said, “If you can’t say anything nice…”.
  • In the context of any topic on the forum, “If you can’t or don’t want to contribute constructively, why post to put down others that want to do so?”.

Perhaps it’s my poor mood of the day or I’m just old & jaded, but I see no benefit in pointing a finger, making jokes, etc. to what people want to discuss.

  • Stay out of topics that don’t interest you.
  • Use the topic mute function to hide those discussions entirely if you don’t want to see them in your feed.

IMO, there’s enough negativity in the world already, so contribute positively or keep it to your self.



Thanks Chad, I genuinely thought some people might be interested in this podcast, even if only for the physiology side. I clearly got that wrong.

  • I don’t think you are wrong at all. As I showed with links, “breathing” has been discussed on the forum and even directly on the podcast, so there is genuine interest here at least for some people.

  • I think it is totally valid topic to discuss and on par with other topics on the forum, hence my criticism of the criticism (irony fully recognized).


:crazy_face: :crazy_face:



C) Damn back pain (contributing to A)
D) All of the above



since I made the initial critical comment I’ll chime in. this isn’t the only topic that is overthinking, see all the stuff regarding z2, ftp, etc. I disagree that every topic needs to be fully welcome and anyone who doesn’t want to participate should just mind their business and move on. Sometimes folks should be reminded that some things aren’t worth overthinking. I think those with more experience and know what to focus on and what not to focus on to say something, even if it can be snarky at times

  • Sure, offering counterpoints and perspective are what this group is all about.
  • My “contribute positively” comment above doesn’t mean we all need to agree and rubber stamp discussions. Dissenting opinions can be done with respect & consideration vs purely ripping on the idea (and sometimes the presenter by proxy).
  • This is the part I have an issue with.

ETA: I fully recognize this is NOT my site NOR my rules. However, I do my best to help uphold what I see as the goals Nate set forth long ago. At this point, I will bow out and leave any further discussion of what is/is not appropriate to the likes of @ZackeryWeimer and/or other TR reps.


Breathing properly, breathing techniques can be a lifesaver.

I can avoid a stitch just by changing the way i breathe. I can lower my heart rate as well, i can gauge my effort level

I think it’s less of an “overthinking” but there’s a lack of awareness. Eventually once you practice a little, you don’t have to think about it anymore when a situation arises. And this thread can be a reminder that it’s very low hanging fruit.
And for guys like me who decide to not be good at one sport but to be average at 3 sports (lol) breathing and understanding it and its mechanics can make the difference between a pleasant swim segment or a nightmare.


For the record I haven’t listened to the podcast. Since breathing is required for general living and being alive it seems natural to poo-poo the idea that it’s a realm for improvement. But when we’re all trying to be more efficient in aerodynamics, pedaling, fueling, you name it, breathing is one of those things that should at least get a modicum of attention. Being a former brass player with some professional aspirations much attention is paid to the intake of air and tension in the body during breathing/playing. If you’re tense when you’re breathing you’re not going to get good air intake and by extension have terrible tone and support. Likewise if you’re tense on the bike you’re wasting energy clenching muscles that need not be clenched and are probably restricting breathing. But such considerations needn’t be all consuming, just a couple simple things for this topic as far as I’m concerned.

A relaxed body with tension only where it needs to be i.e. the legs, lower abdomen and as little as it takes to hold yourself up and keep from falling face first into your handle bars so calm relaxed shoulders and throat/neck. And with that breathing big, relaxed open breaths in a way that doesn’t produce excess tension or noise. As far as I’m concerned if you can hear yourself breathing there’s tension and room for improvement. Unless you’re doing max efforts at which point do what it takes to survive but it’s still worth considering. When I’m finishing super high heart rate efforts and am sporting my best dying fish face that’s when I can hear myself breathing but even then I’m trying to be as open as possible. If you want an aid for doing this try a workout while breathing through a toilet paper tube and then try to reproduce that feeling without the prop. That goes all the way back to my middle school trombone teacher. For me, I hate coach chad’s “belly breaths” as I feel that increases tension in the body. I prefer to think of either breathing through the center of my chest as if there’s a hole just below my sternum or breathing to the the bottom of my lungs. Sure it involves the abdomen but I feel when that’s the center of attention it fires too many other muscles. In both cases I can take big, relaxed, quiet breaths without introducing excess tension. Maybe this doesn’t add 5 watts to my FTP but at least it’s not hindering improvement.


To stay in line with Chad’s rules and be as concise as possible, I’ll say just one thing:
One should not believe everything a certain person, despite having a phd in neuroscience, says, even more so if the debated topic is out of his area of expertise.
Huberman has said a lot of things that are false in his podcast, had some controversial (mildly put) guests on and has been criticized by other experts for some clams he made.


I like Huberman ok but I can’t take his 2-3 hours of podcast anymore. I just don’t have the time unless I really love the subject. His interviews with Andy Galpin on exercise and muscle physiology were great.

I do think there is value in learning to breath for relaxation / meditation purposes.

Some athletes are doing work in the area of respiration rate and diaphragm training. I’m sure there is value in that but you need a $1500 Spiro Tiger to do the exercises not one of those $40 devices that train the wrong muscles.

There are also techniques like blowing off CO2 when you get over a hill in preparation for the next hill. Most recreational cyclists have never heard of these techniques and cross country skiiers use them all the time.

I did the deep dive on breathing a few years ago. I read the Oxygen Advantage and read all the studies he refers to. My conclusion was that there is zero benefit with this type of breathing for endurance cycling performance. If you were doing a super short anaerobic even, some breath holds might help but I’m not sure there is hard data on that.


Yeah, it’s just too long. I want something no more than 30-40 mins I can digest whilst having lunch or a workout etc.

There is evidence that body position affects lung function , which is interesting.

This might also be of interest

I know right we’re all so well known for our “take it as it is” attitude and our laissez-faire exploration on things like weight, aerodynamics, nutrition, and physiology. When has any cyclist ever wanted to listen to a scientist or researcher talk about a relevant subject in depth?

Our laid back approach, unwillingness to go into the weeds, and our reasoned discussions and pleasant manner towards people who don’t know exactly the right thing at exactly the right moment are very well known throughout the land.

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