Inter-Set Voluntary Hyperventilation-Aided Recovery Does Not Improve Performance of Bench Press and Squat in Recreationally Trained Individuals

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Jeff Buxton
Philip Prins
Edward Ryan
Dalton Jones
Isaac Thrasher
Madison Faulkner
Elaine Robertson
Gary Welton
Dana Ault


Resistance training, power, breathwork


Introduction: To examine the effects of voluntary hyperventilation (VH) between sets of bench press (BP) and squat (SQ) at 70 and 90% 1RM on repetitions to failure, power, bar velocity, blood lactate, session RPE (sRPE), and muscle oxygen saturation (SmO2).

Methods: Fifteen recreationally trained (2.92 ± 2.18 yrs. of resistance training experience) college-aged males (20.27 ± 1.39 yrs., 182.40 ± 7.42 cm, 82.23 ± 10.84 kg) performed 3 sets of BP and SQ to failure at 70 and 90% 1RM on separate days with normal breathing (CON) or 30 sec of VH during inter-set rest periods.

Results: There were no significant differences between conditions for repetitions, power, velocity and sRPE (p’s > 0.05) at either intensity. VH resulted in a slight attenuation of blood lactate accumulation between sets 2 and 3 of SQ (p = 0.037). There was a significant condition and intensity interaction for SmO2 of the pectoralis (p = 0.034) with VH producing higher SmO2 at 90% 1RM and lower SmO2 at 70% 1RM than the CON.

Conclusions: Voluntary hyperventilation did not produce an ergogenic effect in recreationally trained individuals which, when considering current evidence, suggests other factors including training experience, may influence the effectiveness of VH.

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