Q&A #1 - CO2 Training


''In my hypercapnic training, instead of doing a long set of 8 repetitions (or more), I prefer to do several sets of fewer repetitions, for example 3 reps. The main reason is that I find difficult to keep concentrated for 10 minutes or more, I prefer to keep focused for 3 minutes (the time to realize the 3 reps), take a long rest (5 minutes) and then do another set of 3 reps, and again, and again, ... Have you ever tried this ? Do you think it is a good way to train?''


In the past I also used to experiment with training systems of hypercapnic sets (Co2 Tables), mainly in static apnea. I can admit that I acquired quite a great benefit particularly during the difficult phase of my effort, i.e., between 4 'and 6' minutes. I became '' more patient '' with the diaphragm spasms so, I agree with you by saying that over-hypercapnic training can '' shield'' you mentally and makes you stronger and more patient with Co2.

However, one of the disadvantages of hypercapnic workouts you might have experienced as well, is mainly the great fatigue that remains in your body for several hours after the end. I personally have noticed palpitations and difficulty sleeping when executing hypercapnic training at afternoon.

I resolved the problem of fatigue by making some changes in my routine.

The static workouts should be short in duration but also qualitative (high intensity), so in those short periods of time I get the benefit of my workout while I provide more time for recovery until the next workout.

So I quote one of my favourite workouts (CO2)!

After a typical warm up (of 2-4 attempts), I perform as basic set:

1. 1 x 6 min stop 30 '' 2. 1 x 4 'min stop 30'' 3. 1 x 3'45 '' stop 20 '' 4. 1 x 3 '30' 'stop 20'' 5. 1 x 3 '15' 'stop 15'' 6. 1 x 3’

The training program above is based on my own apnea times. For example, the first great static is approached as the 65-80% of the maximum that I can perform that day and then I perform subsequent efforts aiming the duration of diaphragm spasms rather than aiming simply to achieve a specific time.

The rationale behind this is:

For example, if your goal is to perform static and have tolerance to diaphragm spasms for 3 minutes +, then it would be advisable to carry apnea times in your workout with your diaphragm spasms to have a duration of 2'30 " up to 3'15'' within a CO2 training set.

I am confident that this approach will help you to overcome in a relatively quick period of time, any stagnation levels that you got from hypercapnic workouts.

Personally, I have noticed that among other things:

  1. It saves you time (it has a short duration),

  2. It has quality and intensity

  3. It is not boring as what usually happens with the classic CO2 tables

For the next few weeks, replace the classic routine of CO2 tables with the approach above and I'm sure the results will astound you.

I hope to have helped you with my answer Romain. Good luck and...feel free to give some feedback or ask any questions you might have by writing to me in the comments below!

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