We have an exciting twist as we welcome two special guests on the show at different times. Our first guest is Mark Carbone, the creator of Breather Fit, an innovative device designed to enhance breathing awareness and training. Realizing the significance of understanding breathing mechanics, I decided to bring in another expert in the field, PJ Nestler, the Head of Programming for XPT, who is well-versed in breathing techniques, performance, and movement.
During our conversations with Mark and PJ, we delve into the fundamentals of breathing and its practical applications in everyday life. With Mark, we explore valuable insights, data, and statistics on how to improve and support our breathing. PJ, on the other hand, takes a more organic approach, discussing how to manage stress, optimize performance, and harness the power of proper breathing mechanics.
We address the common misconception of nasal versus mouth breathing, with PJ emphasizing that there is a time and place for each method. Moreover, PJ provides valuable guidance on selecting the most suitable breathing patterns for stress management, sleep quality, and peak performance.
Our discussions with Mark Carbone and PJ Nestler shed light on the vital role of breathing techniques, mechanics, and lung health in optimizing overall well-being. So join us as we unravel the secrets behind effective breathing and discover how it can be a powerful tool in our daily lives.
- PN Medical – Home of The Breather and Breather Fit
- PJ Nestler
- Mark Carbone
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- Why is Breathing Correctly So Critical [00:05:41]
- Tools to Deregulate [00:09:49]
- NATO Fighter Pilots [00:12:03]
- Deep Breathe Work [00:12:27]
- Using the Tool [00:14:35]
- Belly Breathe [00:15:21]
- Mouth Breathing vs. Nasal Breathing [00:15:57]
- El Salvador Trip [00:17:48]
- Sleeping and Breath Work [00:20:19]
- Uncle Not Fully Exhaling [00:22:05]
- You can’t Fix a Damaged Lung [00:23:09]
- Breathing Is the Essence of Life [00:26:18]
- Is the Stillness Hard? [00:31:24]
- Having COVID Four Times [00:32:43]
- Why Aren’t You Sleeping? [00:33:38]
- Training Dysfunctional Breathing [00:36:06]
- Sustaining Proper Breathing [00:39:14]
- Warm Up and Cool Down [00:42:07]
- Jaw Attachments [00:50:13]
- Adele and Lung Capacity [00:52:42]
- Broadway Performers [00:55:06]
- Masks and CO2 [00:59:43]
- Breathing Protocols Before Surgery [01:01:04]
- Couple Different Calming Protocols [01:02:03]
- Preparation for Sleep [01:02:56]
- Using the Device [01:15:07]
- Breathing Correctly on Peloton [01:30:46]
- Different Breaths for Different Exercises [01:30:46]
- Psychological Anchor [01:41:44]
- Anxiety and Breathing [01:44:15]
- Preferred Inhale and Exhale [01:46:50]
- Tissue Open [01:49:22]
[00:02:26] Gabby Reece: Hi everyone. Welcome to the show. I have a little bit of a different scenario today. I have two guests on the show shot at two different times. Now the reason I did it, I have Mark Carbone who is with Breather Fit. It’s an apparatus and a device that’s been developed to not only Make you more aware of your breathing, but even train your breathing, inhaling and exhaling. And I started thinking after I did the interview that it would be really important to talk to somebody who know a ton about breathing, whether you had a device or not.
And so, I brought in a good friend of mine and someone I’m fortunate enough to work with, who is the head of. Programming for XPT, PJ Nessler. I’ve had podcast before. He’s really, really knowledgeable, not only in breathing, but around performance and movement. And so, what I did with each of them was discuss some of the fundamentals of breathing.
And I know we talk all about it between Patrick McCuen and James Nestor and Wim Hof, everybody’s talking about breathing. So again, it’s just about trying to make this more applicable to everyday living. And how do I do it when I’m sitting in a chair or when I am being a high-performance athlete? And so, with Mark Carbone, we get a lot of information and data and statistics on breathing and things we can do to improve and support our breathing.
And with PJ. We went a little bit more organic in the way that we’re talking about, hey, also when I’m managing stress in everyday life or I’m at the highest level in performance, what are the ways that are best to breathe, to get ready to breathe, to support good breathing, healthy breathing, to mobilize, to know the mechanics of breathing and just how to use that as a tool in our everyday life.
And the other thing I really appreciate about this conversation is It’s so important to be using our noses to breathe, you know, the big taboo is not to be a mouth breather, but like PJ points out, is there is a time and a place for everything. And so, he does also a very good job at deciphering. If your workload or your nervous system, whether you’re stressed out or working out, is it a 9 or a 10, you’re not going to downregulate or get better back down to a two or a one simply by using nasal breathing patterns. So, we dive deep into the best ones for managing stress, sleep and performance. So, I hope you enjoy my conversations with Mark Carbone and PJ Nestler.
Gabby Reece:Mark Carbone, welcome to my house. Thank you. I want to just start off this conversation to really put a framework around and emphasize.
The importance of not only breathing, breathing techniques, mechanics and lung health. I think a lot of us, I do find it interesting being in the space of like performance or wellness that a lot of times, unless it’s like really impacting us, like the doctor’s like, Hey, now you’re in trouble. I feel like we don’t think things are that important.
And, and so maybe you could just set up for us why breathing mechanics, breathing correctly and effectively and efficiently and the health of our lungs is so critical.
[00:05:41] Mark Carbone: That’s a great question. Actually, I fell into this about nine, 10 years ago and before then I was just like most people is, is that now that I know so much about the lungs, everybody should have a pulmonologist that should be your primary care doctor.
Because we don’t do anything until it’s too late. Either you’re too old, or you get COPD, or you have asthma, or it’s some other chronic disease that drives you to it. And here’s the thing, people don’t realize it, but after age 30, your lung capacity actually starts going down if you don’t take care of it.
So, you’re, you’re getting older, you’re hitting 50, 60, 70, you actually think you’re supposed to get slower. It is not true. You’re just taking less and less oxygen all the time. And you’re just, and you’re just, yeah, you’ll die of a heart attack or something else, but you didn’t realize it that you’re just…
It’s sucking all that oxygen slowly out of your brain and, you know, dementia, it’s tied to it, it’s a reduction of oxygen. So, what I’ve learned when I, when I took over the company nine years ago, it’s been around for over 40 years.
[00:06:44] Gabby Reece: PN Medical. So, and it was. It was founded by your mother in law and then she was, you married to her daughter and then she was going to sell the company. Yeah.
[00:06:56] Mark Carbone: 16 years ago. I met the love of my life. I mean, I married above my pay grade. She’s just, it’s, I’m just every day as a blessing for me and she’s got this amazing servant heart. She’s just so beautiful. I was learning about the company, you know, from afar, because I was working, I had a job, I had a company, I’m a serial entrepreneur, but I think at the time I did take a break and I worked for one of the Fortune 100s, and she was getting ready to retire, Peggy, the founder, and I’m like, wait, let me take a look at your company.
And she was going to sell it to, I believe it was McKesson or Medline. Those are two big medical companies. And I’m like, hold on. You’re sitting on something because I invent stuff. So, I’m like, we could, we could bring this in the home, and I could take this to the next level. I’ve already got ideas. So, she agreed to sell it to me if I agreed to honor who she honored, which was the patient and the clinician.
And I said, no problem. And I did and took over nine years ago. And it’s been, it’s for me the first few years, the learning phase, because I did, I breathed just fine. I didn’t have asthma and or, or any chronic issue. So, Okay, we’re going to help people and then the more I got into it, what actually drew me to it, because I did have a really good job at the time, is the stories about that, you know, someone 75 years old can’t hold the grandchild, can’t go out and check the mail and these things come in all the time and I was just, I was taken back by it and of course the technology side because what I was doing is I was sitting on the sidelines complaining about healthcare.
Just like a lot of people, it’s too expensive, it’s not working, they’re not doing what they should. So instead of doing that, I said, I want to do something about it. And I said, let’s create a connected device, so as soon as you put it in your mouth, it can predict an exacerbation 14 days before the patient even knows it.
So, the, so originally, she actually created, Peggy created the category 43 years ago. There was nothing like this. It’s combined respiratory muscle training. And what it is, you put a small device in your mouth. There are no drugs. It’s just pressure. You’re pressurizing your inhale and exhale, changing the pressure dials.
And, um, what it does, it strengthens the diaphragm at the core. That’s number one. But as I was seeing that, I’m like, wow, we could make this connected. And then it could go to home health and will save a lot of cost for pulmonary illness, which is, it’s around the third or fourth leading killer is COPD. So why not make a difference?
Very affordable device. And I jumped in, had fun, did it, started it. Nine years later, or actually four years, three years into it, special forces reached out to us. So, then we went into special forces because of course their tip of the spear, they’re always looking for something new. And they were looking at tiny sensors to go inside the nostril to see how the soldier’s doing on the battlefield.
[00:09:49] Gabby Reece: Was this, was this to give them more tools to downregulate, use the breath to downregulate or stay focused or calm or what were like in that performance arena? You know, you have recovery and down regulation and things like that. What are they trying to use it for?
[00:10:04] Mark Carbone: Well, in special forces, I love how they say it. They say there’s no second place. There’s either dismemberment or death. That’s it. So, there is no chance but success. And what happens when they’re… When they’re challenged and actually what it is that they felt that they hacked the heart. They understand the heart, but they didn’t understand the lungs and all the muscles around it.
There are actually 94 muscles around the lungs that support it. And then 125 that support posture. So. They, what they saw is when someone’s trying to shoot, you know, you, first of all, you’re dropped in from 13, 000 feet. You, you’re typically dropped into the wrong position. So, you have to run for cover.
You’re out of breath. And then they may have to shoot and they’re trying to try to catch their breath. And it can be a life and death moment. So, breath mattered so much to them. And they sought us out and they said, what could we do? So, we started working on some connected devices. And it’s funny, we have not connected, you know, it’s just a piece of plastic put in your mouth and it can go in your pocket. And they wanted something simple like that to start with. So, we did some tests. We first started with the Rangers and what they found is that this is interesting too, is that the selection. process to make it into the rangers or the seals was dropping these 20-year old looked super fit.
[00:11:27] Mark Carbone: But guess what happened? They’re like this. Now they’re just crunched up. There’s no diaphragm. There’s no core.
[00:11:32] Gabby Reece: So, they’re being that in that C curve from the phone and technology and sitting more.
[00:11:42] Mark Carbone: Yeah, we thought, okay, here are these specimens, they look super fit, super strong, but….
[00:11:47] Gabby Reece: Well, because parts of the training are more sophisticated and if they’re going to take any kind of support, you know, chemical support, they’ve got really good chemical support now. So, you have all these sorts of external things that help you. But just that sitting in this and that, you know, that kind of, like I said, the C curve really collapsed.
[00:12:03] Mark Carbone: It collapsed the diaphragm. So, and we found this with NATO fighter pilots too. I’ll go into that. That’s really exciting. So, after we, we did a four week, all we did is we put them on the device, respiratory muscle training. They just do it once in the morning, once at night. It’s like a gym for your lungs. Yeah. How long do you do it for? You do it for about five to eight minutes in the morning, same at night, six days a week. Four weeks later.
[00:12:27] Gabby Reece: Why do you, why don’t you do seven just to make them feel like. Give them a day off. Um, and it changes. Does the area get fatigued? Like, I mean, I’ve done some deep breathing and it is work.
[00:12:40] Mark Carbone: It is, it’s a smooth muscle. So, it fatigues a lot slower and you know, it’s a giant parachute. The diaphragm is huge, attaches to the backbone all the way up to the front. And, and it is actually the pressurizer of, of the trunk of your torso.
So, um, after just doing that train. Oh, do you get to exertion? So, I’d say a marathon or if you’re about to do a big event, you know, you’re doing something that’s intense, you’re a triathlete, you’re about to do Hawaii. Well, you should not do it a couple days before you got to take a couple day break, but it is okay to hit that muscle or to hit all those muscles and the accessories.
It is okay to hit that a lot. They can do seven days, but what we found, I mean, we’re two million people into this, two million patients and super athletes, elite, back and forth, and there needs to be that day off. You know why it is though? It’s because they get bored. Every regiment, every protocol, people quit, or they stop. So, you have to find a way to engage them and keep them engaged. So, giving them that day off, and sometimes you give them more days off. Cause adherence is key just because it’s great just because it works. And just because this is really simple does not mean you’re going to do it. So, they did this process.
We gave them some, um, protocols too. We gave them sleep protocols, just a couple of sleeping techniques and then some situational techniques when you’re, when you need to focus or when you need to down regulate there, I can share a couple of those techniques with you. But the four-week protocol using the breather. That was the breather fit. It was the sport model. And, um, their one big number was the rucksack run. It’s a two-mile run and you’re holding a 60-pound backpack and they got that down by 39 seconds. Wow. Which is huge. Yeah, that’s huge. I mean, that’s, that’s a pretty far distance. Yeah. And it was great. I mean, the, the pass rate went up. So very successful.
[00:14:35] Gabby Reece: So, were they using this as a tool, sort of like, hey, if you think you’re going to try to go through buds or enlist, maybe you want to practice with this device prior to coming? Yeah, that’s what we did. Or how were you guys using it?
[00:14:45] Mark Carbone: Sure. What happened is they were about to go to school. And again, they all looked super fit. Everybody looked amazingly healthy. And when we started, and what we did at the start, we did functional respiratory functional tests. So, we tested their MIPS and MEPS and all, about 10 other factors about them. And we saw that everybody had an issue. And at the core, is none of them, all the ones we tested, none of them actually… we’re breathing properly. You know, we’re born belly breathers. We breathe properly when we’re born. Yeah.
[00:15:21] Gabby Reece: So, let’s start there actually. Let’s, let’s say, Hey, in a, in a perfect world, this would be the mechanics that are correct. What, what does that look like? I mean, little babies obviously do it, their bellies expand their diaphragm, but maybe just give us that one on one.
[00:15:38] Mark Carbone: It’s, it’s very simple. It’s just belly breathing. So, what, and the easy way to do it is you put your hand on your belly. And you don’t move your chest, keep all this quiet and you’re just inhaling through the nose. Oh, that’s relaxing. See, relax me. And that’s it. It’s just belly breathing.
[00:15:57] Gabby Reece: Is sitting really a big culprit for what has impacted our, our dysfunction for breathing? Does that position where, I mean, I know for as a female, young girls, okay, all of a sudden, it’s like suck it in, hold it in. So that, that’s. That’s a one communication that gets started, um, sitting creates, it’s almost like you don’t know how to get into that deep, uh, deep into your belly breath. Um, what are some of the other, is it mouth breathing impacted because it’s shallower? Like a lot of us are mouth breathing versus, um, nasal breathing.
[00:16:31] Mark Carbone: Sure. Those are two different things. I think. I think anytime you’re not moving, and, and it’s, and it’s interesting, this is only recent in the last decade or so is that when you went to the hospital, they’re like, okay, stay calm. Don’t move. Stay in the bed. No, you’ve got to get them moving as fast as possible. The diaphragm actually starts compromising within about 12 hours. It starts losing capacity that fast. Do you start having a little bit of atrophied? I had no idea it was that fast. So yes, the sitting, the slouching and the typical thing.
So, here’s the cool part. People who do yoga, meditate, understand deep breathing, they’re halfway there. So, what we do is we exemplify. We, we just magnify it with, with our tools. If you learn how to deep breath and breathe properly at the right time and, and really activate that stomach, but also yoga, if you’re moving, just stay mobile. Mobility matters. So, at the core, it’s, it’s what we used to do thousands of years ago or still in. In third world countries where you have to work to get food and get water. We just came back from a mission trip in El Salvador last week. We were at K 59 and the boys loved it. Came back with injuries. I heard then it was a really good trip.
[00:17:48] Gabby Reece: Yeah. You know you had fun. Nothing serious, right?
[00:17:52] Mark Carbone: No, just spasms, just back spasms. And he actually, Max, who I hope comes in, he got a foot injury. A couple weeks ago, actually he was with Bob Hurley and he was at 34 in Newport or at 59. I don’t know which break it was, but he came too high off a four-foot break and his foot just came right back.So, um, the penalty of fun.
[00:18:15] Gabby Reece: Yeah. And Max. Uh huh.
[00:18:17] Mark Carbone: Maximus is Maximum. His name needs to be changed to Maximum. I got it. Because he just goes for it. His older brother is very technical. He’s logical. He thinks it through. Max is like, Oh, 12-foot wave. So, Laird and Max could probably have a blast surfing.
[00:18:33] Gabby Reece: Yeah. Well, Max’s manners are way better than Laird’s at 11. I’ll tell you that right now. Okay, so, uh, just out of curiosity, though, um, oh, and by the way, El Salvador, I heard that the gentleman who is now running the country has basically thrown everyone in jail and made the place very safe.
[00:18:54] Mark Carbone: Well, actually, yes.
[00:18:56] Gabby Reece: I mean, there’s a lot, I have a friend from there and they’ve said that he came in and really made some moves and now the people are much safer and that for tourism, it’s way better and there’s some interesting things happening.
[00:19:08] Mark Carbone: It is true. And we have, we are just so blessed that we get to work with one of the smartest people on earth. about the lungs and the respiratory system at Mayo Clinic, Bruce Johnson. And they’ve actually tapped him. So, El Salvador is asking him to come down and help the people because what they do is they give them pills to fight all the parasites in the water and the pills run out by like October.
So, they get a stash in January. And by October, they all have diarrhea and they’re all having issues. Instead… We should just fix the water. So, they, they brought those little five-gallon jugs, put the filters in them, went house to house. It was a blast. And what’s cool, this is what’s really cool, because, um, our kids get to surf all over. They get to do all kinds of things. They’re homeschooled. They do not understand bullying and all the other issues that kids face at public school. So, we always say, you guys have no idea what it’s like in Asia or, or Africa or other third world areas. And they go, yeah, mommy and daddy, we don’t. Yeah, I know. So now. Um, we say, you just came back where everybody was, um, their houses all had mud. There was no electricity, no clean water. And so, I hope that works.
[00:20:19] Gabby Reece: I mean, cause yes, I, I understand that, uh, it’s better for them to see things. You can’t say it cause that’s not their point of reference. Yeah. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned as a parent is they have their point of reference.
Okay. I want to, I just, I really though want to drill down before we move on because I want to go into the performance. If, if you could. Really lay out for people all of or a lot of the things that can happen when you have, um, dysfunction in your breathing for your, for your lung health. And, and I think a lot of us think, Oh, that’s like an old person’s, um, problem, but this is something that can impact your sleep. I mean, it can impact your moods. It can do a lot.
[00:21:06] Mark Carbone: Well, So I would say what I’ve done since I started is I thought the only way to improve this is to constantly do research and studies. I’m, I’m just a fan of research. I just love finding answers to problems. It’s, it’s what I do. I’ve done it my whole life. And through the research is how we’re doing this, and I hope it moves forward all this science, everything in this area. And again, it sneaks up on you. So, if you feel like you have no problem. And again, I can go into the, I’ll talk about the fighter pilots to being in G suits, what it does to them, but you don’t see it coming.
You think you’re fine. And what is you, you put on an extra 10 pounds. You just think you’re getting slower at 40 and 50 and it’s just how life is supposed to be. But again, at, after age 30 lung capacity starts going down and you’re just taking more shallow breaths. And what’s really interesting is by about age 70, a person may never take a full breath again.It’s weird. I, it’s the stats show it.
[00:22:05] Gabby Reece: And that just also, I mean, we know from upregulating and downregulating, I can’t imagine how you feel like your emotional state. Um, I actually have an uncle that passed away a few years back and it was because he couldn’t fully exhale. Yeah. And I thought, I was like, what do you, what does he mean?
[00:22:27] Mark Carbone: Yeah, that’s um, well that’s what it is, it, it, eventually it’s too late, so what we do is we help regulate everything better, we move the gases better, the CO2 it just, the exchange goes more efficiently and deeper and if you’re strengthening everything around the lungs to cause that movement in that trunk, it’s, it’s going to make you a more efficient breather and it, and you actually can reverse things.
You can’t, you can’t fix a damaged lung. If you have COPD, it is damaged. You can’t repair the lung, but you can make what’s left more efficient. Like, I watch people who have one lung. We have a lot of people who have just one lung, and we make that lung work more efficiently, and they, and they feel like they get back,
[00:23:09] Gabby Reece: So, what, what does that look like for, for somebody listening, when you say make a lung work more efficiently, is it, is it the flexibility and the capacity? Like what about that makes it more functional?
[00:23:24] Mark Carbone: Well, if first off starting, starting with the. Starting with that torso. So, um, you know, you’ve, you’ve got all the cavities in there, you’ve got the pelvic floor, you’ve got the abdominal, abdominal and the thoracic. Think of it as a soda can. So, when you’re strong and healthy, you can, a closed soda can, you cannot crush it. As soon as there’s a pressure release, everything starts breaking apart, posture goes. And you know, the biggest, after there’s a fall, when you’re at a certain age, the chances of death. cause you’re immobilized.
So, um, at the muscle side, when the muscle is moving the lung more efficiently, it’s causing the lung to work better and you’re not putting such a load on everything else. Cause when you’re hitting those accessory muscles and the other. Supporting, you’re triggering other things too. cause you’re go, you’re going into a sympathetic state a lot. And this is something that happens when you’re stuck in that sympathetic state, which is that upregulated fight, flight or freeze mode. Everything shuts down, you know, that, um, infl, it’s inflammation. Inflammation kills you. I don’t want to get all morbid with that, but, um, oh no, it’s okay. ‘
[00:24:31] Gabby Reece: because I guess I, it’s important for me cause we, we talk about breathing and I’ve had people who talk, you know, I’ve had James Nestor and Patrick McCune. These are people I know and, but it’s like really? People hearing from the outside that, um, this is a really powerful starting point. Like if you can dial into this, this is a great starting point.
[00:24:53] Mark Carbone: Here’s what it is. And so, when I came on to this, I’m like, the whole world should have this. Everybody should be doing this. But what we found, you know, I came into this eye wide open or really not. I was a little naive about it thinking that. It, it works. I see it every day. I see all the, I see all the calls, the emails, all the letters, everything that comes in. But if you’re, it’s, I found that the people who are most motivated are the sickest that must do it or athletes who do it for a living.
So, they have to be top performers. So, it’s, it’s. It’s a motivation thing and, and to try to get everybody to do it is hard and I’m going to be realistic that it’s just not going to happen. Right. But if they feel it, here’s, here’s how I do it now. So, we have a whole family of products. So, we start with maybe the asthmatic or the COPD or stroke or chronic heart failure, you know, let’s just say 60, range.
Well, guess what? They have 30 and 40-year-old kids and then they have 10 and 15-year-old. So we now address everybody in the family, so it’s either the child starts using the breather fit because he wants an edge at football or basketball because your, your endurance does go up, your stamina does go up and, and maybe the mom or dad will see that or the grandparent will see it. I’m noticing if we, if we go that angle, that if someone in the family starts, it is the trigger to get somebody else to do it.
[00:26:18] Gabby Reece: Could we loosely sort of go over all of that is connected to proper breathing? Because I think people, it’s interesting. It’s the essence of life and yet we, uh, we ignore it. Even top athletes, you know, this, their bolt scores are terrible. Their CO2 tolerance is not great. You know, it’s something personally I’ve tried to work on. Um, For a long time. Yeah. So, I’m always, it’s always funny. It’s like you have these high performing people and yet they’re actually not breathing correctly. So maybe just remind people and we don’t have to get crazy into anatomy, but all of the things that are engaged when you’re trying to breathe correctly.
[00:26:55] Mark Carbone: I’m going to keep it really simple. Great. So, it goes back to, it goes, it’s really basic. It is. That’s the thing. This is so easy, and people don’t realize it. Again, you just, you start by, and this is neat when people try to do it, they actually have trouble breathing from the belly. So, you just, again, it’s, you put your hand on your belly, you try to breathe, you try to not move anything else, keep everything still and quiet.
And you’re just. You’re just hitting that belly. You’re just feeling that abdomen go and you try to feel it 360. You try to feel it around your whole body. So, you try to feel it push out on the back and the stomach. And again, that’s the start. So, we just finished a 2, 000 patient study with Mayo Clinic on COVID survivors and especially long COVID. And after that study, it’s not even released, actually, the team’s going to Milan tomorrow to present, um, some of the findings, tomorrow. So, what we did, I got two, I applied for two patents based off that study. And the first was that we found, and this, this then trickled down to all the athletes and everybody else, which I alluded to at the beginning, is that we didn’t realize that, and we started this a year and a half ago.
So, a year and a half ago, we started the study. And we saw the dysfunctional breathing pattern. So, what, what happens after COVID is a lot of people get dysautonomia. So, their autonomic nervous system goes out of whack and you have to reset that. So, what we, again, I thought, Oh, use our device. It’ll just, it’ll solve everything.
It’s this magic elixir. No, it’s almost like doing a squat. If you do the squat wrong, you’re just going to get hurt. Yeah. So, if you, if you don’t do it right. Using our device, you have to learn, right? So, what we found is said, no one’s ready to use it. Day one, you first have to check your breathing. So, the way we do this is we found really simple.
It’s, it’s a reset. It’s a breathing reset. So, it’s five days to 15 days, depending how long it takes you. And all you’re doing 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes a night. You’re just doing a five, five. You’re not falling asleep, you’re just inhaling for five, exhaling for five, out of the nose. And you’re just sitting calmly, laying down, but you don’t want to fall asleep. And what you’re doing is you’re just, you’re just resetting. You’re trying to get back into the parasympathetic state. And that is, and again, I hate to say it, it’s so basic with all the science we’re doing, all the devices we’re creating.
[00:29:20] Gabby Reece: I appreciate this because I. I think sometimes, uh, we want to jump ahead, or we think, Oh, well, I know how to breathe. It’s like, Oh, really? Sometimes we, it’s that solid foundation and getting that deep. We even tell people occasionally, and it’s different. Um, obviously with the breather that you guys have, it’s, it’s a different tool, but a lot of times there’s a woman, um, Uh, Valisa Branich, she does a lot of breathing, really good.
But it was like, hey, lay on the floor and take your finger and put it below your belly button. And I even tell people, if you can’t grab your breath from your nose to make your tummy go out, when you inhale, push your tummy out. Because it’s almost like having to get them to understand how it’s connected.
And it’s like, listen, I understand. If you can’t do it, that’s okay. Just when you inhale… Push your belly out to even. So, when you’re saying this, it makes perfect sense to me. So, you’d have people almost do a training wheels before they would get to the breather after COVID. Is that what you’re saying?
[00:30:21] Mark Carbone: What happened is that we feel, first of all, the whole world had to start wearing masks. Yes. The medical industry got used to it. As soon as you start, you learn how to use the mask, but the rest of us didn’t. So, everybody started forming a little bit more of dysfunction. So, we feel like the whole world has to have this basic breathing reset.
And again, we do studies across the board. There are tons of population groups from super healthy to super compromised. And what we found now, we’ve changed our whole approach over the last year, is that you have to start with a reset. Can you, can you just deep breathe, just deep breathe for 10 minutes? Can you actually sit still for 10 minutes? That’s the hard one, actually. Wait, what do you mean? Well, a lot of us can’t. It’s hard for me to sit still for two minutes. So, when I started doing it, it was, it was so, and I actually did it with my wife. If we just went out. We went out on the porch and we just sat in the morning and sat at night. You’re still married. Good job. And it, it actually helped the marriage. It’s actually good for us.
[00:31:24] Gabby Reece: Do you think that it’s just because you have a busy and a lot of things you’re excited about that you want to do that you’re just like, I want to get out there and do it, that the, the stillness is hard?
[00:31:33] Mark Carbone: Well, for me personally, it’s. You know, running a growing business, having two athletes in the family, trying to bring them up to a world class level, uh, that alone is a job in itself with all the coaching and the coaches and the travel and, you know, inventing new things. It takes a lot. And, you know, now we’re Um, building a dream house and it’s our forever house. It’s a hundred years old. And I made a really big mistake getting a hundred-year-old house and everybody warned me.
[00:32:02] Gabby Reece: Yeah. Those are harder to do than a whole new one. Yeah.
[00:32:05] Mark Carbone: Yeah. So, the pressure of, and the growth and we’re growing internationally. So, we’re, we’re what’s, what was really cool with COVID is Germany was the first one to jump. So, the whole country of Germany, all their long COVID centers are going to have our devices and they’re going to launch them actually pretty soon. And so, with that whole internet, the. Expansion internationally, there’s just never a moment. And I got to tell you that, and we homeschool. Now my wife does that, but, and then I expect my wife to actually work too, a couple hours a day. So, I’m a little bit, I need to, I need to downregulate with her. You need to calm down a little bit. I got to calm down.
[00:32:43] Gabby Reece: You know, it’s an interesting, I think about this a lot. Cause I, we have a lot going on and, and I’m always, and my husband is always the one who’s like, is this what we’re doing? With our lives. And, uh, I, you know, I think it’s important for all of us to look at, look at that. And, and listen, there’s times that we’re busier than others. You have young children there, they have missions, you’re on a mission, your business is growing. I think when you can collectively as a family agree, like, Hey, we’re just going to. We’re going to gear up here a little bit, and then we’ll find our way as long, I think, as long as it doesn’t take over. So, so let’s go back to COVID because it’s impacted everybody in one way or another. I think what, what did I see that you had COVID three times? Is that right? Four times.
[00:33:21] Mark Carbone: Four. I’m just now, we were back, we were here in California six weeks ago for some national surf competitions and we got it on the plane back. So, I’m still recovering from the brain fog. I’m still maybe you’re just too busy. Oh, and I don’t sleep. So, the importance of sleep.
[00:33:38] Gabby Reece: Oh, yeah. Okay So, why don’t you sleep you’re solving all the business things and all the plans in your sleep or why are you not sleeping?
[00:33:47] Mark Carbone: For me it is it’s I fall asleep fine four hours later start thinking about work and then I actually make that move over I Turn the phone over and it’s over. You look at your phone. Yeah. Like 2 a. m. Oh, it’s bad. Get it away. Yeah. My wife tries really hard. So, you can’t, you can’t do that. Maybe I’ll commit. In front of everyone here. Okay, do that. That I will start sleeping.
[00:34:13] Gabby Reece: If you guys care. It’s not about start sleeping. Just don’t have your phone within arm’s reach. And you have a breathing pattern guaranteed somewhere in your pocket. What’s your breathing pattern to down regulate and go back to sleep?
[00:34:25] Mark Carbone: It’s the 4 2 4 2. So, Polly Dutero, who you guys know well, I love Polly. He has done, he is like, now that’s a, that’s a special person in the whole world. Very special. You two must geek out together. Oh my gosh. He’s amazing. So, he taught me the 4 2 4 2 it’s probably sleeps either though. I don’t think he does. I don’t either. He, five hours maybe? Maybe. Maybe.
[00:34:48] Gabby Reece: So, okay. So, four, two, inhale.
[00:34:51] Mark Carbone: Oh, four, two, four, two. So, four in, hold two, four out, hold two.
[00:34:56] Gabby Reece: A couple minutes, three minutes, you’re in your, you start to down regulate.
[00:34:59] Mark Carbone: Yeah. It starts calming me down, um, and then hopefully fall asleep. That, like I said, the initial fall asleep is easy. It’s that wake up in the middle of the night. And for me, people have their thing. For me, it’s God. And what I’m missing is I don’t pray enough when I do wake up and I need to, I need to go to prayer and just. You got this, you know, no problems bigger than God, no problems bigger than me.
[00:35:24] Gabby Reece: Well, the notion of like, give it to God, I think is a good notion for everyone. Yeah. You know, that whole thing of control the controllable and everything else. It’s like, and it’s so interesting because I can sit here, you spend hours and days, I have my own version of this, of knowing and even knowing what to do. And I think it’s really great for people to understand that it’s still a practice for you and for people who know and that we’re working it out. Do you have things that you care about that worry you that you want to do? And it’s, it’s using that tool, but you, I think I, because I can go to sleep, but I don’t stay asleep as well. And I think not looking at your phone is probably really a good idea.
[00:36:03] Mark Carbone: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good start.
[00:36:06] Gabby Reece: Okay. So COVID or somebody who has dysfunctional breathing, you’ve got this retraining period and, um, let’s say, okay, so if you have a breather, there’s a protocol, I’m sure that it comes, and it gives your ideas about how to. Do the training for time and sets and, you know, pressure and things like that for, for a householder at this moment in this very moment, they say, I wanted to start today. Um, what would be a way that they could do it start without anything or? Yes. Is there a way I know it’s harder because you, you sort of utilize deeper muscles with, with, with the device? Sure. Um, but is there, is it just even taking these nice, deep, full, whole round breaths?
[00:36:50] Mark Carbone: Yes. It’s a, it’s a couple things. You can do something during the day. Um, and anyone who’s at an office. So, I’ll, I’ll share that. But again, it’s starting with what we got a second patent on, which is that whole reset of breath. It’s really just the five, five patterns for as many minutes as you can handle it. If you can make it to 10, great. If you can only do three, it’s a, it’s a much better than nothing. So, starting with that, start simple. Basic. And that’s it. So right now, today, this is what people could do. And then during the day, watch, pay attention the next time later today when you check email. Watch how your breath gets shallow.
[00:37:30] Gabby Reece: Oh, I hold my breath. Never mind shallow. Certain emails they come and I’m like, I’m holding my breath.
[00:37:35] Mark Carbone: We, it is, it is like, uh, you should be hooked up. I, you know, we use the aura ring and other things. We use all the connected devices. We’re always doing studies with different ones and we do like aura and Garmin and you know, it doesn’t test right at that moment, but it does. Everything’s changing and you’re going, you’re going into a sympathetic state, just checking email, forget about all the rest of the day. Just notice that. I would just say just if people could do one thing. Is when you’re, or when you’re going on social media, it does the same effect, same effect.
[00:38:11] Gabby Reece: What about you? Like, you know, and you’re diligent and your emails come through what, what little, what trick are you doing before?
[00:38:22] Mark Carbone: You know, what’s interesting? I. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, is it, can I be completely candid? Oh yeah. All right.
[00:38:27] Gabby Reece: I only, that’s the only way we do it in this house.
[00:38:29] Mark Carbone: All right. So, the shoemaker. Oh yeah. You don’t have any shoes. Follow. I don’t have any shoes. I do. So, I catch myself and then I will even stop using the breather for a month or two. And if any employees are listening, I do sometimes not use it for up to two months. So, it, and if it’s going to happen to me, it happens to everybody.
[00:38:50] Gabby Reece: Okay. But let’s say this. You train. You train yourself with the breather so you’re more functional in your breathing and you would think in a way you could sustain a lot of that, right? And maybe the breather is a tune up but Are you not able to sort of try to carry that, that functional breathing, that full breathing, the lung, you know, the lungs working correctly, all of the muscles supporting the diaphragm working correctly. Can you not sustain that with also not only proper breathing, but maybe breathing practices?
[00:39:21] Mark Carbone: Well, this is what I like about James Nestor and, you know, I’m, I’m in the middle of writing a book, but his book. Because he’s an investigative reporter. He took breath to the next level and there’s been so many books written but the way he did the Tim Ferriss approach to become the guinea pig and I have too is that I for the last two years my wife and I all 15 years have been married.
We were we always get blood work We’re always checking our vitals. We’re always trying to stay healthy But for the last two years, I knew I was running and gunning so hard and going so fast, I didn’t want to know I was hitting this level of, of stress that and making it on two hours of sleep, two, three days in a row, everybody could notice but me, nobody wanted to be around me.
But I did not want to get blood work for the past two years. I just got and again, it’s anecdotal. It’s me. But I really feel because I’ve truly been doing this for about, I’ve been doing it for about 12 years, really using it. My vitals came back, everything, I’m 54 now, and with not sleeping very well for at least 5 years. My vitals are all amazing. My, my numbers, yeah, cortisol, cortisol’s too high, testosterone’s a little too low, basic things. That’ll get you to do something. And I haven’t been working out in 2 years. So, I’m just at this and I’m trying to surf with the boys learn how to I’m learning how to surf oh, and they’re ripping.
Oh my gosh, and Shea Lopez is their coach, so she took me out the other day and he’s like, hey, I don’t like the way you’re you know You need to get out with the boys. That’s going to lift everything the boys will be so happy to have you out there with them. So, he takes me out and to whoop up on you
[00:41:07] Gabby Reece: He didn’t give me a leash.
[00:41:08] Mark Carbone: So, he takes me past the break to the second break, of course, on my first wave, there goes the, there goes the board. He’s a good eighth of a mile away from me. I know he did it on purpose. And, um, cause him and Laird, they got stories together cause they, they have some great stories from in the past. So. But he’s so amazing as a human. He was back to me within like 15 seconds. Cause I’m like this, dude, I’m not going to make it.
I feel like I am going to drown. He came around, pushed the, he didn’t come to get me. He just pushed the board and still made me go swim to it. I love that. That’s, that’s who he is. So, um, I feel that. And if I didn’t do what I was doing, I would already be pre diabetic. I would have high blood pressure. And having COVID four times, you know, people around me, family members who have it, their blood pressure now is high, all these issues. And anyone who’s taken the vaccine that I know has issues. So, and I haven’t taken the vaccine. Yeah.
[00:42:07] Gabby Reece: And you got COVID four times. It’s interesting. So, talking about that, um, is there, do you think that there is an importance like, so people hearing this, do you guys have a warm up and sort of cool down element to the protocol? How does it, how does it work? And, and you know, for people listening, I don’t want it to feel like, Oh, this is exercise because you know, everyone already has a knee jerk. You know, reaction to that. This is something else. This is something you can do for a few minutes. You don’t have to break a sweat. Now, if you do deep breathing practices, that is, it’s, you can exert a lot of energy.
In fact, I know, you know, Andy Galpin, Dr. Andy Galpin and, um, and we were talking about carbon bonds. And so he goes, listen, think about it. People go running and they go, you know, I’ve lost a couple pounds. And he’s like, yeah, because calories, you’re breaking carbon bonds. And so sometimes for people to realize you will not only get more energy, but I think your kind of, your physiology gets awakened.
[00:43:13] Mark Carbone: When you start to breathe correctly, it does just, you know, at the, at the base of every chronic disease is the inefficiency of oxygen. You’re not processing your gases, right? So, it is at the core. And of course, I mean, it’s, it’s a. It’s a no brainer to think about that because we can go without food and water for a while.
You can’t go without oxygen for more than a couple of minutes. So, um, it’s, it’s, it’s pretty basic to understand. But what you’re touching on about the ease of it, that is it exercise or not? Of course, you can be sitting down, you can be watching TV while you do it. You do have to activate it. There do, you have to get in the zone. You have to create some pressure. But we just started a study. We started two. Um, we’re doing one on smoke cessation and we’re doing one on weight loss. I didn’t want to join into the weight loss craze and be part of that, but it’s working. But it’s a motivator. Well, listen to what we’re doing. So, part of weight loss is of course diet.
So, we partnered with a really cool doctor up in Minnesota and, and he’s, he’s. Keeping it really simple. It’s the size. So, it’s like a cup. So, it’s a cup, quarter of a cup. He’s, he’s, you can eat what you want. Just, just keep it at that level. And then he, they incorporated our device. So, what’s interesting is that our adherence is much higher. So, when you’re obese, we’re doing it just with obese people and what the adherence is way up because usually it’s, it’s diet, sleep, eat. And then exercise. So, they’re not exercising. Here’s the big problem. The pressure on those lungs, and the pressure on those muscles, they are not taking full breaths. They actually can’t.
So, they’re doing the RMT, they’re using our breather, and it’s actually causing positive results because what’s happening is mobility is starting to happen. So, the first thing that happens when you use it, there is a little euphoric or, or lightheadedness because you have not been moving that gas properly, the O2 and the CO2. Just by doing that, you feel something, and you need to feel it. If you don’t feel it, you don’t think it’s working, right? So, you get that initial rush and then a week into it, they actually physically, physiologically are getting results. So, their MIP and MEPS are going up and they’re actually there’s their phonation.
[00:45:33] Mark Carbone: That’s how long you can hold a sound. Their six-minute walks are going up. And what that’s doing, just the movement is causing a half a pound of loss, but that half a pound or a pound and then two pounds, it’s, it’s motivating because we have to see change. If it’s not gamified, if it’s not entertaining, if you don’t see results, if you don’t see the bar move, you are going to quit. Yeah. So, I’m feeling really good about that. Take that over. And there’s an addiction there. There’s a lot of issues behind weight, right? But now with smoke, this is really cool. So, Peggy, the original founder of the company, she did this about 20 years ago at Advent Health, which used to be Florida Hospital.
She did a test with 10 patients. And they tested that, so the breather, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a device that you put in your mouth, just like a cigarette. So that tactile touching of the device, and the other thing they found out is if you fight the craving for 52 seconds, you fight the craving. So, the person may get that craving 50, 60 times a day. So, what they were doing is they’re grabbing the breather, just breathing at one in one lowest setting, just, and because it’s causing the gas to change, they’re feeling something because when they smoke, they actually think it’s relaxing.
[00:46:52] Gabby Reece: Well, also, but also, okay, maybe there’s something in chemical, but think about the exhale, that long exhale. That might be the longest exhale they do. So, think about that. That down regulates you like, Oh, I’m stressed out. They get a cigarette because it’s the big draw in and the big draw out. And I, and I’m not saying there isn’t things in cigarettes. Of course, we know, it’s highly addictive, but I think to your point, just getting that big, you know, it’s like when they say count to 10 or take three deep breaths, it’s like these things are in place and for real. So, so you’re saying that people can just break out the breather.
[00:47:28] Mark Carbone: Well, let me tell you what we’re doing. So, the study, yeah. So, what the study is going to do is of course we, when they, when they get, when they get the alert or the trigger or they get the craving, you grab the breather, but you’re also doing it in the morning and night. So, you’re doing your routine to become stronger. And I got a story. So, my dad was a smoker, unfortunately died a couple of years ago. And, um, he started using, using the breather about five years ago. And one of the first things he said, this is a true story. He said, son, I can smoke better. So, he was talking, he actually could, he could actually put a cigarette down in like a minute.
[00:48:11] Mark Carbone: He was showing that off to his friends. You just watch, I can smoke. So he was, I’m like, dad, that is not why I gave you the breather. So um, that was one of the horrible side effects. Is he could smoke better cause he could take deeper breaths? Yeah. Fuller, bigger breaths. Yeah. So, we’re the, the smoke study, that’s what Mayo Clinic too. We’ve, we are just, we love Mayo Clinic. We’re doing so many studies with them. Um, that’s going to start pretty soon. And there are, like I said, it’s, you do the practice, you do the respiratory muscle training, and then every time you get the urge, you grab it. Yeah. And then there are other, there are other little protocols we have in place when other urges happen.
And here’s the thing. Why is it still going on? Because it’s hard to beat that one. It’s hard to beat smoking and Mayo Clinic even has a physical facility just for nicotine addiction. So, they are one of the tops in the world at this and they know that the dropout rates, they’re high and we’re going to have a big dropout rate. We’re going to have people come back, but what I love about this is we are a non-pharma company. So, everything we do is without drugs. And, you know, 150 years ago, before the Gates and the Rockefellers created the pharma industry, people did things naturally. And, you know, from Nester, American Indians and all over the world, people had straight teeth. They didn’t have cavities, big jaws, because they could really breathe.
[00:49:33] Gabby Reece: It’s the, um, the dentist, uh, beautiful old book, um, I’ll remember it, where you go to these old tribes and because they weren’t nasal breathing and their jaws were closed, um, they did have all this room for their teeth and just, you know, so beautiful and square. But that’s the other thing that your breathing would do is I think it; I would imagine that you’re also seeing it changes the structure of people’s faces.
[00:49:57] Mark Carbone: Well, oral facial, um, professionals use, they use the breather too. And a lot in California, actually, there’s a lot that use it here for their patients. I don’t know enough to go deep into that, but I know that we have a lot of customers just for that. Oh,
[00:50:13] Gabby Reece: yeah, listen, I would put money down that, you know, there’s women now, and men actually, especially in California, where they’ll do attachments, like chin attachments. Jaw attachments, right? Yeah. And a lot of thing, facial structure would be improved if you, uh, were nose breathing.
[00:50:34] Mark Carbone: Oh, sure. Nose breathing and then, you know, chewing. So, the, the processed food, oh, you saw, you know how the blue zones are, the blue zones are going away. Yeah. So, and they went back to Japan, you know, the new Amazon series. Mm-hmm.. And that blue zone is almost gone.
[00:50:49] Gabby Reece: Yeah. We got to them too. We send them all our stuff. I call it the tan food. When all the food is tan and you can just kind of, you know, put it in your mouth and it sort of melts. But these are real things and people don’t give it any credence at all in thinking that, um, you know, this impacts you. That’s why, now with your kids, did you, you know how they always talk about, like, we did some taping and stuff.
Um, one of my daughters was actually tongue tied. And so, we had underneath her tongue, uh, snipped because I was, when she was little, like four, I started noticing when her teeth hurt. Yeah. And so, I checked to see if she was tongue tied. And when they cut it, her jaw opened up, you know, she sleeps with her mouth closed. And a lot of people experience that, and they don’t know it. Did you, do you guys ever have parts of the protocol that you follow up and see, and see if people can pay attention to if they’re, you know, their mouth is open or closed when they’re sleeping? Or is that just another lane?
[00:51:50] Mark Carbone: You know, it’s funny, um, We, we were going to, we’re doing so many studies, we’ve got like 50 lined up. So, this is, this is down there. This is going to happen. It’s on there. Okay. Yeah.
[00:52:04] Gabby Reece: It’s on there. Because it’s a, it’s a big one.
[00:52:05] Mark Carbone: You know, what’s funny is we now work with. Professional singers and actors. Do they blow it out of the park? They beat the athletes. Of course, they do. They blow them away.
[00:52:15] Gabby Reece: Well, they
[00:52:15] Mark Carbone: control their breath. Oh my gosh. So, we launched this device called Breather Voice and guess who one of the first customers was? Adele. I just sounded good. One of the traveling Hamilton cast. Oh. Because those guys. Night after night. Hello. Oh my gosh. When I met them, I met a couple of them. They, to me, they are Olympians. Yeah. So, they’re holding people up while singing, while dancing for hours.
[00:52:42] Gabby Reece: That’s really cool. Unbelievable. So, wait, what are they getting? They’re just in tuning up and toning up their lung capacity and breath control and stabilizing all those muscles by using the device?
[00:52:54] Mark Carbone: Okay. I’ll share something that nobody knows yet. So, we’re doing a novel study with opera singers, but this is different. Most of the studies that have ever been done are with students. So, we sought out all over the world, people who are successful in Europe, mostly in Europe, some here in Chicago and New York. And, and, and so we, so we got real. paid, working, successful opera singers who are at the top of their game, because what we found is audiophiles, the recording of audiophiles is really strong up to about 40 years ago.
So, you can compare an opera singer from 40 years ago to today. And I’ve been wondering how I can say this. I’ll say it and see what happens. Is what we found over the last 40 years is that, um, the level of training, it could be because of technology, because of the mics, they don’t have to belt it out as hard as they had to before. So, some things have diminished. So that vocal tone, the vocal quality, the ability to hold it longer, hold that note. longer, higher, and hold that pitch. What we found is that in the vocal community, there’s nothing, there’s a tool for every sport, every position. There’s a psychologist for every, for a baseball team, there are five psychologists on staff.
And there’s a coach, a tool, a technique for everything. For voice, there are, if you can afford a vocal coach or you breathe through a straw or you do warmup techniques, there’s nothing like this. So why we did this is we wanted to prove it. So, the university of Miami just finished a study with students, but we did a bigger one with Webster. Um. I think it’s Webster. It’s still, we’re still going on with that study. And again, it’s worldwide. So, there’s a lot of data to collect. I think we’ll have the results by Christmas and it’s, and it’s going to be profound because we thought if we can, it’s almost like how we started with athletics start at the top special forces. Start with opera singers because of what they have to do for a living, how hard it is. Um, but when I see Broadway, um, now I’m changing a little bit. Broadway actors and performers, unbelievable.
[00:55:06] Gabby Reece: What is that? Eight shows a week or something?
[00:55:09] Mark Carbone: I mean something insane. Hamilton is six a week. Yeah. It’s crazy. But they’re going city to city. Yeah. Yeah. Um.
[00:55:15] Gabby Reece: So, what about if someone’s listening to this and they go, gosh, I wonder how my breathing and my. You know, my lung health is, how would one even really start to assess that and take a deeper look at that? Do we have, do we have sort of markers or is it like, listen, we can all breathe better and so we, we need to put some energy and effort towards it?
[00:55:38] Mark Carbone: That’s a great question and I’ve been taxed with that and I actually personally put it on myself is that. How can we move the ball forward without it being too expensive? So, there are things you can do. You can do the bolt test, you can do phonation tests, you can do a lot of these free, simple breathing exams or, or just tests to figure out where you’re at, to figure out where your baseline is. And we do that. So, when we’re doing all these remote studies. Um, the COVID test was remote. That’s what Mayo wanted. They did not want the clinician to be there. They wanted, they used our software app, gave it to everybody and then gave some protocols in the app for you to do. And there are tests built into it. You, you do a test every week, different, different type of tests to see where you’re at. So, you’re actually testing yourself and you’re doing it in your bedroom or wherever for free. So, there are ways to get that baseline. Um, you know, I could share it in the. Yeah, that’d be great.
[00:56:33] Gabby Reece: I would love to share that with people. I remember the first time I did a Bolt score, which for people listening, it’s basically like your CO2 tolerance, um, and it was very average for you. Yeah. And I, I since have improved it. I mean, this is going back maybe six, seven years ago, um, between pool training. I do a lot of hypoxic training and breathing. Laird does better. Sometimes I’m like, Oh, I got stuff to do. I can’t be sitting there breathing for 15 minutes, you know? Um, and that’s just the truth. So, I relate to what you’re saying, but at least I’m aware of, Hey, am I, am I deep belly breathing when I’m sitting at my desk? Is my mouth close? All of that.
But I will say that. A lot of athletes, um, so I don’t want people to feel discouraged if they don’t have like a high tolerance to CO2 or right away this isn’t easy. Um, I think that’s like that for a lot of people. Even if they’re looking well-conditioned or can run fast or what have you. So, I don’t want them to be, um, intimidated, you know, thinking, Oh, something’s wrong with me. It’s like, no, it’s just a practice and you can improve very quickly
[00:57:37] Mark Carbone: That’s the key is you can improve, and you can get your lung capacity back up. Yeah. You know, uh, and you, you probably know this too, um, that they did, they did this study on people who were getting lung transplants and that’s how they prove that lung capacity is a factor of longevity. Have you had Dr. Hyman on, Mark?
[00:57:56] Gabby Reece: I, I, I know Mark. I haven’t actually had him on. Yeah. You want to tell me about that? Well,
[00:58:00] Mark Carbone: I mean, Nestor’s the one who made it. popular about that study, brought it back to the forefront. Uh, but I’m, I’m studying what Mark’s doing too. And it’s just all the, all the things he’s looking into. And, um, it’s just, it’s fascinating. It’s, and again, it’s all simple.
[00:58:21] Gabby Reece: Its really simple how to do all this. I, I, you know, they’ve done a really beautiful job about politicizing, um, like even Damask’s work. And I mean, from my point of view and from observing it, I remember in the beginning when they’re like, okay, you don’t need masks. I was like, that’s fine. And then I, it was sort of like, you’d only house the vulnerable. Why would you? shelter, healthy people. Okay, fine. Then it was, oh no, you need a mask, five feet. No, no, no, six feet. I was like, well, okay, well, that’s weird. Um, you know, and, and, and also like, okay, walk into the restaurant with the mask. Oh, but it’s okay. Once you sit down, you can take it off or just take it back. I mean, the whole thing got a little crazy, right? And like I said, in California, they’re gunning to bring it back. Uh, it’s just the way it is. Okay. So, let’s say, because my whole thing is the people who are the most vulnerable get to have to wear the masks the most, right?
They can’t say, Hey, I work from home. These are people that have to go. to work. Um, and so a lot of times it’s the most vulnerable group is getting their ass kicked the most by these rules, right? You could homeschool your kids. You could be at home. I could too, whatever. So, if somebody has to wear a mask, I can’t even believe I’m asking this because I, for me personally, I would rather say like, are, have we not passed this? Like the fact that we’re masking children again at certain schools, um, is a tough one, I think. I think it’s tough to see. Re breathing your CO2, we already know the damage on that. Could we just talk a little bit about…
[01:00:00] Mark Carbone: Paul worked on that one with us.
[01:00:02] Gabby Reece: He did. And? What are we? Let’s just… I have all the findings that I can share. Whatever we’re allowed to talk about at a third-grade level for people to understand, if we’re wearing the mask… You know, what’s it doing? Or what’s it not doing? Um, and I’m talking about the BS mass that they have. I’m not talking about, you know, yeah, that’s, that’s touchy.
[01:00:26] Mark Carbone: So, here’s, here’s what, here’s how I worked around that.
[01:00:32] Gabby Reece: They’re keeping my saliva out of your mouth, right? Okay, great. Yeah. I don’t know. Like, what is it doing? I, if I cough, is it keeping my particles away from you?
[01:00:41] Mark Carbone: I don’t know. Here, here’s what we did. Though, because the front, you just said it the frontline workers, what are we doing for them? Cause there’s a mass exodus in healthcare, like they’re leaving.
[01:00:53] Gabby Reece: Or they, or they stayed the whole time and then it was like they chose to, they already got COVID or didn’t and said, Hey, I didn’t want to get vaccinated and then they’re going to get fired. You’d be like, well, they were there for the worst of it. Yeah.
[01:01:04] Mark Carbone: Here’s what we did. So, we did. I just love research. So, we did a study with the frontline at Mayo with MDs and what we were trying to do is protect them because Yes, the patient, but they’re just seeing hundreds of them a day, or it’s just, they’re just bombarded with the volume. And what are we doing for them? So, we did a study just for the employees and we tried to do it at the MD level, and it was a resilience study. So, what we thought, if we could build up the resilience, if something was coming, they would just be stronger when it hit and then we could help predict the resilience going down. So, we had them using breather fit. And we gave them a series of breathing protocols, a sleep protocol, a calming protocol, a right before surgery protocol.
[01:01:57] Gabby Reece: Okay, so before, like a calming would be what? A longer exhale than an inhale type of protocol?
[01:02:03] Mark Carbone: There are a couple, there are a couple different calming protocols. Um, there’s the, there’s the instant, I know there’s the double inhale exhale, but there’s one even shorter than that. If it’s like. I’m about to blow up at my spouse or whatever’s going to happen or I’m about to go into surgery and I need to calm down so you can actually do something simpler. It’s just a single inhale through the nose and on the exhale, you just do the sigh. So, it’s, yeah, and the side just. It triggers that vagus nerve. So, the vagus nerve is saying, Oh, get out of sympathetic, go parasympathetic. And it’s, it’s feels instant. Just by me doing that, I actually calm down just a tiny bit. And
[01:02:41] Gabby Reece: I think that vibration does something to us too. It does.
[01:02:44] Mark Carbone: Frequency matters. It does. So, with the doctors, we actually lowered perceived stress by 18%. That matters because, you know, stress is a precursor to almost everything.
[01:02:56] Gabby Reece: Yeah. What about sleep? What was the suggestion for preparation for sleep?
[01:03:02] Mark Carbone: Yeah, the sleep protocols, they have the 4 We did that for sleep. But we tried to get the, we did the, so we gave them seven different breathing protocols based on the situation. They gravitated to the calming and they gravitated to the sleep. And they were, they all had aura rings. So, we were measuring what was going on. We were measuring HRV. So HRV improved and then stress went down. So, two big factors. And HRV. is a, it, it, it is a telltale and when stress goes up, so, and then temperature cause the ring does temperature. So, we were checking those, those vitals, those statistics and it, and it was very helpful. Um, but, but simple, they, they did the breather, they did the breather fit. Simple in the morning, at night, six days a week. And then again, those breathing protocols. So, like I said, the calming and the pre sleep were the two most used. And that we felt, you know, bottom line, it took them out of the sympathetic state.
[01:04:05] Gabby Reece: And also fortified maybe their system a little more. Um, so if someone has, let’s say someone goes, Okay, I’ve got to wear a mask. I’m going to work. I’m, I’m adhering to the rules. Do we have, I used to, when I go to the grocery store, I’d say to the ladies, Hey, when no one’s around, can you just like pull that thing down and blow out all your CO2? Like, get rid of it. Like, Oh, you know, try to, you know, do you, is there anything that we could invite people to think about if they have to sit and wear a mask? Uh, you know, cause they, they’re going to work for eight hours a day that would at least. Maybe support them or make that a little better.
[01:04:43] Mark Carbone: Well, the study we did when the mask came out is that If you wore the cloth masks, you got, you would, well, if you wore the N95, the tough ones, it was more acidosis. So, you became more acidic. And then if you were wearing a cloth mask, you became more alkalosis. So, um, the, the bottom, here’s what we found simple again, is that when you take the mask off, you actually might be hyperventilating or taking shallow breaths for up to 5, 6, 10 minutes after it’s off. Because you do tend to just have shallower breaths when the mask is on. Yeah. So just consciously calm down and take those, do the 5 5 for about a minute before you put it on and then when you take it off and try to take it, you know, take it off as often as you can. Yeah. At work, if we are going back to that.
[01:05:34] Gabby Reece: Well, we’re in, you’re sitting in California, you live in Florida, they’re, they’re rebellious. So different. Yeah. I mean, it’s so funny. Here, everyone’s like. I just, it kind of blows my mind. I, I don’t, um,
[01:05:46] Mark Carbone: That was, it was just interesting that even with the mask off, you continue to shallow breathe. That’s what we found.
[01:05:51] Gabby Reece: Oh, it makes sense because that’s the pattern you’re locked into.
[01:05:54] Mark Carbone: Yeah. I’m going to talk about the fighter pilots cause that’s special. The top gunners. Oh my gosh. Those guys are super cool. Um, and it’s neat, the pro athletes look up to them and they look up to the pro athletes. They both just get together, it’s really funny. And, uh, what we did is, there was a real issue because the F 22s, F 35s are too fast. Like a human cannot withstand the G force, it’s way too fast. And they were having a lot of G lock, that’s when they pass out, the G hits too high and they, and then that leads to, if they don’t re you know, if they don’t recover, they die. And they, who knows what happens when the plane hits. So, it’s a, it’s a real problem and it’s happening all over the world as, as technology improves and the G suits just aren’t there.
So, the G suit is supposed to get, get all the organs back as they get shown. You know, the organs go right up there, go right down. And it’s just what it’s doing. If, if you could do a x ray machine while they’re going through the G to see what it’s doing to the body. Um, again, so what, what we found is that. Because they’re in that G suit, they’re like this, they’re just, if you’re claustrophobic, there’s no way you can wear one. So, you’re, you’re just contained that whole time. And the diaphragm is completely not being engaged. So, we focused on that. And again, I talked about that soda can, that is the perfect example that the diaphragm is the regulator of the pressure. And if it is not strong enough, if that umbrella is not strong enough to regulate that pressure, something’s give. And it does. So, we Um, had them do again, they had the breather fit, of course, they had the athletic device and they used it for four weeks. There were a couple of special breathing protocols, there are protocols they do, there’s certain holds that they do, the way they have to hold their breath as they’re going into G.
[01:07:45] Gabby Reece: But it’s a bear down, right? It’s almost like you have to bear down, are you trying to keep… Yeah, that’s one way to call it, yeah.
[01:07:49] Mark Carbone: Yeah, yeah. Pretty much you’re ready for impact, ready for a car accident. It’s almost like that’s the, that’s what you get ready for. Um, or a big wave you’re about to hit, hit the reef or something. So, by strengthening their diaphragm, it actually made them more resilient and stronger at, at G. So, when they were hitting that top G, they, they did not pass out. It took longer for the pass out. So, 5 percent increase, which they did get that. Um, big improvement. So that, it just feels good to help at that level.
So, we did that right before the Ukrainian Russian war started. So, we’re still waiting for phase two. It’s going to be a bigger, bigger study. And um, actually it might be released at the Pentagon. There might be a nice little something happening there. If we can do it, do it next year. I think it got pushed back to next year.
[01:08:44] Gabby Reece: You do, you’re managing a lot and juggling a lot. I interviewed somebody once and I go. And they were into meditation. And, um, I, you know, my thing is how do you use it? You know, if you don’t have a breather on you and it shows up and you, you’ve, you know, you’re trying to put out fires at work and solve other problems and get back to people and take the boys here and love on your wife and do all that when it shows up for you. I’m always curious, what is your own technique within yourself to go? Okay. I’m going to try to manage all this.
[01:09:18] Mark Carbone: Ooh, that’s a good question. I actually use the simplest one and then I’ll do it repeatedly. So, I’ll just do the single inhale and the sigh. That’s it. And I’ll do it two times or three times until I can get myself calm again because I’m going so much and I’m, I’m just like a lot of people where if I have to have missed a lot of time in it, I’m not going to do it. It has to be quick. That’s what I do.
[01:09:43] Gabby Reece: Mark Carbone, thank you for your time. And thank you for all the work and the information and the studies. And also, just the, the important reminder of sometimes if all we can do is the simple thing that that’s better than nothing at all.
[01:09:59] Mark Carbone: Thank you.
[01:09:59] PJ Nestler: Thank you. Thank you.
[01:10:09] Gabby Reece: So, PJ, thank you for joining me once again on the podcast. I really appreciate it.
[01:15:12] PJ Nestler: Always my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
[01:15:15] Gabby Reece: I can talk to you about a million things, but I really want to stay isolated to and focused on. Not only breathing, but ways to strengthen and train our breathing and then different scenarios and breathing in everyday life and in performance because you have such a vast knowledge of that. So, you know, with Mark, he has the device. That you can use for different scenarios to help train your breathing. So maybe first of all, you can talk about the, the things that you think are important about the device.
[01:15:52] PJ Nestler: Yeah, absolutely. I think the simplest way to think about using a device is I always relate it back to exercise. There’s a lot you can do with just your body, obviously. With your body, you have gravity, so you can create different movements and create different stress on the muscles and different systems of the body, uh, using the weight of your body against gravity a little bit different in breathing because there’s not necessarily a lot of gravitational force against your respiratory muscles.
But you’re basically just adding a tool that can help develop some awareness to the way you breathe because you apply a little bit of resistance to different portions of the breath, and therefore it just gives you a little bit more feedback. So, when I, let’s say I’m trying to focus on my inhales, one of the hard parts with breathing for people is they have no awareness. They don’t, they haven’t developed any of that. Uh, motor control, or I mean, they’ve developed the motor control unconsciously, but they don’t know what it should or shouldn’t feel like. Uh, so awareness is a big step when we’re, when we’re training people. And when we talk about awareness of the respiratory muscles, applying a little bit of resistance to either the inhale or the exhale, or both can really help people develop a little bit more of like. What does that feel like? And what should that feel like? So that’s where there’s a huge benefit. And there are other tools that you can use as well. But I really like the breather fit for the specifically for those purposes. And then once you develop that foundation of awareness, I think where the breather fit, and similar devices really shine is.
Continuing to apply resistance so that you can actually develop more strength and endurance in the muscles. And that’s where there’s a huge opportunity for people, like the potential improvement for most people is, it’s pretty steep at first because most people aren’t doing anything. So, you don’t need any resistance. You don’t need any devices. You can do tons of stuff around breathing. You could spend years. Doing breathwork practices with nothing except for something to guide you through it. Um, and see improvements, but eventually if you want to see more targeted improvements, you begin to plateau because you’re no longer applying any stress. It’d be like if I woke up and did 10 pushups every day, I’ll get really strong for a while. When I, if I was never doing pushups, but eventually 10 pushups just become kind of. Maintenance for me and I’ll start to plateau and not get stronger. And I either need to do more pushups or eventually if I want to actually get stronger or build muscle, now I need to start doing some weight and putting some weight on my back and increasing the load so I can keep stressing my system and getting better. So. That’s kind of the foundation of why I really like using a tool like the breather fit for a lot of different breath protocols.
[01:18:41] Gabby Reece: Maybe you could just give a snapshot of the basic mechanics, what all is involved in breathing and then outside of a sprint or something really, really rigorous, what would be the best kind of step by step process of where the breath you know, it goes down to how many ish per minute, things like that.
[01:19:06] PJ Nestler: Yeah, absolutely. I think the simplest way to think about the breathing pathway, let’s call it is as you inhale, generally speaking, you should be inhaling most of the time through your nose. So, you inhale through your nose, you’re bringing in a lot of oxygen. Uh, what’s actually happening in the body is the diaphragm is your primary breathing muscle, which is this big dome shaped muscle that goes across your entire midsection.
And that muscle, as it contracts, it flattens out. So, it’s kind of like a, think about a jellyfish or something that’s being pulled at the ends. So, it flattens out and it expands. And that’s why we always, you always hear people talk about belly breathing or, or horizontal breathing. And what we mean by that is, as you take an inhale, the diaphragm actually pulls down and expands out laterally, and that should expand the whole ribcage and torso 360 degrees. That expansion, the diaphragm is attached to the bottom of the lungs, so that expansion actually pulls on the lungs. And when you pull on the lungs, it changes the pressure gradient within the lungs, which is what actually pulls the air in from outside because now the pressure inside the lungs is different from the external pressure.
And that’s what forces you to pull air in, whether through your nose or your mouth. Uh, but in this context, we’re going to go in through the mouth. So that’s like generally the mechanics that’s happening. And that’s what we always talk about. And I know this is a lot of people probably listening on audio, but you can see, I can’t even talk about this without doing this little demonstration with my hands of your rib cage expanding. But think about that, like a birdcage with two big balloons in it. And, but that birdcage is flexible. So, the rib cage and everything is going to expand out as those balloons inflate. And that’s what brings all that air into your body. Uh, and what that should look like is 360-degree expansion of that entire birdcage.
And this is a mis. Misconception a lot of people have they think that it should be belly driven and we talk a lot about belly breathing We talk about belly breathing only because it’s a great step in the right direction From people who are chest breathers, which is a lot of a lot of people due to our common lifestyle. There’s a lot of factors that have driven people towards this like upper chest breathing dysfunction So in order to get out of that, people talked a lot about belly breathing, which is get the breath down deeper and expand the belly. But the belly only, only expands mostly anteriorly, meaning forward. Uh, we actually want the entire torso to expand. So, we want to expand the belly down from the belly button all the way around. To the low back and then every layer above that, including the chest, because a lot of the lungs volume is, or excuse me, a lot of the lungs are in your upper chest as well.
So, we don’t want to only expand the belly. We want to be able to expand that whole compartment from in between your shoulder blades to your chest, to your ribs, under your armpits, all of that should be expanding when we inhale. Um, so that’s what we look at from like an anatomy perspective. And what’s happening physiologically with the gases, you’re bringing oxygen in, it’s getting picked up in the blood and delivered to all the tissues, and it’s used as fuel for your brain and your organs and your muscles. And then a lot of those, all of those organs and tissues are creating. Carbon dioxide as a byproduct of that work and that extra carbon dioxide is being brought back into the lungs. And that’s actually what you exhale. A lot of what you exhale out, um, as you exhale. And that’s the whole kind of premise of respiration is inhaling, bringing in a lot of oxygen and exhaling, bringing out a lot of carbon dioxide and creating a balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the blood and the body. Um, and that’s the purpose is to create that balance. And that’s why. It changes drastically as we start to exercise, or we start to have an anxiety attack because we create an imbalance in those gases. And then your body responds by saying, we need to start breathing faster to balance this back out. Uh, so that’s generally the foundation of what’s happening and what we want to see happen when we’re breathing at rest.
[01:23:21] Gabby Reece: You know, I, I, I love the idea of this opportunity of being able to kind of pump the brakes and go back into an upcycle versus. Oh, I’m stressed out. And then all of a sudden you see people just kind of spiral down because the breath does it. And then, you know, sort of all things on board to go against us. I love the reminder of that. Um, so sitting people at their desks, they’re sitting at their computers, you know, even within that, it’s like, if you could sit up, I always encourage people to lay flat and I know you do as well and, and sort of practice because then. Whatever little gravity we are working against, we kind of have this opportunity to sort of open up and soft and, and I, and I always think it’s important you were talking about the back part, you know, the back part of the ribs, the chest is for people to have a little patience because I personally have experienced not being very good at it and just having patience on the inhale that you, it feels like you’re not so much lifting yourself actually off the floor a little bit, that that’s how deep you’re breathing, but just to have patience. Yeah. patients and not try to force it. Most of us are sitting. So even in the sitting, by not being in a C curve, at least by being upright, we have this opportunity to kind of do that round, you know, breath versus the vertical breath where everybody’s lifting their shoulders or only going into their chest.
Um, but you did mention biking. A lot of people are on Pelotons. If they’re lucky, they’re getting outside. Maybe they’re going to a. Spin class. How would one breathe correctly? Because that is one of the hardest things you see great bikers because they’re so hyper developed from being hunched over, especially on, you know, some of the intercostals are sort of tight and forward. How would you encourage somebody who’s? Doing that, or what would you remind them to be conscious of when they’re in that position?
[01:25:16] PJ Nestler: The first thing I would do with somebody who spends a lot of time on a bike is take them off the bike and teach them how to breathe in a way that’s going to be successful there. Because if they try to apply these tactics into biking, they’re going to struggle. Like they might figure it out, but to your point, sometimes you feel like you’re lifting yourself up, but you’re not really creating much movement at all, which is okay. That’s what the hardest part about posterior breathing is for people is the movement is so much less.
I can see visually my belly lifting when I really start to get it. Uh, so there’s a lot of feedback. Whereas the lower back, I can’t feel it as much. There’s not as much movement. Um, and it’s also more difficult because people lose the connection there because of sitting, we have this. The muscles in the back are just hypertonic and they’re all, they’re on all the time for a lot of people. So it becomes harder to get those muscles to relax so you can actually breathe. So that’s what I would do with somebody who spends a lot of time on a bike, whether it’s a Peloton or, or doing, you know, long distance bike races. The first thing I would do is probably get them. To lay over a stability ball where they’re, they’re now kind of in that flex position, but the muscles of the back can relax.
And then it also prevents you from breathing into your belly because your belly’s pressed against it. And I do breathing practices on that ball where they’re only focused on breathing into their back and they’ll do 10 to 15 breaths slow in through the nose. And the goal is every breath. A lot of times I’m close their eyes so they can just feel that connection. Uh, it’s great if I’m there with them, because I’ll put my thumbs right in their low back. Uh, kind of like if you put your hands on your hips, right where your thumbs would end up, that’s where you want to be right in that soft spot. And then think about seeing if you can drive those thumbs out of your lower back. Uh, and it takes time. I mean. People might try this after listening to this and feel like you’re not doing anything. Trust me. You’re doing something. You’re developing the connection and the motor control, right? It’s the same thing as when you take somebody who’s never exercised, and you give them a pair of dumbbells.
They can’t even coordinate to balance those dumbbells to do a basic dumbbell bench press. And, you know, after 10 reps, they’re finally controlling it. And after two weeks. All of a sudden, they can keep that pattern. So, the body is learning how to coordinate that movement. Um, so that’s what I would do first. And, and that is to give them the ability. To do what I want them to do when they’re on the bike, because if they can’t do it, laying over a ball, they’re definitely not going to be able to do it when they’re doing some intense bike workout. Um, but then once they’re on the bike, the same, all the same mechanics apply.
They’re just going to have a limitation on how much expansion they can get. forward towards their belly because they’re hunched over. So, it becomes more important that they really have good access to their lateral ribs and to their entire backside, because that’s where the lung expansion is going to have to happen. Um, again, some will still happen in the front, but if you’re a belly breather and that’s your only pattern, when you get in that hunched over position, especially on like a road bike. You’re going to be so rounded over that that belly is going to be restricted and now you’re breathing. Let’s say you were at 100 percent capacity. Let’s say you had access to 100 percent of your lung volume when you’re upright. Uh, with your belly breathing, which if you’re a belly breather, you wouldn’t have access to a hundred percent anyway, because you’re missing the chest and back. Uh, but let’s say you did, once we got you hunched over there, we took away 80 percent of that.
So now you’re only going to be breathing into your upper chest because that’s the only thing you have. Then once you’re on the bike, the same concepts apply. You’re, you’re taking those big, deep inhales into your ribs, into your lower back, into your mid back, uh, and then big, powerful exhales. Uh, probably in the nose and out the mouth most of the time, uh, unless you’re doing like a long endurance ride, then nasal breathing the whole time would be great. Uh, and that’s definitely something you should work towards, but when you’re going up a hill or you’re doing a Peloton workout, nasal breathing the whole time is most likely not going to happen. Uh, and that’s where I really like that in the nose, out the mouth power breath that we use a lot during exercise where you’re taking big forceful exhales to clear out that carbon dioxide, but still those good nasal inhales to bring in all that oxygen and do a lot of the other benefits that there are to nasal breathing.
[01:29:42] Gabby Reece: Can we, um, Sort of assume that if I’m a basketball player, that’s been in a long back and forth, nobody made the shot and you’re running back and forth and you just get fouled and you have to go on a free throw line and sort of quickly try to down regulate and gain kind of composure. You’re a football player that’s just sprinted. You’ve just mentioned a bike bicyclist who’s just sprinted, but yet you’re still going to continue on after that. The best plan or the best strategy is to offload your CO2 as quickly as you can out through your mouth. And then try to downregulate and try to take big, full breaths. Would you encourage people to take it in through the nose or, um, because again, I’m talking about while you’re still in activity, trying to quickly find little small moments to downregulate. Do you, do you still like the idea of, okay, power breathing out and then long, slow inhales? What do you like for scenarios like that in performance?
[01:30:46] PJ Nestler: Yeah. So, I like the general, one of the patterns that I like to teach first, cause I think it’s the most applicable across a lot of different things is that in the nose, out the mouth power breathing, uh, the inhales are still fast. So, they’re big, powerful inhales through the nose. And then the exhales out the mouth are big and powerful to get rid of carbon dioxide. And typically, that’s because if we, if we say we’re on a spectrum here from one, one to 10 and 10 is the highest intensity. If I’m exercising at a. Five to seven, most likely the biggest challenge.
The reason I have to breathe faster is because I have this fast buildup of carbon dioxide. So, I need to get that out. I can probably replenish oxygen pretty decently. If I’ve practiced a little nasal breathing, uh, by inhaling through the nose. So, it’s a really good pattern across that and really all the way down to like, let’s say a four out of 10 on that intensity spectrum and intensity, meaning like it could also be duration. I went how, uh, hard I’m having to breathe for that thing. So, if I sprinted 10 yards, I’m probably at a two on that scale. If I sprinted 200 yards as fast as I could, I’m probably at a nine. Um, so that’s one of the patterns I like the best, but I think one of the points you made about off gloating that carbon dioxide is really important for people to understand because there’s been a lot of research, a lot of talk about nasal breathing that’s come out, uh, in the last, you know, five to seven years, I’d say, and I believe that there’s a lot of good that that information is doing for people because you should be breathing through your nose most of the time.
However, yeah. A lot of people are trying to apply that to the sport and performance context. And I think it’s really misguided because I think the miss the, the, uh, it’s misaligned with the goals of that performance or the goal of the outcome of that fitness. Um, and I think it happens because. You have breathing coaches or breathing experts who are really immersed in the research of breathing but aren’t performance coaches.
They don’t work with athletes. They don’t understand the principles of performance. So, they’re applying the wrong strategies. And I’ve seen this a lot lately with these some professional athletes mouth taping while they’re playing their sport. Um, it’s kind of been, I’ve seen articles in the media. A few big papers about it, but I think it’s a misunderstanding.
[01:33:12] Gabby Reece: The tennis player, Soya Tech, right? Or let’s say if I could say her name. Soya Tech, Swaya Tech. Yeah, she’s been tapering. Yeah, so go ahead.
[01:33:22] PJ Nestler: Yeah, and I don’t know the context she’s been doing it in, so I certainly don’t like to judge other people’s things just based on a little bit of information. But what I said for that is, if I was training a tennis player, that tennis player would learn how to nasal breathe outside of training.
And in some of the like strength and conditioning type training, that was not their sport. And then in their sport, I would actually have them breathe through the mouth a lot because it’s, it’s a tool it’s there for a reason. So, I like to teach people, if you start to arbitrarily force yourself to nasal breathe, when you’re in that 7, let’s say 8, 9, 10 intensity level, you’re actually limiting your performance.
Because you’re trying to, you’re trying to lower your heart rate, but through nasal breathing, but what you’re not doing. Is getting the oxygen in and the carbon dioxide out that, that you really need, which is why you started breathing faster in the first place. So if you were that basketball player and you just sprinted back and forth up the court, all of a sudden we got to, you know, ball goes out of bounds. You’ve got 10 seconds to get a few breaths before the play starts again. You want to get a lot of oxygen in, get a lot of carbon dioxide out and get focused and get back to the game. Um, you don’t want to be forcing yourself to try to nasal breathe and then limiting the oxygen that’s going to get to your muscles.
So that for some, whatever reason you think that it’s going to lower your heart rate. So, there’s been a big, um, I think a big misunderstanding on that. And I think it’s a good point that you brought up there that I would teach that basketball player or that bike bicyclist that’s going up the hill breathe through your mouth. If you have to big inhales through the mouth, big exhales through the mouth, get that oxygen in, get the carbon dioxide out. And then as soon as you get control of that. And you’re able to start slowing it down, then you can inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. And that’s where that power breathing comes into play.
Um, but often in like a competition, I’ll use jujitsu for an example. Cause that’s what I, uh, like to do and compete in. If I’m in a jujitsu competition, maybe we get in a scramble, we go out of bounds. I’m going to take a few big mouth breaths and then maybe three. And then I’m going right back to competing. I’m never getting down to like a controlled nasal in nasal out, slowing the breath down because that’s just not the reality of the situation that you’re in. But again, that goes back to that tools-based approach, which is when you understand it and you get the principles and you’ve practiced all of it. You’re not mouth breathing because it’s your only option. You’re mouth breathing because it’s the best option for the activity that you’re doing. And that’s a, I think a really important point for people.
[01:36:05] Gabby Reece: The other thing, um, for me that I’m interested, well, I’m interested in and all of it is to remind people though, when you’re offloading It’s, it’s not kind of shallow and breathy that you actually have to really actively sort of push out the CO2. And it’s really reminding people to get it out from as low down as you can get. And, and in a way, I don’t want to say that’s silly, but it’s like reminding people, especially if you’re in performance, who cares? Get that out, get that air out. I always call it in pool training. It’s so easy. Because the conflict of like when I get air, when I don’t get air and I just say, Hey, dirty air out.
That’s what I call it. So that when you are finally breathing, you get to absorb that, you know, oxygen as well as you can. So just reminding people that when you’re doing these patterns, it’s like, you know, get it out. Not just like, huh, some breathy release. Cause then you don’t benefit as much. Can we, can we sort of put a lens then on real life? I’m stressed out, I’m late, I’m driving in my car, I, you know, you’re, you’re going to be starting a family at some point, but I have some mouthy kid in my car, um, I have, you know, sort of 17 unanswered emails, and it’s just, I’m, I’m recognizing, oh, I’ve, I have to, I have to center myself. Um. So it’s not as obvious as an athletic performance, what would you say would be the, you know, the most supportive breath when we feel kind of the wave or the, the pressure of life just getting a little close, um, a way to use the breath to, to create that space that I think helps so much of us.
[01:37:56] PJ Nestler: Yeah, I think that that’s what some of the context that I use most often. And honestly, even with athletes, because they deal with so much stress and, uh, performance anxiety and all that kind of stuff. But the basic principle at that point is you want to get to a calm, extended breath, and there’s a lot of different patterns you can do, but a simple way to think about it is.
A nice big slow inhale through the nose and then a long-extended exhale through the nose or the mouth. There’s, there’s benefits to both in that context and there’s a lot of people who teach that. Like you can do box breathing, you can do a cadence breath, which is a one to two ratio of inhale to exhale. You can do just sitting and calmly breathing through the nose that, but what I like to teach people is sometimes it’s hard to get there, right? When, when let’s say you’re in the car and you’re, It’s kind of like coming up and just saying, Hey, you know, we’ll use that one to 10 scale again, but instead of physical activity, now it’s your stress level, whether you’re angry or anxious or whatever it is, but those emotions create this buildup in, in stress.
If you’re at a nine or a 10 telling you to just do this long, slow exhale, it’s kind of like coming up and just saying, Hey, Calm down, right? It’s not effective because you’re, I’m telling you to react at a two and you’re feeling like a 10. So what I always teach people is You can use the breath as a tool to bring you from a 10 Down to a four and then when you’re at a four you can do some of those slow pattern breathing That’ll help you come down to a one Um, but if you don’t meet the nervous system where it’s at, uh, at least for me If I don’t meet the nervous system where it’s at the breath fails because I’m just at this heightened state of arousal and I can’t connect to that low pattern of breathing.
So, what I teach people to do is kind of similar what we teach in the ice bath. Actually, it’s exactly what we teach in the ice bath, which is you’re in that heightened state of arousal. Meet the nervous system where it’s at by taking forceful. Aggressive breaths. So, uh, I, I relate this kind of like, if you smash your finger with something and you shake your hand really hard, you’re sending this intense neural input to the body. And what you’re trying to do is derail some of those feelings that you currently have so that you can redirect them onto this next path. So, I do that through take like four to six big, powerful, aggressive mouth breaths. Uh, we call it fire breathing. Once you do that, now let’s imagine you, you just breathe.
Let’s say you felt like a level nine or 10 in terms of your stress level. You just did a breathing pattern that’s at a nine level nine or 10. So you met your nervous system where it was. Now we can downshift to a level six or seven. Uh, and that’s where I’ll shift into the power of breathing in the nose, out the mouth, still fast, still aggressive, but it’s a little bit slower. Cause you’re going through the nose and it’s one stage down. Um, and I always teach this one. I like to teach it as a four, five, six. So, people remember. So, four of those intense fire breaths, five nasal, uh, in the nose, out the mouth power breaths. So those are still a little bit aggressive. Uh, and then once they have control of those, Now, once you get to the six, that’s where we’re going to focus on slowing everything down. I’ll go in the nose and out the mouth for me personally. And I’ll go, I’ll make a whooshing sound or a hissing sound or something where I start to one that it helps you extend the breath.
And two, that’s another trigger. It’s an anchor, a psychological anchor that your brain can start to hold on to. Uh, so you can start to focus on that sound and the feeling, the vibration, uh, which will bring your brain off of whatever was creating that stress. So that. That’s our, the XPT downshift for, it’s a, uh, downshift four, five, six protocol.
Um, it’s what I teach people when they’re dealing with. intense emotions of any level. And it’s what I teach people in the ice bath, because that’s one of the things that the response in the ice bath is it’s physiological, but it’s purely, mostly psychological as well. Like you’re the emotions people feel and deal with.
You, you lose your breath, but you lose your breath, not because you you’re out of breath and you’ve done something that challenged it. You lose it because. Your brain locks everything up and you get that instant stress response. Um, so that’s why it’s such a good tool to practice too, for people. I mean, you know, this, obviously we’ve done this for years now at XBT and you’ve been doing it for way longer.
[01:42:48] Gabby Reece: it’s still such an important reminder. I have to tell you, that’s why I really appreciate, um, working with you because listen, if anyone thinks that I, because I’ve heard this a hundred times. Do it more automatically or better. It’s not true. It’s always a real conscious, uh, reminder to myself. So, I, I just want to remind people that none of us ever land on it and get it right.
And the minute stress comes, I go, I know what to do. I’m like, Oh, okay. Yes. Okay. I know what to do. Not, it’s not necessarily a go to. Yes. There’s parts of the practice that get easier. I do notice too, that my gaze. when I’m, cause I, I tend to, when I get stressed, I tend to get more aggressive. That’s sort of my gear. I don’t get anxious. I kind of, you know, lean into everything, which has its own set of, you know, negative things. And then your eyes get hyper focused and big. And so, I even notice in the breath that the face relax, the eyes narrow and soften, which then also is a reflection of the interior climate.
Everything is softening. Um, and so for people to also have fun with it, To experiment, to feel it, to watch it, to observe it because it is really a powerful tool that when we can’t get there through our intellectual self that you’re like, Oh, wow, a second ago, I was ready, you know, to pounce and now I’m soft and pliable and it happens really quickly.
So, I, I just want to remind people now we, we talk a lot about going outside and more and more people are rucking and, you know, using things like that. Do you change your, I’m just curious, your breathing pattern, um, when you, now some people ruck with a pack, some people ruck with a vest. Um, is there anything different in the breathing when you kind of have weight sitting on top of you?
[01:44:42] PJ Nestler: Uh, there definitely is. I think most of what it is, is just how it impacts, like for me personally, I don’t change the goals of the way I breathe, but that’s because the focus for me when I’m breathing is to create that expansion. When I’m limited, let’s say I’m wearing a weight vest that’s pressing on my chest and my back. I’m still trying to create the same expansion, but it’s more important that I’m getting lateral expansion there because that’s the spot that’s less limited. So that’s kind of where my focus goes. I still want to get as much expense expansion front and back as I can, but I know that I’ve got this weight pressing down on it.
It’s going to be difficult. And same thing for a rock when you’ve got a rock on your back, you’re still trying to breathe into that rock and create some expansion and that you can actually. Because you have that tactile feedback of something on your back, I actually find that I can put my thumbs in the straps and almost press forward with my hands and therefore pressing my back into the ruck. And then I can focus on taking a few big breaths like, and I might do that. Just off every so often throughout the rock to just kind of reinforce that posterior breathing. Um, but the reality is that you’re going to be limited at some point. So, it’s just essential for you. And that’s why I started my answer.
Uh, about the biking with, I would take them off the bike because if you don’t have the foundation, you won’t have the options. And when breathing is taken away in any of these contexts, um, I give the example a lot in jujitsu. When someone sticks their knee on your belly, if you’re a belly breather, only you’re in a lot of trouble.
You’re in trouble anyway, because it’s a miserable position to be in. But if, if I have no option to and someone’s knee is there. You’re not going to last very long in that, in that position. So, and that’s what happens often when you’re in, obviously in a combat sport.
[01:46:34] Gabby Reece: So you’re folded up like a pretzel. Take a deep breath. Good luck.
[01:46:37] PJ Nestler: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, if you have access to a hundred percent of your lung volume, then when your body gets pretzeled, yeah, maybe now you have access to 20 percent where someone else would have had 2%.
[01:46:50] Gabby Reece: Right. So, in just rounding out this conversation, um, two things come up for me that feel really important. One is when people are lifting or lifting heavy. It’s just reminding people, do you prefer, um, you know, the, that people inhale when they’re in the load part of the move, like concentric, eccentric. When do you like people to inhale and exhale, um, with load? Because I think a lot of people get this kind of confused or backwards, or it’s just good to be reminded.
[01:47:27] PJ Nestler: Yeah. The simplest way to do that for the majority of strength training, and this doesn’t necessarily always apply to like. Maximum weight. So if you’re at somebody who’s lifting a one RMM or two rmm, that’s a, a slight, there’s a, there’s a lot of different context there, but for most people that are just lifting some heavy weights in different, uh, in different patterns, the simplest way to think about it is to exhale during the effort.
Effort meaning like when I’m pushing and, and that’s usually the concentric portion of the movement. So, I would, if a, if I use a squat or a pushup, I would inhale on the way down. And I would exhale on the way up and it doesn’t necessarily have to match exactly like the whole time I’m on the way up.
There’s times that the breath is held to create more force. Um, I wouldn’t be, for a general person who’s working out, I wouldn’t be hyper concerned about it unless you’re actually noticing that you hold your breath the whole time. And that’s where I would start to work on, which happens a lot. People are lifting way lighter weights than what the context I’m talking about, but then they hold their breath for three or four reps at a time. Um, just because they forget to breathe. So that’s where I teach that sequence, which is inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up. Uh, and that’s, that applies to most movements, obviously, depending on like the load you’re using. Sometimes it’s not necessarily up and down, but, uh, so that’s why I say exhale during the effort.
When, when you’re exerting force. That’s when you want to exhale and it’ll actually help you produce force, which is why we talked about that context with tennis players. Like you hear tennis players usually audibly exhale and make a noise when they hit the ball. Same as fighters when they punch, like that’s, there’s a purpose behind that. There’s a reason that people do that mouth exhale when they’re exerting force because it allows you to create more force at the time of impact. Um, which is essential for that skill.
[01:49:22] Gabby Reece: Yeah, I think, well, think about a kiai, right? It’s like basically every sports kiai, which I always, I always love it. Um, and then, and lastly, manual massage, warming up opening. Cause like I noticed again, I’ll use the pool as an example, because it’s such a objective and pretty immediate teacher is after a few minutes, I feel like the tissue around my ribs is a little more opened up and I’m better. Um, It’s almost like a warm up. Um, and so again, if we’ve been sitting and everything is constricted or training a lot, because by, by the way, sports where you’re folding forward volleyball, tennis, I think there, it becomes a constriction because you get this development that actually.
Does kind of lock tack down the ribs. Do you ever have people lay on their back and manually kind of just get up underneath the ribs and massage and open up? Do you, do you like that some of those practices just to get not only awareness, people kind of touching the area going, oh yeah, it’s, it’s a living, moving area, but also to just kind of keep that tissue open.
[01:50:34] PJ Nestler: Yeah, I like to teach people some of our pre workout breathing. We have like, uh, do a technique called doming the diaphragm, which I think is what you’re referring to, where you kind of dig in under the rib cage and you’re just pushing up and trying to reduce some restrictions on the diaphragm. Um, I think rolling on like, uh, Jill Miller’s like courageous balls and all of that kind of stuff, I think is great on the, on the abdominals.
And to your point, all, a lot of those muscles are postural muscles. So, they’re under tension very often and they become very tight and, and hypertonic. So, when you can roll on some of those things or massage them or stretch them out and create some movement there, it’s, uh, it’ll open up your breathing capabilities for sure. Uh, and it’s a great thing to do after sitting. I do it pretty much every day around by like four o’clock at least my last, like two, three hours of work for the day from four o’clock on, I’m lying on my stomach on the ground with some sort of ball underneath my ribs. And I’m on my, my laptop from there, uh, because I’ve gotten all that tightness, uh, from sitting down all day.
So, I do that very often. I really like it. I think it’s great for people.
[01:51:45] Gabby Reece: Yeah, and it’s not hard and it makes you feel good. So, this is not like one more thing to do. It’s like even if people are watching TV, it’s just lay on the floor and kind of manually rub under there. And I do appreciate you bringing up Joe Miller.
I think she does a great job about kind of self-mobility and care and just kind of opening up and her tools are sort of can be kind if you need them. Uh, you know, she has, she has, she has tough on your tools, but she also like that courageous ball is very kind. Well, PJ, I appreciate your time and just adding to this, to this conversation, because obviously it’s, it’s so important to breathe correctly.
And, I always learn from you and, and just really appreciate the way you present things. So, thank you for your time. And, um, I’m sure you’re going to be on here again. I can’t wait to hear what you want to talk about.
[01:52:38] PJ Nestler: My pleasure. Thanks for having me. It’s always good to chat with you and see you.
[01:52:42] Gabby Reece: Thanks. PJ Niesler, everyone.
About Mark Carbone
Mark’s on a MISSION to crack the code on sleeplessness, low energy, and anxiety and conducts research in these areas to hopefully move the ball forward within the next few years.
He’s also passionate about the future of Digital Health and working towards breakthrough solutions to further the medical industry in human performance for highly compromised pulmonary patients to elite special forces, athletes and performers.
He’s a blessed husband and father of 3 boys who are all competitive athletes in surfing. Lots of fun and chaos at home, more chaos than fun at times. He and his wife are raising their boys to be Knights who will cherish their wives and their community and add value to the world. They raise their boys in the Bible and it’s working! His philosophy is: Go big or don’t do it at all. He’s got too much traditional schooling, wish he’d left college sooner 🙂 He plays soccer, just started surfing and collects high performance cars.
He is the CEO of www.PNMedical.com, in business for over 40 years serving 2,000,000 people. PN Medical makes intelligent medical devices for the millions of people needing to improve their cardiopulmonary performance. He serves as lead inventor overseeing creation of their newest inventions a connected Breather and AI enhanced new Breather Coach app coming by late spring 2024.
About PJ Nestler
Meet Coach PJ Nestler, a human performance specialist with over a decade of experience preparing top athletes for competition. His life mission is to help athletesand coaches realize their true potential. With a passion for sports and a commitment to excellence, PJ has become a leader in sports performance training. He has trained dozens of athletes from the NFL, NHL and MLB and has worked extensively with over 100 fighters, including multiple Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champions and Top 10 ranked UFC fighters. Through the application of his progressive training philosophy and unique approach to every situation, Coach PJ continues to raise the bar for fitness professionals. He has emerged as a sought-after expert in human performance and trainer education.