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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."


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Respiratory System Giving Out


I'm having a problem with squats and deadlifts only, where I become so out of breath and tachy, because of the intensity of each exercise that I can't go to the number of reps I know my given muscles can handle. I have to stop a few reps short of failure or near failure to catch my breath. Strangely other compound exercies do not have this drastic of an effect on my breathing.
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Alberta, CAN

Are you breathing during the exercises? Sometimes people will hold their breath when using heavy weights.
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New York, USA

My advice:

1) What tougher said
2) Do them back-to-back with no rest in between
3) Do them first in your routine
4) preform a few isolation exercises to hit the muscles that are being neglected because you can't yet go tp failure: leg extension, leg curl, hip extensions (or other), low back machine (if possible) etc.
5) perform 12 minutes of intense cardio after your strnegth training.
6) perform all exercises with strict form and full ROM.
7) If you are overweight go on a balanced reduced calorie diet (Darden has written sensible books on the subject).

cardio is a byproduct of strength training. I think you will find that your cardio will catch up to your strength in a few weeks.

squats and deadlifts are the two most demanding exercises, so it is understandable that they would make you lose your breath.
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downstroy wrote:
Strangely other compound exercies do not have this drastic of an effect on my breathing.

Although there are other compound movements such as leg press, overhead press, dip, chin, bench/chest press, row and pulldown they don't use anywhere as much muscle mass as squats or deadlifts.

Because the cardiovascular system supports the muscular system, it has to work extra hard when you perform squats and deadlifts as they use almost every muscle in your body.

Keep breathing as normally as you can during the exercises. I find it helps to pant when the going gets really tough. The message is KEEP BREATHING. If at any point you are not breathing in or out then that ain't good. Say hello to headaches, blackouts, nosebleeds etc.
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You'll get there...small steps....sounds like your conditioning could use some work. How do you get in condition for squats and deadlifts for reps? By doing squats and deadlifts for reps of course. Its all very specific...even when I could 1rep max well over 500lbs in the deadlift, 405 for 12 would cause me to almost passout because my conditioning was poor at the time.
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I can do a set of 185lbs for 9 but be half passed out. Before slowing it down in the old days I would lift much more. I sometimes do intense sprints and intervals on the treadmill for about 20 mins but I suffer from that problem that most of us strength trainers suffer. That aerobics is a major chore so I don't keep it up on a regular basis. But I can't live without lifting.
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I ran into the same thing many years ago when I was doing 20 rep squats. It took me WAY TOO LONG to progress in getting my target number of 20. I knew I just was not meant to be a high rep guy but wouldn't question the writings of the people who's instructional articles and books I valued.

When I finally dropped my target number of reps from 20 to 15 then finally to 12 for squats and deadlifts, it made all the difference in the world and I progressed like crazy.

Are you sure you need the number of reps you've been doing and can't lower the target number ? That was the ticket for me - I was just too bullheaded to trust my own judgement for way too long.
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