Down in the Jungle where weightlifters go…
…You hear a roar. I know, you thought that you were in a gym, right? Then you hear another grunt and throaty exhale, as if the poor beast is choking to death. Unsurprisingly, this noise is followed by the clang of metal, originating from the opposite side of the facility where the heavy lifters reside.
Now, I am sure that this is something that you have come across, almost exactly like the situation above. I am also sure that I can guess most of your reactions. You find it disruptive and unnecessary, glaring from a distance without daring to approach the alpha male of the pack. However, despite the vocalisation of their vigour, they are actually assisting themselves to lift heavier.
Surely not! How could making animal noises make you stronger?
Although standing around beating your chest like an ape and throwing leaves into the air may not be the ritual to unlocking our ancestors hidden strength, breath control is close enough.
As we exhale, our diaphragm expands, placing pressure on the lungs to shrink them, therefore creating a vacuum for air to be sucked in as we inhale. In order to do this, numerous muscles must contract, all of which are relating to the core. Due to the exhale during exertion, these weightlifters are helping to stabilise their core and control the movement.
An experiment for you:
Place your hands on your stomach while completely relaxed and breathing normally. Now press gently. You should feel that your hands sink into your fairly soft abdomen.
Now complete the same pressing motion, having exhaled entirely, pushing all of the air out of your lungs. You should feel your core squeezing to assist with that extra push to completely empty your lungs; this is what you should be attempting to do during your lifts.
Of course, this method is useful, but the animal noises are not essential for the technique. It often sounds like the mating of an obese bear, between the huffs, puffs, and grunts of extreme tension, and there is nothing entirely “Alpha” about that. You may make some noise, and that is inevitable, especially at high intensities, but a simple deep exhale will offer the same results (it also shows better self control). And if these individuals are Still making these noises after the exercise, and jumping around, shaking their limbs like a Tasmanian devil, then feel free to do your best Attenborough impression to describe the mating display of these rare specimens.
As a side note, if you are one of these kinds of lifters who do let out the odd grunt, I suggest drinking a lot of milk to build your phlegm, otherwise your throat will end up as sore as the lead vocalist of a doom metal band after a 3 hour show.
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