• Misbah Haque

Unscared | Slow Dance With Fear: Breathing For Performance And Recovery w/ Brian Mackenzie

Brian Mackenzie is a human performance and movement specialist. He has studied performance and movement for more than a decade along with altitude, hypoxia, breathing mechanics, heat and cold exposure.

He co-authored the book “Power Speed Endurance”, and NYTimes Best Seller UnBreakable Runner. He founded and created Power Speed Endurance (PSE), which specializes in movement & skill development with an emphasis in running, cycling, and swimming mechanics. MacKenzie’s program has taught over 50 seminars per year (on avg since 2007) worldwide.

Mackenzie and his programs have been featured in Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Health, Competitor Magazine, Runners World, Triathlete Magazine, Men’s Journal, ESPN Rise, The Economist, Tim Ferriss’ New York Times bestseller The 4-Hour Body, Men’s Running UK, LA Sport & Fitness, Muscle & Performance Magazine, and Rivera Magazine.

Brian has worked with professional athletes with the likes of Laird Hamilton, Jamie Mitchell (10X Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Champion and big wave surfer), Mark Healy, Kai “Borg” Garcia, CrossFit Games athletes including Rich Froning Jr (4X CrossFit Games Champion), and Annie Thorisdottir, and Olympic Gold Medalists such as Erin Cafaro (2X Olympic Gold Medalist in Rowing – W8+, Wife) and Taylor Ritzel (2012 Olympic Gold Medalist –W8+).

He has worked with several other professional and elite level athletes in sports spanning from Triathlon, Running, MMA, Swimming, Cycling, Rowing, Surfing, Base Jumping, to US Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and many other Military and Specialty units.

In this episode, some things we talk about:

  • Science and physiology behind breathing, hyperventilation, breath holding, and cold exposure

  • How using two practices can help you push the intensity much higher in your workouts

  • Tricking yourself into thinking you’re dying -- and why it’s vital to train this state

Show Notes:

  • (2:45) - Learning, enlightenment, and formal education

  • (7:45) - Taking an artistic approach to learning

  • (17:00) - Wim Hof method, breath holding -- tricking yourself into thinking you’re dying

  • (25:20) - Linking breathing to performance and recoverability from a physiological standpoint, controlling your immune response

  • (28:20) - Being able to push your intensity much higher in workouts. “We could work somebody up who’s never done any breathing practices to get ready to do a 1RM and have them do a breathing cycle and I could almost put an 80% chance on them PR’ing.”

  • (32:00) - What are we measuring with breath holding? Case study w/ Kelly Starrett, Missing out on free aerobic capacity

  • (35:45) - Measuring your stress levels w/ breathing -- performance or daily life stressors

  • (37:54) - Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) levels for recoverability

  • (40:31) - Lion and the antelope “The cold has a fascinating impact on downregulation and mood and recoverability.”

  • (46:30) - Progressions and practical ways to apply cold into your life without submerging yourself in ice

  • (48:40) - Origins of Unscared -- Dinner with Kelly Starrett and Dave Castro

  • (54:45) - One year to live

  • (58:45) - Learning from comedians

  • (1:07:20) - The greatest teaching and learning method -- what you should walk away with from this episode

People mentioned:

Resources we may have talked about:

How you can connect with Brain:



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