Workout of the Day

Learning to Drive Stick


If you’ve ever driven a car with a manual transmission, you now the importance of selecting the right gear. Downshift too far at high speeds, and your engine will rev way up and slow you down (and thrash your engine). Upshift too early, or start in too low of a gear, and your engine is going to bog down and maybe stall out.

Every human machine is equipped with gearing of sorts: your breath. You have modes of breathing (nose vs mouth, fast vs slow breathing rate, low vs high breathing volume), and just like a car, these modes of breathing correspond to a particular output. Mouth wide open, high volume, fast rate breathing belongs with maximal output, while slow, low volume nose breathing belongs with lower output and longer durations. The problem is, like a new driver in a car with a manual transmission, many people don’t know how to use their gears. I watch this play out frequently in the gym: the moment a workout (or even a warm-up) starts, many people’s jaws drop and mouth breathing takes over. This is a lot like trying to accelerate from a stop in 5th gear.

The human body is a beautiful, complex machine, and contrary to what some may believe, health, performance, and movement is not as simple as hopping into the driver’s seat and just going. You need to learn how to drive, and part of that means learning how to use your gears. Next time you’re in the gym, tune in to your breath. What gear are you in? What gear should you be in?

- PS


  • Stone to shoulder - 1rm


  • In 5 minutes:

    • 800m run

  • 5 min AMRAP

    • 5 stone to shoulder (AHAP)

    • 10 DB push press (40/25)