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“Upgraded” Combat Breathing!

We breathe 15,000-20,000 times per day and how we do it impacts mental clarity, stress levels, strength, energy at the end of the day, how we sleep, and more.

It’s automated…but we can also control it and create incredibly fast changes in the body.

I’ve got a quick breathing drill I want you to try.

It’s a variation on “box,” “square,” or “combat” breathing.

These methods normally have you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, and hold your breath with empty lungs for 4 seconds.

We’re going to tweak it a bit…

Step 1: Do a quick self assessment. Check SOMETHING…it could be pain/discomfort level, stress level, pulse, how clearly you can see something in the distance, or flexibility.

Step 2: If you’re wearing glasses, take off your glasses. Cup your hands slightly, and put the palm of both hands over each of your eyes so 100% of the light in the room is blocked.

Step 3: Do 1 set of box breathing with 4 seconds per side.

Step 4: Now, try it with 6 seconds per side…if that goes well, try 8.

Step 5: Uncover your eyes and re-assess.

For many people, this can quickly create profound change in the body. For me, it oftentimes causes me to feel simultaneously calmer and more energized, as well as see clearer.

And amazingly enough, this simple activation of the parasympathetic system will oftentimes reduce perceived pain levels.

If you saw a change and want more drills that cause immediate beneficial changes to your mind and body, you want to head on over to Upgraded Shooter where I’ve got several videos on using neurology to reduce pain for shooting, drills to calm your limbic system to help minimize the flinch response, improve range of motion, and a LOT more!

About the Author /

Mike Ox is an avid defensive and competitive shooter who has co-created several firearms training products, including Dry Fire Training Cards, Dry Fire Fit, 21 Day Alpha Shooter, and See Faster, Shoot Faster. His brain based training focuses on accelerated learning techniques for shooting as well as controlling brain state and brain chemistry for optimal performance in extreme stress situations. Learn more about dynamic dry fire training for defense and competition at

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