Happy Vs Flourishing episode 14 with Richard Burrows. As an elite performance coach, he has centred his approach on the mastery of breath and cold exposure.
The foundations provided by sound breathing mechanics, efficient and effective use of oxygen and the ability to control the automatic responses to pressure, stress and fear can propel performance to completely new levels. Athletes, business professionals, tactical operators and busy parents success depends on their ability to generate and use energy at the critical moment, which are impossible without control of our critical life force – oxygen.
Rich’s clients include Olympic Athletes, National and World Champions, as well as Senior Executives and Technology Entrepreneurs.
- Importance of CO2 tolerance
- Benefits of cold exposure
- The book Blue Mind
- Quality of life
- The Oxygen Advantage breathing technique
- XPT Life
- Aerobic vs anaerobic training
- Autoimmune system
Humming for nitric oxide
Stanley Kubrick …
“I’ve never been certain whether the moral of the Icarus story should only be, ‘don’t try to fly too high,’ or whether it might be ‘forget the wax and feathers, and do a better job on the wings.”
Happy Vs Flourishing links:
Tony Winyard 0:00
Happiness versus flourishing Episode 14. Welcome to the podcast where we give you ideas and small ways you can improve your life and life quality. Today's episode is with Richard Burrows, who is based on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Just the name alone conjures up all sorts of images for me. And Richard's going to help us with ways we can improve ourselves from a physical perspective from breathing and exercise techniques. We're going to hear a lot more from Richard very soon. why not subscribe to this podcast so you can get it as soon as it's released every Tuesday lunchtime and leave a review for us that lets a lot lot more people know about the podcast so it gets out to more and more people hope you enjoy this week's show. Happy versus flourishing My guest today Richard Burrows How are you Rich?
Richard Burrows 1:02
I'm very well indeed thanks Tony
Tony Winyard 1:05
and you're in a quite a nice part of the world.
Richard Burrows 1:10
I can't complain.I'm sitting in my office at 8pm on a Wednesday evening on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia is fine for us at the moment.
Tony Winyard 1:29
And just the name the Sunshine Coast. I mean, this cunjures so many images. I've been I've been to Australia I've been to Sydney and Melbourne I've never been to the Sunshine Coast and it sounds just that name sounds amazing.
Richard Burrows 1:43
It definitely lives up to the hype and what you see on the tin is definitely what you get beautiful climate pretty much all year round that we like to say there's only generally one month of the year that's a little bit too cold in one month of the year. That's a little too hot. But otherwise, we're swimming in the ocean all year round. To very for someone who came from a car clouds originally down south in Melbourne This is a rare occasion when I put on a jacket let's just say that
Tony Winyard 2:20
You lived in Melbourne for your whole life before you moved here?
Richard Burrows 2:27
I moved around a fair bit in my 20s and 30s moved away from Melbourne for the first time to hit in the nation's capital Canberra. I did a traineeship you there then was posted out to Sydney for five years moved on to London for a couple of years and then came home fire excuses and in the French Alps of Melbourne was was always home during that time but when I returned to Australia and started to sort of set out on this this new career path and the businesses we're currently involved in it was always in the back of our mind that we wanted to get away from the big city so it took a little bit of planning and some reconnaissance missions this way but I 10 months ago we were fortunate enough to let the base like for good
Tony Winyard 3:29
You said that you are always looking to move away and what were those reasons why were you thinking of leaving?
Richard Burrows 3:36
always found most joy and happiness in open space and particularly coastal and I can point to half a dozen of my favourite memories of all time being either in the ocean with friends or you know on the beach with family all of these there was always a very strong pool for me as a kid and I think once once you get to an age where you you feel like a bit more agency over a bit more control over how you want to live on your own terms then then then why not go to those those really strong draws that there's things that you can't stop stop returning to and for me that's the ocean the cost.
Tony Winyard 4:34
What what made you go all the way to the Sunshine Coast, there must be some beaches quite close to where you were?
Richard Burrows 4:44
So the beaches down in Victoria obviously you don't have the climate that you have here. The winters still get quite cold. Most of the New South Wales coast is similar This particular region is where my wife and I, and our very first holiday together, going back a number of years now, and we just kept coming back. And we started to meet people, we started to train one of the gyms in town and make friends bear. And we just really fell in love with the lifestyle in this particular area. It's it's quite unique, I think, whether that's a function of the fact that it is more of a traditional tourist town. So it has more of a transient population, and people who end up here have made the conscious choice to live here. So that there's very few people who are you know, born and bred, lived here their whole lives. And so it's a really interesting mix of people with just a just a great outlook on life and naturally want to be here. We fell in love with
Tony Winyard 6:04
and so work wise, is what you're doing now what you were doing in Melbourne, or did you change things?
Richard Burrows 6:11
No, that's remained constant. For me, I'm a partner and partner in a executive recruitment business. So I have business partners in Melbourne who continue to keep the lights on in the office, my role in businesses is more research and operations. So I do a lot of the behind the scenes work, which could obviously be done online these days. And yeah, before we went into COVID, conditions, I would origin like attend to Melbourne perhaps once a month, just to check in with with the guys get involved in some some marketing activity. But most of my day to day work is done online, so managed to work very well for us.
Tony Winyard 6:59
Apart from the recruitment stuff, you have your fingers in some other pies as well.
Richard Burrows 7:05
Yes, I think having a business which has been reasonably successful with we've made a good Fist of the search business of the past five years. And having that established and running quite well has allowed me the opportunity to follow some more passion projects and some new ventures, primarily with my coaching, which is obviously how we connected with a shared background in the oxygen advantage instructors course. So that's one one piece of what I do. So coaching costs fits, running workshops and seminars around breath work and, and cold exposure, which also suits this part of the world very well because we can do a lot of training outdoors and we can, we can really give people a you know, an amazing physical and vital experience when they train outdoors and they're doing breath work and they're going into cold water and they're going to the ocean. It's just really a fantastic lifestyle really, which which is different to slugging it out in a regular gym, I guess.
Tony Winyard 8:24
And for anyone who's listening who is not really familiar with what breathwork means and they've never heard of the oxygen advantage could you describe those?
Richard Burrows 8:36
Where do we begin. So it means different things to different people. And you can approach breath work from a variety of traditions from a variety of techniques and methods for a variety of purposes, whether that's for mental, emotional, spiritual, practice awareness, or dealing with personal issues or trauma or stress or anxiety. So that's one bucket. I don't focus so much on that area. I'm more about using the power of breath to become a better performer. And whether that's for the athletes I work with helping them to be more efficient aerobically to run faster, run longer, perform better in niche chosen sport offer to everyday people who are wanting to have more energy, to feel better to have better health. It's a bit like applying the lessons from Formula One to you know, consumer cars, the same principles apply. So if you're someone who wants to perform at their best breathwork and the training that we do is a really, I think, fundamental skill that you should probably learn. And oxygen advantage is a particular I guess, what would you call it, it's a, it's an approach and a school of thought around what optimal breathing looks like and how to improve sports performance based around breathing less interesting introducing hypoxia training, which is breath holding, as well as hypercapnia, which is increasing the levels of your tolerance to carbon dioxide in the blood. So without getting too sciency we could we could disappear down around the call of the science of different techniques, but it's it's helping people perform better deal with stress better and just improve their health.
Tony Winyard 11:07
Apart from doing these oxygen advantage stuff, you've dabbled in Wim Haflf and I think you've done some stuff with Laird Hamilton as well?
Richard Burrows 11:16
Yes, Laird Hamilton for those who don't know is a big wave surfer. Based up in the US, he's been one of my idols for many, many years and around about the time that I was starting to take an interest in, in training and coaching and the role breathwork. Once would play in that, he starts to share some of his personal training techniques which are quite unique with, with friends and associates and, and before too long, everyone had to come, everyone wanted to come to the party. So we realised that okay, we need to train some people up in in how we approach our training through the x PT group and the methodology which combines elements of oxygen advantage combines elements of Wim Hof Method with some of the more traditional underwater workouts which grew out of the Hawaiian tradition of rock carries underwater and so forth. So we do a lot of cool training with weights, carry weights underwater, doing various dynamic exercises in a weightless environment, which is heaps of fun, as well as being pretty close to the body. Very challenging mentally, when you're operating in an environment. That is, a lot of people have a strong fear associated with being held underwater against your will. And combine that with building our aerobic capacity, building out tolerance, to be able to operate in that calm and focused manner. In really challenging environments of the whole, I guess the purpose of expertise to create versatile and resilient human beings and the pool is one testing grounds. Cold exposure is another proving ground, and so on and so forth. So it's it's exposing the body to stress and giving individuals techniques to rise above the stress and breath, Ben, Ben.
Tony Winyard 13:42
I know you're also a CrossFit instructor. So were you before you started combining some of the elements from XPT, and Oxygen Advantage, and Wimm Hoff, and so on. Were you also doing CrossFit stuff before? Or was it a case of you were working as a CrossFit instructor And then you started developing these over areas? So what I'm trying to get I'm just wondering, for someone who is maybe doing CrossFit, and now they're doing these other things with you, how much more are you able to help them with these avenues than just simply doing something like CrossFit?
Richard Burrows 14:22
So to answer the first part of being an average crossfitter, I guess for around about eight or nine years after I finally got away claim, competitive sport, if you're in a nice void for me to keep, keep pushing myself hard physically and having that camaraderie and community. But it wasn't until probably two or three years ago that and it would have been a function of wanting to start taking the the other parts of performance that I was learning on the side and getting And interesting, and to be able to bring that to people. So it's quite interesting. And having been around CrossFit for a long time now to just see the, the author, a lot of people follow whether they're incredibly motivated when they first turn up, and they can make some really amazing gains in the first six to 12 months, then potentially injure themselves, then potentially plateau in performance. And then you start to peel back the layers of, you know, what are they actually there for. A lot of people I find, get addicted to that, that suffer, that they want to where they want to come in, and they want to just go as hard as possible, and then they'll complain, don't complain afterwards. But it's, it's quite a badge of honour to talk with people in the class about how much that sucked, or how, how hard they were suffering. And I've always found that I don't think it's sustainable.
Richard Burrows 16:11
If you're in that kind of cycle, where you need that suffer, you're obviously this some other part of life, or there's something missing, which you're either blocking out, or you need to feel that way, whenever you you stick inside the gym. So to, to circle back to where I see the benefit of what we do, in terms of breath work and oxygen advantage. It's it's a, it gives people an opportunity to, to work on an adaptation, rather than going and just getting better at suffering, because anyone can sum but if you're just going and you're not getting any better than I feel like you're just missing the point. So you can dial back the intensity, you can move with good quality and place. Other really powerful restrictions on yourself, like holding your breath, like purely breathing only through your nose during workouts, and you can allow your body to develop some really incredible capacity without hurting yourself. And for someone who's I mean, I'm, you know, a few weeks away from turning 40. And I know that the way I trained in my late 20s and 30s is is probably not something I can maintain for the next two decades. So you got to start to get smarter about, you know, what is the long game look like? And how can I continue to not only challenge myself, but stay healthy and keep improving without having major setbacks, which become so much more costly when you get older, as we all inevitably do.
Tony Winyard 17:59
And on that whole CrossFit thing for anyone who's listening who maybe is not so familiar with CrossFit, everyone, I guess has probably heard the name, but I think there's a number of people who aren't really sure what it is, I've done CrossFit myself, I've got nowhere near the level of experience of CrossFit that you have, I only only did it for a few months or so. But it seemed to me that a number of the people in there, all of the sessions they did were so intense, they were always like way into the anaerobic zone and never or very rarely were they ever training within aerobic capacity. And it's so much more beneficial, it seems to me to be having a bit of both rather than just always being in the anaerobic zone?
Richard Burrows 18:49
I think you're right, I think, yeah, CrossFit varies according to how well the individual affiliates can look after their own members and develop quality intelligent programming. CrossFit as a method is based around, so in the simplest terms fashion movement, constantly very performant high intensity and I totally agree with the fact that you can't get fit without intensity. You can't get strong without lifting heavy heavy weights. But if you're doing both, every time you walk in the gym, then yeah, there's something we'll get eventually. So you people, people want people who are part of a customer affiliate and feel like they need that every time that they walk through the door or they're not getting their money's worth or they're not doing proper CrossFit aren't going to last I don't think and the methodology and the sport is still relatively young. It's 15 years. So and, and then the competitive side of things and the levels that people have got to the stress and strain to put on their bodies. I'm not sure where we're really going to know. Yeah, for a number of years, what kind of toll that will take. And I think your point of mixing things up and you know, toggling between states where you go, intense, one day heavy another day. There's more aerobic training the next day, that's, that's a much more balanced and sensible approach. And I've been,
Tony Winyard 20:41
I just realised, actually there again, we may be going too deep, and some people may be thinking, 'I've heard the name aerobic anaerobic, but I've got no idea what that means' Do you want to give a description of those?
Richard Burrows 20:54
So basically talking about the the energy systems that the body is using to, to produce energy and your aerobic system is relying on oxygen to produce energy, most most simply, anaerobic is reliant on the glycolytic, or the burning of glycogen to produce that energy in the absence of oxygen. So it's almost like your emergency. Yeah, hi. Yep, put on the gas pedal system where you're going hard and fast. And there's a consequence for that. With I'm sure everyone's felt the lactic acid burn at some point in their life. And the aerobic system obviously being what we use, or what we should use for most of our working hours and moderate intensity exercise.
Tony Winyard 22:02
You mentioned about recruitment, so this is something you would just do in a few hours a week or?...
Richard Burrows 22:09
yep, so tomorrow morning, I'll be coaching them at 6am and 7am, over in the gym, and then I'll come home and go about my day. So I did that two times a week, sometimes three, depending on on how I stuffed and then I've got a lucky to have a really good relationship with the owner, rich, who's just a wonderful human being and a great mentor of mine. Sundays at the gym, there's typically nothing on the programme. So I've had the opportunity to use the space to deliver breath specific workshops and seminars, which is more focused on oxygen advantage, expertise type methods, as well as the cold exposure, which
Tony Winyard 23:00
When people first discover some of the stuff that you do, it must be quite a shock to them, because most people aren't familiar with cold exposure and breathing and so on. So what kind of reactions do you get?
Richard Burrows 23:17
thinking about that, because, obviously, when you, you live in this world, and you're trying to spread the message about different types of training, social media is obviously an important part of getting the word out. And it can feel like you're living in a bit of an echo chamber. And, you know, the technology behind the scenes is probably pulling all the strings for us. But to me, it feels like everyone knows about rhetoric and exposure because that's pretty much all I see my feet but at the same time, there's also those moments when you're also feel like you you're shouting into a tunnel and, and you're not really sure whether the message you're putting out there is landing on new people or whether they're, they're seeing the value or seeing that the potential for Yeah, to transform the health of the performance. And it's tough to try and squeeze it in with with regular cosmic programming because people have a quite a strong expectation about what, what they want, and obsession. We obviously have the head coaches programming to follow as well. So for me, it's a matter of trying to sneak it in, in the margins. So potentially, in the warm ups, throw some curveballs at the group and ask them to do certain things with entirely nasal breathing, which usually gets a few hours or we'll get to a call down and I'll have them yet but fit against Against the wall and do some very simple relaxation breathing techniques. So I was getting really good feedback when they actually experienced it. But at the same time, I'm sure on the battle a lot of jokes as well, in the social circles are at the gym. People always say, Oh, yeah, rich will just be breathing through his ears, he doesn't doesn't break through his mouth anymore. Yeah, it's hard to tell whether people are buying in, or whether it's still to French started going to do is just to hammer.
Tony Winyard 25:43
From what you just described. So you're doing a normal CrossFit session, but you're adding in elements of breathwork into it as well?
Richard Burrows 25:55
So that's, that's what I tried with my own training. That's, and being busy, obviously, now with coaching and a business and having a baby in the house as well, time is pretty limited. So most of the training I do, by myself, I do by myself when I can fit it in. And I'm developing a broader and broader repertoire of modalities and methodologies, which combine traditional strength and conditioning training with, yeah, why it's so with skipping roads, kettlebells, all those kind of things, and then add in different breathing constraints as well. So one of those has been the mask, which some people might have seen the sports mask or the train mass, which, which limits the flow of air. So adding another layer of challenge might be doing certain workouts with breath holds interspersed or with nasal breathing only. So that's for me personally. And then at the gym, it's tough. Most people, you've got to make sure they're moving well, and doing the fundamentals right to begin with. So that takes up a lot of attention and effort. It's difficult to mix things up and then throw an additional piece of information for them to try and integrate into a workout as it is. So if I'm doing for the class, it's generally very simple. Part of a warm up or cool down. Nothing, nothing too complicated.
Tony Winyard 27:38
And the gym that you're talking about, where you're doing CrossFit is the pool in the same place? Or are we talking different different places you're doing it?
Richard Burrows 27:46
Unfortunately there's no pool in our gym. We're running like a lot of CrossFit gyms, we're in an industrial area. So it works well. From a space perspective. There's a few different polls that we use locally, the newest Aquatic Centre is just a few streets away, which is a fantastic facility, a 50 metre, outdoor, 25 metre outdoor, as well as the cable that we get into engagement. And then there's another school for which we also use and I'm hoping to, we're doing a bit of reconnaissance on the weekend to find some open water, which is consistently calm, and allows us to do some of the underwater training in quite a controlled environment. Because when the swell is, the tides, we get big surf, it's impossible to try and do the kinds of water based sessions that we can achieve in the pool. So we should only remember 10 at the moment, and it's it's, it's still quite an experimental group, there's probably about half a dozen guys who were excited in my neighbourhood to try and regularly and then when we all get organised and put on a seminar, and that's when we we are a few lines at the Aquatic Centre and really, yeah, takeover
Tony Winyard 29:16
and the cold exposure. Is that something that you're doing on a regular basis? Or do you just do sort of a workshop every now and then
Richard Burrows 29:24
the cold exposure with clients and members is is only sporadic. So once or twice a month, based on what so I've got going on commitments with the surf club or with family and work so I just try and squeeze one of those in every two weeks if I can maybe once a month but personally I'll be doing my uncle exposure three to four times a week with a setup. I've got a phone so yeah, always like that. Strike if that that sort of sharp and be in a position to to really know exactly the message I'm trying to convey when when you've got a group of newcomers who were standing there getting super nervous about going to ask for water for the first time Ray showing them that it's not the worst thing that can happen so that they will be fine.
Tony Winyard 30:24
And again, for I'm just thinking for people listening and thinking, what the hell are they talking about!
Richard Burrows 30:34
Who is this guy?
Tony Winyard 30:34
There's so many benefits to cold exposure, I've done a bit of Wim Hoff, and went on an expedition to Iceland as well. And but there's so many benefits to cold exposure. Did you want to tell us a little bit about that?
Richard Burrows 30:50
Yeah, so that's my personal journey. With Tor exposure actually started when I was living in the UK, over in your part of the world where winters, the water that comes out of the tap is actually cold, unlike what we have here. And I just been starting to discover that, yeah, the hormonal and chemical responses within the body to some controlled current exposure actually did some some pretty amazing things in terms of, of mood, in terms of recovery. But I think fundamentally, the real effect opportunity that exists within car exposure is to condition the nervous system. And a lot of people who don't, I've never experienced any kind of extreme or don't often get in a position where they're under extreme stress, have a very hard time when even minor stressors can present themselves so that the routine exposures call for me is just amazing. It's not relaxing, it's a stressful situation, when you're getting into water, which is, you know, very close to freezing. And there's a difference between tap water with some ice cubes in it and water which is very close to freezing. The the automatic response of the body and for those who are condition is approximates what what the feeling of shock is like. So, like anything which we can habitually and gently expose ourselves to and grow and build an adaptation to that makes our system stronger, particularly the nervous system and the ability to regulate your parasympathetic versus sympathetic nervous system response, which a lot of people you know, you were, yeah, always on the go in it, you know, achievements can slow down, can't, can't relax. It's, it's a very important skill to, I think, to develop. So that's, that's where the cold exposure comes into it for, for my train.
Tony Winyard 33:20
And it's something that I've been thinking about for a good few months now, since this whole pandemic situation started. And I, I posed the question, I think it was on the oxygen advantage instructors group on Facebook. I, wonder whether people that are regularly doing training that helps and strengthens their immune system. So things like the breath work, and especially when you add in the cold exposure as well, it'd be fascinating to know, and I haven't heard any responses back yet, whether anyone who's done this sort of training, and I'm not saying that would prevent you from catching COVID in the first place. Because that's unlikely, but I would be surprised if anyone who's done this sort of training has suffered greatly with COVID. I've got no idea on if that's the case or not.
Richard Burrows 34:16
it's an interesting point to ponder because it's not not knowing, obviously, not being a medical expert, or not really understanding the disease of the virus in great detail. And it seems to be those who have underlying health conditions or who have poor levels of fitness, and who have pre existing, you know, breathing disorders, you know, as many respiratory disorders, they're the ones to take upon that whereas if you have some kind of capacity and resilience, to not be so knocked on your ass by things Yeah.
Tony Winyard 35:01
I wish I could remember the details now, I remember I read an article, it may have been Patrick McKeown, the, author of the oxygen advantage, who was talking about the many benefits of nitric oxide. And that there is a feeling although there's no conclusive proof yet that nitric oxide plays a role in preventing serious issues with the whole COVID situation
Richard Burrows 35:37
It was a study, which was done around the time of the first major sars outbreak, and whether it was animal or human populations. And using nitric oxide, and the effect that it had on the severity and the length of the effects and obviously southbay closely related to COVID. That could be where there's a lot of thinking was going on.
Tony Winyard 36:07
And again, for those listening and thinking Why are you talking about nitric oxide, so when you when you nasal breathing, you're much more likely to draw nitric oxide down from the nasal cavities down into the diaphragm, which you won't get if you're if your mouth breathing.
Richard Burrows 36:23
Correct. calls in the nose, okay, which is the extent to which should actually disperse throughout the body and the vascular system, my guess is is is debated that it was certainly dilate the bronchial tubes and help you to breathe better. And I don't know myself when I'm breathing only through the nose, everything just feels warmer and more open. And that's that's what the nitric oxide is doing.
Tony Winyard 36:56
And there's also ways to generate nitric oxide with humming and so on, do you do anything like that?
Richard Burrows 37:03
Yet another good half an hour again, throw that into one of our grading sessions. It's, it's funny, when you get a room full of people who are doing things they've never done before. How much sort of nervousness and self consciousness there is around something as simple as cleaning my room. So, yeah, that that gentle vibration, that you're getting the nasal cavity from Magento. home, I think it feels feels amazing. And it's giving me the the nos as well, then why not get involved?
Tony Winyard 37:44
It's funny, actually, because I've been in the speaking circuit for a few years now. And I speak in different conferences and engagements every now and then. And something that many speakers have been doing for I don't know how many years, for decades from what I can work out, many of them before they go on stage. They'll go through a process of doing humming because it helps them to speak better, it makes their voices clearer, or I forget the exact reasons but nothing to do with, they have no idea it helps actually to also produce nitric oxide,
Richard Burrows 38:23
especially when different professions or traditions stumbled on the same thing quite independently of one another. And was fascinated by those kind of stories.
Tony Winyard 38:37
So usually a question I ask very near the end of the episode is I ask people about if there's a book they would they would recommend and, the book that you already told me that you were going to talk about, I didn't want to just wait till the end, because this is a fabulous book. And you told me about it a couple of days ago, and I was so intrigued by the title of the book. I finished it in 24 hours, it was an amazing. So let's talk about because apparently, from what I can make out that book had a role to play in your move into where you are now as well?
Richard Burrows 39:17
I think so. Yeah. So the book in question is called the Blue Mind by Wallace J Nichols. And I think I've read that book on one of the last holidays we had in this part of the world before we actually moved so that was a time was actually pretty tough time for us. So living in Melbourne, we were probably to round number three or four. The IVF process that we have quite a long road to to fatherhood and motherhood has also Living in a big city, we're having those Yes, failure after failure with that process, living in urban environments and rapping on holiday. And I'm reading this book, which is telling me that people who spend time either on in the oversized water, you know, generally more content calmer, healthier, live longer lives, I think okay, yeah, I can, I can see there could be something in this. So that probably spurred the decision making along a little bit faster than than perhaps we, we were originally planning. So within six months, we would set everything in motion to move up here. And, and also within another other formats, we've managed to conceive naturally. So I don't know whether the shift in mindset about making that the sea change, to have anything at all to do with that. But I think there's got to be something too, too slowly.
Tony Winyard 41:13
And how different is your life now, where in your in the Sunshine Coast from when you were in Melbourne?
Richard Burrows 41:20
Those. That's, that's one of the awesome benefits. I assisted several my. So when I was working in the city, we live in the inner city suburbs, and I would walk to and from work and as a 40 minute walk. And the first half of the walk from home to work was through quite a depressed area. There's a particular block of Housing Commission flats, which had the highest concentration of heroin users in the country and was the site for a safe injecting house, it was pretty clean. And then the second half of the walk, I'd be into the beautiful botanical gardens that ring River City. So that's what gives you a snapshot about, you know, what day to day was like in in Melbourne office environment, you know, pretty stale, sitting down indoors, over exercising and spending time with family on the margins. to, at the moment, just having a lot more, a lot more flexibility with with time and, and being able to design my my week or my my day according to what's going to flow best. So if if I'm on, you know, parenting Julie, one of us up at the gym, and I can take that through to 930 or 10 in the morning, and then we'll take Tim and I can get out and train at the beach until last time, come home. And then if there's some deadlines to make with, with recruitment work, I'll put the head down and guard the clappers for a few hours, just a lot more productive in the time that I'm actually engaged in whatever tasks I'm doing. So life is certainly more relaxed, but still very productive. And
Tony Winyard 43:23
would you say there's been a difference in your quality of life?
Richard Burrows 43:27
Absolutely. Hundred percent
Tony Winyard 43:32
I'm wondering from the way you've been describing things so far since we've been talking, I just wonder, do you have anything in your head about eventually doing your own stuff full time rather than the recruitment?
Richard Burrows 43:47
I'd like to, Yes. it's a question of whether that's what that looks like. And whether it's a dedicated facility here that people can come to, whether it's travelling more, and delivering these kind of experiences and workshops, at other locations around the country, and hopefully, when related to travel around the world. Or whether it's a mixture of the two I don't know at this stage, I'm still I think on a very much a learning curve, journey of discovery about trying new things and figuring out what gets people excited what has impact on people's lives. You know what people aren't so interested in it's it's also a matter of meeting people where they are as well because I think about breathwork and coaching people in breathing is that most people assume they're fine. Most people assume that there's, you know, I breathe in and out all day, every day. Why? what's what's measured? If I'm not symmetric? I'm not kind of bringing patent disorders, then, yeah, you've got nothing for me. I don't realise that if they're prepared to actually put in the time and do the work, to get to know their own physiology to make progress slowly, then that is just incredible benefits.
Tony Winyard 45:26
I see. Yes, give me an idea for, again, for the listeners who are not so familiar with breathwork. And there's something in the Oxygen advantage we know as the BOLT Score. It might be a useful exercise for people listening, so they have a better understanding of their own functional capability come when it comes to breathing, do you want to explain the whole BOLT process?
Richard Burrows 45:51
Okay, so the BOLT, which I believe is body oxygen level test was developed from the buteyko tradition of the control pause. So when it's in practicality, it's asking the individual to take a normal breath in a normal breath out, and to hold their breath on a passive exhale, until such time as there's a definite or strong urge to take a breath. So we're not asking people to go for a maximum breath or because willpower and ability to suffer starts to enter into the equation. It's just your body telling you when you usually get a trigger to breathe. So we could we could do it now or we could. Yeah. Yeah, describe, describe the process. So as I said, it's a non rare thing unknown without, we're not looking to take a great big gasp of it. And it's all through the nose. So ideally, we're sitting in a comfortable resting position, you might like to do first thing in the morning, when you hop out of bed, just to be nice and rested and relaxed and relaxed. Give yourself a stopwatch, pop yourself into a comfortable position, take a normal breath in, and no breath out, pinch your nose and hold your nose and we start a timer. And then when you feel that first definite urge, whether it's a constriction in your throat and neck or tightening in the shoulders, or a bit of a, a tightening in the chest and the diaphragm, you know, whatever signal your body is sending you that it's time to breathe, that's where you get stuck on the stopwatch. And hopefully we should have a score somewhere 20 seconds or above. Anything under that, what that's telling us is that we have quite a poor tolerance to carbon dioxide in, in our system. So those degrees, which is driven by candidasa, and not by lack of oxygen comes on fairly quickly. And that also means that we don't tolerate high levels of stress very well. And we're not really very efficient with with using the oxygen that we bring into our body. So there's a range of exercises we can do to to improve that score. And ideally, we'd like to see people getting up into the high 20s and 30s and elite athletes into the range of the 42nd mark. But it is surprising how some very, very fit and capable athletes can still score oil on that better.
Tony Winyard 49:00
There's a lot of entrepreneurs listen to this podcast and and I think something that you just said then may have really changed some perspectives or certainly made people listen more intently, is when you mentioned about the stress, when the BOLT score is under 20 seconds, it means they're not handling stress well. So some people now may be more inclined to think actually, maybe I should give this a go simply because it will help them with their stress more. And so what sort of things should should they be doing?
Richard Burrows 49:36
Well, I mean, the primary cause of low CO2 tolerance is over breathing. So if people find themselves if you're sitting down in a quiet room and you can hear yourself breathing or your breathing at a race of saying more than a dozen Up to 20 breaths per minute. And that's, that's a sure sign that you're breathing well in excess of what your body's physiological needs actually are. So you're, you're getting rid of the carbon dioxide, in not letting it circulate, do its magic in the body or opening up the blood vessels of allowing the oxygen to be diffused into the tissues, you're essentially spinning your wheels. So to begin to address that, we want to try and breathe less to breathe softer, and ideally, to do all that breathing day and night, through the nose. And that's, that's one that people can, can really push the boat out on if they want to guarantee their sleep, breathing through the nose throughout the night when they're sleeping, and they can get themselves some some type of tape. I don't know if you've ever tried that, Tony. And
Tony Winyard 51:04
yeah, I've been doing that for years
Richard Burrows 51:07
So it's, I remember when when I first raised that in the bedroom before bed one night, and I said, you know, that, you know, it's a stupidest thing I've ever had. This night, I haven't been able to convince her. She tried it once or twice, but she's pretty stubborn. Yeah, so so breathing through the nose as much as possible breathing. Try to keep our brain quiet. And when I say optimal breathing is almost imperceptible could be barely noticeable,
Tony Winyard 51:50
helps in so many other areas of life as well that you know, with sleep apnea, snoring and even weight loss. There's so many areas that it can help with.
Richard Burrows 52:01
That's right, well, if you asked most people, how does the body lose fat? And they themselves? Do we sweat it out? No, You actually you breathe out. That's that's when your body is losing rather, it's through the the exhale, breath. So the breath is more important than people generally realise. Hmm.
Tony Winyard 52:32
if you've got problems, if you are a snorer, if you are disturbing your partner every night with your snoring, this is certainly going to help.
Richard Burrows 52:43
Yeah, absolutely, I'm just going to give it a try. One way to ease into that might be to just just wear it before bed for 20 minutes, or just get used to that the feeling and realise that I can I'm going to have to be a bit more conscious in breathing deeply. And learning how to actually breathe, breathe deep and through the nose. A lot of people are confused. Yeah, deep breathing with taking a big breath. And
Tony Winyard 53:13
Richard Burrows 53:14
the ability to actually take a quiet deep breath is huge, immensely satisfying, calming, and to take a long, slow exhale as well as a practice that I would I would highly recommend as well. It's I've never seen anyone having a panic attack, who is exhaling slowly. So you can you can reverse engineer the mental emotional state with the breath. This. So So Exotica
Tony Winyard 53:47
and you just mentioned that the difference between a deep breath and a big breath so a lot of people will probably be extremely confused by...'well there is no difference!'. So could you explain that?
Richard Burrows 53:59
Yeah, well, all of us we've been we've been told, you know, when other situations of stress or anxiety you take a deep breath, you'll be fine. And what do people usually do they puff up their chest and take a big gasp it's difficult. I've never done a video going but I will do my best impersonation audibly, which is I tend to breathe into the upper chest and then use all of those accessory breathing muscles of the shoulders and the neck and the chest. But that doesn't get the air down to written SEO, we need to get the air as as deep as possible into the lower lobes of the lungs. Okay, so there's five lobes of the lungs and most of them are the greatest concentration of contact between blood vessels and Lv only happens on the lower lines just just the way gravity works. So
Richard Burrows 54:55
if you're getting the deeper you're allowing more oxygen to be dispersed in the bloodstream. And the only way that you can draw air deep is by
Richard Burrows 55:10
the lungs, their passive organ that actually cannot, you can't work your lungs consciously, it's something that you have to create space in your chest cavity, you have to create negative pressure vacuum effect. And the way you do that is by activating the diaphragm. So by fully engaging the diaphragm, which, as it contracts, some expands, create space in the chest cavity also gives you organs in abdominal cavity and awesome massage. But that's that's giving you space to allow the air to be pulled down deep, and to actually get value from your breath. So that doesn't necessarily have to be big gasp, it can be a slow controlled, really beautiful soft graphic is still getting.
Tony Winyard 56:01
And people will generally feel much more relaxed after some nice deep breath as well.
Richard Burrows 56:09
Absolutely, I've had I've had a few people in my classes. Yeah, get them back into a activated mode for restore.
Tony Winyard 56:22
Yeah. And also when you're taking that breath deep down into your diaphragm, but also to try to push your sides of your ribs out as well...
Richard Burrows 56:35
The side and the back. People often think the cue for diaphragmatic breathing is belly breathing. And that's not not entirely correct, because you have the diaphragm, if you picture that a dime or a heart spherical shape, sitting on a naked ribcage. That's a 360 degree space that we're expanding into. So if I'm only puffing out my tummy, but I'm taking a deep breath, then I'm missing the opportunity to create space in the side of my chest cavity, and back as well. It's like Think of it like a canister which expands out in all directions. device, so not just the fast
Tony Winyard 57:31
Rich', time is flying here. if people want to find out more about you, what you do, where should they go to?
Richard Burrows 57:42
So I've got a website, recently put that up. We are https://www.performancebreathing.online/ But if you want to keep track of most of my crazy experiments and training ideas, which I do day to day, then Instagram is certainly where I post my little videos and bits and pieces is https://www.instagram.com/richjburrows/ And that's probably the two best places to follow.
Tony Winyard 58:25
For people who are listening to this who aren't able to easily get to the Sunshine Coast? Do you offer anything for people online or anything like that?
Richard Burrows 58:40
Not as Yet, I've done a few consultations over zoom, but nothing in terms of any kind of robust programming, but that's certainly something which we are working to develop in the future.
Tony Winyard 58:59
Right. And usually at this stage, I would ask you about a book you would recommend but we've already gotten into that. So do you have a quote that you particularly like
Richard Burrows 59:13
this as well, one that I'm glad you asked me this because it's it's one that I think sums up my approach to myself in terms of training, but also everyone who I work with, and it comes from the film director Stanley Kubrick. And I'll paraphrase because I'm not exactly sure I'll get it entirely right. But he said, "I'm not sure whether the moral of the Icarus story should have been. Don't fly too high. Rather, forget the wax and feathers and just do a better job on the wings". So for me that's all about building better wings making ourselves stronger, more resilient, to then go out and achieve things we want to do. Fly Not not always be defaulting to a story about a capability that we may have ourselves or society or family told us that, you know, we can only do so much because this is what we're capable of, or this is what our limitations are, which is believing that all wings should be made out of wax and feathers, when in fact, you do a better job and you can saw a lot harder. And so I think that's just a really, it's a cheeky one. I think, a really nice message
Tony Winyard 1:00:36
it also reminds me a bit kind of lateral thinking, it's not an either or, it's a completely different perspective. Rich' is been a real pleasure speaking to you for last hour. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom with the listeners and your experience, and hopefully will encourage some other people to realise that life isn't just about earning money, and it's about, maybe think about moving to somewhere where you might not earn as much money, but you have a better life.
Richard Burrows 1:01:14
My great pleasure, Tony, thank you so much for inviting me on and giving me the chance to hopefully spread that same message and some important one for you as well. And keep doing the work you're doing. It's brilliant.
Tony Winyard 1:01:28
Thanks. Next week, Episode 15. With Duncan Bhaskaran Brown, he's an award winning speaker, author and Morris Dancer! He's helped hundreds of people across the world to get over indulgence and wake up to a better tomorrow. And he's spoken events in many different sectors. So we're going to hear a lot more from Duncan, how he helps people with their urges on things like food, drink, drugs, social media, Netflix, whatever. So that's next week with Duncan Bhaskaran Brown. Hope you've enjoyed this week's episode. We have rich burrows. If you know anyone who would really get some benefit from this, why not share the episode with them? leave a review for us and maybe subscribe while you're on the iTunes or Stitcher site or whichever site it is that you use. hope you have a fantastic week.
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