Dallin Pepper on Breath Work and Training with AIRWAAV
Since 2021, four-time CrossFit Games athlete Dallin Pepper has been training with AIRWAAV, the latest piece of gear to take CrossFit by storm. The performance mouthpiece, popularized by top athletes like Pepper and Rich Froning, decreases respiratory rate during workouts while increasing recovery and improving muscular endurance.
Morning Chalk Up had the chance to chat with Pepper about how AIRWAAV has impacted his training and how the mouthpiece can benefit the everyday athlete:
Pepper first adopted the AIRWAAV in 2021. “I figured if it can help me in my workouts as well as in my lifting, I might as well give it a try,” he explained. “After a couple of days, I realized that I really enjoyed it and I really liked what it did for me.”
How it works: AIRWAAV manipulates tongue and jaw placement, creating an optimal airway opening for more efficient breathing. Clenching on the mouthpiece accelerates neuromuscular response, which improves muscular force during lifts. Pepper explained that this placement allows “the most oxygen into your body.”
- When it comes down to lifting and grinding through heavier weights, he continued, having something to clench down on helps produce more force and protect your teeth.
When recovering, Pepper added that because the AIRWAAV allows him to breathe better and get more oxygen, there’s less of a lactic acid, cortisol-type feeling at the end of a workout.
- “When you’re deep in that pain cave, by limiting that [feeling] you’re not going to be as sore and all that.”
- “I’ve been using it for so long,” he continued. “Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what it feels like not to use it.”
For the everyday athlete: “Breathwork of all sorts,” Pepper said, “Whether you’re in or out of the gym, provides tons of health benefits.”
- “Drawing attention to your breathing by using the AIRWAAV is a huge plus to anyone when it comes to weight lifting. Protect your teeth, have something to clench on, and maybe get a couple more PRs.”
- “And, when it comes down to just feeling better and working out by getting more oxygen, usually, if you feel better in a workout, it’s a little more fun and you can enjoy your time in there.”