The human grizzly that was Brian Blessed leaped to his feet. Filling his barrel lungs to their full capacity and throwing out his arms, the British actor bellowed: "Flash Gordon... HE'S ALIVE!"
The UK movie star is in the middle of a television interview with Piers Morgan. The talk show host has been in fits of laughter from Blessed's tales of teaching Keanu Reeves yoga, and is now slumped in his chair - hot and exhausted - as an appreciative audience clap and cheer.
Later during their chat, Blessed will tell how his lungs - they are twice the size of an average man's - helped him scale the dizzying and dangerous heights of Everest without oxygen. A remarkable feat that becomes something extraordinary when you consider the Flash Gordon star was in his 70s at the time (until recently, Blessed held the world record for the highest Everest ascent without oxygen).
Why am I telling you this?
Well, the story above is closely linked to today's topic. Here is a riddle to help you solve its identity:
"I'm as light as a feather, yet the strongest man can't hold me for much more than a minute.
What am I?"
The answer - of course - is "breath". (If you didn't know the answer, you have my permission to slap your forehead like Homer Simpson and go, "Doh!")
So why is breath so important?
Apart from the very obvious reasons, breath - and lung power in particular - are central to your training results.
By way of proof, consider the mighty marvel that is the 20 rep squat. With Joseph Curtis Hise's help, this training protocol would swiftly rebuild men the world over... And how did this miracle happen? Powerful lungs and the amazing benefits of squats.
Indeed, train your respiratory system with deep breathing squats, and suddenly you become an entirely different animal... maybe even a human grizzly like Brit actor Brian Blessed!
But to be serious for a moment, if you've never attempted deep breathing squats before, maybe now would be an excellent time to give them a try.
Now take a deep breath. Here's Freddie...