XPT, Extreme Performance Training: Q&A with James Hamill
XPT, Extreme Performance Training™, is a performance lifestyle rooted in the most basic yet powerful human trait: the ability to adapt. XPT challenges people with their Breathe, Move, Recover curriculum designed to stimulate growth in all aspects of human performance through exposure to a variety of natural elements and environments. XPT’s approach empowers you to strengthen and elevate the quality of your everyday life. A few members of the LVAC team, including President Chad Smith, Member Experience Representative Cannon Smith and TEAM Training Manager, James Hamill obtained their XPT Certification at a 2-day workshop which included hypothermic training with heat and ice, in-pool training with weights and swimming exercises, as well as land workouts.
What is XPT? And why did you pursue the certification?
XPT stands for extreme performance training it was created by Laird and Gabby Hamilton. The 3 pillars of XPT are breathe, move and recover. Each pillar helps you to activate your central nervous system, perform the desired task, and then recover back to homeostasis. I have always enjoyed different certifications that focus on performance and this is a brand new way to look at performance training.
LVAC: How did XPT help you discover a new approach to optimizing health, performance and longevity?
I never realized the huge impact breathing can have. It sounds overly dramatic but when people breathe correctly, in and out through the nose at rest, the central nervous system is able to maintain a parasympathetic state and do what it’s meant to do: to rest and digest. When people breathe incorrectly at rest it can lead to a stress response that is hard to shut down. There are studies showing that breathing incorrectly at rest can alter your physical appearance. Obviously breathing incorrectly during sport or exercise is very quickly identified in athletics. Coaches often give basic breathing techniques, but rarely do you see health and fitness professionals utilizing proper breathing techniques with their clients.
LVAC: What activities did you participate in while getting your certification?
The certification was very hands-on. We practiced multiple breathing techniques, high intensity interval training and post workout recovery techniques. These included dry saunas at 150-175 degrees and ice baths at 34 degrees. The ice bath was definitely my least favorite, although admittedly, the most valuable activity.
LVAC: How can you use XPT skills in your everyday life?
I know it sounds repetitive but when you think about how many breaths you take per day so it’s very important to make sure that you’re breathing correctly. For example, people with proper breathing techniques generally breathe 10 to 15 times per minute, which over the course of the day is between 14,000 – 22,000 thousand breaths per day. People with improper or dysfunctional breathing breathe in excess of 25,000 breaths per day. Just thinking about that logically if you do something wrong 25,000 times every single day eventually (and probably very quickly) there are going to be real consequences.
LVAC: What was the hardest part about the certification?
There were three very challenging parts of the certification:
- High intensity interval training while only breathing through your nose
- Swimming with a 30lb dumbbell in your hand and
- taking a 3 minute ice bath
LVAC: What did you like most?
The swim training was my absolute favorite part of the certification. When you’re treading water with a 15-pound dumbbell overhead or trying to swim underwater with a 30-pound dumbbell on your chest, it really takes water training to a whole new level!
LVAC: Now that you’re XPT certified, what’s next?
I have incorporated new breathing techniques throughout my training, but especially during my warm up. I’m already noticing a huge difference in my lung capacity and cardio. I’ve started swimming more and utilizing the water training that we learned. I can’t wait to implement all of this with my own clients.