Assessing Breathing


Assessing Breathing

Jeremy Fein



The third test is Patrick McKeown’s BOLT score (Body Oxygen Level Test), adapted from Buteyko’s ‘Control Pause’ carbon dioxide measure.

According to McKeown, it “should be” in the 40s. Most people, even elite athletes tend to be around 20s. Below 20s, he says people will have some sort of breathing-related symptoms.  Below 10, serious.

So far in my experience, almost everyone has started in the teens (including me). So here are my words/interpretations of his benchmarks:
<10: breathwork should be a big priority, and you should (likely already are) be consulting a doctor too.
11-20: breathwork will likely enhance everything else you’re doing.
21-30: above average, now breathwork would be geared towards performance.
31-40: you likely only need/want more if you’re an endurance athlete.
41+: beast.

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