On a macro-scale, our flow and it’s rhythm is our life. As we drill down deeper and break this macro into the smallest of micro components we have one breath, one movement. In weightlifting or strength/conditioning terms, this is the individual repetition, (rep). Expanding outward, multiple reps make a set, multiple sets make an individual episode of one movement, multiple movements make an individual training session. I believe we should spend one, one and a half or two hours each day in training movements and breathing. These total time aggregates may be broken into smaller time segments if one has the ability to completely focus on one task for a short period of time. The ability for short-time focus is a good skill to develop because it increases our ability to segment and compartmentalize our macro life into many, many meaningful little moments.
Back to the rep. Skeletal muscle is 40% stronger in the eccentric (lengthening) phase. This eccentric phase should be loaded as long as possible for the desired number of reps per set because time under tension ultimately is what summarizes the overload effect and therefore the total workload volume. I coach my clients and students to make the two phases of a movement (concentric- [shortening, lifting] and eccentric- [lengthening, lowering] as distinct in timing as possible. Breathing follows this pattern: quick, short time exhalation and deep, slow inhalation.
In summary, establish the intent of your movement pace, measure your breath, and commence. Happy training everyone!