The Progressive Training System is our most powerful tool and a unique feature of our Buteyko lineage. It is named after the progressive training techniques used in strength training.

Progressive Strength Training

Progressive resistance strength training has been used for many decades and refers to "gradually increasing the intensity or difficulty of workouts over time, maximizing results by regularly challenging the body". One example of progressive strength training is to start with lifting a 25kg weight 10 times (10 repetitions at 25kg) followed by a period of rest. Then do another 13 repetitions at 25kg and take some more rest. Then finish with 15 repetitions at 28kg. The progressive element is that the weight and/or repetitions are increased with each set, with short recovery periods after each set.

Progressive Altitude Training

Mountaineers also use a progressive training system for altitude acclimatization. When mountaineers climb Mount Everest, they will climb up and down the mountain, spending time at higher altitudes to progressively enhance their acclimatization, and then going back down to lower altitudes for rest and recovery.

For example, they might start with 2 days at Everest basecamp (at 5400 meters altitude) before going up to spend a day at camp 1 (5900 meters). They will then go back down to basecamp (5400 meters) for some rest and recovery, after which they can go up to spend a day at camp 2 (6400 meters). They may then go down to camp 1 (5900 meters) to rest and recover before going up to camp 3 (6800 meters) to acclimatize further, etc.

Progressive Training System
in Buteyko Breathing

Progressive training is the most powerful part of the Buteyko Breathing program and needs to be managed and overseen properly, with guidance by a qualified instructor.

Less than 5% of international Buteyko Instructors are trained in the Progressive Training System. The remaining 95+% of instructors have only ever trained in the Simplified Training System. The simplified system is simple and easy but also less sophisticated, less powerful and less effective.

We may compare the Progressive Training System to driving a car with 5 gears and being able to go up and down the gears as desired and as conditions allow. Compared to this, the Simplified Training System is equal to driving a car only in first gear, which is easy and simple but also a lot slower and limiting your career, social and tourism opportunities.

Progressive training has been around since the earliest days of Buteyko Breathing and it may be implemented in different ways. In progressive training, we start each session with an easy warmup (compare to neutral or gear 1), after which we take some rest and perhaps slowly go up to gear 2 or 3. We may subsequently try gear 4 or 5 and maybe reach the peak of Mount Everest. But it all depends on the characteristics of the person and their stage and experience in the training.

At, we use the progressive training system in nearly all our courses, workshops and webinars. We place a high importance on having a relaxed and healthy attitude during the training. We guide course participants through the program, customizing the program for each person so they may realize their full potential. Personal customization of the program is essential: you can't just use one single approach for everyone.

The ultimate goal of Buteyko Breathing is to gradually improve health and fitness with increased cellular oxygenation and softer respiratory airflow. For most people, the Progressive Training System is the most effective way of achieving this goal. We simply see quicker and better results with progressive training than with simplified training. Some people truly need the progressive system to get good results with Buteyko. People who have previous experience with the Simplified Training System will generally experience a additional improvement in their breathing when they start using the Progressive Training System.

Progressive Training in Practice

We teach complete webinars, workshops and individual training programs using the Progressive Training System. In practice, the progressive training system may be characterized as follows:

  • Clear progress from beginner to advanced levels
  • Gradual progression in exercise structure
  • Adjusting the power level of the exercises
  • Strategies in selecting a suitable power level
  • Variety of soft, strong, short and long exercises
  • While sitting, walking or doing physical exercise
  • Practice with full focus or while multi-tasking
  • Aiming for relaxation or a good challenge
  • Dealing with obstacles and complications
  • Developing a personally customized program
  • Combine with other physical and mental disciplines
  • Instructor training program with long-term mentorship & support