As runners, we’re all trying to find new ways to improve our performance through training. But, only last week, I learned that we could also exercise our breathing muscles and improve our performance.
I received a new product called POWERbreathe for testing.
Here’s some information provided by the local distributor of POWERbreathe:
Why should you exercise your breathing muscles?
The lungs aren’t a muscle, they rely on the muscles surrounding them for their expansion and contraction. It’s this supporting structure that you need to strengthen and condition in order to appreciate proper, full breathing.
Why is it beneficial to take fuller breaths?
Lung size varies from person to person, so there are natural limits to lung capacity, however you can influence the total lung capacity that you actually use; your vital capacity.
When you breathe all the air out from your lungs, what’s left is called residual volume, or ‘stale air’, and it remains in your lungs. Too much of this is unhealthy.
By using POWERbreathe to exercise your breathing muscles, you’ll be strengthening your lungs’ supporting structure and improving your vital capacity, the usable portion of your lungs.
This not only benefits athletes because they are maximizing their ability to breathe. This in turn makes their training or exercise feel easier and they are able to train for longer with a lower sense of effort, increasing their fitness, and ultimately sports performance.
What are the benefits of POWERbreathe?
POWERbreathe is said to improve Swimming, Cycling & Running Performance:
– Accelerated recovery during repeated sprints by up to 7%
– Increased swimming performance by up to 3.5%
– Improved cycling time trial performance by 4.6% – equivalent to slashing – 3-minutes off a 40k time trial
– Enabled participants to cycle for 33% longer and with lower sense of effort
– Improved inspiratory muscle strength by 31.2%
– Improved inspiratory muscle endurance by 27.8%
– Reduced whole body effort during exercise
I tested the POWERbreathe Plus Medium Variable Resistance. I use it twice a day, once in the morning upon waking then at night before sleeping.
At its maximum level, Level 10, I feel like I could use a little more resistance to feel like I’m actually working out my lungs. Perhaps I should’ve tried the Heavy model.
I’ve been using it intermittently for over a week. I do feel stronger, but, to be frank, I can’t attribute this solely to POWERbreathe because I’ve also been swimming and biking more. I will say that, at the right resistance, it definitely feels like you are exercising your lungs and I will not be surprised to feel its short- and long-term benefits down the road.
It’s a bit pricey. But, for those who are serious about gaining a competitive edge, then this may be a good investment.
There are three resistance levels for POWERbreathe.
1) Light Variable Resistance (Wellness) model: For those who are restricted by shortness of breath, either due to respiratory illness or advancing age.
2) Medium Variable Resistance (Fitness) model: For those who are moderately fit and lead an active lifestyle but would like to push themselves that bit further.
3) Heavy Variable Resistance (Sports) model: For elite athletes and people who are in top physical condition but who want an edge on the competition.
The SRP for all models are Php 3,500. Each unit has 10 levels of adjustment.