I came in to contact with POWERbreathe in its very early days, about 2004, when I was massaging a group of Ironman competitors. I was asked my opinion on whether I thought it would work or not. In all honesty, I hadn’t heard about POWERbreathe as I was very new to the health and fitness industry.
I told the group I would look into the product and get back to them. On first look they seem very like an asthma inhaler and an obvious too good to be true, simple tool to aid breathing and therefore aid performance. I went back to the group with my findings and subsequently two bought a POWERbreathe and loved them.
Three years ago I was finishing my Masters degree in Exercise Physiology and was offered the opportunity to use POWERbreathe for my final study with wheelchair basketball athletes that I already supported in their training for Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. POWERbreathe had already been used in various studies among sports people and had great reviews to show they improved sprint performance. Wheelchair basketball is a game of high intensity sprint work and I was interested to find out if a POWERbreathe could improve the sprint performance of a wheelchair athlete.
I conducted some initial tests and left each of my subjects with a POWERbreathe (kindly donated). When I returned for the testing at the end of the study I imagined the results to be amazing because so many of them had said that their breathing had improved and they felt a lot healthier. The study showed that POWERbreathe did not improve sprint performance amongst wheelchair basketball athletes and it was concluded that this is potentially due to the amount of skill needed to manoeuvre the chair during the sprints not just the person’s own physiological benefits. I wrote the research for The British Journal of Sports Medicine, you can find the abstract here. http://msscentershop.info/content/44/9/665.abstract
Many of the subjects I used went on to buy a POWERbreathe themselves and I was so impressed I bought one for my dad. He’s an active wheelchair user in his 60’s but is finding himself a little short of breath when he pushes up a hill or pushes over long distances. When he remembers it (because his memory is going too) his breathing noticeably improves and he says so which is great because my dad is hard to please!
I now own a Personal Training and Exercise Science business (www.dynamicfitnessuk.com or twitter; @em_fitnessgoals) and would have no hesitation suggesting and recommending POWERbreathe to any of my clients to aid performance.