Exercise physiologist James Fletcher from the Gold Coast has pioneered an exercise programme using POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training that will strengthen the breathing muscles of athletes heading to the Rio Olympics.
Using the POWERbreathe K5 the athletes exercise their inspiratory muscles by breathing in against the scientifically calibrated, adaptable and variable load that makes it harder for the athlete to breathe in. This training strengthens their breathing muscles in the same way that dumbbells strengthen the muscles in the arms, with the weight of the dumbbells increased over time.
The Breathe-Link Live Feedback software for the K5 also plays a major part in the improvement of the athlete’s breathing as they’re able to see instantly their breathing technique and make adjustments so that they get the most benefit. The software also enables James to monitor and assess progress, adapting his programme and tailoring it to each individual athlete.
With strengthened inspiratory muscles comes improved stamina and reduced fatigue and ultimately therefore, improved performance. As James says, "In a nutshell we're taking the breathing muscles to the gym.”
James has been working with 3 x Commonwealth Games gold medal winner, swimmer Thomas Fraser-Holmes who’s been attending this specialised POWERbreathe breathing programme for 6 months now saying,
"What I've noticed, probably the biggest thing in my swimming, is being able to get that oxygen in a lot quicker and a lot easier.”
James Fletcher’s POWERbreathe breathing programme also benefits athletes in other ways, including anxiety before a race, which he talks more about in this article from ABC News Network.
Watch ABC's video interview with James to find out more: