Having never used a POWERbreathe before yesterday I really didn't know what to expect when I took it out of the box and read the instructions. 30 breaths twice a day, once in the morning, once in the evening. That sounds easy. I figure I am best starting on the lowest resistance, and just increase it by the quarter turn each session if I find it too easy.
After using it for the first time yesterday I am surprised how similar it is to using STASS. The Short Term Air Supply System (STASS) is a small emergency air supply bottle carried by military aircrew, mainly in helicopters, so that in the event of a crash landing in water they have time to escape from the aircraft. I have been through the STASS training with the Royal Navy a couple of years ago so that I could fly on military helicopters as a Flight Test Observer. Breathing with the STASS when you're upside down, underwater and in the dark in a helicopter training rig is difficult when you're not used to having to breathe under resistance. Sorry for this aside if it is not an interesting comparison, but my first thought was - this could be a good training device for military personnel going through that training if they have any issues or concerns over using the STASS system.
That similarity aside, I was then surprised how hard work it actually is to do 30 breaths with the POWERbreathe. I did not expect to be just about breaking into a sweat after it! My lungs feel like they have had a workout like they do after a very hard piece on the rowing machine, but without the associated sore throat and cough. It will be interesting what the next few weeks will bring.
I keep a careful track of all of my training, and blog about it at http://www.thepeteplan.com/ - so I will make comment there periodically on the POWERbreathe training too. Most indoor rowers keep detailed training records, and as such it should be fairly easy to track any improvements in performance over the next 3 months, and have a good idea whether part of these are due to this new training stimulus.