Ian Locke, founder of Thrive Personal Training in Swindon, provides personal training in a private gym as well as nutritional analysis to help clients reach their health and fitness goals. Here he talks about how and why he came to use the POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training device, and shares his first experience of using it. In future reports we’ll learn of his progress, so please keep coming back to check on how Ian’s breathing training is going on his POWERbreathe K5... "As someone who has tried their hand at running, high intensity interval training, boxing and playing a wind instrument, I’ve become more conscious in recent months that the limiting factor in each of these activities is my breathing. Running is a classic example – unless running up steep hills, it is not tiredness in my legs which slow me down, but rather that my breathing doesn’t seem to keep pace. I also find that my airways close partially when exercising at high intensities, making pushing myself harder very uncomfortable. Having set up a personal training business in January, I wanted to find a way to improve the weakest link and increase my performance, as well as that of my clients. I read Alison McConnell’s book “Breath Strong Perform Better” over Christmas and invested in the POWERbreath K5 a few weeks back. I am in the early stages of training (30 breaths, twice a day) and have been warned not to expect miraculous results just yet, but I have noticed improvements in my breathing technique (maximum lung volume being used has increased from 4.5 litres to over 6 litres) and my S-Index (strength test) has increased from 160 to 185 cmH2O. As with all new exercises, some of the improvement will be technique and some will be strength gains. I went for a 4.5 mile run and hill interval session yesterday to see if I could detect any difference. I was much more focussed on my breathing (deep belly breaths) and felt that my breath rate did not rise as quickly as normal, meaning I could pump my arms harder. My air ways still became restricted (perhaps I should see a doctor about that) and I’m not convinced I ran much faster, but the focus on breathing made the session easier than I had expected. During the coming week, I shall stick with the current training plan and report back on further progress." Ian Locke Personal Trainer and Nutritional Advisor www.thrivepersonaltraining.co.uk If you're using a POWERbreathe K5 and have any hints, tips, feedback or results you'd like to share with Ian and the POWERbreathe community, then please leave a comment here. We'd love to hear from you.