Ready for High Altitude – POWERbreathe training by Sam Lipscombe

You’ll remember Sam’s 70-day expedition to climb Mount Everest while raising money for Cure Rett, well he’s been using POWERbreathe in preparation, and this is his third and possibly final blog before he sets off for his two-and-a-half-month challenge! While he’s away he’s going to try and post about his experience on his website so we’ll all be able to track his progess, and then after his return we’re hoping he’ll be able to provide some feedback about how POWERbreathe helped him prepare for the challenge of breathing at altitude.

Read on…

“I’ve got just two weeks remaining here in the UK before I head out to Tibet and on to Everest Base camp where I will attempt to climb the mountain. After using my POWERbreathe for just over a month I want to reflect on the contribution it has made to my training.

Once I’d build it into my routine it became quite natural. At first it was like sucking the last bit of juice from the bottom of a glass with a straw – without breathing through your nose! As time went on it became easier and the resistance increased.

This feedback was good, it felt like I was making progress and spurred me on.

Despite this it does feel quite subjective as to how much real (as opposed to psychological) difference it has made. Other than the resistance becoming easier there is no way of me testing the effect it is having on my training. I’m getting faster/stronger/fitter but is this down to increasing my exercise or has the POWERbreathe played a role?

For me, my performance on the mountain has always been the real test. As I travel to Tibet and begin to acclimatise, I should be able to judge this more effectively.

Climbing Everest happens in stages. I’m on the mountain for over 2 months before attempting the summit, gradually acclimatising to the altitude. Acclimatisation involves going up and down the mountain, reaching new heights as you progress. If the device has given me any advantage it will be on these snow slopes, it’s here where oxygen is scarce and breathing is difficult.

I have enjoyed using my POWERbreathe, I’ve even recommended it to others. At this point it’s unclear if I am a better athlete because of its use, but I certainly FEEL like it’s helped me make progress. As anyone that has ever trained hard will know, the way you feel is half the battle."


So please join us in wishing Sam all the best and good luck in his challenge. We hope you stay safe Sam, achieve your goal, and continue to increase your fundraising for the Cure Rett charity.

We’ll all (hopefully) be able to track Sam’s progress on his website:

Read more about how POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) could help prepare your breathing muscles for the rigours of breathing at altitude, however if you’re already using POWERbreathe for this reason, or have used it in the past to help cope with breathing at altitude then please leave a comment here on on the POWERbreathe Forum, as we’d love to hear from you.

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