Procycling magazine is the authoritative voice for international professional road racing, and in the February 2014 issue Jamie Wilkins from the Procycling Race and Test Team reviewed the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link software.
Here’s what he had to say: POWERBREATHE K5 “This is a high-tech gym for your respiratory muscles, designed to remove lung function as a limiting factor to performance. Training the intercostal muscles and diaphragm is claimed to raise the threshold of their metaboreflex – the point at which blood flow is directed to vital organs that are struggling. You need that blood in your legs but your body thinks you’re about to stop breathing. Stronger respiratory muscles won’t be pushed to this point. They will also be able to open the thorax and chest bigger (addling lung capacity) and faster. It can help with asthma too. The POWERbreathe Classic (£30) has a fixed spring-loaded valve; the Plus has adjustable resistance for £50. K-Series models are electronic, with progressive valves, training reports and memory. The K5 is the top model. It comes with the Breathe-Link software package which analyses multiple parameters live as you train and tracks your progress. One unit can save 30 athlete profiles, making it ideal for use by a team. Argos-Shimano were early adopters. The software is user friendly but it’s arguably overkill for most home use. Training on the K5 daily gave rapid increases in lung power and capacity. On the bike it meant that my asthma was less of a hindrance.” PROS “Proven benefit, easy to use, vast data with clever live software.” CONS “Cost, less benefit to athletes without breathing issues.” VERDICT “Lab-spec training tool, highly recommended for asthmatics in more affordable K3 guise.” “> Five minutes per day gives real benefits but you have to plan sessions as it takes 5-6 hours to recover.” Jamie Wilkins Here at POWERbreathe we’d like to respond and expand on a couple of points made above in the review… Regarding the comment, “less benefit to athletes without breathing issues” we’d just like to acknowledge the fact that there have been numerous studies conducted on ‘healthy humans’ into the benefits of Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) and the effect of exercise-induced inspiratory muscle fatigue. Globally research into the benefits of IMT continues to develop too. For cyclists in particular, you’ll find many interesting research papers, meta-analysis and review articles listed in our Product Use - Cycling category, including Inspiratory Muscle Training, Inspiratory Warm-up and Cool-down and Exercise-Induced Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue. And finally, please don’t feel that training with POWERbreathe is so exhausting that is takes 5-6 hours to recover. This comment given in the review refers to the scientifically-proven training regimen that established the 30 breaths protocol to be completed twice a day i.e. once in the morning and then once in the evening, hence the 6-hour delay before training again. We hope we’ve cleared up a couple of ambiguous points that had sparked a few enquiries. Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for cyclists, or if you’re a cyclist and are already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear about how you’ve benefited from this breathing training. You can also read more about POWERbreathe and cycling training in the Blog's Cycling category.