Allan do Carmo, a Brazilian swimmer who specialises in open water marathons, has secured his spot at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and is one of the first 20 swimmers to qualify for Rio.
Since January Allan has been training his inspiratory muscles to become stronger and more resistant to fatigue with POWERbreathe, improving his stamina for swimming.
Physiotherapist Mateus Esquivel initially assessed Allan’s breathing parameters using the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Live Feedback Software before establishing a specific training regimen and will be monitoring Allan’s performance throughout his training.
As an open water marathon swimmer Allan’s breathing faces the ultimate challenge of inhaling as much as possible, as quickly as possible so that his body can return to its optimal position for propelling himself forwards in the water. POWERbreathe teaches Allan to do this as the breathing technique needed to use POWERbreathe in order to elicit the benefits, is to breathe in as deeply as possible, and quickly/sharply.
In addition to training himself to breathe in this way, Allan will be breathing in against a resistance, exercising his breathing muscles (mainly his diaphragm and intercostals) so that they become progressively stronger and less prone to fatigue. This is very beneficial as research has shown that fatigue of the breathing muscles reduces blood flow to other working muscles, and in the case of swimmer Allan, his arms and legs, which will slow him down by reducing the flow of oxygen to those muscles.
Allan has been taking full advantage of his POWERbreathe and been using it to warm-up his inspiratory muscles too before training, but on a reduced load setting. Warming up the inspiratory muscles is just as beneficial as warming up other muscles at the start of exercise, and research has shown that a standard pre-workout exercise warm-up fails to prepare the inspiratory muscles for the exercise ahead.
Equally a POWERbreathe cool-down will help Allan to speed lactate clearance more effectively than a standard active recovery.
You can see a few photos of Allan do Carmo using his POWERbreathe in this Facebook post.