lady using powerbreathe classic and man using powerbreathe plus

When training with your POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) Classic or Plus device, you will notice that you have to work harder to breathe in. This is the effect of resistance training acting on the muscles you use to inhale – primarily the diaphragm and rib cage muscles. However, when breathing out, there is no resistance and you can exhale normally, allowing the chest and breathing muscles to relax, naturally pushing the air from your lungs.

IMT – A Complementary Breathing Exercise

You may be aware of certain breathing techniques, such as those practised in yoga, that promote the use of nasal breathing. Although POWERbreathe IMT requires you to breathe in through your mouth as opposed to your nose, it follows similar principles and will allow additional improvements in breathing strength and control. POWERbreathe IMT, therefore, complements these breathing techniques.

POWERbreathe IMT Breathing Training Protocol

The laboratory-proven POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training regime of 30 breaths, twice a day, takes only a few minutes. To make sure you get the most from your training, it is worth taking the time to get used to the breathing technique, as well as, finding the right training level for you.

The Inhale

Standing or sitting upright, with your POWERbreathe IMT device in your mouth, breathe out as much as you can. Then, take a fast, forceful breath in through your mouth. Take in as much air as you can, as quickly as you can, straightening your back and expanding your chest.

The Exhale

Next, breathe out slowly and passively through your mouth until your lungs are empty, letting the muscles in your chest and shoulders relax. Pause until you feel the urge to breathe again. Repeat this exercise until you feel confident about breathing through the POWERbreathe IMT device. Make sure not to pant – if you do, you may start to feel light-headed. If this does happen, slow down and pause at the end of your breath out.

Using The Nose Clip

The nose clip will help you to breathe through your mouth rather than your nose. However, it is not essential and some people find it more comfortable to train without the nose clip.

Put the nose clip on so that it pushes your nostrils together. Now, with the nose clip on, practise taking a forceful breath in, followed by breathing out slowly and fully. When you are comfortable with the breathing technique, you can start to find the right training level for you.

Finding Your Correct Training Level

Before finding your correct training level, try to complete 30 breaths at level 0, using the breathing method described above. Don’t worry if you’re unable to complete 30 breaths in one attempt, immediately. Everyone is different, and building up your breathing muscles can take time.

close up of the powerbreathe plus training levels scale
POWERbreathe Plus Training Level Scale
  1. If your first session of 30 breaths feels very easy, then increase the load by one level for your second session of the day. If you still find that you can complete 30 breaths with ease, turn the load adjustment knob clockwise again to increase the training level, then perform your 30-breath training sessions the following day.
  2. With each of your daily training sessions, continue to increase the load until you are able to only just complete 30 breaths until failure. The point at which this occurs is your training level. Failure is the point where your inhale is strong enough to be able to open the valve, but not strong enough to then perform a full training session of 30, meaningful, fast and strong breaths in. Failure is the result of breathing muscle fatigue and sends a clear message to your inspiratory muscles that they must adapt and get stronger. In order to improve the strength of any muscle, you must train to failure.

Increasing Your Training Level

  1. When you can perform your 30-breath training sessions with ease, it is time to increase your training level again (see point 1).
  2. When you find the level where it is impossible for you to take 30 successful, strong inhalations; then stop. You have found your next training level. Aim to complete 30 breaths, twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening, leaving about 6 hours between each training session for recovery.
  3. Over time, you will find that it becomes easy again to complete 30 breaths. When this happens, it is time to increase your training level once more to challenge your inspiratory muscles again.

Find out more about How the POWERbreathe IMT device works.

Maintaining Your Breathing Strength & Stamina

After four to six weeks of training, your breathing muscles should have improved substantially and you should feel less breathless during activity. At this stage, you will not need to use your POWERbreathe IMT device every day to maintain your improved breathing. Instead, using your POWERbreathe IMT device twice every other day will be sufficient to continue to enjoy reduced breathlessness and improved exercise performance. When you are entirely comfortable with the POWERbreathe training technique, you could try combining the benefits of POWERbreathe IMT with exercise in an ActiBreathe workout.

ActiBreathe Mini Workout

Monitor Your Progress

An easy way of tracking your training progress is to keep a Training Diary. By comparing your training load at the start of your training with subsequent training sessions, you will see how well you’re progressing. The difference in load setting is an indication of how much stronger your breathing muscles are.