Research (2021) finds that the use of POWERbreathe for athletes is useful for stimulating sports performance and increasing pulmonary function.

The problem with respiratory muscle fatigue in athletes

Athletes will train intensively and for prolonged periods. Such intense training increases respiratory muscle work. As a result, an athlete’s breathing muscle endurance decreases, inducing breathing fatigue.

The increase in inspiratory muscle work during intense training will affect blood flow to other muscles. This is the process of respiratory muscle metaboreflex. Basically, metaboreflex is where the body restricts blood flow to the limbs that are active during training when the breathing muscles fatigue. You can read more about this in Respiratory Muscle-Induced Metaboreflex. This is why breathing muscle fatigue is an endurance limiting factor for athletes.

Get more energy with less effort

Is this possible? Well, this research shows that it is. Just from improving the strength and stamina of your breathing muscles with POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT). After 6 weeks of performing 30 inspiratory breaths twice a day, 6 days a week using POWERbreathe IMT, there were improvements in the following (see Fig.1. below):

  • exercise tolerance by 16.3% ± 3.9%
  • the rate of increase in intensity of breathlessness reduced by 11.0% ± 6.2%
  • whole-body metabolic stress during the Yo-Yo test also reduced
Fig. 1. Changes in exercise tolerance (Ex) after intervention in individual subjects in CON (control), PLA (sham), and IMT groups. Oblique line is the line of identity.

Such high-energy exercise induces extreme breathlessness, which has a significant limiting factor on exercise tolerance. There are studies that show a breathing muscle warm-up can reduce the feeling of breathlessness and the rate of perceived exertion. But by adding daily POWERbreathe breathing training into an athletic training program, your enhanced breathing strength and stamina will improve your resistance to breathing fatigue so that you can train for longer before breathlessness sets in. And you only need to perform 30 breaths twice a day. After 4-6 weeks of POWERbreathe IMT, exercise will feel easier.

Improve athletic performance

So, how will strengthening your breathing muscles improve athletic performance? Firstly it’s worth knowing that the main function of your breathing system is to maintain the intake of energy-giving oxygen. And during athletic performance, your respiratory system needs to provide enough oxygen to meet the metabolic needs of your body while you’re performing. This need obviously increases the more you push yourself.

It’s at this point when your body experiences the need to breathe more, that blood flow, and therefore oxygen is redirected from your legs for example to your breathing. It does this because breathing is essential for life, and your breathing muscles are needing to recover from the demand placed upon them by your intense and prolonged athletic performance.

Therefore, by improving the strength and stamina of your breathing muscles with POWERbreathe IMT, breathing fatigue reduces and your diaphragm muscle requires less time to recover. All this means that blood flow to your working limbs will be maintained for longer and so your performance will improve.

POWERbreathe IMT is scientifically proven to be effective for improving overall physical endurance in many sports, including team sports, cycling, running, rowing and swimming.

POWERbreathe for athletes

Our breathing devices are available at different price points to cater for different breathing training needs.

POWERbreathe K-Series

Top of the range is the electronic K-Series which uses an electronic tapered resistance to train your breathing muscles.

The 5 models range from the entry-level K1 to the top-of-the-range K5. The POWERbreathe K5 includes advanced Breathe-Link software that offers visual, real-time biofeedback on your breathing training technique so that you can improve and get the most out of your training. It also monitors and tracks your progress over time.

POWERbreathe Plus

The POWERbreathe Plus series of breathing trainers use pressure threshold resistance to exercise your breathing muscles. Unlike the electronic K-Series, you manually adjust the resistance to challenge your breathing muscles. The Plus is ergonomically designed with optimized airflow, making it the most comfortable to use of our manually adjustable range. Choose the Medium Resistance model if you are moderately fit or very fit.

POWERbreathe Classic

This is the first design of the POWERbreathe breathing trainer. Like the POWERbreathe Plus, it too uses pressure threshold resistance to train your breathing muscles and is manually adjustable. If you are unsure if breathing training is for you, the Classic is a good choice when starting out. The Medium Resistance model is the most appropriate for those who are moderately fit or very fit.

Scientific evidence of POWERbreathe for athletes

This systematic review finds that the ergogenic effect of POWERbreathe IMT is two-fold:

  1. It delays inspiratory muscle metaboreflex that can result in ‘stealing’ blood flow from other working muscles.
  2. It delays the sensation of effort in exercise, making exercise feel easier.

It analyses the scientific evidence of the effects of POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training, finding:

“the usage of a POWERbreathe device applying a resistive charge greater than or equal to 15% of the MIP (maximum inspiratory pressure) makes it possible to improve overall physical endurance in the diverse athletic fields in which it was implemented.”

IMT Program Using POWERbreathe: Does It Have Ergogenic Potential for Respiratory and/or Athletic Performance?

In addition, the review finds that 12 weeks of IMT achieves the highest increments of maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), with significant improvements after just 4 weeks.

Athletic methods using POWERbreathe

The POWERbreathe Plus Heavy Resistance, POWERbreathe K1, POWERbreathe K3 and the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Live Feedback software are the models that feature in this investigation. And the various fields of sports that it investigates include rowing, cycling, athletics, football and handball. Furthermore, the articles in the study follow our training guidance of 30 breaths-in, twice a day.

The results of this review and meta-analysis show that POWERbreathe IMT can train the respiratory muscles to overcome respiratory limitations and improve athletic performance.

“The results presented in this paper would qualify the PwB [POWERbreathe] device as an efficient, easily manageable, and applicable to conventional training routines in various sporting fields; this fact would endorse the usage of IMT to stimulate endurance enhancements in the performance of physical activities”

IMT Program Using POWERbreathe: Does It Have Ergogenic Potential for Respiratory and/or Athletic Performance? A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis