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.

Watch this demonstration for How To Perform The Correct Breathing Technique For POWERbreathe IMT.

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. This will help you to achieve the best breathing technique for getting the most from your inspiratory muscle training.

  1. Take a quick, deep breath in through the device on the lowest setting. If this is easy, increase the resistance by half a turn on the dial, using the load adjustment.
  2. If you can still manage to take a good, strong inhalation, increase the resistance by half a turn again.
  3. When you reach a point where you cannot open the valve to breathe in through the device, then the load on your inhalation is too much and you need to reduce the resistance. You have reached the point of failure.
  4. At this point, reduce the load with a half-turn of the load adjustment and start your 30-breath training session at that 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.
  5. When you can easily manage 30 breaths at that level, use the load adjustment to increase the load by a quarter turn. This improvement is a result of your inspiratory muscles becoming stronger.

Find out more about How the POWERbreathe IMT device works.

How To Find Your Correct Training Level On The POWERbreathe Plus
How To Find Your Correct Training Level On The POWERbreathe Classic

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.