man indoor rowing using POWERbreathe IMT device and lady on spin bike

POWERbreathe IMT – Reduces Lactate During Exercise & Speeds Up Clearance

A POWERbreathe ‘cool-down’ can help to speed lactate clearance even more effectively than traditional active recovery strategies.

Lactate is a by-product that accumulates in the tissues and blood during intense exercise, leading to discomfort and muscle fatigue. Research shows that POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training reduced lactate concentrations at equivalent intensities of exercise1,2.

Research suggests that POWERbreathe’s influence upon lactate comes from POWERbreathe training, which: 

  • Ensures that fatigue of the inspiratory muscles doesn’t cause blood flow to the working muscles to be redirected to the inspiratory muscles3. This preserves limb blood flow and reduces reliance upon anaerobic metabolism.
  • Increases the aerobic capacity of the inspiratory muscles, making them more efficient lactate consumers during and after exercise.

Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil have found that breathing against a small inspiratory load immediately after exercise reduces lactate by 16%.4 What’s more, unlike a normal active recovery, which takes around five minutes to speed-up lactate clearance, inspiratory loading reduces lactate as soon as exercise stops. Furthermore, when using the inspiratory load, lactate concentration after just 5 minutes was equivalent to that achieved in 15 minutes during passive recovery.

“The implications of these new findings are very exciting, because one can see how an active inspiratory cool-down might bring benefits to a wide range of training and competition scenarios, from speeding recovery during repeated sprinting, to enhancing total body recovery following any form of high intensity training where lactate has been elevated.” Alison McConnell, Professor of Applied Physiology, Brunel University.

A subsequent paper from these authors (Chiappa et al)5 takes the next step by showing that this improves subsequent high-intensity exercise performance.

For a POWERbreathe Cool-Down & Recovery: 

Your POWERbreathe K3, K4 and K5 features a Cool-down Mode within the Options setting and will automatically begin an inspiratory muscle cool-down session of 60 breaths against a low level load.

If you have a POWERbreathe K1 or K2, within Options you need to select Manual in order to set the Level to 15cm H2O for a cool-down session. 

If you’re using a mechanical POWERbreathe Classic or Plus model, adjust the load/level on your POWERbreathe to 2 levels below your normal daily training load/level. Then breathe deeply and slowly against the load continuously for 5 – 10 minutes, or for as long as you have available.