Respiratory Muscle Training in Healthy Humans: Resolving the Controversy

“An overview of the literature that rationalizes contradictory findings about respiratory muscle training in healthy people.”


“It is likely that the ergogenic effect of respiratory muscle training (RMT) has a multifactorial etiology that may include:

  1. The direct effect of RMT upon respiratory muscle fatigue
  2. RMT’s indirect effects upon improving blood flow distribution to limb locomotor muscles in heavy exercise
  3. RMT’s direct and indirect effect upon the intensity with which both respiratory and peripheral efforts are perceived.”

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Respiratory Muscle Energetics During Exercise In Healthy Subjects And Patients With COPD

“This article intended to answer the following:

  1. Does respiratory muscle fatigue affect alveolar ventilation (VE)
  2. May work and cost of breathing of primary and accessory respiratory muscles compete with locomotor muscles to blood supply and oxygen uptake
  3. What is the role of abnormality of O2 transport and utilization on the limitation of exercise tolerance in patients with COPD?

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Does Training Of Respiratory Muscles Affect Exercise Performance In Healthy Subjects?

This article asks, “Is there a physiologic rationale for respiratory muscle training effects on exercise performance?”


“Recent studies provide evidence that respiratory muscle training improves exercise performance in well-controlled and rigorously designed studies utilizing exercise tests with the lowest coefficient of variation for repeated testing, appropriate outcome measures, and fitness of the participants. Further studies, however, are needed to define the mechanisms by which RMT improves exercise performance.”

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Inspiratory Muscle Training And Endurance: A Central Metabolic Control Perspective

“This commentary examines the pertinent research and practical performance implications of Inspiratory Muscle Training from the holistic perspective of complex central metabolic control.”

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Effect Of Respiratory Muscle Training On Exercise Performance In Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis

“Two distinct types of specific respiratory muscle training (RMT), i.e. respiratory muscle strength (resistive/threshold) and endurance (hyperpnoea) training, have been established to improve the endurance performance of healthy individuals. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis in order to determine the factors that affect the change in endurance performance after RMT in healthy subjects.”


Respiratory muscle training improves endurance exercise performance in healthy individuals with greater improvements in less fit individuals and in sports of longer durations… All types of respiratory muscle training can be used to improve exercise performance in healthy subjects but care must be taken regarding the test used to investigate the improvements.”

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Effects of Respiratory Muscle Training on Performance in Athletes: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analyses

“The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic review to determine if respiratory muscle training (RMT) improves sport performance and respiratory muscle strength and endurance.”


“Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT) can improve sport performance. Closer attention to matching the ventilatory demands of RMT to those required during athletic competition and more aggressive progression of training intensity may show greater improvements in future studies.”

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Respiratory Disorders In Endurance Athletes – How Much Do They Really Have To Endure?

“Respiratory disorders are often a cause of morbidity in top level endurance athletes, more often compromising their performance and rarely being a cause of death… An overview of the main tools both enabling the diagnosis of respiratory impairment in endurance athletes in a clinical and preclinical phase has also been described.”


“Taking up the question of the title of this report, the researchers can say that every endurance athlete has their own limit in endurance training that once passed will produce all the possible respiratory disorders described in the report.”

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