Football player uses POWERbreathe IMT during recovery

German professional footballer Jan Kirchhoff, playing for Premier League team Sunderland, is back on the football pitch after his knee surgery.

Football injury and fitness

The 3 month recovery period is a time when Jan is not able to train. As a result Jan became concerned about his fitness. But by keeping his breathing strength and stamina in condition he knows that he’ll be in a better position when it comes to returning to play. So Jan took up POWERbreathe K3 Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT).

Football player uses POWERbreathe K3

The POWERbreathe K3 IMT exercises Jan’s breathing muscles, mainly his diaphragm and intercostals. These muscles are difficult to specifically target and train. But not with POWERbreathe IMT. Jan simply breathes in through the device. The POWERbreathe K3 will automatically adapt to Jan’s training requirements. It does this by offering a tapered loading resistance to match the contraction curve of his breathing muscles throughout his entire breath. This enables him to complete a full breath and muscular contraction at an optimal resistance.

Why breathing is a challenge to football players

Football players are likely to cover about 10-12 km during the course of a match. And they’ll likely do it at an average intensity of 75-80% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max.). They’ll also cruise for 30-90 seconds and sprint for 3-5 seconds throughout the 90 minutes of the game.

Most activity during a match will be sub-maximal, but Jan’s intermittent sprints will be supra-maximal. It’s this pattern of exertion that places extreme demands upon breathing because these activities are anaerobic and generate high levels of lactic acid. Lactic acid stimulates breathing to increase as part of a compensatory strategy to overt fatigue of other muscles, such as the legs, which will inevitably impair performance. Following a sprint a footballer’s breathing is driven to its highest level, inducing extreme breathlessness. And if the player is to continue to make an active and effective contribution to the game, their breathing must recover quickly. Inspiratory muscle training with POWERbreathe is proven to help a player recover more quickly.

Why strong breathing muscles are essential to a footballer

Fatigue of the breathing muscles can affect more than running ability, such as flexing the upper body during heading. But strong breathing muscles are also essential for the twisting and flexing movements of the trunk. They also make a contribution to stabilising and turning the body during kicking.

Strengthen breathing muscles with POWERbreathe IMT

POWERbreathe IMT is scientifically proven to improve breathing strength and stamina and reduce breathing muscle fatigue. In fact in tests IMT:

  • Accelerated recovery during repeated sprints by up to 7%
  • Improved inspiratory muscle strength by 31.2%
  • Improved inspiratory muscle endurance by 27.8%
  • Reduced whole body effort during exercise

Jan’s progress (March)

We are in contact with Jan, checking up on his progress, and since writing this blog he says,

“training is going really well. Breathing and football wise.  Just had a new record in each category yesterday.  Feel like I already have some benefit during football.  Thanks for your text and help.”


POWERbreathe users caught on camera – July 2016

Here’s a round-up of people using POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) from across the world. If you use POWERbreathe IMT and would like to be included in our next bulletin, then please visit POWERbreatheUK on Facebook page to submit your photo and comment. Thank you!

Luisa Sial wins Gold and Bronze

Luisa, poolside using POWERbreathe to warm-up her breathing muscles Luisa from Brazil is an Aquathon winner and uses POWERbreathe IMT not only as part of her daily training to improve her breathing speed, strength and stamina, but also as a warm-up prior to events, using her POWERbreathe pool-side on a lower setting. After using her POWERbreathe prior to the event Luisa went on to win GOLD in the 200m backstroke and BRONZE in both the 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle events.

Nathália uses POWERbreathe herself and with her patients

Nathalia, physiotherapist, using POWERbreathe to help improve her running performancePhysiotherapist and runner Nathália from Alagoas in Brazil uses POWERbreathe IMT to help improve her running performance but she also uses POWERbreathe with her asthma and COPD patients and athletes too.           View post on POWERbreatheUK Facebook >

Silvini Madshus Team, Czech Republic

Silvini Madshus Team warming up their breathing muscles with POWERbreatheFour members of the Silvini Madshus Team were not shy with the POWERbreathe training as can be seen in their photo. The team are a group of sports enthusiasts who share a common focus in cross-country skiing.   View post on POWERbreatheUK Facebook >

Paralympic rower Maria Eugenia Bishop

Gena performing rowing specific POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle trainingAfter a an accident at the gym that left Maria aka Gena with a fracture in her lumbar spine, Gena later regained some leg movement and has gone on to become a paralympic rower in Brazil. We were lucky enough to see her beginning her rowing-specific inspiratory muscle training with the POWERbreathe K5 in this video. Watch video on POWERbreatheUK Facebook >

MTB-Pro Uwe Hochenwarter

MTB-Pro's photo showing winning medal and his POWERbreathe K5POWERbreathe user Uwe Hochenwarter became overall winner at the 119km distance in the Salzkammergut Trophy – the largest mountain bike marathon in Austria! He also secured the title of European Champion in the Master class. View post on POWERbreatheUK Facebook >  

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Elena Rigas, speed skater, trains with POWERbreathe

Here’s a short video by Elena Rigas from the Danish national team in Long Track Speed Skating, sharing with us her preparation for the Winter Olympics 2018.

She travels the globe from World Cup to World Cup, and here she can be seen using her POWERbreathe which she, along with all the skaters in the team, use all year round on a daily basis to train their inspiratory muscles to make them stronger, more powerful and less prone to fatigue.


Thank you Elena for sharing your preparation tips!

Matt Bottrill – my goal of winning the National 25-mile Champs

All photos courtesy of: Larry at

Matt Bottrill, POWERbreathe user and time trialist, has won the National 25-mile Time Trial Championships in Cumbria! The event he’s always wanted to win.

Here’s his review of his success, in his own words…

“I’ve finally pulled it off National champ for 25 mile’s. The event I’ve always wanted to win. Thanks for all your help and support.

As I write this I still can’t stop smiling, even if I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus. The mental build up and training reaches its climax when you ride a National Championship. And the day after if it’s gone to plan I always feel wasted!!

This weekend after 18 years of trying to win the Blue Ribbon event of time trialing I finally took the top step and reached my dream of winning the Men’s National 25 mile championships. Ever since I turned senior it’s always been my number one target. It’s been a hard road getting here, but I’ve never given up hope that one day I could pull off winning. All the great legends of time trialing have won the race (Alf Engers, Eddie Atkins, John Pritchard, Chris Boardman, Graham Obree, Stuart Dangerfield, Chris Newton, Jason Macyntyre and Michael Hutchison to name but a few) and it’s great to have joined the club with some of the best time trialists that Great Britain has ever produced.

I’ve had so many top 5 places and medals I’ve lost count but to finally pull off the win is a moment in my cycling career I will never forget. It’s fair to say I could quite happily retire tomorrow, and know I’ve done everything I’ve ever set out to do in cycling. It proves that you should never quit no matter how long it takes. Always have the belief that you can reach your dreams. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment but with the right approach, dedication and backing anybody can reach their goals. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my Family, Friends, Supporters and Sponsors for all of your support on the journey…”

Now on to the race…

One hundred and twenty riders would take the start. The event was held in Cumbria on some of the most beautiful roads for racing with the scenic views.

The first rider would set off at 8am in torrential rain – the first few riders would get the worst of the conditions. The times being posted where a good indication that it was going to be a really hard day’s racing.

The final 10 rides would set off at 2-minute intervals and it was super Vet Charles McCulloch, 49:58 who’d set a standard so high that only two riders would be able to beat it.

The final few riders came, but no rider would match the time of McCulloch. It was the last two riders to start who would have the greatest battle: Matthew Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) and Matthew Bottrill ( to decide the champion. At just 6 miles it was Bottrill who took charge with a 16 seconds advantage over Clinton and who’d push hard all the way until the finish.

With a winning margin of 41 seconds over the flying Clinton, Bottrill punched the air with joy has he crossed the finish, with a new course record time 48:15 to Clintons 48:56!

Here are the Top 3 Winning Times:

  • 1st Matthew Bottrill ( 00:48:15
  • 2nd Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) 00:48:56
  • 3rd Charles McCulloch ( 00:49:58 We’d like to congratulate Matt on achieving his dream of winning the National 25-mile Championship and on setting another new course record!

Matt is already a multi-national time trial champion and team rider and he’s been using the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Software to help improve his breathing strength and stamina and time trial performance.

Training the inspiratory muscles with POWERbreathe should be a part of every time trialist’s training as POWERbreathe has been shown to reduce breathing fatigue and improve cycling time trial performance by approximately 4.6% – the equivalent to slashing 3-minutes off a 40k time trial.

Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for cyclists, or if you’re a cyclist and are already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear about how you’ve benefited from this breathing training. You can also read more about POWERbreathe and cycling training in the Blog’s Cycling category.

Another course record for Bottrill, in Nev Crane Memorial 25m time trial

More great news from Matt Bottrill, multi-national time trial champion, team rider and POWERbreathe K5 user, as he breaks his own course record…

On Sunday morning (20th July) 115 riders took part in the Nev Crane Memorial 25 mile time trial in Lincolnshire with the aim of beating last season’s course record of 50:04, set by Matthew Bottrill.

“The event got underway at 8am with dry conditions and just a slight breeze making it ideal for racing.

The early standard was set by Andy Jackson (Team Swift) in an incredible time of 50:36. This was going to take some beating, and so good was his ride that it was well clear of all the other riders, Brett Harwood (Terry Wright Cycles) at 52:28 and Adam Gascoinge (Pedal Power) at 52:36.

With all the riders up on the course, Matthew Bottrill ( took his place on the start line, and with the men’s National 25 just two weeks away it was going to be a real test to see how his current form was. At the halfway point Bottrill was leading by just over 30 seconds, but in the tailwind section Bottrill hit full gas and opened a further 13 seconds on the flying Andy Jackson. This set a new course record of 49:53 with Bottrill beating his own record and winning number 16 for the 2014 season.


  • 1st Matthew Bottrill ( 49:53 – Setting NEW course record
  • 2nd Andy Jackson (Team Swift) 50:36
  • 3rd Brett Harwood (Terry Wright Cycles) 52:28

Bottrill said about his winning ride, “I’m very satisfied with today’s result. I wanted to see what I could do on the course, and after a really heavy weeks training to still hit 30mph I know my form, it’s nearly at its peak ready for my major goal of the season the Men’s National 25. It’s just a matter of keep the intensity up and staying focused for the next two weeks.

Congratulations to Matt yet again as he continues to go from strength to strength!

Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for cyclists, or if you’re a cyclist and are already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear about how you’ve benefited from this breathing training. You can also read more about POWERbreathe and cycling training in the Blog’s Cycling category. 

POWERbreathe user Matt Bottrill rides to 2nd fastest 30-mile time trial ever!

We just had to share this news with you from Matt Bottrill, Champion Time Trialist who began using the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Software at the end of April/early May this year (2014).

Matt, on Saturday 12th July, took 1st place in the Mercia CC 30-mile Time Trial in Derbyshire, setting a new course record and the 2nd fastest time ever ridden on U.K. roads!

Here’s an account of that fantastic day…

‘Saturday afternoon, the hottest day of the year so far, hit the East Midlands with hardly any wind making it a great day for racing. Ninety riders gathered in the small town of Etwall, Derbyshire to tackle the Mercia CC 30mile time trial. The Current Competition Record of 55:39 set by Micheal Hutchinson would be the target for the seeded riders and a course record of 57:44 would also be under threat with the quality of the field.

The first rider got underway at 3pm, and indications were that it was going to be a fast day. There would be just three riders to break 1hr barrier for the distance. The first was Matthew Sinclair (Lutterworth Cycle Centre) 59:09. This was then beaten by Matthew Clinton (Mike Vaughn Cycles) who’s ride was so quick it broke the course record in the process 57:37, making his ride the 5th fastest time ever ridden on U.K. roads!

With the majority of the field now home, its was left to Matthew Bottrill ( to see if he could make an attempt at breaking the Competition record of 55:39. With some bumpy roads it would be a hard task, but Bottrill was soon in his stride and just inside 20 minutes for the first 10 miles. Bottrill was in overdrive pushing all the way to finish line in a very rapid 56:15 – second fastest record ever!’

Congratulations Matt on this marvellous result!

POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training is a valuable addition to time-trial training as in studies POWERbreathe reduced breathing fatigue and improved cycling time trial performance by approximately 4.6% – equivalent to slashing 3-minutes off a 40k time trial.

Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for cyclists, or if you’re a cyclist and are already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear about how you’ve benefited from this breathing training. You can also read more about POWERbreathe and cycling training in the Blog’s Cycling category.

Qualifying success for Iain Dawson at the ITU World Triathlon, Yokohama


Congratulations to Paratriathlete and POWERbreathe user Iain Dawson and his guide Matt Ellis, for finishing in a qualifying second place at the ITU World Triathlon Yokohama in Japan on Saturday 17th May 2014!

Fourteen British paratriathletes competed for the first time in this formal ITU World Triathlon Series for Paratriathlon, as the sport – and Iain – prepare to make their debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Tri Team Dawson competed over the sprint distance of 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run and their impressive finish means they now qualify for the European Championships in Austria in June. Iain will accumulate points during the Series in order to qualify for the World Championships in Canada in August.

‘Awesome Dawson’ only started using POWERbreathe in April of this year as part of his preparation for the 2014 series of events and in the run-up to Rio. He also hopes it will help improve his ‘lower-than-average lung function’ which is a result of his asthma. You can read more about why and how Iain started using POWERbreathe in our first blog, Paratriathlete Iain Dawson uses POWERbreathe in run-up to Rio 2016.

Iain recently contacted us to let us know how he was getting on and said:

“Been using the POWERbreathe and making progress. Cranked it up a notch or two now. The hardest bit is just being consistent! We were 2nd last weekend in an International Triathlon in Yokohama. This qualifies us for the European champs in Austria in June. I think it can make a difference and I think my breathing is improving a bit too. Due to some technical changes in our swim I now have to change my breathing pattern and I think POWERbreathe will be helpful here too.”

Tri Team Dawson’s next event is the ITU Paratri Series Event in London (1st June) for which we wish them well.

Read more about including POWERbreathe IMT as part of your triathlon training, or if you’re already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter. You can also read more about using POWERbreathe in triathlon training on our Blog.


Rowing champion Dani Fridman begins using POWERbreathe

Photo by: Detlev Seyb

Over the past 10 years Dani Fridman has proved himself as the unchallenged rowing champion for Israel and is ranked among the top rowers in the world, and a local hope for an Olympic medal in Rio.

When POWERbreathe Israel first met with Dani, and Dani spotted a POWERbreathe, he immediately said: “I know this device… I saw many rowers in Europe use it, it’s good to know that now my fellow rowers in Israel can have the device too and catch up with novel training practices seen abroad…”

Since POWERbreathe Israel’s first meeting with him, Dani has been using the POWERbreathe Plus Inspiratory Muscle Training for a few weeks now and we are all proud to support him in his training. In fact on Saturday (3rd May) Dani finished the Catalunya rowing championship with a total of two gold medals, single scull and double scull at the international Catalunya rowing championship in Amposta, Spain, and we’d all like to send him congratulations from our POWERbreathe family across the world.

As a rower, Dani’s respiratory system must be able to achieve a high volume of air in order to deliver oxygen to his blood, and because of the compressed position his upper body is in during the catch, he’ll find there will be physical limitations to his breathing.

Not only will Dani’s breathing fatigue because of this compressed position during rowing, but also because his respiratory muscles are also responsible for helping to stabilize his upper body. For a rower this upper body stabilization is essential during the drive phase of rowing where a high power output is required but which in turn makes it difficult for the rower to inhale, so Dani’s breathing muscles will develop fatigue here too. And this is why POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training should become an essential component of his training: daily use for improving inspiratory muscle strength and stamina; as an inspiratory warm-up before competition; and for recovery.

So by training the breathing muscles with POWERbreathe to become stronger, blood flow demand by the respiratory muscles will be reduced and cardiac output to his leg muscles increased, improving Dani’s performance.

There are several research papers and review articles available to view from our website that look at Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) and exercise-induced inspiratory muscle fatigue in rowers, including one that also supports the suggestion that a high respiratory demand ‘steals’ blood from the legs during rowing which reduces overall rowing performance.

Read more about how POWERbreathe could help improve rowing performance, or if you’re already using POWERbreathe then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear from you. You can also read more about POWERbreathe for rowing on our blog.

Lucy Garner, World Junior Road Race Champion and her POWERbreathe

Lucy Garner is a double World Junior Road Race champion. She also represented GB at the European Road Championships – and won – and also won two gold medals and a silver medal at the European Track Championships. Lucy is also a member of the British Cycling Academy and recently won her first professional race in China against the best road sprinters in the world.

In 2013 Lucy became a member of the Dutch team Giant-Shimano based in the Netherlands, and is also a part of the Sky Scholarships. The change from sprinter to professional European peloton means it’ll be bigger field of race events, longer races and at a faster pace. As Lucy’s strength lies in her sprint, she’s keen to develop the other areas of her racing as she’s joined the professional ranks, and is training for the time trialling and hill climbing.

Lucy trains hard already, on the bike and in the gym, and she Tweeted, “Us cyclists train on the bike and in the gym to get fitter. Training your breathing is just as important! Check out @powerbreatheuk

So we have loaned Lucy a POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Software and provided her with a POWERbreathe Plus Level 2 (MR) Special Edition Pink.

Lucy will be using the K5 throughout to train, test and analyse her breathing strength, power, volume and energy. When used in conjunction with her computer Lucy will be reviewing her breathing performance in real-time, but she can also use her K5 when she’s away from her computer, and will be using it for inspiratory muscle training, inspiratory warm-up and for recovery.

Even though she’s a very successful sprinter, Lucy wants to improve her time trial results and hill climbing, and with stronger inspiratory muscles POWERbreathe should help her achieve this.

Here are just a few studies about how inspiratory muscle training can improve cycling performance that help us come to this conclusion:

Another reason why strengthening her breathing muscles with POWERbreathe will be beneficial to Lucy is that biologically, women have smaller lungs and weaker respiratory muscles which makes breathing during any form of exercise much harder work.

In fact, a recent study discovered that women really do get more exhausted during exercise than men and concluded that “because of a woman’s smaller size, when she is exercising, her brain needs to send stronger electrical signals to the respiratory muscles, and specifically the diaphragm, than does a man’s in the same situation.”

Because POWERbreathe specifically targets the breathing muscles, Lucy will improve upon their strength and stamina as she trains with her POWERbreathe, reducing fatigue and making hill climbing feel that bit easier while at the same time helping to improve her time trial performance.

Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for cyclists, or if you’re a cyclist and are already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter. You can also read more about POWERbreathe and cycling training in the Blog’s Cycling category.

A POWERbreathe K5 for Matt Bottrill, Champion Time Trialist

Courtesy of Brian Hall/Aende Photography

Matt Bottrill is a multi-national time trial champion and team rider and he’ll be using the POWERbreathe K5 to help improve his breathing strength and stamina and time trial performance.

Matt is training hard towards the British Time Trial championships in June and has already started the season this year with a record-breaking ride where he shaved a minute off his previous record.

Matt has since gone on to the first round of the National Time Trial Series in Essex where he competed with the country’s other top riders over a distance of 25.5 miles, crossing the line with a new hill climb record and over two-minutes to spare over the competition. He then went on again to smash a course record in Coalville Wheelers 10, winning the 10-mile time trial in 20’50 – 1’25 off the previous record!

Matt’s training with (specialists in cyclist wind tunnel testing and product development) has already proved hugely beneficial, but one area of training that is often neglected in sports training (although less so now as more positive research in favour of IMT is published) is the training of the inspiratory muscles. Stronger inspiratory muscles results in an improved sports performance, a reduction in whole body effort (making exercise feel easier), and faster lactate clearance.

Matt will be training his inspiratory muscles using the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Software to exercise and strengthen his inspiratory muscles. In a scientific trial inspiratory muscle training using POWERbreathe reduced breathing fatigue and improved cycling time trial performance by approximately 4.6% equivalent to slashing 3-minutes off a 40k time trial.

Matt will be running a fully UCI compliant position during his racing which requires the rider to adopt the standard positions (support points, tip of saddle behind bottom bracket, position of hands on the handlebars, overall rider position). This means Matt will be racing in the traditional hunched position, which will immediately create breathing problems thanks to the contents of his abdomen being compressed up against his diaphragm, restricting normal movement and making breathing feel much harder. In fact, research has shown that cycling as little as 20km at race pace induces significant fatigue of the inspiratory muscles. POWERbreathe targets the inspiratory muscles, strengthening them by around 30-50% and improving their stamina which in turn will significantly help to eliminate breathing fatigue.

We look forward to receiving news from Matt about his POWERbreathe training and his time trial performance, and after he’s been using the POWERbreathe K5 for about 4-6 weeks, we’ll update you.

Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for cyclists, or if you’re a cyclist and are already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear about how you’ve benefited from this breathing training. You can also read more about POWERbreathe and cycling training in the Blog’s Cycling category.