Effects of High-Intensity IMT Following a Near-Fatal Gunshot Wound


Effects of High-Intensity Inspiratory Muscle Training Following a Near-Fatal Gunshot Wound


A man who sustained a gunshot wound (via the left axilla which exited from the right side of the abdomen) during armed combat left him with severe thoracic and abdominal injuries. After five months he still reported severe dyspnoea on exertion and so a program of high-intensity, interval-based threshold inspiratory muscle training (IMT) was undertaken.

Discussion points and observations:

The subject tolerated well the high-intensity IMT. “It was associated with improvements in maximum forced inspiratory flow and changed the locus of symptom limitation during high-intensity exercise from dyspnea to leg fatigue.”

The purpose of this case study was to ensure every effort is made to optimise physical function following such injuries, so that individuals may continue in active service.

Use POWERbreathe To Help Alleviate Side Stitch

A recent article in Triathlete Europe offered advice on how to avoid side stitch, citing diaphragm spasm as one of the most common causes, with spasm of the accessory muscles of breathing, the obliques, another cause.

Canadian Running also featured an article about side stitch explaining that as you take in air (while running) your diaphragm contracts, allowing your lungs to expand, and this, like any other muscle, can become overloaded during a run, straining it and causing it to spasm.

While there appears to be no definitive consensus on the causes of side stitch, many medical and sports professionals do believe it to be associated with the diaphragm, your main breathing muscle, and surrounding muscles.

An easy way to help prevent your diaphragm from feeling fatigued is to train your inspiratory muscles (mainly your diaphragm and intercostals) with POWERbreathe to become stronger. This will help improve your breathing stamina and enable you to run or swim for longer with less effort.

A pain in the side – why a stitch can turn a sporting demigod into a ‘DNF’ is a really informative article written by Sports Performance Bulletin which looks at strategies for coping with stitch and training techniques for its prevention, including POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training.

Effects of IMT on Resistance to Fatigue of Respiratory Muscles in Exercise

EliteVelo Kalas Sportswear Cycling Race Team by Richard Fox Photography

EliteVelo Kalas Sportswear Cycling Race Team using POWERbreathe Plus IMT (above)
PHOTO: Richard Fox Photography


Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Resistance to Fatigue of Respiratory Muscles During Exhaustive Exercise
M. O. Segizbaeva, N. N. Timofeev, Zh. A. Donina, E. N. Kur’yanovich, N. P. Aleksandrova

This study, published in Body Metabolism and Exercise – Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (Volume 840, 2015, pp 35-43) concluded that IMT elicits resistance to the development of inspiratory muscles fatigue during high-intensity exercise.


To assess the effect of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on resistance to fatigue of the diaphragm, parasternal, sternocleidomastoid and scalene muscles in healthy humans during exhaustive exercise.

The sternocleidomastoid muscle flexes the neck and helps with the oblique rotation of the head. Also, the muscle helps in forced inspiration while breathing, and it raises the sternum. As for forced inspiration, the muscle also works in concert with the scalene muscles in the neck. The scalene muscles are lateral vertebral muscles that begin at the first and second ribs and pass up into the sides of the neck. There are three of these muscles. (SOURCE: Healthline.com)


“The study found that in healthy subjects, IMT results in significant increase in MIP (+18 %), a delay of inspiratory muscle fatigue during exhaustive exercise, and a significant improvement in maximal work performance. We conclude that the IMT elicits resistance to the development of inspiratory muscles fatigue during high-intensity exercise.”

Read Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Resistance to Fatigue of Respiratory Muscles During Exhaustive Exercise

Check out more Inspiratory Muscle Training Research here >

Discover POWERbreathe used in Research here >

Royal Marine passes fitness test with help from POWERbreathe

At the Triathlon Show we recently attended in London (February 2015), we were delighted when a visitor to the stand shared a very personal and positive story with us.

In 1998 / 1999 the gentleman in question had applied to take the Royal Marines fitness test but unfortunately didn’t pass on that occasion.

Determined to pass the fitness test, he went away to assess how he could become fit enough to take it again and came across POWERbreathe which he immediately incorporated into his training regimen.

After about 3-months’ training with his POWERbreathe, he re-took the test and as he says in this short video, “aced the test”.


The Potential Royal Marines Course (PRMC) and Potential Officers Course (POC) are among the toughest initial trainings of any elite force in the world. But before recruits make it through to these courses they need to pass the Royal Marines Pre Joining Fitness Test which involves two runs of 1.5 miles (2.4 km) each with the treadmill set at a 2% incline. To pass they need to do the first run in under 12 minutes 30 seconds and then complete the second 2.4km run immediately afterwards in less than 10 minutes (regardless of age). So you can see how tough it is to pass the test!

Energy and stamina are required if recruits are to get through, and this is where POWERbreathe can help. Because a recruit will be asking more from their muscles, their body will demand more oxygen to provide more energy to their muscles. To cope with this extra demand, their breathing will increase and their circulation will speed up as it needs to take the oxygen as quickly as possible to their fiercely working muscles. This will naturally leave a recruit out of breath and potentially feeling fatigued early, hindering their chance of finishing the test in the time allowed.

POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) trains these breathing muscles to become stronger, enabling recruits to draw in more air, filling the useable area of their lungs to their fullest capacity, giving them the strength and stamina to perform at their best.

Read more about POWERbreathe for Armed Forces here.


POWERbreathe training for tri-forces expedition to Makalu

In September of this year, a tri-service team – Makalu 2014 – will attempt to place at least two of its eight members on the summit of Makalu via the most challenging route, the South East Ridge. If they are successful then this expedition will become the first British ascent via this notoriously difficult route.

Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world standing at 8,463 metres and is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas on the border between Nepal and China, southeast of Mount Everest.

Not only does scaling the mountain via this particular route present a challenge, but also the height of the mountain means that breathing at altitude will also be difficult.

With breathing an issue at high altitude, the expedition plan on introducing POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training to the team for their pre-expedition training “as a way of developing their respiratory function”, which is something they have done successfully for previous expeditions.

The Makalu 2014 team, led by Expedition Leader Wing Commander Colin Scott MBE (RAF), comprises members of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and they have already spent a day undergoing a series of physiological tests, including VO2 max, at the Carnegie Research Institute at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Arranged by Dr. John O’Hara, Reader in Sports and Exercise Physiology, the team was subjected to a range of tests designed to enable Expedition Performance Coach, Paul (Chip) Rafferty, to finely tune individual training plans for each member as part of their final preparation.

Included in their training plans for breathing at high altitude will be POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) which targets the breathing muscles, strengthening them by around 30-50%, helping to eliminate breathing fatigue.

As the team ascends Makalu, above 3000m the amount of oxygen in the air decreases by 30%. At around 1km they’ll begin to experience breathlessness and at 4km they’ll even feel breathless at rest. This is because at high altitude the body becomes limited by the ability to pump air in and out of the lungs. Just to put this into perspective whilst resting at sea level, you breathe about 12 litres of air in and out of your lungs every minute. At the summit of Mt. Everest (8848m) it requires almost maximal levels of breathing (in excess of 150 litres per minute) just to put one foot in front of the other. This level of breathing can be sustained for only a couple of minutes at a time. And if the respiratory muscles are working very hard at breathing, they can then also ‘steal’ blood from the legs to meet their own requirement for oxygen, thus impairing leg performance during climbing. Basically, all this respiratory work can lead to chronic fatigue of the breathing muscles, increasing breathlessness and impairing climbing performance.

Inspiratory Muscle Training:

  • Reduces oxygen requirement of exercise in simulated altitude by 8-12%*
  • Reduces cardiac output requirement of exercise in simulated altitude by 14%*
  • Reduces breathing requirement of exercise in simulated altitude by 25%*
  • Increases arterial oxygen saturation by 4%*
  • Increases lung diffusing capacity by 4%*
  • Reduces perceived exertion*
  • Reduces breathlessness*

*Effects of inspiratory muscle training on exercise responses in normoxia and hypoxia

So as part of their pre-expedition training, each team member will be given a POWERbreathe Plus to use as part of their daily training (POWERbreathe Plus Level 2 MR and POWERbreathe Plus Level 3 HR). They will also have the use of a POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Software for lab quality measurement of four main training indices: training load; inspiratory power; inspiratory flow; energy expenditure.

You can check on the team’s progress by visiting their website www.makalu2014.com but we’ll also be offering updates here on the POWERbreathe website, where you can also find research papers and review articles that look at Inspiratory Muscle Training for High Altitude Training.

Corporal Darren Peacock – POWERbreathe 90 days in

Darren PeacockIt’s been 90 days now since I started using powerbreathe and my time here in Afghanistan is almost up.

I am currently up to level 8 on my POWERbreathe Medium Resistance, I have found all the levels hard at first then once it got easy with a quick turn you can up the resistance.

I have noticed changes in my breathing while I have been undergoing training to run a marathon, now with 15, 17 and 20 mile runs completed, my next challenge was the London marathon on 22nd April.

I have also chosen to run for Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, my girlfriend back in the UK set up a just giving page and I have been going round with a bucket here collecting.

As for the changes, I commented before on how I no longer feel the “second wind” and start running with no shortness of breath, what I never mentioned was the recovery aspect.

At medium and high tempo running afterwards I was out of breath for a few minutes but now my breathing returns to normal in no time at all. I started following a TRX cardio training DVD that has involved skipping with instruction from Jump Master Buddy Lee.

As I have never skipped before I was shocked with what a great exercise it can be, if I had tried this training before there would be no question that I would have found it far harder as I would have had to concentrate more on my breathing. But now my sole concentration was on the skipping.

I think combining skipping and POWERbreathing at the same time might be my next progression, but I think I will need some guidance on this from the experts.

I have to say I am more than impressed with my fitness level and how the 30 breaths twice a day has made me able to run harder and train harder without having to worry about being restricted by my breathing.

The temperature out here has risen quite dramatically and running in the heat has not been that easy but I have managed to push through and have been helped by using a POWERbreathe breathing trainer product.

I cannot wait to get home and re-book a Peak Flow lung test to get the official results and see if I have lowered my lung age.

Here is a link to my Just giving page

Corporal Darren Peacock 44 days in Afghanistan and 43 days of using my POWERbreathe

Darren PeacockIt’s been 44 days now since I left the UK for Afghanistan and 43 days since I began using my POWERbreathe Plus.

After the first 10 days I increased the resistance to level 1 and immediately noticed the difference. My breathing in was harder but after 5 days it started to become easier.

Each Monday I have been increasing the resistance by 1 level this is helped by the fact that the POWERbreathe is very simple to use and also to maintain, just a soak in warm water and leave it to dry then its ready to use again.

Stupidly I did not bring the nose clip with me even though the instructional DVD tells you to use it. At first I did not need it but as I increased the resistance after level 2 I found it hard to use without making sure no air was getting in through my nose.

As I left the clip at home I have just been holding my nose with my fingers, which does the trick, but next time I will make sure I use the nose clip provided.

As for the results of using my Powerbreathe product as I commented on in my last blog I noticed I was not short of breath as I started to run.

Normally when I did any sort of cardio training I was breathing heavily for the first 10 minutes but after I got my “second wind” my breathing relaxed. Now its like I start with my “second wind”.

Also my breathing used to dictate how long and hard I could run for but now it’s my legs that tire before my breathing. My marathon training has been going well with 2 15 mile runs completed now then next week contains a 3, 7.5, 3 and 17.5 mile run and the same the following week. My running pace has improved due to my stronger lungs and as my Power Breathing improves so do my average mile speeds.

After completing 4 weeks of TRX Basic training program I have moved onto the TRX strength training routine I have found my 30 second recovery between exercises faster due to my breathing returning to normal quicker.

I am fully impressed with the results I am witnessing and the benefits of Power Breathing, there are 6 more levels on my POWERbreathe Plus hopefully by the time I leave Afghanistan behind I will be on level 10 and fully feeling the effects of using this product.

Corporal Darren Peacock – 10 days in with the POWERbreathe

Darren PeacockIt’s been 10 days since I arrived in Afghanistan and 9 days since I started using my POWERbreathe .

My workload is quite heavy durning the day, working 12 hour shifts but I find it easy to fit in 2 sessions of POWERbreathe training although I have received many an odd look for my work  colleagues.

As an Ex-smoker I used the smoke breaks my colleagues take to remind myself that I need to get 30 breaths with my  POWERbreathe Plus.

I found it very simple to use I watched the DVD with instructions on the flight here so was ready to go once I got here. My plan while I am here is to run a Marathon on the same day as the London Marathon, April 22nd.

I have managed to follow my running training so far but have had to switch to running on a treadmill as it is very dusty outside. My current running program is building me up for longer running, a few 3 mile runs, 7.5 and a nice 12.5 on a Sunday.

Although there is a gym here I have opted to continue with my TRX training as I have 24 hour access to it and along as I can attach it 8 foot about me I can get a 45 minute session. I was a bit sceptical at first about the benefits of PowerBreathing but I am very surprised with the results, I have noticed my breathing is easier while I am running even though its been only 9 days, I used to be really out of breath for the first 10 minutes of exercise until I got my second wind but now my breathing is more controlled as I start.

Tomorrow is time to turn my POWERbreathe Plus to setting number 1 and see the difference in resistance. I can’t wait to see and feel the results as I progress through the different settings.



Corporal Darren Peacock and POWERbreathe in the Royal Air Force

Darren PeacockMy name is Darren Peacock and I am a Corporal in the Royal Air Force for the past 15 years.

My Job as a Survival Equipment Fitter involves working with adhesives and Isocyanates so every 12 months I have to take a COSHH medical with involves a peak flow test.

I was looking for a way of improving my results and remember I had seen a Powerbreathe product in the Argos catalogue some years back so decided to buy one.

I also stopped smoking on New Year’s day 2011 and started running, last year I took part in 2 half Marathons and a number of 10k runs.

On the 22nd of this month I am deploying to Afghanistan for 4 months so hopefully my POWERbreathe Plus Medium Resistance will be here then I can start using it.

I was asked by POWERbreathe if I would supply blogs of my training and experiences using the POWERbreathe so they could share my experience with their community. I was happy to oblige.  Keep checking back for more updates from me and if you have any questions please do comment below.

All of us here at POWERbreathe look forward to reading the blogs Darren sends and we wish him well in Afghanistan.

Darren Peacock