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 >

Don’t let obesity slow you down at work – POWERbreathe!

In this blog we’re looking at how POWERbreathe could help improve the endurance of heavier people in the workplace.

Published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH), a new study revealed workers that are obese “may have significantly shorter endurance times when performing workplace tasks, compared with their non-obese counterparts.”

The study, which focused on industrial environments where tasks are repetitive and controlled, could also be applied to roles that require a certain level of stamina on a daily basis, such as that required in the public or uniformed services (including the fire service, military e.g. RAF, Army, Navy, HM Prisons); nursing; the postal/delivery service; and builders, for instance.

The study was inconclusive as to what caused the lower levels of endurance; whether difficulty moving because of the worker’s heavier weight contributed to less stamina and more fatigue, or whether fatigue contributed to the weight gain.

The report revealed how being overweight can affect the way muscles work i.e. “decreasing blood flow and thus reducing the amount of oxygen and energy that reaches the muscles. When contracting muscles for a sustained period of time, people who are obese can experience muscle fatigue sooner than others.”

During physical activity your breathing can be pushed to its limit, and as you draw more air into your lungs your respiratory system can start to consume as much as 20% of available energy. This results in your breathing muscles, including your diaphragm and intercostal muscles between the ribs, starting to fatigue and steal oxygenated blood from your working limbs in order to support them. This makes physical activity feel harder and induces a feeling of breathlessness.

The good news is that your breathing muscles are just like any other muscle, so just as you’d train your calves or hamstrings to give you better endurance and strength for a particular sport or activity, you can also develop your breathing muscles using POWERbreathe to improve their strength and stamina which in turn reduces fatigue.

Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for Corporate Fitness, 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 health and wellbeing in our Health and Wellbeing Blog.

Learning about the Respiratory System for Fitness Instructing & Personal Training





Emma Foden is an Exercise Science Consultant and CYQ Accredited Head of the Training Academy at Dynamic Fitness. Emma is also a published author in the British Journal of Sports Medicine for her research on the ‘Effects of inspiratory muscle training on respiratory function and repetitive sprint performance in wheelchair basketball players’.

Here Emma tells us about the new REPs accredited courses Dynamic Fitness delivers, including one that teaches Fitness Instructors and Personal Trainers the importance of the respiratory system.

“Dynamic Fitness has turned a bit of a corner in recent months. The business used to be about educating an individual, teaching the about their body, how to eat and how to train to get maximum results through Personal Training.

We now deliver REPs accredited courses in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training, teaching students face-to-face or via e-learning over a set period of time. In both the Fitness Instructing and the Personal Training courses students spend time learning about the Respiratory System which helps them to piece together this and the other five systems of the human body.

Within the body, especially during exercise, the effectiveness of the respiratory system and how well it works together with the cardiovascular system can have a definite improvement in exercise performance.

Students learn the transportation of air and then oxygen through the body and the process of diffusion for the gaseous exchange. They understand how the muscles help with inspiration and expiration. It is at this point that we talk about asthma and other respiratory disorders. From there it leads me to demonstrate the way that the intercostal muscles can be trained using improved breathing action.

The final point for student’s learning is to study the respiratory system in different populations; young people, pregnancy, in older people and disabilities.

Students are always fascinated to learn about POWERbreathe and their ability to train the intercostals muscles and I feel really lucky to be able to pass on this information to my students.

If you are interested in e-learning courses to be a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer, please get in touch with me, Emma at emma@dynamicfitnessuk.com so we can discuss options and cost of learning.”


Our thanks go to Emma for highlighting the importance of learning about the respiratory system and how it works together with the cardio system to improve exercise performance. Congratulations Emma on delivering these REPS accredited courses. We’d love to hear how everyone gets on. If you have a message for Emma then please leave a comment here.

Ian Locke – week 2 of my POWERbreathe K5 training

Ian Locke, founder of Thrive Personal Training in Swindon, provides personal training in a private gym as well as nutritional analysis to help clients reach their health and fitness goals.

Here he tells us how he’s been getting on with his second week of POWERbreathe K5 training…

Ian Locke, Thrive Personal TrainingSo the second week of my POWERbreathe training is complete, but there isn’t a lot of progress to report. In fact, my test results regressed slightly this week, but then that can sometimes be expected with muscle development. Now that I’ve got a bit of history in the Breathe-link PC software, I’ve been trying to make sense of the charts, but my results are all up and down so far, so not really possible to find a trend.

I’m expecting this to change this week as I have moved from the automatic training method (where the K5 assesses your strength on the first few breaths and sets the resistance accordingly) to the manual training method. I found that if my technique wasn’t perfect on the initial breaths, the automatic route wouldn’t be consistently challenging enough for me. Setting a manual load (currently 90cmH2O) makes it easier for me to check my progress.

But has the training made a difference? I went for a hilly 6.4 mile run this week. It was 27 degrees and perhaps my slowest run ever (I don’t do well in the heat), but the hills did seem easier than I had expected. I made a real effort to breathe as if I was using the K5 and just focussing on the technique distracted me from the difficulties of the heat! The big downside was the increased number of flies I swallowed on the way round.

For next week, I will stick with the manual training method and increase the load slowly, but I am also going to introduce the K5 to one of my personal training clients that is a keen runner to see what she thinks.


Ian Locke
Personal Trainer and Nutritional Advisor


Ian Locke, Personal Trainer – how and why I came to use the POWERbreathe K5

Ian Locke, founder of Thrive Personal Training in Swindon, provides personal training in a private gym as well as nutritional analysis to help clients reach their health and fitness goals.

Here he talks about how and why he came to use the POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training device, and shares his first experience of using it. In future reports we’ll learn of his progress, so please keep coming back to check on how Ian’s breathing training is going on his POWERbreathe K5

Ian Locke, Thrive Personal Training“As someone who has tried their hand at running, high intensity interval training, boxing and playing a wind instrument, I’ve become more conscious in recent months that the limiting factor in each of these activities is my breathing. Running is a classic example – unless running up steep hills, it is not tiredness in my legs which slow me down, but rather that my breathing doesn’t seem to keep pace. I also find that my airways close partially when exercising at high intensities, making pushing myself harder very uncomfortable.

Having set up a personal training business in January, I wanted to find a way to improve the weakest link and increase my performance, as well as that of my clients. I read Alison McConnell’s book “Breath Strong Perform Better” over Christmas and invested in the POWERbreath K5 a few weeks back. I am in the early stages of training (30 breaths, twice a day) and have been warned not to expect miraculous results just yet, but I have noticed improvements in my breathing technique (maximum lung volume being used has increased from 4.5 litres to over 6 litres) and my S-Index (strength test) has increased from 160 to 185 cmH2O. As with all new exercises, some of the improvement will be technique and some will be strength gains.

I went for a 4.5 mile run and hill interval session yesterday to see if I could detect any difference. I was much more focussed on my breathing (deep belly breaths) and felt that my breath rate did not rise as quickly as normal, meaning I could pump my arms harder. My air ways still became restricted (perhaps I should see a doctor about that) and I’m not convinced I ran much faster, but the focus on breathing made the session easier than I had expected.

During the coming week, I shall stick with the current training plan and report back on further progress.”

Ian Locke
Personal Trainer and Nutritional Advisor

If you’re using a POWERbreathe K5 and have any hints, tips, feedback or results you’d like to share with Ian and the POWERbreathe community, then please leave a comment here. We’d love to hear from you.


Two different press-up exercises using the POWERbreathe

Anthony MayattHere Anthony Mayatt personal trainer demonstrates the use of the POWERbreathe while exercising. Anthony has chosen an explosive movement exercise which is done in conjunction with the forced inhalation using the POWERbreathe.  Anthony chose two different types of push ups as the exercise in this video.

Thanks Anthony – BreatheFitness

If you found this video useful, please do leave a comment.


Check out other videos from Anthony:

Respiratory training with the POWERbreathe



Respiratory training with the POWERbreathe

Anthony MayattHello, my name is Anthony Mayatt and I am a personal trainer  and owner of  BreatheFitness. I was approached by POWERbreathe who asked me if I would be interested in trialling one of their POWERbreathe devices for a period of one month to see if my respiratory strength, stamina and endurance improves.  The model given to me was the POWERbreathe Plus Medium Resistance.

As part of my trial I have agreed to provide blogs of my training so all of the POWERbreathe followers are able to read about my experience using the POWERbreathe. This is my first blog.

As a personal trainer I am (or would like to think I am) extremely fit and most of you reading are probably thinking why I need to use a breathing trainer. This breathing trainer is used by many elite athletes as well as people who suffer from respiraratoy conditions so I thought I would give it a go. When I was initially tested it was the K5 model that was used and my breathing strength was recorded as 138.

So, the challenge begins, will I see improvement after one month or will my breathing strength be the same. Hopefully it will have improved. I am looking forward to using the POWERbreathe on a daily basis and reporting back my results.

Check back next week for the next installment of my blog.  I decided I would try and video some of my blogs so here is the first video, I hope you find it interesting and please leave a comment below. Read the full respiratory training with POWERbreathe and let me know your thoughts.




Check out Anthony’s other video: Two different push-up exercises using POWERbreathe

Josh Warrell Weeks 2-4: Getting into the groove

For the first 4 days I felt a little wheezy with a tightness in my chest during training but during the morning training session of day 5 I felt better than I had over the last few days.  The evening workout felt like hard work but the following morning my chest didn’t feel so tight and it was easier during training.   Another improvement the following day when my chest felt quite good during training, which also felt a little easier.  It’s June 23rd and my chest felt slightly easier again in the morning during training. I felt wheezy before the evening POWERbreathe training session, but fine during training itself.

June 24th and I felt wheezy when I woke up this morning but good during the morning POWERbreathe training session, however I did have a tight chest after training. The evening training felt good during and after. The next morning I felt good too with no tightness or wheezing. June 27th and I had a little wheeze this morning but with no tightness in my chest, and the evening POWERbreathe training session felt good. The next day and I feel just as good, with a clear chest, no wheezing and no tightness at all during training. June 29th has been quite an active day for me today; I’ve felt good with tightness in my chest.

July 1st and I have a slight tightness in my chest while training today. This continued over the next 3 days, but by the end of day 3 I realised that I was able to walk faster without getting breathless. Days 4 and 5 and my chest feels good this morning with no tightness or wheezing. I am able to be more active and can walk for longer and faster than I have for a long time. Final day of the week’s training and I felt a little tightness this morning. The evening POWERbreathe training session felt hard but I’m really pleased with the results.

Emma Foden – When I met POWERbreathe

I came in to contact with POWERbreathe in its very early days, about 2004, when I was massaging a group of Ironman competitors. I was asked my opinion on whether I thought it would work or not. In all honesty, I hadn’t heard about POWERbreathe as I was very new to the health and fitness industry.

I told the group I would look into the product and get back to them. On first look they seem very like an asthma inhaler and an obvious too good to be true, simple tool to aid breathing and therefore aid performance. I went back to the group with my findings and subsequently two bought a POWERbreathe and loved them.

Three years ago I was finishing my Masters degree in Exercise Physiology and was offered the opportunity to use POWERbreathe for my final study with wheelchair basketball athletes that I already supported in their training for Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.  POWERbreathe had already been used in various studies among sports people and had great reviews to show they improved sprint performance. Wheelchair basketball is a game of high intensity sprint work and I was interested to find out if a POWERbreathe could improve the sprint performance of a wheelchair athlete.

I conducted some initial tests and left each of my subjects with a POWERbreathe (kindly donated). When I returned for the testing at the end of the study I imagined the results to be amazing because so many of them had said that their breathing had improved and they felt a lot healthier. The study showed that POWERbreathe did not improve sprint performance amongst wheelchair basketball athletes and it was concluded that this is potentially due to the amount of skill needed to manoeuvre the chair during the sprints not just the person’s own physiological benefits. I wrote the research for The British Journal of Sports Medicine, you can find the abstract here.  http://msscentershop.info/content/44/9/665.abstract

Many of the subjects I used went on to buy a POWERbreathe themselves and I was so impressed I bought one for my dad. He’s an active wheelchair user in his 60’s but is finding himself a little short of breath when he pushes up a hill or pushes over long distances. When he remembers it (because his memory is going too) his breathing noticeably improves and he says so which is great because my dad is hard to please!

I now own a Personal Training and Exercise Science business (www.dynamicfitnessuk.com or twitter; @em_fitnessgoals) and would have no hesitation suggesting and recommending POWERbreathe to any of my clients to aid performance.

Emma Foden BSc (Hons), MSc, MGHT
Personal Trainer and Exercise Scientist
M. 07900 551 730
E. emma@dynamicfitnessuk.com
W. www.dynamicfitnessuk.com