Smokers lungs work better after POWERbreathe IMT

This new study investigates the effects of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on smokers and non-smokers. Researchers from Ondokuz Mayıs University and Gaziantep University in Turkey look into how IMT may affect pulmonary function and respiratory muscle strength in both these groups.

Pulmonary function & respiratory muscle strength

Pulmonary function indicates how well a person’s lungs are working to help them breathe. There are different tests that measure pulmonary function, otherwise known as lung function.

Respiratory muscle strength is an indication of how much pressure the breathing muscles generate when a person breathes in or out. Assessment of respiratory muscle strength involves measuring MIP or MEP. MIP or maximal inspiratory pressure reflects the strength of the inspiratory muscles, such as the diaphragm. Meanwhile MEP or maximal expiratory pressure reflects the strength of the expiratory muscles.

The IMT program

For the IMT program, subjects use the POWERbreathe Classic IMT device. The procedure consists of 30 x 2 dynamic inspiratory efforts with a 1-minute interval. They perform this for four weeks, seven days a week. The reason researchers chose this procedure is that it has been previously applied in healthy individuals.

Smokers group, non-smokers & placebo groups

Forty-two healthy males enrol in this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental design study. There are 16 subjects in the IMT smokers group (IMTS), 16 in the IMT non-smokers group (IMTN) with the final 10 subjects in the placebo group. This final group receive a sham ‘placebo’ treatment that will have no real effect.

By using a double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental design study, researchers can test out a therapy. The placebo treatment will feel just like the actual treatment, in this case, IMT. The reason for this is so that both the subject and the researcher’s expectations will not affect the outcome. Furthermore, a double-blind controlled study means that neither the researchers nor the subjects taking part know who will be receiving which treatment. This is vital in helping to avoid bias when measuring outcomes.

For the study, the experimental groups (IMTS and IMTN) perform POWERbreathe IMT at 50% of maximal inspiratory pressure. Researchers increase this each week. Meanwhile, in the placebo group, subjects perform POWERbreathe IMT at only 15% of MIP.

Improvements occur in smokers after IMT

Results of the study show significant improvements in respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary functions after the 4-week POWERbreathe IMT program. Even more promising is the fact that improvements in smokers are greater. Potentially, this is a result of a:

“greater influence of exercise on smokers’ lung microbiome in reversing the negative effects of smoking.”

For smokers, this means that their stronger inspiratory muscles will improve their ability to breathe in more air, for longer and with less fatigue. This will have a positive impact on daily life by helping them improve their ability to perform daily activities that may have been prohibitive before.

Comparing models in the POWERbreathe Mechanical Series

In our previous blog, Comparing POWERbreathe Mechanical Series with Electronic Series, we looked at the differences between the POWERbreathe Classic mechanical series and the POWERbreathe Plus mechanical series, and the electronic POWERbreathe K-Series.

In this blog we’re going to look at the differences between the mechanical models in the POWERbreathe Classic and POWERbreathe Plus series.

As mentioned previously, the POWERbreathe Classic and POWERbreathe Plus each have three models available:

  • Level 1 (LR)
  • Level 2 (MR)
  • Level 3 (HR)

LEVEL 1 (LR):

Level 1 trains your breathing muscles using a ‘Light Resistance’ calibrated inspiratory load, or ‘LR’.

Level 1 was previously known as the Wellness model.

Level 1 is an entry level model for those new to breathing training and for those with breathing problems (e.g. asthma) and features an adjustable variable training load.

Load Setting Range

LEVEL 2 (MR):

Level 2 trains your breathing muscles using a ‘Medium Resistance’ calibrated inspiratory load, or ‘MR’.

Level 2 was previously known as the Fitness model.

Level 2 is for those who are moderately fit to very fit and features an adjustable variable training load.

Load Setting Range

LEVEL 3 (HR):

Level 3 trains your breathing muscles using a ‘Heavy Resistance’ calibrated inspiratory load, or ‘HR’.

Level 3 was previously known as the Sports Performance model.

Level 3 is only for those who have reached the maximum loading on a Level 2 model.

Load Setting Range

Compare POWERbreathe series and their features.

We hope this overview has helped to clarify the differences between the mechanical models in the POWERbreathe Classic and POWERbreathe Plus series. If you have any other questions you would like answers to then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d be happy to answer them.