POWERbreathe in Cycling Fitness magazine, June-August 2013

Cycling Fitness magazine is every cyclist’s definitive guide to taking their fitness and performance to the next level, and is written for dedicated racers and those just starting out.

Each issue is packed with nutritional tips, technical advice and products that help cyclists get the best from their cycling, and this summer’s edition included a double-page case study that used POWERbreathe to help cyclist Dan Gould to “get his breath back”.

As a child Dan was diagnosed with asthma, which caused him to be short of breath and struggle during any form of physical activity. But recently he’s taken up cycling, running and swimming and says,

“Although I was beginning to feel the benefits of the extra exercise, I still felt my lungs were weak and not up to the standards of those of my peers. I was often short of breath and, on occasion, forced to stop while the others pushed on. I wasn’t sure if this was caused by my years of inactivity or my asthma so I decided to investigate and find out if there was any way to measure and improve my breathing.

In previous issues of Cycling Fitness I had read about POWERbreathe so I decided to get in contact with POWERbreathe and arrange a demonstration to help me understand the device a little more.”

And that’s exactly what Dan did. Dan received a comprehensive overview of the benefits of breathing training, and how POWERbreathe works, which was then followed by a breathing test using the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Software. All Dan’s breathing measurements were recorded using the software for analysis one month later after 4-weeks of POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training.

Dan used a POWERbreathe Plus Level 2 (MR) for his daily training and as it was so portable, he took it with him while participating in an 18-day charity ride. Dan started his POWERbreathe training on level 1 but confessed to it being “almost impossible to use when I started”. But he persevered and performed his daily training, and over the course of the month his POWERbreathe training became routine.

Dan commented, “There were moments on my charity cycle ride that I compared my breathing to that of my fellow riders and found myself breathing easier while they were still struggling. This of course could have been because my fitness levels were increasing or a sign of the POWERbreathe doing its job so I decided to reserve my judgement until my follow-up meeting.”

Dan had a follow-up meeting and his breathing results were recorded again on the K5, all of which looked “very positive”. POWERbreathe said, “We looked at Dan’s Volume, his Power, his Flow and the total amount of Energy used in this session compared to the previous session and he is up on everything.”

Seeing his results on the K5 Breathe-Link software charts, Dan concluded, “With just one month’s use of the POWERbreathe I had allowed my lungs to intake an extra litre of oxygen and greatly increased the power of each breath. Of course, how much of this is from my extra cycling and how much from the POWERbreathe is hard to tell.”

“You can analyse the numbers but the proof of the pudding is, do you get a better performance? Do you feel better?” POWERbreathe commented.

And Dan’s response was to confirm that, putting all the science aside, he did feel genuinely stronger, “I am stopping to catch my breath a lot less and I seem able to push myself a lot harder.”

Actually, when you think about it, you can understand how your breathing can become impeded during cycling simply because of the hunched position you’re in while cycling which will compress the contents of your abdomen and push it up against your diaphragm, restricting normal movement and making breathing feel much harder.

POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training specifically targets the breathing muscles, and in scientific studies strengthened these muscles by around 30-50% which in turn improved cycling performance and helped eliminate breathing fatigue. Other results in studies found this inspiratory muscle training:

  • Improved cycling time trial performance by 4.6% – equivalent to slashing 3-minutes off a 40k time trial
  • Enabled participants to cycle for 33% longer and with lower sense of effort
  • Increased strength of inspiratory muscles by 30 – 50%

Read more about why you should include POWERbreathe IMT as part of your cycling training, or if you’re a cyclist and are already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum 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.