A very successful Triathlon show for POWERbreathe

Triathlon 2012

This year we exhibited at the 10th Triathlon Show. what a show it was and more to the point a successful show for POWERbreathe. Our Duncan, Lee and Mary Ann all attended the event to spread the word about POWERbreathe.

We tested over 250 individuals, sold numerous Plus units and our biggest achievement was selling three  POWERbreathe K5  units which was just uh-mayzing.  However, the biggest success of the show was POWERbreathe awareness. IT seems our education campaign is growing all the time creating greater awareness of POWERbreathe breathing training.  One of the POWERbreathe K5 purchasers had never ever heard about POWERbreathe or Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) before.  Overall, a success as many attendees left the show thinking about the POWERbreathe, many will check out our website and some will even purchase one in the future.

The highest score over the 3 days was 213 achieved by a very large rugby player, well done to him. We had a lady called Collette from a Tri Club who used her POWERbreathe regularly but in the car as she drove to work.  She achieved the highest female score of 149.

It was great for networking, meeting media people, athletes and current and potential retailers. Three long hard days and a lot of talking and breathing but it was definitely worth it. Lee has now trained, fine-tuned and supercharged his ability to talk.  With greater intervals between breathing he now beat both Harry and Duncan and that is an achievement in itself!!! Mary Anne bless her took Monday off to allow her ear drums to recover recover from both Duncan and Lee.

Here are some photos from the Triathlon Show. don’t forget to connect with POWERbreathe on Flickr too so you can be tagged in our photos.

Strengthen your muscles for COPD

Anyone living with COPD knows when it comes to exercise it is a thought way back in the mind. However, carrying out some simple breathing exercises can help with your COPD treatment. Specific breathing exercises can help to strengthen your breathing muscles which over time will result in stronger lung power.

Breathing muscle training exercises also offer many other benefits.  Not only will you strengthen your diaphragm but the muscles around your rib cage and abdomen will become stronger. Rehabilitation for pulmonary conditions includes teaching patients the correct techniques for breathing that are combined with muscle strengthening as these are the elements that enable you to breathe correctly. If you suffer from COPD then exercise is an important activity that you must regularly do.

The less you exercise the less active you are and this leads to muscle weakness. When muscles become weak they require more oxygen to function, if they don’t get enough oxygen then it causes shortness of breath.  A suitable exercise program coupled with a healthy diet and monitoring from your Doctor will enable you to concentrate more on a healthy lifestyle without the need of using a tube to breathe.

Not many people are aware the diaphragm is actually a muscle, a muscle that is absolutely crucial for breathing. If you do suffer from COPD then it is imperative you regularly exercise to strengthen your diaphragm and get more air into your lungs. Other muscles that are strengthened with regular exercise include your pectoral muscles in your chest, your intercostals muscles along your rib cage and your abdominal muscles.

Steps you should take when doing COPD exercises

  • Never rush into exercising, start at a slow pace and build up your endurance progressively
  • If you use an inhaler keep it close to hand as you may need it.
  • Before starting any COPD exercise techniques, always clear any mucus build up you may have in your lungs.
  • If you rely on a tube for oxygen make sure it is not in your way when exercising.
  • For the best results always try to be consistent with your COPD breathing exercises as this will determine if the exercises have helped you or not.

If you suffer from COPD or any other breathing difficulty then it can be difficult to participate in regular sporting and fitness activities, particular sports that require endurance and high stamina like football and rugby. Rugby performance can be improved with some COPD exercises and regular exercise can also be effective for COPD treatment. Simple inspiratory muscle training will increase the efficiency of your lungs and enhance your ability to metabolise oxygen which is crucial to performance and endurance for any sport.



Inspiratory muscle training and exercise for athletes

Athletes take their chosen sport very seriously and excelling in sports is a main priority for them. Doing some breathing techniques helps athletes relax and help them focus their mind on the sport. Athletes who adopt a regime of breathing training and inspiratory muscle training will be prone to less stress, injury and overall will improve their confidence in the competitions that they participate in. Even if they suffer a loss in the competition they will find it easier to deal with. Additionally adopting some breathing techniques will help to control the athletes’ heart rate and blood pressure as well as increase their staying power.

Steps for helping you breathe properly

Following a few simple steps can help you improve your breathing as well as improve your respiratory muscles. Adopting inspiratory muscle training techniques can improve your overall health and fitness.

#Step 1

Start by taking slow, deep breaths. This will help you to reduce your heart rate as well as calm down your emotions and relax you. If you are in the middle of training and you find yourself succumbing to pressure or feel stressed out then stop and take a break from your training and do some breathing.

#Step 2

To begin with try and find a quiet place away from where you are training. Make sure you are sat down comfortably in an upright posture as well as keeping your head still. While counting to six breathe in through your nose. Hold your breath for eight seconds and then exhale slowly while counting to six.  As you become more familiar with the technique add additional seconds to each breath as you breath in and out helping you to feel more relaxed. Controlling your breathing with deep breathing exercise will help you feel less stressed and much calmer as well as your muscles feeling relaxed as opposed to being tense.

#Step 3

To aid your breathing techniques and training a great way to create resistance for breathing is by using a hand held device, this also builds stamina and endurance. Inspiratory muscle training or IMT is a form of exercise that trains your body to use less oxygen whilst exercising which in turn will leave more oxygen available for longer periods of time. For athletes that participate in high performance and endurance sports including swimming and cycling, IMT is extremely beneficial.

#Step 4

Athletes undergo extreme rigorous training programs which is why it is important to practice low breathing techniques.  This particular exercise is beneficial during training warm up routines. Take a few minutes and concentrate on breathing and watch your diaphragm extend. By breathing slowly in and out through your nose you are actually reducing the amount of impure air intake into your lungs.

Combining inspiratory muscle training into your breathing during your training schedules will improve the way you breathe. Whether you are an athlete who swims or cycles or are involved in fitness training systems, these simple steps can help you improve your breathing and help you relax.


Inspiratory muscle training and COPD treatment

Patients who suffer from COPD benefit greatly from inspiratory muscle training. This particular method of inspiratory muscle training is extremely good for this patient group because their inspiratory muscles are weaker than normal. The primary cause of COPD arises from smoking, air pollution, asthma, respiratory infections and secondary smoke.

For people who live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including asthma, bronchitis or any other breathing problem it is important they know how to strengthen their breathing muscles in order to breathe properly and with ease. A good way of overcoming breathing difficulties is in the form of breathing exercises to help these muscles. This is particularly important if you are a runner, tennis performer or cyclist as these all require high volumes of stamina.

Importance of Exercise for COPD sufferers

An important part of pulmonary rehabilitation is exercise. Inspiratory muscle training exercises improve the overall strength of the respiratory muscles. When exercising the muscles train and learn to utilise oxygen much more efficiently resulting in the breathing muscles not having to work so hard. Regular exercise is not only good for physical health but it also boosts your mental health, helps you maintain a healthy weight and improves blood circulation round your body – all positive influences on your breathing.

Be disciplined and begin an exercise regime

Athletes, tennis performers, cyclists and anyone else who suffers from COPD should religiously practice two different types of exercise. The first exercise should be aerobic exercise and this should be a regular routine as aerobic exercise is great for strength and conditioning. The second form of exercise that should be in your regime is equally as important and are exercises that help you to control and correctly manage your breathing. For anyone that suffers from COPD, it is imperative medical advice is sought before undertaking any kind of fitness regime. By taking medical advice you will be well informed as to which exercises you can and can’t undertake.

Which exercises should I do to control my breathing

To improve breathing airflow and decrease shortness of breath, breathing through pursed lips and applying diaphragmatic techniques is most effective. When you find it difficult to breathe, these techniques should be used. Pursed lips exercises are done by breathing in through your nose then pursing your lips as though you are going to whistle then slowly exhaling breath through your mouth.  This technique will probably take 3-4 times longer to exhale than it takes to inhale.

Another effective exercise that can help with your breathing difficulties requires a little more patience. Lay down and place one hand across your abdomen and the other hand on your chest, slowly inhale through your nose while at the same time concentrating on keeping your stomach moving and keeping your chest still. When you have reached this point, slowly exhale through pursed lips, allowing your stomach to fall inward while continuing to keep your upper chest as still as you can.

If you are involved in sports activity, be it high stamina sports like Tennis and Cycling, overall tennis performance can be improved with some simple breathing techniques. These exercises are effective for COPD treatment as well as other breathing problems. If you enjoy walking then simple inspiratory muscle training exercises can make your walk that much more enjoyable.

Inspiratory muscle training for improving your breathing muscles

Conducting relatively simple inspiratory muscle training exercises can allow you to breathe easier as well as improve your respiratory muscles.  Whether you are a recovering patient or fit and healthy individual, carrying out inspiratory muscle training can strengthen your muscles significantly. However, if you suffer from asthma or COPD then these training exercises can aid in building up lung performance.

Diaphragm breathing training

Diaphragm breathing exercises are to help you to use your diaphragm correctly when breathing. It is simple and straightforward to carry out this exercise. Lay down flat on the floor and support your head. Keep your knees bent. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand gently on your rib cage. While you are holding this position breathe in deeply through your nose. By doing this it will cause the hand on your rib cage to rise. Tighten your stomach muscles and slowly exhale, allowing the hand on your rib cage to move down.

Breathing through pursed lips

By breathing while your lips are pursed, each breath will be more effective and your breathing pattern will improve. It is best to sit down or stand in an upright position when doing this exercise. Ensure you are standing in a relaxed position, with shoulders and neck loose. Inhale very slowly through your nose for about two seconds. To exhale pucker your lips and blow out through your lips for about five seconds.

Resistive exercises

Progression resistive exercises can help build the diaphragm muscles. These exercises do this by applying pressure to your diaphragm when it is fully contracted. Laying down straight on a flat surface is the best position for this exercise.  You can create different strengths of resistance by applying pressure through the use of weights and positioning.  The benefits of this exercise will be noticed in the long term as opposed to short term.

Manual Assisted Cough

Although as bizarre as this may sound a manual assisted cough is a good inspiratory muscle training exercise. An assisted cough helps to clear mucus build up in the lungs and also prevents respiratory infections. Lastly assisted cough also builds up your cough strength. This exercise should be undertaken when the stomach is empty or if you feel as though you have mucus build up in your lungs. Take a long deep breath, and then have someone push in and toward the rib as you cough.  Keep a tissue handy as any mucus that comes out can be dispersed of in the tissue.

If you regularly exercise then it is important that you perform a warm up routine. Neglecting breathing exercises correctly can lead to breathlessness. Inspiratory Muscle Training can be used to specifically warm-up these muscles prior to exercise, using a reduced load setting.

POWERbreathe Trial – Martin Haines: Interesting few weeks

I’ve had an interesting few weeks actually.  I’ve reduced the amount of cardio training I’ve been doing and mainly focused on strength work. This includes weight lifting rather than weight training as such, so; squats, deadlift, cleans etc.  Mixing it up to reduce the boredom factor!  Some time ago I sat one of the UKSCA weight lifting courses and since then I’ve tried to practice what they taught me (often unsuccessfully I’m sure!).   Anyway, usually when I do work that puts a compressive force through my spine, my thoracic spine doesn’t like it.  In previous blogs I’ve mentioned about rib issues I have and I also have an old crush fracture of my T4 vertebra.  These issues are usually enough to cause pain when I do this type of training.

Interestingly though I still get some discomfort, I must say that I haven’t had as much as normal.  I can’t say that it’s down to the powerbreathe, but it’s the only thing that I have done differently, so maybe it is?  Maybe my ribs are moving better, maybe my intercostals are ‘stronger’, maybe its psychosomatic.  Its interesting though. I plan to keep this sort of training going for a while and over the next month or so I’ll increase my cardio work to, let’s see what happens then.



Keep moving freely


Samuel Dallimore Week 12: POWERbreathe comes to an end, what a fabulous journey

This week has been by far the most progressive of all the weeks I’ve been training on the POWERbreathe, I have finally been able to up the resistance to 4! I’m sticking to between 3.5-4 depending on how tired I am after training as the Loughborough University swim squad pre season program is now under way! This means lots of cross training and can mean feeling out of you depth at times ( no pun intended) due to the varied methods in which we can train our bodies, this can be a whole mix of things such as circuits, pool based circuits, spinning, medicine ball sets, core sets and running, however unfortunately due to my injuries, running is off the list I’m told by the physio.

I really like pre season training as it’s so varied and it also means my injuries are much less problematic as the repetitious nature of the actions are naturally reduced once you mix it up a bit are continually changing the exercises. Pre season training normally lasts most of September and sometimes into early October on occasions, then we get into more of a swimming based shedule and routine for the rest of the year. That means  moving back to 4:30am starts three times a week and afternoons/ evenings swimming thousand and thousands of meters per week! Not to mention the gym and circuit sets aswell which are just as hard! I absolutely love it though, and I mean that truthfully, there’s a very strange sense of satisfaction getting up that early and training until you’ve nothing left to give, then a nap and a good meal and you do it all again in the evening 6 days a week! It just becomes addictive in the end, you adapt and adjust to it so much that you thrive off of it and depend on training so much to almost regulate yourself, it’s a brilliant feeling and something I will never give up trying to achieve.

Training and swimming have become a part off who I am, and I will never truly stop, I will always want to exercise as I pretty much have since I can remember and it’s a brilliant thing to have that close connection with ones fitness, health and body that comes from such intense and regular exercise. All this has been helped massively with adding in my POWERbreathe training, it really does make you less breathless and I can say from a swimmer’s perspective it increases performance. Also, when I couldn’t push myself in training due to injuries or niggles I had to find a way to keep my lungs and breathing muscles in shape, the POWERbreathe facilitated that and gave me the boost I needed.


POWERbreathe Trial – Melanie Ryding Week 11: It is all about taking part

The journey to get me to this start line was way more challenging than any other race I have done. A severe head injury and 6 weeks layoff directly beforehand meant that being at this start line at all was in the balance for a long time.

I only firmly decided if I would travel about a week before hand, and was forced to set myself a whole new set of goals.

Originally, I had decided I would like a top 20 finish, managing 31’st place last year in Budapest, it seemed a reasonable ask. In actual fact, I wanted it closer to the top ten if possible, so I was forced to completely evaluate.

I spent quite some time thinking about whether I would actually get anything out of competing at all, having done no training whatsoever and still suffering from the head injury. In the end I decided I would take it as an opportunity to try a complete reverse pacing strategy. I would take it easy on the swim and bike, then see what I have left for the run. This is not what I would normally do at all, being a strong swimmer / cyclist.

Pre Race

I felt all wobbly this morning, both physically and mentally. Its torrential rain outside, and its freezing. A 4am get up was not sitting well with me, and I was regretting not bringing my own porridge, no porridge in sight in china!

We stood, freezing, in the flooded timing chip marquee watching with amusement as the Chinese swept the water out one side, only for it to flow back in another just as fast. The standing water was beginning to concern me. The Chinese roads would not be used to this volume of water. When I asked an ITU official about the danger element I was told ‘just cycle slower, we aren’t changing the race’.

Transition set up was wet and waterlogged. The only function for my purple towel was to indicicate a visual cue to me, it would not be keeping anything dry at all! Some deliberation over whether to put shoe on bike or not, put helmet upside down on bars or not… I decided just to do what I always do. Water is only water after all. I also decided to leave the union flag in transition too, having not found anyone to give it to for finish line delivery, I decided to take it myself!

We were kicked out of transition an hour before our start, so we stood freezing under the shelter of the bag drop for another hour, after a brief and minging visit to the portasqats.

Leaving it to the last possible moment before moving to the pre race pens, I spotted Richard Stannard standing nearby. I congratulated him on the Aquathlon win, and he wished me good luck for my race! Pre race warm up was almost impossible, with no shoes, and temperatures so cold. Everyone was shivering.


I was looking forward to getting started so when I was ordered to get in and the water was still 27 degrees (no where near anything like the air temperature!) it was like getting into a bath! In fact this was the warmest point in the whole race! The hysterical Chinese lady next to me made me laugh, panicking about having to get in, panicking about where and how to hold onto the pontoon, etc etc. I was positioned in the middle, not ideal, so I put on a strong start to get clear of the people around me after the hooter went off. I caught the back of the previous wave (men) and had a good time. I liked the none wet suit, you were able to work out who was around you in the water. The weedy swim exit was all gone, pretty amazing!

Mammoth run to T1, and I noticed Rossiter’s and Wood’s bike were still there. Pretty good. Clearly a non wet suit swim does me big favours. I was also in front of Penny Bulley, usually a top 5 finisher at least.


Not for long though, she soon came past me on the bike! The bike course was extremely waterlogged. I was glad I wore glasses, I almost didn’t, but it kept the spray off my face. It was very hard to race the bike course, perhaps also a little hesitation in the back of my mind too because of what has happened, I was more concerned about getting through it unscathed, which is a shame, because on a dry day, that course would have suited me well. I saw one guy crash, and then get rescued by motorbike, so I was rather wary. The biggest hazard on route was the Chinese competitors veering across the middle of the lanes, wearing ordinary pumps! I even saw a mountain bike! What on earth!?


GB Newcombe was directly in front coming into T”. I managed to focus on just me, my race. My strap line for the run ‘ham strings and tree tops’ which I tried my best to focus on throughout. I successfully managed to focus on just me, my race. A few more came past, but I was OK. I was executing my own race plan. I unfolded the union flag from inside the front of my suit as I approached the finish straight. I crossed the line, flag held high, proud that I had managed to reach the start line, after an awful run up to this race, and equally proud that I managed to execute my own race plan without getting distracted.

Result? 17th place. Better than I could ever have hoped for, all things considered.

So, next year, top ten then yes? 😉

I didnt once need my inhaler, despite the awful thick smog, in fact i still havent used it in months. Back to using the Powerbreathe regularly again (was tricky in china amongst all the pre race stuff going on) and i am ready to move to level 7 i think!




POWERbreathe Trial – Martin Haines Week 9: Fancy a round of golf

This week progress was initially very quick for me when I first started using the powerbreathe, but then since the layoff I had due to injury, progress has been much slower.  This last week I’ve not really been able to train due to work commitments, but I have just had 30 mins at the golf driving range as I’m off on a golfing holiday this weekend.  I figured a bit of last minute brushing up on the golf swing will bring back the prizes!  Time will tell.  It will be interesting to see if the POWERbreathe helps by thoracic spine, which usually hurts after playing golf following a layoff.  I’ll let you know.


Keep moving freely


What is Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT)

Inspiratory muscle training is defined as a course of therapy consisting of a series of breathing exercises that aim to strengthen the bodies’ respiratory muscles making it easier for people to breathe. Inspiratory muscle training is normally aimed at people who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD. However, many people adopt IMT as part of their sports training as this training is designed to strengthen the muscles used for breathing. This is done through a series of controlled breathing exercises. Studies have shown that regular IMT can increase a person’s endurance during cardiovascular exercise or sports activities such as running and cycling.

When a person is breathing normally, they typically use between 10 to 15 per cent of his or her total lung capacity. However, with Inspiratory muscle training, a person can typically increase the amount of lung capacity used. Deeper breathing uses a bit more energy but also allows more oxygen to enter the bloodstream with each breath while strengthening the breathing muscles. Strengthening inspiratory muscles by performing daily breathing exercises for at least six weeks significantly reduces the amount of oxygen these same breathing muscles require during exercise, resulting in more oxygen being available for other muscles.

Why train the respiratory muscles

The respiratory muscles need to be trained because during exercise the body’s demand for oxygen increases and our breathing volume or ventilation must also rise to cope with the oxygen increase. For this to work numerous muscles surrounding the lungs need to contract in an exceedingly coordinated manner. As the intensity of the exercise increases, these respiratory muscles must contract more forcefully and more rapidly to keep pace with the body’s substantial increase in metabolism. This important role of the inspiratory muscle training has huge benefits for respiratory muscles, fitness and sports training as well as to help improve running performance.