Development And Evaluation Of A Pressure Threshold Inspiratory Muscle Trainer For Use In The Context Of Sports Performance

“Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) became widespread, particularly in a clinical context, and at the time of this research a pressure threshold training device suitable for training the inspiratory muscles of healthy humans did not exist. The purpose of this paper was to document the design and development of such a device – the POWERbreathe.

Read Development and evaluation of a pressure threshold inspiratory muscle trainer for use in the context of sports performance >

Steven Barlow – 2012 World Coal Carrying Championships

Steven BarlowHello, my name is Steven Barlow and here is my blog about my experience of participating in the 49Th The World Coal Carrying Championships in Gawthorpe West Yorkshire. This is just a brief snippet of the blog but you cna read my blow by blow account on my website.

Preparation for the race started some weeks back and as is with these things did not get off to the best of starts. With a large part of 2011 being spent involved with a lot of rehabilitation work my foundation training was not at its best. To add insult to injury three weeks prior to competing in my first half marathon I pulled up with issues around the back of my knee which meant next to no training done before the half marathon and then over a week to recover from the excessive soreness before coal sack training could commence far later than I’d intended.

For this years event we completely revamped my training with a “boom or bust” approach. If it worked I would reach the two goals I’d set after last years race. If it didn’t I would either loose time or not complete the course at all. The pressure weighed heavily. What was in my favour this year compared tot he previous two years was the number of races I’d managed to get in in 2011 which helped dramatically improve my cardiovascular fitness and awareness of how far I could push myself. A great confidence booster.

Another product I started to experiment with this year was Xendurance a magnesium based supplement which helps on a number of fronts. Nothing worse than your legs over pumping with blood and throwing your whole mechanics out when your trying to squeeze the last bits out of a set. Bad mechanics equal bad habits and injury. Looking forward to using this supplement throughout the rest of year and pushing the makers claims to its limits. I’m in a unique position of doing numerous races at very different intensities and distances so this will help to put the cat amongst the pigeons as they say and give  me very detailed feedback on its effectiveness especially in the shorter sprint events as a lot of people that I see using this product seem to be more involved with the longer distance events of marathons, triathlons and Ironman events. So with the rest of my race season fixed around doing a number of events in the UK Spartan Race calendar it’ll be a great test of the product.

The final addition I’d like to introduce readers to is the POWERbreathe Inspiratory muscle trainer a training device that has a number of uses. For me personally I’m a lousy breather when I run always sucking in air from the chest upwards. The POWERbreathe helps you to training and strengthen the muscles we use to breath which help not only with training but you will find that in everyday life the better your breathing the more overall energy and vigor you have. A very worthwhile training tool and one I found of benefit in this years coal race because I could feel my breathing was a lot deeper and I wasn’t constantly hyperventilating because of bad breathing mechanics. Again this device will be at the cornerstone of my training for my Spartan races because of the way the body is tested not only over various distances but by the simple fact that your body is twisted and turned in all manner of ways which make breathing very difficult.

Right back to the nitty gritty of the day. Talk about nerves. The plan was to have an early breakfast and follow that up with a carbohydrate and protein shake to sip on as need be. Not a chance. Never experienced stomach butterflies like I did all the way to the starting line. There was no way anything was going down because I knew it would be coming straight back up. I was scheduled to run in the first of the men’s races so had plenty of time to pick up my race t-shirt, number and try to settle down a little as we watched the kids races unfold.

The coal truck pulled up and we went and collected our coal sacks off the back. Oh boy this got worse then. The sack was too heavy on one side and the coal had collected into one solid mass. No amount of jumping up and down like a lunatic would break it up. And to top it off there was no give in the sacks themselves. They were brand new which left the edges quite sharp and made gripping very difficult. There was no way the sack was going to sit anywhere near on my shoulders like the sack I’d used for training. Misery set in even further.

Ready, steady GO!!!!! and we were off. Surprise surprise I set off faster than I expected, the cloud of doom and gloom started to lift as I realised I wasn’t seeing a sea of feet surge past me. 50 meters in and I was still there. 100 meters in and shock, horror I was hanging onto third place. Wonders would never cease.

Whether you finished in first or last you can hold your head high knowing you’ve been through hell and back doing quite possibly the hardest, shortest distance race this country has to offer all in the name of tradition and having a right good laugh whilst your at it because lets face it its not fun but its a dam good laugh afterwards.

Here is a video of my performance.  I come into view around the 40 second mark wearing the black running compression tights.



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

Phil Bradbury – POWERbreathe has helped my breathing

I have just completed a 12 week trial with a medium resistance Powerbreathe.

I cycle or row just about every day but do not compete formally so I cannot quote figures of percentage improvement in particular events. Having said that I do push myself very hard whilst riding at the Velodrome and on some club rides which are inevitably very hilly and quite fast.

I only started using the Concept rower for some cross training about 7 months ago so I would expect my performance to improve anyway, that said each week I do a timed one hour row and each week the metres completed increases with what feels like the same effort.

My criteria of success is how I feel under high exercise effort.

As far back as I can remember I felt I ran out of breath long before I ran out of legs, it felt that my breathing had become the limiting factor. I have in the past consulted my doctor about this and had spirometer and exercise ECG tests, both showing for my age of 63 that I am very fit.  This breathing limit has been more obvious in the winter months.

I do perceive a change over the 12 week trial in that I no longer reach the point where I begin to worry that, “this time I have gone too far”, with my breathing. By accident not design the trial has been during the Autumn / Winter months.

Bottom line, I think the Powerbreathe has helped with my breathing and I will continue to use it as part of my daily routine.

Breathing definately is the key to improving rowing performance

Jen-Howse-RowingWell I’ve had my POWERbreathe for a little while now. My first attempt to use it showed how much improvement I had to make! I tried the thirty breaths at level one and failed!

Very soon after the arrival of my POWERbreathe came my first test in the lead up to the World Indoor Rowing Championships (Crash-bs), the British Online Rowing Championship. The inaugural event this year saw people round the world connect their Concepts 2 rowing machines to their computers and row against each other from the comfort of their own shed/garage/living room! I normally train in the garage but I decided to move the erg inside for the occasion.  Regretted this move about half way through as the air felt drier than usual and I started to struggle a little with my breathing.

Managed to come home first in my race and win the 30-39 lwtwomens category in a time a little slower than I had managed in training a few days before, but it is always different in a race situation.

From that race I realised that breathing training is definitely one of the keys to improving performance in races, as they are often not the best atmosphere for me.

So I have been using the Powerbreathe for a while now and can do 30 breaths without taking a break, which is quite an improvement from the first attempt.

Now into the last 6-week build up to the Crash-Bs and I will be doing another 2k test in the next few weeks to see how I have progressed over the last month.

POWERbreathe Trial – Martin Haines Week 1: The journey begins

Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started using the powerbreathe, particularly as I am asthmatic.  Although it affects me less now than it used to when I was a child, I still have trouble doing harder interval sessions on my bike and even heavier and more intense gym sessions can make me more breathless than I’d expect.  I figured the powerbeathe would either kill or cure me!!   I typically do CV work twice a week on my bike, which is mostly endurance work, but more recently I’ve included intervals.  I also do weights in the gym 2 -3 times per week which is a combination of weight lifting and weight training. I was advised by the powerbreathe team not to use it for the first week, as I was recovering from a chest infection, so I started using it 4 days ago.  Initially I found it difficult even on the lowest setting.  Inhaling was difficult and also I felt it in my costo-vertebral joints (rib joints round the side of my spine).  I managed about 12 breathes and stopped.

I’ve used it twice a day since then for 4 days and it continues to be difficult to be honest.  I’m very interested to see how that changes over time. I am doing more breaths now I’m up to about 20.   As yet I haven’t noticed any difference in my training or daily life.

Strengthen your muscles with 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.

POWERbreathe Training Videos: Levente Dorogi: POWERbreathe functional training

This is one of our series of POWERbreathe training videos that have been submitted by users.

This video concentrates on POWERbreathe functional training covering floor exercises with POWERbreathe:

Pilates Press Up
Atomic Press Up


Thanks to Levente Dorogi for submitting this one. We would love your comments below. Please tell us how you use your POWERbreathe for your Inspiratory Muscle Training