POWERbreathe K5 Breathe-Link Software for MAC – now available and FREE to download

The POWERbreathe K5’s smart breathing training technology was launched in 2011 to a huge round of applause for its innovative Breathe-Link PC software. But you let us know that you needed it to be MAC compatible too. We listened and although it took a while to develop we got there (we like things to be just perfect!).

So we’re now delighted to announce to all you MAC users that you too will be able to take advantage of the K5’s smart features.


If you already have a K5 and want to be able to use it on your MAC:

  • Simply visit the Breathe-Link Updates page, log in and then follow the link to download ‘Mac OS’. It’s FREE!

If you haven’t yet purchased your K5 because it was for PC only:

  • Every K5 comes complete with a Breathe-Link CD for PC and instructions for downloading MAC software: simply visit the Breathe-Link Updates page, log in and then follow the link to download ‘Mac OS’. It’s FREE!

The POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link software maximises your breathing performance by enabling you to monitor and analyse your training and test results which you can then view and assess on screen, in pdf and in print. The K5 Breathe-Link software offers:

  • Real-time breathing measurement and analysis
  • Import and export of .bre files (breathing file extension) to allow data sharing amongst Breathe-Link users
  • Real-time, live test feedback graphical display with enhanced visual feedback
  • Detailed, simultaneous plotting and analysis of data
  • Detailed high resolution records of each session, generated into pdf format for printing
  • Creation of your own personalised breathing training sessions

Read more about the POWERbreathe K5 or watch an independent video review of the K5. You can see more videos of the K5 in use on the POWERbreathe You Tube channel.

If you’re already using the POWERbreathe K5, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum as we’d love to hear about what you think of the Breathe-Link software.

Could POWERbreathe prevent ‘turbo lag’ – cycling ace Sean Yates hopes so

Our POWERbreathe man, Duncan, recently visited Train Sharp, a POWERbreathe K5 Testing and Performance Centre in Tunbridge Wells.

TrainSharp is an experienced cycle coaching company, able to create bespoke cycling training plans around personal requirements.

Owner Jon Sharples is working in partnership with one of the biggest names in British cycling and former professional cyclist, Sean Yates. Working in partnership, both Jon and Sean have transformed beginners into top Cyclosport riders, helped juniors find pro team placements and good cyclists become even better cyclists.

Sean, former head directeur sportif at Team Sky, was one of the men who masterminded Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory in July 2012 but is now giving his undivided coaching attention at TrainSharp.

Duncan met up with Jon and Sean to present the POWERbreathe K5 to them and demonstrate its functionality and power, and how easily it can be incorporated into a cyclists training to strengthen their breathing muscles for an improved performance.

Sean didn’t get off to the best of starts simply because he needed to practice his breathing technique, but after he’d quickly mastered this, his rhythm soon improved and his last 10 breaths were much more powerful. Imagine Duncan’s horror though when Sean then revealed that he’d had two strokes and “wears” a pacemaker! Sean doesn’t take his health for granted and with his ‘professional cyclist helmet on,’ he could understand how POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training could help increase his breathing strength and stamina and ultimately cycling performance, but he also pointed out how the K5 could help his breathing in general, as since his two strokes he now struggles to get his heart rate up enough to keep up with his output: “turbo lag” as he humorously described it.

We hope that when Duncan returns from his travels, Jon and Sean will be able to report favourable improvements in their breathing and cycling performance.

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 as we’d love to hear about how you feel you’ve benefited from this breathing training.

POWERbreathe at Open Water Swimming Event

POWERbreathe attended this incredible event alongside Borut Strel, Martin Strel’s son. Martin, aka ‘Big River Man’ (he swam the Amazon River), is a Slovenian long-distance swimmer – and long-time POWERbreathe user! His son Borut operates Strel Swimming Adventures, and Duncan from POWERbreathe was delighted to team up alongside him at this extreme event.

It was the 5th UK Cold Water Championships with 600 swimmers from across the world braving the frosty 0.5C water temperature.

The event is held every two years at Tooting Bec Lido and is ‘a celebration of British masochism and funny hats’.  Full of enthusiastic and sometimes eccentric swimmers, Duncan wasn’t disappointed as people in funny hats, hilarious costumes and unusual body colouring, came over to find out more about POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training and how it could benefit them. He was delighted when a couple of channel swimmers and record holders came over to test their breathing on the K5 with Breathe-Link software.

To give you a flavour of how extreme this event is, here’s Guardian reporter and Cold Water Swimming participant, Marcel Theroux’s account of the final event,

“The final race of the day was the endurance event:  450m, or two circuits of the enormous pool. This gripped the spectators as only a sporting event which offers the possibility of witnessing death by hypothermia can. One breaststroker who appeared to be struggling was encouraged to leave the pool by the lifeguards. The rest emerged looking dazed and wobbly and were handed cups of hot Ribena which they could barely hold. I think I’ll put my name down for that one in 2015.”

You can watch some of the breath testing going on at the event on the POWERbreathe YouTube Channel.

The featured photograph shows Mr. Ed testing his breathing on a K5 using the Breathe-Link software. Every person who tested their breathing was provided with a POWERbreathe Try SafeTM bacterial/viral filter for reasons of hygiene.

Read more about how POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training could improve swimming performance, and if you’re already using POWERbreathe to improve your swimming performance, then please leave a comment here as we’d love to hear from you. Also if you have a question about POWERbreathe, then please feel free to leave a comment.

Ben Barwick – POWERbreathe six weeks training complete

Ben BarwickI have now completed six weeks of POWERbreathe training   and it is now time to move to a once every other day training schedule as my initial training period is over. Alison McConnell in her book ‘Breathe Strong Perform Better” mentions that research suggests that minimal improvements can be made after a 6 week training block, and a maintenance schedule is all that is then required.

So, a bit of an overview of the POWERbreathe training so far:

Everything has improved quite dramatically over the past few weeks, here is the training in numbers:

•Test 1 Sindex – 177

•Final Test Sindex – 233

That is a 32% improvement in my performance over 6 weeks, which is a very nice gain to have made.

Another area that has improved is the Peak Inspiratory Flow (PIF) value (Litres)

•Test 1 – 9.5 litres

•Final Test – 11.9

That is a 25% improvement over 6 weeks in my peak inspiratory flow value.

Training wise, I have seen massive improvements in what I am able to do each session.

To begin with my average power for the session was 29.7 cmH2O, is is now 67.9 cmH2O. This basically means I am ‘lifting’ a lot heavier weights during the session, or working with a  lot more resistance.

Average flow has remained fallibly constant, around the 5 litters/second mark, with it dipping below when I am adjusting to a new level of resistance, them improving steadily. It is not a surprise to see this as you can’t make the lungs any bigger, just more efficient. This is a similar story for the volume per breath, which has sat around 4.5 – 5.5 litres per breath.

All of these numbers are just that at the end of the day. The big question has to be whether it has made a difference to my training. I think that it has made a difference and I don’t believe it is all psychological.

Over the last few weeks I have run two massive pb’s, taking over 2 minutes off my 10k time (down to 36:17) and over 9 minutes off a half marathon (down to 1:20:05). I have been training well but I have also felt stronger when I have been pushing my body over the tougher sessions. There is a huge psychological benefit to be had, whenever you start to get tired and the breathing becomes harder, thinking back to all the work put in on the POWERbreathe trainer certainly makes me realise that I am capable of doing this and I am in good shape. I have also found my chest has been less susceptible to the tiny coughs that I usually pick up at the drop of a pin whilst training. This might be down to other parts of my lifestyle; diet and general well being, however I think that the POWERbreathe has done a lot for my breathing technique.

So, 6 weeks has flown past, I am slightly relieved to not be using the device twice a day, however it will be interesting to see how the next few weeks play out with the one session every other day and seeing what happens with my scores.

Ben Barwick

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.

Ben Barwick – Goodbye illness, hello POWERbreathe

Ben BarwickThank god my illness over and I am back to training. Been going much better this week, both running and POWERbreathe.

I sat down this week and had a look at the my training results, using the breathe-link software. What is really pleasing to see is how it has all progressed, and I cannot imagine how I even functioned before the POWERbreathe!

What I noticed from the breathe link software was how the Flow figures have changed. They seem to increase, drop down a bit then increase back up to the level before. What I think is happening here is that when the training load adjusts to a level I have not done before, I can’t get as much air through the device, however, the breathing muscles quickly adapt and we get flow levels back to where we were before, we then go through the cycle again.

The average power has also steadily increased, with a bit more consistency over the last few sessions. Whilst being able to visibly see the training is good, it is also really useful to get an idea of how effective the training is.

What would all this training be without a few tests thrown in for good measure? Testing is the ultimate way to see improvement and I have feel I have made some very steady gains.

A short but positive update this week on the POWERbreathe training. Next week I will test the Warm Up and Cool Down functions and let you know a bit more about manually loading the POWERbreathe K5 for an even better workout!

Are you using your POWERbreathe correctly?

Here is a short video of our Duncan demonstrating how to correctly use the POWERbreathe.  He has also provided his top tips so read on to find out what Duncan’s secrets are to using the POWERbreathe effectively.

  1. Make sure the load is correctly set as you need to maximize the volume of each breath you take. If it is too high then you will struggle.
  2. When using for the first time, always start on the lowest load setting and get used to doing 30 breaths twice a day.
  3. When you can easily maintain a powerful breath for 30 breaths then you can start to increase the load.  If you have one of the POWERbreathe K Series units this is done automatically.
  4. As you increase the load, your volume will drop but as your breathing muscles adapt the volume will come back up and then you increase the load again.
  5. It is important to breath out slowly fully emptying the lungs and then to breathe in rapidly and maintain the breath as long as possible –  effectively to fire as many muscle fibres in the diaphragm as quickly as possible and then to maximize the volume of the breath using the intercostal and other muscle groups.  This will develop your power and maximize the volume you were born with.

You will soon get used to the sound of a good breath.  You should feel like you have done a workout at the end and sweat a little but not don’t give up at 15 breaths because you find it too hard. Remember, don’t be too aggressive going for a high load at the beginning as it will only put you off.  Move up in increments, be patient and don’t over train.

Ben Barwick – Go POWERbreathe Go

A couple of weeks into the POWERbreathe training now. The big news is that I broke 200 on my test score. That was very exciting for me! My S-index was 205.1. It was a bit of a shock when I did the test and that score came up but obviously the training is doing something. One of the great features of the unit is that is provides you with targets and numbers to improve on and this certainly provides me with plenty of motivation for my training.

I know that I have only just started using the unit but I already think it is helping with the running. I did a hill session a few days ago, it was 3 x10 minutes Kenyan Hills uphill. What this means is that I have to run up a hill for a period of time, then turn around and run down.

Doesn’t sound so bad but the only part of the session that counts towards the 10 minutes is the going up. So each part lasts for just under 20 minutes, you then have to do that 2 more times!! Not only did the session go really well but I definitely felt my breathing was stronger than before. It may be purely psychological but any sort of benefit I can get.

I have also spent this week researching the POWERbreathe range and having a look at the other models that they sell. Part of this is because I am sad, and partly because the K5 would be a bit too pricey for most people. The K series is phenomenal because of the auto loading feature, and I would probably want to spring for the K2 over the K1 (as it has the test feature) but I might be tempted to spend the extra on the K3 to add in the warm up/cool down feature, more on this in next week’s blog. As I have said before, I love the breathe link software so if you can afford to get it I really recommend it.

Of the rest of the range, I would probably purchase a POWERbreathe plus. It will create enough resistance to be a useful training tool and doesn’t look too bad either. At £50 it will not break the bank but still provide all the benefits of a POWERbreathe device.

Right, off to do some more training.

Check back soon for another update!


Ben Barwick – Can’t get enough of the POWERbreathe K5

So, week two has started and am thoroughly enjoying the POWERbreathe. The best news is that my Test scores have gone up. I did a test after 3 days, and my results had already gone up to 189.8. As I mentioned in my first Blog, the first few sessions were just about getting used to the POWERbreathe and developing the technique.

The best news is that after 2 days of training the results started to improve and I felt like I am making some improvements.

One of the great features about POWERbreathe K series is that it has an auto-level feature. As I understand it, based on your first 3 breaths, the unit automatically sets the training load for that session. You can set this feature to vary from very light, light, moderate, heavy, very heavy. From my use, I have only used the very light and light settings. One slightly annoying think about the Breathe-Link software is that it doesn’t remember your setting from the previous session, so you have to change it each time you train. Hopefully they will update that with a software update. If you train with this setting on the unit, it will however remember what setting you had it on.

I have also tried training with and without the breathe-link software this week and I must say that I prefer using the computer software. Not only does it allow me to visualise each breath but you can easily look at your training afterwards and see the progression over the week. Training with the unit is great because it is portable but short of writing down the results afterwards I do not have a record of what I am doing, and I am of the digital age where I need everything done electronically and automatically.

Check out my website for detailed screenshots of the tests.