POWERbreathe and my story by Adam Walsh

We would like to share with you this story that we received out of the blue. As you read on you’ll see why we wanted to share it, and we hope it inspires and motivates all of us to not give up when the going gets tough.

We asked permission from Adam, whose story this is, to reproduce it word for word, and share it, and he kindly gave his permission. Adam’s story reminds us at POWERbreathe of why we do what we do, everyday, so thank you Adam for sharing your story with us – and now with your POWERbreathe friends too.

Here’s Adam’s story…

To Whom it May Concern

I wanted to write and tell you about my story and how my PowerBreathe Plus helped me get back to fitness and raised my performance over and above my expectations.

In 2012 I entered Ironman Australia. This was to be my first Ironman. Thinking that this might be my only Ironman, I wanted to do all I could to have a successful race. One element was focusing on breathing. For me 1%ers all add up so I purchased a PowerBreathe Ironman Plus to give me that extra advantage and extra confidence going into the race. I completed Ironman Australia in 10hr 15min, which was a surprise but hugely rewarding. Not surprisingly I wanted to do another.

My real story though starts in late 2013. I had entered Ironman Melbourne 2014 with a specific goal of getting close to or under 10hrs. Focusing on my weaknesses over winter and building strength I was feeling on track to achieve that goal. However, in late October I was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to hospital. In the previous weeks I had continued to train despite being in pain, which included a three-day cycling camp in the Victorian high country. Upon admission the diagnosis was a fluid filled right lung crushing my lung tissue and reducing my breathing capacity to only one lung. I spent 10 days in hospital including surgery to remove the fluid.

Upon release from hospital I was told that Ironman in March was unlikely.

I had entered Shepparton 70.3, however I couldn’t compete because I was in hospital. Watching club members and friends compete only made me more determined to race again that summer.

On medical orders I was told that through December I wasn’t allowed to train because there was a risk of re-infection. In fact I had lost 7kg including all my strength and I was struggling to walk the dog around the block. My focus was to re-activate my lungs. This is when I remembered my PowerBreathe. So through December twice a day, I used it as part of my deep breathing rehab and to strengthen my lungs. By Christmas I was back in the pool and on the bike. I even entered a criterion on Boxing Day, coming a surprising 4th.

On 7 January I was released from hospital care following a final review with the respiratory specialist. This meant I was cleared to return to training. My first goal, finish Challenge Melbourne on 2 February. With less than four weeks to prepare after 2 months away from training it wasn’t going to be easy. I trained carefully and specifically and kept up my PowerBreathe routine. Come race day I felt prepared, or at least as prepared as I could be. The end result? A 4:37 half ironman and approx 7 min personal best time.

It was very emotional crossing the line because of where I had come from and realising that Ironman Melbourne was no longer a dream.

Continuing with my IM preparation I combined my PowerBreathe routine with an eight-week altitude-training program. The combined lung capacity and strength from using PowerBreathe meant that I was able to take advantage of the benefits of the altitude training, or at least that was what the training specialists said. All I knew was that I was breathing better and felt more energized than ever.

Come Ironman race day I couldn’t believe that four months previous I was having surgery and told by the respiratory surgeons I wouldn’t be able to race. Standing on the start line was an amazing moment because not only was I there, I knew that my original goal of sub 10 hours was achievable…

…and it was. My final time was 9hrs 53 mins. A personal best from Port Macquarie 2 years earlier of over 20mins. Aerobically I felt strong and I know that was from my PowerBreathe routine.

When people ask about my race I always talk about the 1%ers, about how focusing on the little things can make a big difference on the day and about how your product gave me the strength to keep going through those dark months.

My next challenge? Qualifying for the World Duathlon Championships in my hometown of Adelaide. I know that as I prepare to qualify and prepare for the race my PowerBreathe Ironman Plus will be part of that routine.

Kindest Regards,

Adam Walsh, Australia

POWERbreathe K5 reviewed in Procycling magazine (Feb 2014)


Procycling magazine is the authoritative voice for international professional road racing, and in the February 2014 issue Jamie Wilkins from the Procycling Race and Test Team reviewed the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link software.

Here’s what he had to say:

POWERBREATHE K5

“This is a high-tech gym for your respiratory muscles, designed to remove lung function as a limiting factor to performance. Training the intercostal muscles and diaphragm is claimed to raise the threshold of their metaboreflex – the point at which blood flow is directed to vital organs that are struggling. You need that blood in your legs but your body thinks you’re about to stop breathing. Stronger respiratory muscles won’t be pushed to this point. They will also be able to open the thorax and chest bigger (addling lung capacity) and faster. It can help with asthma too.

The POWERbreathe Classic (£30) has a fixed spring-loaded valve; the Plus has adjustable resistance for £50. K-Series models are electronic, with progressive valves, training reports and memory. The K5 is the top model. It comes with the Breathe-Link software package which analyses multiple parameters live as you train and tracks your progress. One unit can save 30 athlete profiles, making it ideal for use by a team. Argos-Shimano were early adopters. The software is user friendly but it’s arguably overkill for most home use.

Training on the K5 daily gave rapid increases in lung power and capacity. On the bike it meant that my asthma was less of a hindrance.”

PROS
“Proven benefit, easy to use, vast data with clever live software.”

CONS
“Cost, less benefit to athletes without breathing issues.”

VERDICT
“Lab-spec training tool, highly recommended for asthmatics in more affordable K3 guise.”

“> Five minutes per day gives real benefits but you have to plan sessions as it takes 5-6 hours to recover.”

Jamie Wilkins

Here at POWERbreathe we’d like to respond and expand on a couple of points made above in the review…

Regarding the comment, “less benefit to athletes without breathing issues” we’d just like to acknowledge the fact that there have been numerous studies conducted on ‘healthy humans’ into the benefits of Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) and the effect of exercise-induced inspiratory muscle fatigue. Globally research into the benefits of IMT continues to develop too.

For cyclists in particular, you’ll find many interesting research papers, meta-analysis and review articles listed in our Product Use – Cycling category, including Inspiratory Muscle Training, Inspiratory Warm-up and Cool-down and Exercise-Induced Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue.

And finally, please don’t feel that training with POWERbreathe is so exhausting that is takes 5-6 hours to recover. This comment given in the review refers to the scientifically-proven training regimen that established the 30 breaths protocol to be completed twice a day i.e. once in the morning and then once in the evening, hence the 6-hour delay before training again.

We hope we’ve cleared up a couple of ambiguous points that had sparked a few enquiries.

Read more about POWERbreathe breathing training for cyclists, or if you’re a cyclist and are already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter 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.

Review of POWERbreathe K5 by BBC Focus magazine, May 2013


BBC Focus is the BBC’s monthly science and technology magazine that contains reviews on the latest bestsellers, websites, games and cutting-edge gadgets, and in the May edition we found our very own POWERbreathe K5 had been reviewed!

The K5 was reviewed by James Witts for the Tech Hub feature that assessed the latest generation of ‘health monitors’. Here’s what they had to say about the K5:

“Unlike the other gadgets on test, the POWERbreathe K5 actively improves your health, not just measures it – which explains it price tag. It boosts fitness by focusing on the inspiratory system – or ‘dumbbells for the diaphragm’ as the marketing men tell us. Simply empty your lungs into its mouthpiece and then inhale sharply and for as long as you can. Do this 30 times twice a day for a month before going down to 30 times twice every other day.

The idea is that your diaphragm and ribcage muscles strengthen over time. Like a weights programme, you gradually increase the load to offer greater resistance; in this case, a valve with a variable aperture. The K5 measures a wealth of data including power per breath and peak respiratory flow. It’s technical stuff but after four weeks’ use my power output when cycling had increased.”

James Witts is the editor of 220 Triathlon magazine.