POWERbreathe Scientifically Proven Training Regimen

POWERbreathe Training
Courtesy of Josephine Gull

Research continues to develop globally into the use of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) for health, medical, sports and exercise benefits, and POWERbreathe has been the inspiratory muscle training device of choice used in research. POWERbreathe in Research lists these research papers and meta-analysis.

POWERbreathe has also undergone rigorous and systematic testing to identify the most effective training regimen, and in this blog we’ll be looking at this testing.

Scientific Testing

Here’s a list of the 3 research papers that resulted in the scientifically proven training regimen:

  1. Specificity and Reversibility of Inspiratory Muscle Training (Lee M. Romer, Alison K. McConnell)
  2. Acute Cardiorespiratory Responses to Inspiratory Pressure Threshold Loading (Alison K. McConnell, Lisa A. Griffiths)
  3. The Inspiratory Muscles can be Trained Differentially to Increase Strength or Endurance Using a Pressure Threshold, Inspiratory Muscle Training Device (M.P. Caine, A.K. McConnell)

1. Specificity and Reversibility of Inspiratory Muscle Training

PURPOSE: “The purpose of this study was to evaluate the pressure-flow specificity of adaptations to inspiratory muscle training (IMT), in addition to the temporal effects of detraining and reduced frequency of training upon these adaptations.”


CONCLUSION: “These data support the notion of pressure-flow specificity of IMT. Detraining resulted in small but significant reductions in inspiratory muscle function. Reducing training frequency by two thirds allowed for the maintenance of inspiratory muscle function up to 18 wk post-IMT.”

2. Acute Cardiorespiratory Responses to Inspiratory Pressure Threshold Loading

PURPOSE: “We tested the acute responses to differing pressure threshold inspiratory loading intensities in well-trained rowers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate 1) how the magnitude of inspiratory pressure threshold loading influences repetition maximum (RM), tidal volume (VT), and external work undertaken by the inspiratory muscle; and 2) whether the inspiratory muscle metaboreflex is activated during acute inspiratory pressure threshold loading.”


CONCLUSION: “Although all loads elicited a sustained increase in fc, only the 60% load elicited a sustained rise in mean arterial blood pressure (P = 0.016), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.015), and systolic blood pressure (P = 0.002), providing evidence for a metaboreflex response at this load.”

3. The Inspiratory Muscles can be Trained Differentially to Increase Strength or Endurance Using a Pressure Threshold, Inspiratory Muscle Training Device (Eur. Respir. J. 12:58–59, 1998)

ABSTRACT: Traditionally resistive training has been used to increase respiratory muscle strength whilst hyperpnea or flow biased training regimes have been utilised to increase endurance (Leith, D.E. and Bradley M. J. Appl. Physiol. 1976; 41(4): 508-516). The present study examined whether resistive loading can train the inspiratory muscles differentially.

Sixteen adults were allocated randomly to either a high intensity (HI) or low intensity (LOW) training group. Both groups used an inspiratory muscle trainer (POWERbreathe®) twice daily for 4 weeks. The HI group trained at a resistance equivalent to 50% of their peak inspiratory mouth pressure (pMIP) for 30 breaths. The LOW group trained at a resistance equivalent to 30% of their pMIP for 200 breaths.

Following habituation, measures of respiratory muscle strength and inspiratory muscle endurance were obtained pre-, immediately post-, and also 12 weeks post-training.

Following training the HI group increased inspiratory muscle strength by 31.2% and endurance by 27.8%. The LOW group increased strength by 14.3% and endurance by 29.7%.

After 12 weeks detraining subjects in both groups lost only a small percentage of the improvements in inspiratory muscle function. These results demonstrate that pressure threshold resistive inspiratory muscle training can be utilised to train specifically for improvements in strength or endurance and that the improvements are maintained well post-training.

The Resulting Scientifically Proven POWERbreathe Training Regimen

These laboratory tests concluded that in order to get the maximum benefit from POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training, POWERbreathe should be used for just 30 breaths twice a day. And after four to six weeks, because the inspiratory muscles will have improved substantially after following the recommended training regimen, it was found that maintenance training could be implemented. This means that in order to maintain the level of improved breathing, you do not need to use POWERbreathe every day and instead only every other day. This was found to be sufficient for continuing to enjoy the benefits achieved.

Read more about How POWERbreathe Works and its Benefits in sport and exercise, performing arts, health and medical, and the uniformed services. 

POWERbreathe athlete Gi Ka Man wins the ASICS Hong Kong 10K Challenge 2012

Terry Tang from Healthcare & Co., our POWERbreathe friends in Hong Kong, are delighted to share the news that their POWERbreathe athlete Gi Ka Man came first in the ASICS Hong Kong 10k Challenge on 4th November! Congratulations Gi Ka Man for a fantastic race time!

Gi Ka Man, founder and Head Coach of the Hong Kong running club, Runners Athletic Club, has been using POWERbreathe since 2009 and has been training with Professor Tong whose major area is in respiratory physiology but who also has an interest in health-related physical fitness.

Gi Ka Man is also the record holder for the Hong Kong half marathon – winning by a huge 35-second margin – 15km and 10,000km run.

Thank you Terry for sharing this wonderful news with us.

If you’ve been using POWERbreathe as part of your marathon training then we’d love to hear from you, and if you have a message for Gi Ka Man then please leave a comment here.

Ben Barwick – It’s been a long time

Ben BarwickI realise that I haven’t updated my PB Blog in a while, having had a really disappointing run in London, I took a few weeks off training. However, after a few days I was chomping at the bit to make myself even better and I have taken this new enthusiasm into my training over the last month and a bit and really enjoying running again.

After any big race, especially the marathon, you always feel a bit flat and it takes time to get back into your running, The first 2 – 3 weeks when I come back from marathon training are some of the most horrible running weeks I ever have. Whereas before the marathon you feel like you are floating on air, the legs just feel heavy and really do not want to work!

Anyway, you get through it and I have had some good results these last few weeks, lowering my 10k pb to 34:32, and hopefully there is a bit more to come.

Onto POWERbreathe, I am still using the product, especially on race mornings as part of my warm up routine.

However, I have started to incorporate the POWERbreathe into my core workouts that I do. I can tell you now that you have never felt pain like trying to do a plank, whilst breathing through the K5! It is insane! Sometimes, I don’t even get close to taking in a full breath!! I think if you saw me doing it you would think I was insane!

It has made my core workouts a hell of a lot more enjoyable, and I think I am getting a lot more out of them now than I ever did before, as I am working so much harder. When I can easily manage 10 press ups with the K5 in, I will tell everyone who cares to listen about it!!

To do these workouts, I have created a custom 60 breath workout on the K5 Breathe-Link software, and then just keep using the K5 whilst i am doing my core. When I finish the workout, I just start it again and keep breathing. I have set the load to 80cmH20 for all the breaths. This is now where near the maximum I can do for a normal 30 breath session, but it doesn’t need to be! What I find really interesting is that there are some core exercises which aren’t that much harder with the K5 in, and some that make breathing almost impossible!

When I get a bit of time, I will put together some of my favourite core+PB workouts to share with you all!!

Until next time…..keep working that core!

My POWERbreathe – by Josephine Gull

Josephine is a long-time POWERbreathe user, loyal friend of POWERbreathe and a valued athlete to us all here at POWERbreathe Towers.

Josephine has over time provided in-depth feedback on her training, including her POWERbreathe training, and the benefits and achievements she’s made as a result. Please read all Josephine’s posts here as they make for a very interesting and inspiring read.

Here are just a few additional posts Josephine has made on the POWERbreathe Facebook page which she shared with all POWERbreathe friends:

16 April 2012

“My coach estimated a sharp Personal Best within my grasp if I can replicate what I’ve done in training. Looking back to last year and the beginning of 2012, it’s night and day. At least 50% of that amazing progress in such a short time is due to my POWERbreathe. It is thanks to it that I had the strength and endurance to lift the weights, run the distance and recover faster. The running almost feels effortless and every footstrike is powerful. I’m even starting to look forward to the 200, which is a huge step from end of December beginning of January and finally setting an official new Personal Best in the event outdoor.
The comp season kicks off on sunday and will last through to September, so my POWERbreathe will practically be sleeping in my sportsbag til the end of the season…POWERbreathe wont be visible much except during warm up and cool down.”

14 March 2012

“Hi! I’m currently POWERbreathing at lvl 2 (high resistance) & I just wanted to let you know, that it took roughly the same amount of effort to POWERbreathe this lvl twice a day as it did to weightlift a new Personal Best on all apparatus in the gym on monday. First it was tough, then it became easier. I’ve struggled with the snatch exercise ever since I started, so to finally have enough speed to do it right was fantastic. And that wasn’t all, yesterday I came close to my 100m time from last year & the season hasn’t even started yet 🙂 Today my sports masseuse told me I’m in great shape & ready for anything, so it just keeps getting better. I knew POWERbreathe was great, but this much progress shortly after restarting POWERbreathing at lvl 2 last week, I honestly didn’t expect such fast results :D”

“The reason why it works so well for me, is that it costs slightly less effort and energy to perform an exercise and it leaves room for me to relax and enjoy the experience more. The more relaxed I am, the less energy I waste and the more i can do. Logical, but the increased endurance of my lungs is that stepping stone. When you get to lvl 2 and above it really takes time and effort to keep on advancing and it’s roughly the same as it takes to explode with weights or out of the blocks. Once you get started it gets easier and towards the end a little heavier again.”

31 January 2012

“The BIGGEST THANK YOU goes to all you at POWERbreathe for the part you play in developing & marketing this product & to all POWERbreathers out there, because each and every one (incl. all who aren’t posted on FB) is a living witness of the amazing effects of POWEbreathe. Those of you who have overcome asthma, slowed MS, recovered from COPD and all other problems, you have done what the doctors couldn’t do despite their far more extensive & expensive resources. When things are down, your success stories inspire me to keep fighting, so be mighty proud of what you have achieved & know that I am proud of all of you.”

We thank Josephine for sharing these comments with us all. If you’d like to send Josephine a message, then please leave a comment for her here.

If you are using POWERbreathe to improve running performance then we’d love to hear from you too.

My 2012 indoor competition season from POWERbreathe start to POWERbreathe finish

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a blog post for POWERbreathe. The truth is, I’ve been so busy that I simply haven’t had time to sit down and put it all down on paper. I’ve posted a number of my greatest moments from the current indoor season on POWERbreathe’s Facebook page, so some of you may recognise bits and pieces here and there. I hope you enjoy reading this anyway. Happy reading everybody.


Since I last blogged, a lot has happened. For starters, I was out with a shin injury for two weeks after a failed jump exercises at the track mid December. The cut was deep, so the wound required 2 whole weeks just to close properly. During that time I couldn’t run nor didn’t strength train, but it stop me from POWERbreathing. As soon as I was allowed to return to strength training (only light core stability), I took my POWERbreathe with me to up the challenge and I can tell you that it sure did. Try doing the exercise right and controlling your breathing to match it at the same time. It’s like patting your head and stroking your stomach and then switching and end up patting your stomach and stroking your head. It was a nice physical and mental challenge to get my mind off missing out on the real tough workout on the track. After that it was still another week before I could get back out on the track. By that time it was almost Christmas and I flew home for the holidays, with my POWERbreathe tucked into the left side-pocket of my laptop back pack.


While I was still abroad, I kept up both POWERbreathing and strength training as best I could to maximise my chances of getting ready in time for the indoor competition season. The first comp was a test drive and it was run purely on the strength in my legs and my POWERbreathe strong lungs. After working on the start a bit, things started to look very promising. On January the 20th, I set a new PB in the 50m and just two days later I equalled my 60m PB in the first round and later that same day I set a new PB. I didn’t do much on the 22nd, but a good physical and mental warm up was what pulled me through. I started by warming up with my POWERbreathe, then some jogging, then sticking to what I had planned out for the drills and finally some short sprints. All I remember from that great PB race is that I reacted to the gun and the next moment I was already crossing the finish line. What an amazing feeling! You might be surprised that I use my POWERbreathe so much even though I am just a short distance sprinter, but it works. There is not a whole lot of breathing involved in sprinting as it is an anaerobic activity, but the strength of the lungs required to set the body in motion is a lot more than one would think. During practice many sprints after each other takes its toll and strong lungs and good breathing can minimise that fatigue. It is also the overall physical strength of every muscle involved in sprinting, which causes the amazing relaxation down the stretch that I felt.

Düsseldorf, Germany

On the 29th of January I took part in a comp in Düsseldorf. After two hours of driving I reached the Indoor track and field sports arena. When I got there I felt thirsty and physically tired; my mouth was dry and my legs felt stiff. As the 60m drew nearer, I began my warm up. As always, I started the warm up with my POWERbreathe and surprise surprise, once again it came through for me; the dryness was gone and the stiffness was reduced. The POWERbreathe not only helped me physically, but mentally as well as it got me back in my comfort zone and set into motion what I have come to experience as the natural chain of events leading up to my race ready state. When it was time to set the block for the race, I was ready to take on the field; unfortunately the block was wobbly and I almost false started. Despite the weak start, I did everything in my power to set things right. Eventually, I fell just a tad short of setting a new PB, but with a start like that, it was a wonder I even got close. Next up was the 200 and if you would have known how much practice I had had for the 200, you would most likely not have encouraged me to try it; since November, when I was pretty much cruising through the 200 in 3rd gear and still setting the times on the clock, I had run absolutely nothing above 70m. However, if you would have had enough faith in me and my POWERbreathe, you would have encouraged me anyway. I went out hard of the blocks, then went into ‘cruise control’ mode for a while, then coming up to the curve I switched it off and put the pedal to metal to power up and through the curve to hit the home stretch, there I went into cruise control mode again and across the finish line. Life is not a fairy tale and I do not always win, but it was good none the less; no new PB, but I come close despite my zero 200m preparation. That 200 was pure power, POWERbreathe and guts.


When the big freeze hit Europe, all hope of a good preparation for the big meet on the 11th were dashed. The snow covered the track and the freezing cold temperatures impacted the muscles and lungs negatively and heavily.    Despite the cold, I was on that track with my coach, sprinting with 15kg weight resistance and exploding out of the blocks. I can tell you that the air feels a lot colder when it hits you full in the face, gets in your lungs and cools your muscles even while you are sprinting down the stretch. As if that wasn’t enough, the snow under the spike shoes turned to ice and made it even harder to stop. Not many people would have tried it, but we had little other choice and I can tell you that despite the harsh weather conditions, I improved a lot and I became more and more consistent in my technique and my stride frequency. But as it often happens, I came down with a heavy cold as a result of being exposed to too many hours of sub zero temperatures. Luckily though, my POWERbreathe pulled my lungs, breast and throat through quicker and a few days later I was back on the track. If you’ve ever tried exercising while you have a heavy cold that hits your breast, lungs and throat hard, then you now that it feels like a very slow crawl up a steep icy cliff and after every step you take you want to give up. I felt that way too, but I didn’t give up, because I was determined to do everything in my power to reach my goal. So, with the last strength left in my body, I POWERbreathed the full 30 breaths just under the level 2 marker (high resistance) and then fell asleep. The next morning my cold had greatly reduced and my throat was good to go. I then had another three good trainings in the cold. On Thursday the 9th of February the mercury was down good on the thermometer and I decided to put my POWERbreathe to the test. I warmed up my lungs with my POWERbreathe prior to going out to sprint in the freezing cold and it came through for me; the freezing cold took its toll on my legs, but my throat and lungs got off quite lightly. Another great win for POWERbreathe! Friday the 10th of February however was not as rosy. I had a long day at Uni and as the minutes and hours ticked by, I was feeling sicker and sicker, but I made it through the day. At home, I succumbed to the cold once again. With the big meet the next morning, which was the reason I had put in all those hours of hard work, I began to seriously worry. I even feared that if I went to bed, I would wake up with fever the next day and not be able to compete. Pretty stupid of me to worry about a meet, when my health was at stake, but having put myself through all that, I was so close to my goal and I didn’t want to miss out. So we prayed and I decided to go to sleep and hope for the best. Before I switched off the light however, I once again tried the POWERbreathe method. With the very last strength and breath left in my body, I POWERbreathed (level 2 marker, high resistance) and exhausted, I fell asleep.

The big meet

It was the 11th of February, the day of the big meet. Feeling better and able to breathe freely despite a painful throat, I got up, took my ready packed bag and drove to the big meet. I was not sure at all, but after warming up with my POWERbreathe, everything once again fell into place, but at the starting line my throat was getting worse and doubt was in control. I pushed my doubts away, ignored my desert dry and burning throat and set the thought of a painful knee joint out of mind. The gun went off and the race wan on. My start was not sharp enough and I was losing ground quickly, but then I fought my way back through the field and heading for the finish line I had made up a lot of lost ground. I did not win, but I did set a new PB once again. I rounded off my race by cooling-down with my POWERbreathe. Later that day, I equalled my PB in the final despite the fatigue and nausea from the cold having the upper hand. Had I been able to bring my A-game, then I could have literally smashed my 60m PB. A sign of things to come?

The reality is that the PB, set on the 11th of February, run on nothing but physical power, POWERbreathe and an iron strong will, is still the result of a bad race. Moreover, I came less than a tenth of a second short of the PB of my club mate who was top fit and having a great day. As it turns out, my new PB is also just two hundreds of a second away from my club’s top 10 all time indoor ranking. So much gained already, but so much more is still within my reach at this very early stage in the year. Despite the ups and downs, I have enjoyed more or less every minute on the track so far in 2012. I have rediscovered my joy, passion and talent for sprinting and I can’t wait to get back out there and perform. With this 60m pretty much nailed and my 200 well on its way, I am already that much closer to smashing my outdoor PBs as well.

For those of you who are interested, this is my game plan on race day (hence the title of this blog post):
1. POWERbreathe warm-up
2. Light jogging and stretching
3. Sprint specific drills
4. Full on sprints
5. Race
6. Chocolate milk
7. POWERbreathe cool-down

Madeline Simon (MS) – No POWERbreathe training last week

Madeline SimonMy cerebella tremors have been a real pain and I have been feeling quite exhausted. But I know when I start feeling like this the best answer is to exercise and hopefully it will pass. Mind you sometimes that’s easier said than done. My POWERbreathe routine even got hit, I just felt so exhausted. But I promise you, you WILL hear a difference next week.

I hope you all had a good valentine and got spoilt rotten.


Madeline Simon (MS) – whatever the weather, I can always train with my POWERbreathe

Madeline SimonIt’s been a quiet week, just doing my exercises and going to my physio session – it really is amazing/staggering how my posture just goes for no apparent reason.

I have slowed down a bit, especially with the colder weather. I know my body is concentrating on keeping me warm. I just hope this week the icy roads don’t prevent me from going out in the car. I have Pilates, physio and a haircut to get to, all three in the morning but on three separate days.

Luckily I have my POWERbreathe that doesn’t require any travelling in order to do it!

I’ll let you know how my week went in my next blog post. I hope you all stay safe in this icy weather.


Martin Strel – Big River Man uses POWERbreathe K5

Martin StrelRecently our Duncan was on yet another trip abroad, lucky him getting to go on all these ‘jolly boy’s outings’ while we slave away at POWERbreathe HQ.

Anyway, joking aside it is all work really……

Duncan’s last trip was to Slovenia to go and see the POWERbreathe Distributor    In Tact Group.  Whilst there he was introduced to Martin Strel AKA known as Big River Man. Martin Strel is a legendary Guinness record marathon swimmer, who has always been looking for the challenges of impossible and the Amazon was the recent one. On April 7th, 2007 Martin Strel completed his epic Amazon river swim all the way from Atalaya (Peru) to the Atlantic Ocean at Belém (Brazil). He was struggling the river for 66 days for more than 10 hours a day and totally swam 5268 kms or 3274 miles. He became a wordwide hero.

We caught up with Martin in Slovenia and tested out the POWERbreathe K5 on him. Martin’s next challenge is a swim down the Grand Canyon and he will be using the POWERbreathe K5 as part of his training.  Martin is a keen user of the device and as you can see from this video he trains with his POWERbreathe while driving.

What do you think of Big River Man and his amazing challenges? Please leave us a comment below.

Martin Strel Website

Madeline Simon (MS) – POWERbreathe helps me with my Pilates

Madeline SimonI’ve paid for my last month as a member to my gym. Don’t worry I am not giving up my exercises; I will do them elsewhere on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. They put up the membership and I couldn’t justify it to myself. Luckily I do my Pilates elsewhere, so no change there. Surprisingly, or maybe not, my POWERbreathe helps me with my Pilates and I seem to have enough stamina throughout our full-on hour – EXCELLENT!

Just a little disappointment at the end of the week, I had an impromptu meet up with one of my sisters at Bicester Village (a shopping spree!) and I was shattered afterwards. I suppose a combination of not sleeping well at night and my MS (Multiple Sclerosis) telling my body to slow down. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day! So I’ll keep on doing my exercises and keep eating healthily.  As you may have guessed, those are instructions/orders to myself!

Gus Mckechnie – Almost half way there

Gus McKechnie 50000 mile bike challengeWell I’m still plugging away and about to reach a big milestone.  Half way which means I will have done once around the equator.  I can’t really comprehend how much has taken to get there but I wont of been able to do it without a lot of support.  My POWERbreathe comes in very handy especially with the early starts as the 30 breaths routine helps me with my warm up.

The nice thing in the run up to Christmas was not having many events to do, this meant I could focus on my cycling.  I did run the Southampton leg of the BUCs indoors series which went well.  Cycling up to Christmas involved a lot of very long 12-15 hour days.  Like wise after Christmas involves a lot of long days as well.  I also volunteer running a number of indoor rowing events for schools of which we have five in the run up to July.

The focus now for this week lies in getting to the magic half way mark.