Ian Locke, Personal Trainer – how and why I came to use the POWERbreathe K5

Ian Locke, founder of Thrive Personal Training in Swindon, provides personal training in a private gym as well as nutritional analysis to help clients reach their health and fitness goals.

Here he talks about how and why he came to use the POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training device, and shares his first experience of using it. In future reports we’ll learn of his progress, so please keep coming back to check on how Ian’s breathing training is going on his POWERbreathe K5

Ian Locke, Thrive Personal Training“As someone who has tried their hand at running, high intensity interval training, boxing and playing a wind instrument, I’ve become more conscious in recent months that the limiting factor in each of these activities is my breathing. Running is a classic example – unless running up steep hills, it is not tiredness in my legs which slow me down, but rather that my breathing doesn’t seem to keep pace. I also find that my airways close partially when exercising at high intensities, making pushing myself harder very uncomfortable.

Having set up a personal training business in January, I wanted to find a way to improve the weakest link and increase my performance, as well as that of my clients. I read Alison McConnell’s book “Breath Strong Perform Better” over Christmas and invested in the POWERbreath K5 a few weeks back. I am in the early stages of training (30 breaths, twice a day) and have been warned not to expect miraculous results just yet, but I have noticed improvements in my breathing technique (maximum lung volume being used has increased from 4.5 litres to over 6 litres) and my S-Index (strength test) has increased from 160 to 185 cmH2O. As with all new exercises, some of the improvement will be technique and some will be strength gains.

I went for a 4.5 mile run and hill interval session yesterday to see if I could detect any difference. I was much more focussed on my breathing (deep belly breaths) and felt that my breath rate did not rise as quickly as normal, meaning I could pump my arms harder. My air ways still became restricted (perhaps I should see a doctor about that) and I’m not convinced I ran much faster, but the focus on breathing made the session easier than I had expected.

During the coming week, I shall stick with the current training plan and report back on further progress.”

Ian Locke
Personal Trainer and Nutritional Advisor
www.thrivepersonaltraining.co.uk

If you’re using a POWERbreathe K5 and have any hints, tips, feedback or results you’d like to share with Ian and the POWERbreathe community, then please leave a comment here. We’d love to hear from you.

 

POWERbreathe & Dawkes Music – Case Study

Dawkes MusicOur very own Duncan visited the lovely people at Dawkes Music in Maidenhead recently to present POWERbreathe.

Dawkes Music specialise in woodwind and brass instruments and expressed an interest in POWERbreathe to see if it could be beneficial to the musicians who visit them. But rather than take our word for it, Duncan presented Vicky and Giulia with a POWERbreathe Plus Medium Resistance model each, so that they could experience the breathing training effects for themselves. They plan to use them over the next 4 weeks to see if it helps them hold a note for longer on their instruments.

Before training with their POWERbreathes, Duncan tested them both on the K5 to ascertain their lung volume.

Duncan will be visiting them again this Friday to see if they’re using the POWERbreathe correctly and to offer advice and training tips. And we’ll all be hearing from them again too, as they plan to document their training by posting videos…one of which will be after 4-weeks of using POWERbreathe to see what effect this training has had on their musical performance and lung efficiency.

Thank you to Jon, Vicky and Giulia from Dawkes Music who’ll be sharing their experience with us, and all our POWERbreathe friends, when they produce Part 1 and Part 2 (which should reveal some improvements) of their video blog – coming soon.

If you’re using POWERbreathe training for wind musicians then please leave a comment here, as we’d love to hear from you.

The Music Tutors: POWERbreathe Week 5 – Exciting

Just took another set of readings and am quite excited! It’s 9 days since the last post and there have been more definite improvements for me.  Laura is very much looking to catching up where she left off when I meet up with her again.  I haven’t managed to do the exercises twice every day, but I have managed at least one set of 30 breaths everyday.

I thought perhaps I wouldn’t see as much improvement as I would have liked. But I got a clue to my developing breath control while singing for a wedding in the chapel of the Royal Hospital Chelsea on Saturday.

My ability to sustain long phrases is definitely better.

I have been using the level 3 setting on the POWERbreathe until today, but tomorrow I will start on level 4 because it currently feels easier to do the exercises on the current level than when I started on level 0.

I’ll keep you posted.

For more detailed results, read more at the Music Tutors

The Music Tutors: POWERbreathe Week 4, after a hiatus

Unfortunately we did not keep up with our progress over the last 2 weeks because of moving back to the UK.

Laura is in Belfast now and cannot do her POWERbreathe because I have it with me. She will recommence when i next see her in a couple of weeks.  I am going to start again today.  I have just taken some more readings of how long I can sustain various notes pianissimo on an ‘i’ vowel, and the results are very similar to the most recent ones.   The figures in brackets are a reminder of the results before starting this challenge. The lowest note is the A below middle C ( I am a counter-tenor).

A           25.13s                                      ( 20s)
C             27.63s                                       (18.67s)
E              24.23s                                       (17.67s)
G              21.28s                                       (16s)
C               11.43s                                       (8s)

I am pleased to see that after 2 weeks of not doing the exercises, I have maintained what is still a marked improvement over the first results which I took before using POWERbreathe.   Recently singing in a wedding in Normandy on the way back from Sicily, after not singing in public for a while, it was noticeable to me that I could sing longer phrases in some early choral polyphony, with fewer breaths.  Let us see whether I can improve on these results over the next few days.

For more detailed results, read more at the Music Tutors

The Music Tutors: POWERbreathe Week 2 – notable results

Miles has used the POWERbreathe everyday for two sessions. As you can see there are notable improvements in his performance from the results taken after week one. He will continue this week but move to level 3.

Laura has missed a couple of days this week and you will note that possibly as a result she has not made as significant an improvement. Most of the results have remained very similar to those after week one. Laura will continue on level 2 for a few days before changing to level 3 and is hoping that next week she will not miss any sessions and that there will be a more impressive improvement.

For more detailed results, read more at the Music Tutors

The Music Tutors: POWERbreathe Week One Results

We have now been using POWERbreathe for seven days. For the first day we used setting 0 and since then setting 1. We plan on using setting 2 today as the first setting is noticeably easier now.
Before using POWERbreathe we timed how long we could sing various pitches on an /i/ vowel softly.

These first timings were to the nearest second. A week later we took slightly more precise timings with a stopwatch. Each pitch was sung three times and the average time is given below.

Here are the findings so far

Laura
Week One                       Week Two

A(below middle C)  18.67                                23.42
C                                     17.33                                20.81
E                                     15.67                               16.54
G                                    13.67                                14.92
C1                                   8.67                                  9.30

Miles
Week One                          Week  Two

A                                     20                                    20.53
C                                     18.67                               21.89
E                                     17.67                               21.11
G                                     16                                   19.8
C                                     8                                     10.43

As you can see we have noticed a significant improvement after using POWERbreathe for one week.  We wonder whether this is just an initial surge to be followed by only a little improvement or whether we will begin to see a trend in the next figures.   Apart from these figures there are no obviously noticeable effects on our breath control while singing actual pieces.   We are excited to see what happens and will keep you updated.  If you have any experiences of using POWERbreathe to improve your breathing for music purposes please let us know about them.