I’m sure you’ve seen boxers, fighters and long distance runners using the Training Mask often in their workouts, it is very popular in these circles. But what about weightlifting? Are there any benefits of using the Training Mask if your core activity is lifting weights or bodybuilding? Read on and find out.
Have you ever heard anyone at your local gym talking about respiratory training and the role of oxygen in bodybuilding & weightlifting? I know I haven’t. I mean, could it get even less attention? If you are one of those guys who overlooks the role of respiratory capacity in building muscle and strength, you are leaving gains on the table. Here’s why.
How the muscle functions
Oxygen plays an essential role in making the muscles contract and lift those weights. As you contract your muscles, the sarcomeres inside your muscles will start utilizing the ATP that is available.
As you may know, ATP is a form of energy which will fire you up for very short periods of time – we are talking just 10 seconds, maybe up to 15 seconds maximum. After that your muscles will tap into the glycogen stores.
In weight lifting or bodybuilding, you will most likely be in the anaerobic zone for the majority of the workout. The sets will typically last for 10-25 seconds on average, depending on how many reps you are doing. Therefore, in weight training your body will heavily rely on ATP as its primary source of energy. Many will say that oxygen utilization is not such big factor in determining the performance in these short training sessions, but let’s dive a little bit more in how ATP is formed.
More O2 means more energy from ATP
The ATP that we use is created by tiny structures inside our muscle fibers which are called mitochondria. The mitochondria are responsible with taking the macronutrients from the bloodstream – carbs, proteins, fats – and turn them into ATP. It does that by using oxygen. Often times the amount of oxygen in the muscle cells is pretty limited, way more limited that the amount of nutrients.
So if your respiratory system can’t keep up the peace and supply the necessary amount of O2 to the bloodstream and to the muscles, the mitochondria will have a difficult time turning those protein, carbs and fats into ATP, mainly because it will run out of oxygen.
If that is the case, you will not be training optimally and you will most likely not see the absolute best performance you are capable of. That is why oxygen plays a major role in fueling your muscles with the energy you need to hit the weights.
Bodybuilding is not just about getting big and strong. It is about getting muscular and lean. Building muscle while staying relatively lean has always been a challenge because you need to eat massive amounts of food in order to stimulate your muscles to grow. That’s the exact opposite of what you need to do in order to drop fat.
So, getting down to a single digit body fat percentage while getting in all the calories your body needs to maintain the muscle mass is extremely difficult. On top of that, most bodybuilder lack conditioning which makes long cardio sessions a nightmare. That’s exactly where the Training Mask will come in handy.
By doing any type of physical activity, regardless of its difficulty, using the Training Mask you will develop your cardiovascular system, your respiratory system and your overall conditioning. With the Training Mask you can turn any workout into a high intensity training session which will help you burn more fat and become leaner, while still eating all the food you need for your muscles to grow.
After a standard weight lifting session in which you work out in the 10-15 rep range you might not even break a sweat and you are probably not going to feel like you are working hard enough. But with the Training Mask you will feel your heart rate going faster, you will be sweating faster and ultimately you will push your body to the next level.
How to use the Training Mask
Use the Training Mask at the very end of your weight training, after you are done with the weight and you are ready to do about 20 minutes of cardio to boost up your metabolism for the rest of the day.
Here is a killer HIIT routine to try out:
- 30 seconds of row machine
- 20 reps of band resistance jumps
- 20 reps of abs wheel
- 20 alternating arm snatches
This is just one giant super set. Aim at doing 4-6 of these with a couple of minutes of resting between each set.
Start off by using the Training Mask on a mild air resistance setting and build your way up as you develop your respiratory tolerance. This workout will definitely push you hard so always do it at the end of your weight training because you don’t want it to get in the way of your main training.