Training Programs

Improve Your Sprinting With Respiratory Training

Comments (1)
  1. says:

    This is an interesting article as it addresses one of several products out there that appear to be filling the void of ignorance in the mechanism and benefits of altitude training. While blooding doping and the use of EPO are banned in sports, altitude training, the use of reduced oxygen tents, Altolab type breathing devices and now these training masks are not banned. This is due mainly to the logistics of implementing the ban. How do you stop athletes from living at altitude etc? Using the fact that there are documented benefits of training at altitude under certain competition conditions, then these other devices claim similar benefits by claiming to simulate similar conditions. While this may appear to be a logical conclusion on the surface, logical enough for these products to achieve the sales they do, further analysis of the underlying physiological mechanism begs the question, do they really work? It is pretty obvious that if any of these devices raises blood hematocrit levels above what is normal for the individual, then the device obviously works. However, some of these devices claim to work without such a measurable physiological change. The Altolab device, which reduces oxygen levels by recycling expired air through a CO2 scrubber, claims improved performance without any measurable change in hematocrit. One asks whether there are other mechanisms in oxygen transport or CO2 buffering etc that are improved which can result in performance improvement. I don t know the answer to this question. Also, the mask, as pointed out in the article, has even less of a logical reason for performance improvement. One of the things the Altolab device does is to provide a measurable reduction in blood O2, usually in the range of 70% to 90% saturation given a normal level of around 98% for most healthy individuals. So, one thing that could be done with the mask is to see if it reduces blood O2 level. Something that can be simply checked with a device that clips onto your finger. Swimmers train under similar conditions to wearing a mask in that their breathing opportunity is limited and they learn how to perform under these conditions. For runners, cyclists etc, no such limitation exists so one rightly wonders if any benefit is obtained from this device. That is, is the feeling of being able to breath properly after removing the restriction conning the user into thinking there is some benefit. The mask appears to raise CO2 levels but is this due to the extra effort of breathing or due to a reduced breathing rate and does it result in lower blood O2 levels? Answers to these questions should provide additional evidence to their value as a training aid. My 2 cents.

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