This mask will help you reach new peaks in training! But how does it work and what does the workoutmask do?
Mixed Martial Artist started using a workout or training mask to simulate elevation training. At the beginning this mask looked like a military gas mask, but things improve and now it looks like a breathing mask. Some people use a gas mask instead and hope this gives them the same effect.
BUT does this mask give you the same advantage as elevation training?
What the mask can’t do?
The Gas or Workout Mask does NOT have the same effect as elevation training!
You need lack of oxygen for a real elevation training. Because only this will rise the concentration of red blood cells with that the oxygen capacity rises too.
You can find lack of oxygen only at great heights – so called ‘thin air’. That is why competitive athletes train in great heights (Boxers, Runners, Cyclists etc). Because the increase of red blood cells is the main goal of elevation training.
The mask only increases breathing resistance, but this does NOT have any effect on the concentration of oxygen. And because of that it also has NO effect on the concentration of red blood cells.
Also the mask do increase the rebreathing of carbon dioxide. So you breath your own carbon dioxide which rises the carbon dioxide concentration. But the concentration of oxygen stays the same.
Dizziness and loss of concentration are symptoms that you are poisoning yourself with carbon dioxide! If the breathing resistance is a bit higher you theoretically can faint unconscious.
What the Mask can do!
The increase of breathing resistance strengthens your lungs and breathing muscles.
It can increase the capacity of your lungs, what means the maximal volume of air you can breath in. This comes from the breathing out against resistance, what opens even the last pulmonary alveolus.
But the mask is NOT elevation training!
How I use the Mask
I use the mask to train my breathing muscles with short tough HIIT or Tabata Workouts. But I would never wear it for longer cardio sessions or interval trainings, because it only is in my way. Intensity is regulated with resistance and speed. Same goes for Kettlebell Workouts, Running and Jumping Rope.
When I first put on the gas mask for a workout, I can feel the resistance of breathing after the first few breaths. This resistance coupled with a tough Squat Thrust Tabata and you will have the feeling that your chest is growing while working out.
An interesting idea is wearing the mask for the warm up and taking it off for the training. I used to do it some time ago, but my regular warm up is not intense enough to challenge my breathing. But I am thinking about improvements on this on.
Last but not least
Use this mask (it does not matter if you use the workout mask or a gas mask) only with a chaperon and stay attentive on the signals of your body, so you do not fall into unconsciousness.
Do you use a workout or gas mask or are you thinking about using one?