Powerbreathe Guest Blog: duncan Kerr
I have been using the POWERbreathe K5 for the past 3 months and have made some tremendous gains in my inspiratory muscle strength.
When I first started using the K5 I was working on a max training load of 52 cm/H20, my max inhaled volume was 4.4L and my best test result was 130 cm/H20.
Three months later my max training load is 110 cm/H20 (+111%), max inhaled volume 5.0L (+13.6%), and best test score 211 CM/H20 (+62%).
My lungs haven’t got any bigger but I am getting more out of the lungs I was born with through better breathing technique and stronger breathing muscles.
It’s a bit like putting a new fuel injection system, remapping the engine management and fitting a big bore exhaust system on your car, it will obviously make it go faster.
The POWERbreathe K Series are really revolutionary in the way the resistance valve works and the accuracy of the data provided. The valve monitors your strength of breath and adjusts accordingly for a better breathing experience. The valve automatically sets the optimum training load so no need to guess where to start.
With the K5 I can visually monitor each breath I take on my laptop. This helps me maintain consistent air intake and motivates me to keep each breath at the same or higher level than the previous breath. All the data is stored for monitoring and review.
There is a handy test which I do regularly to benchmark and monitor my progress. I started at 130 and have recently hit 211. I know if I am keeping up with the training if I can stay between 190 and 200. You will eventually reach a plateau which is good as you don’t need to train twice every day then. You can then be more adventurous in your training and train in the position you would in your chosen sport e.g. sitting for rowing, leaning over for a tri bike position, side down for swimming, with a backpack for hiking etc.
The K5 also has a warm up setting of 30 breaths, cool down mode of 60 breaths and a custom mode where you can work out your own interval training.
You might say “so what” I understand you have stronger breathing muscles but how does this help your performance. If you read the book, BreatheStrongby Prof Alison McConnell you will discover a wealth of information about breathing training and the key benefits to athletes and for that matter to anyone who breathes. There are numerous scientific studies but from my point of view the most important benefits are as follows:-
Better breathing technique – maximize your potential lung volume. When pushing myself running or cycling I now breathe just as I do in POWERbreathe training and I can go faster with less effort.
My breathing muscles have become stronger and less likely to fatigue – go further faster
Metabor reflex – ensure your body doesn’t put the automatic brake on too soon, when you struggle to breathe the brain redirects oxygenated blood from the working muscles to the lungs and in so doing slows you down.
Improved gas exchange – removing waste products is more beneficial than taking in more Oxygen as you can’t use all the oxygen. Greater removal from the bloodstream and exhalation of CO2 is more important.
Perceived effort reduced – Exercising at higher speeds and heart rate seems much easier
Greater confidence – knowing you have eliminated a weak link in your training and looking forward to the hills.
POWERbreathe is not new, they have been going for over 15 years and there have been over 300 studies so it works the only difference is that the K series produce numbers and graphs so you can objectively measure your progress, seeing is believing!!
If you have reached a plateau and can’t improve your PBs then get a POWERbreathe K series and surprise yourself.