Powerbreathe Review: Effects on VO2max, Fitness, and Body O2
(sometimes spelled as Power-Breathe) is a breathing device used to train inspiratory muscles by
creating resistance that can be regulated. There are different versions of
this device: including Powerbreathe Ironman, Plus, Medic,
K series (or Kinetic), and many others. The device is similar to other
respiratory trainers including Powerlung, UltraBreathe, Expand-A-Lung and
some others. These devices are used mostly for sports
performance, but there are medical applications as well (mostly for people
with asthma and COPD).
In their articles and reviews, the creators of Powerbreathe claim that
training of the inspiratory muscles is the most effective method to improve
health and oxygen transport. Clinical trials have found some positive
effects of this device on sports performance (Edwards et al, 2008; Edwards
et al, 2004; Hart et al, 2001).
Surely, if this device can address the cause of low body-O2 content and
poor endurance in modern general population and most athletes, then
Powerbreathe can be very effective. But what is the cause of low O2 present
in most people when they are at rest?
training manuals and practical applications (e.g., in clinical trials) of
Powerbreathe are based on one key recommendation that makes this device
especially useful for athletes to increase VO2max and improve health.
Exhalations, according to the creators of this breathing trainer, are slow and
passive. Indeed, should exhalations be fast (assume that it was decided that
training of expiratory muscles is also important), there would be virtually no
benefits from this device.
But most people have incorrect ideas about breathing patterns for maximum body
oxygenation. As a result, they try to breathe more air (sometimes or often)
thinking that they can get more oxygen in the brain and body cells. However,
hundreds of medical studies tell us that breathing more than the tiny medical
norm (6 L/min at rest) reduces oxygen delivery to cells.
How could this device improve oxygen levels in cells? Oxygen levels in body
cells will be higher if the automatic breathing pattern after the sessions is slower and lighter
(reduced minute ventilation and higher arterial CO2).
Powerbreathe lead to this effect? The training manuals and practical
applications (e.g., in clinical trials) are based on one key recommendation that
makes this device useful for athletes to increase VO2max and improve health.
Exhalations, according to the creators of this trainer, are slow and passive.
Indeed, should exhalations be fast (assume that it was decided that training of
expiratory muscles is also important), there would be virtually no benefits from
Powerbreathe vs. Expand-A-Lung, Ultrabreathe, PowerLung
You can get
the maximum benefits from Powerbreathe if you follow some additional instructions
related to lifestyle factors that naturally improve body-oxygen levels
(prevention of supine sleep, nose breathing only, correct posture, and so
forth). It is a mistake to compare Powerbreathe vs. Expand-A-Lung or Expand-A-Lung
vs. Powerlung since it is how you use the trainer, rather than which
trainer you use, that matters most for modern athletes.
The key factor for higher VO2max, endurance and body-O2 content is to condition
the body to breathe less 24/7. If you try to exhale longer and even hold your breath after
exhalations during breathing exercises with Powerbreathe (for advanced stages of
training only), then you can get even more benefits from this device and achieve higher body oxygen level
results and improved VO2max.
The best breathing device for elite athletes
You can get even better results with the Training Mask (see the link below). The key
advantage of Training Mask in comparison with Powerbreathe is that it is
possible to use Training Mask during exercise. greatly amplifying various
benefits related to increased body and brain O2 levels. Among top athletes, the Training Mask is used by Pete Jacobs,
2012 Ironman World Champion. You can find my review of this device here: Training Mask.
Breathing exercises can cause powerful cleansing reactions and can be dangerous for
pregnant women, people with organ transplants, GI problems, and panic attacks, as well as those who take medication
for diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, and other conditions.
Consult your health care provider and follow special guidelines, which can be found
in the Module
Restrictions, limits, and temporary contraindications.
The main page related to Breathing Techniques: Overview
and general information about the most common and most popular breathing techniques
Deviceless breathing methods and techniques:
- Yoga breathing: What is the main secret of yoga? What is so special in the breathing of ancient yogi?
- Pranayama benefits: How can someone get
- Buteyko technique: Overview of the most popular
Russian breathing system.
- Pursed lip breathing: Review, health
conditions addressed, detailed instructions, its physiology, effects and purpose.
Breathing trainers and devices:
- Resperate: This paced-breathing device is
used to guide breathing only.
- Frolov breathing device: General
overview with several pages about specific related topics.
- Frolov device: how does it work: This
article explains the main physiological mechanism (hypercapnic hypoxic training).
- Breathslim: This breathing device is featured for
weight loss. Learn about its effects.
- Samozdrav: Review of the Samozdrav breathing
device that is based on hypercapnic hypoxic training.
- Inspiratory muscle training: Inspiratory
muscle training review: How
you can get best benefits from breathing trainers, such as Training Mask, Powerbreathe, Ultrabreathe, Expand-A-Lung, and PowerLung.
- Powerbreathe: This device is used to
train inspiratory muscles due to resistance that can be regulated. It is popular
among athletes, but its effects go far further than just to train muscles, if
you know how to use it correctly.
- PowerLung: This is another breathing device
popular among athletes with the same key secret that many athletes ignore.
- Expand-A-Lung: This is the smallest and
lightest breathing trainer (among the reviewed ones) and it can produce miracles
with the correct application.
- Ultrabreathe: This is a version or
prototype of Expand-A-Lung and it can also boost your body oxygenation provided
that you improve your automatic breathing and body-oxygen levels.
- Training Mask: The most effective sport device for higher VO2max,
endurance, fitness, and body-O2 content.
- Amazing DIY breathing device:
This is the cheapest breathing device (do-it-yourself), but you need to know how
to make and use it correctly.
- Capnography and etCO2 monitoring: Are they
useful for breathing retraining? How can one apply capnometers for breathing
Four Weeks of Respiratory Muscle Training Improves Intermittent Recovery
Performance but Not Pulmonary Functions and Vo2 Max Capacity in Young Soccer
Players, Emre AK and Can Ozgide; Middle East Technical University,
Department of Physical Education and Sports; Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi,
Cankaya, Ankara, Turkiye
The Effects on Pulmonary Function and Performance from Training
Respiratory Muscles in Collegiate Cross Country Runners with PowerLung,
M.M. Barnes, D.M. McGee, A.K. Butler and R. Galbreath, Dept. of Physical
Therapy, Wheeling Jesuit University, Dept. of Exercise Physiology, Ohio
University Eastern, Dept. of A.R. Physiology, Ohio Valley C & R Surgery
The Effects of Respiratory Muscle Training Program Effects on
Performance, Dyspnea, and Respiratory Muscle Fatigue in Intermittent Sprint
Athletes, Clay Nicks, Richard Farley, Dana Fuller, Don Morgan, FACSM,
Jennifer Caputo, Columbus State University (Columbus, GA); Middle Tennessee
State University (Murfreesboro, TN)
The Effects of Respiratory Muscle Training on Performance in Older
Females, Watsford, M. L. & Murphy, A. J. (2008). Journal of Aging and
Physical Activity. 16(3): 245-260.
The Effects of Respiratory Muscle Training on Older Females, Mark L.
Watsford, Aron J. Murphy, Matthew J. Pine, Aaron J. Coutts. Human
Performance Laboratory, University of Technology, Sydney.
The Effects of Respiratory Muscle Training on Maximal and Submaximal
Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Measurements, William E. Amonette, BS, CSCS
& Terry L. Dupler, Ph.D., Fitness & Human Performance Laboratory, University
of Houston-Clear Lake, January 15, 2001.
Respiratory Resistance Training Increases Ventilatory Capacity in the
Elderly, Nathan Andrew Trueblood, Earlham College, 2004
Respiratory Muscle Power Before and After Training (with PowerLung),
Greg Wells, University of Toronto Respiratory Research Group, 2003
Five-week Respiratory Muscle Training Program Effects on Lung Function
and Air Consumption in SCUBA Divers, Casey W. Fisher, Ann L. Gibson.
Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida
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