Elevation Training Mask Review: Does It Increase Body O2?
The Elevation Training Mask is a breathing device that is similar to military gas masks (version 1 of Training Mask). Version 2 or 2.0 is simpler since it does not restrict eye vision (see the image on the left). The Training Mask is used during different forms of physical exercise by people who practice yoga, martial arts, extreme sports, mountain climbing and so forth. Is it just another breathing gadget similar to PowerBreathe, Expand-a-Lung, and some other devices used by athletes and exercising people?
In this Training Mask 2.0 review, we are going to consider health effects of High Altitude Training Mask and its impact on oxygen transport and body oxygenation.
As a first step, it is necessary to understand why modern people have low body O2 content, are unfit, and suffer from diseases.
Many people assume that the Elevation Training Mask is just another breathing device that is created to strengthen respiratory muscles and mimic effects of high altitude. However, it is not accidental that people claim more benefits after using the Training Mask in comparison with other resistive devices.
When a person breathes with resistance, he or she gets less oxygen for the lungs. The Training Mask can be used with different valves in order to model sensations similar to high altitude. However, when the person exercises at high altitude, he or she has increased ventilation, which causes reduced CO2 levels in the lungs, arterial blood and other body cells (let us ignore people with ventilation-perfusion mismatch here).
When a person uses the Altitude Training Mask, he or she also experiences reduced oxygen flow. However, in addition to lower O2, the mask increases body-CO2 content. Breathing is mainly regulated by arterial CO2 (with the exception of people who are severely ill due to chronic diseases).
Therefore, one of the key effects of prolonged training with the Training Mask is the adaptation of the respiratory center to higher CO2 and slower/easier breathing at rest. This leads to improved-oxygen transport due to CO2-vasodilation and the Bohr effect (more effective release of O2 in cells).
This effect of correct physical exercise is manifested in increased next-day body-oxygen content, which can be measured using a simple body-oxygen test. (Note the image on the left since most people believe that breathing more air improves brain- and body-O2 content).
Physiology and the Elevation Training Mask 2.0
One of the key factors that makes the Training Mask effective is its increased dead volume (see the image for more details).
This large dead volume makes the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 similar to the Frolov device, Samozdrav, and Amazing DIY breathing device, which are used at rest for breathing exercises. Many people can do breathing exercises while walking (and often with better results). However, the Training Mask presents nearly an ideal method to combine most effective breathing exercises with physical activity for better health and higher-body O2 and VO2max. Therefore, when they say that the mask only simulates high altitude training, do not believe that.
High altitude training provides adaptation to hypoxia (with increase in hemoglobin levels, and some other related effects). This is the reason why altitude training is classified as hypoxic training. This makes sense since high altitude only reduces O2 content in the inspired air.
The Training Mask also reduces O2 content in the inspired air conditioning the body to hypoxia, but the Training Mask also increases CO2 content in the lungs. This effect is not present at high altitudes. Therefore, this is an example of hypercapnic hypoxic training that has additional benefits due to adaptation to higher CO2.
How to increase positive effects of the Training Mask?
One can greatly amplify the positive effects of the High Altitude Training Mask, if he or she combines exercise done with the Training Mask with lifestyle changes that increase body-O2 content (see Learning Section). Note that most people can effectively use this mask during cardio exercise only when they get over 20 seconds for the body-oxygen test. Breathing control during exercise and more flexibility (using different resistances) is possible when one has over 25-30 seconds for the body-O2 test.
During recent weeks, I have been experimenting with the Training Mask during physical exercise. Why? It is known that breathing control is difficult after exercise, At less than 25 s, it is very difficult and the CP remains low (due to heavy breathing) for many hours. The CP often recovers only on the next morning. One can try reduced breathing, breath holds, maximum pauses, and many other breathing manipulations during exercise, but breathing still remains heavy. However, when I tried the Training Mask for running and cycling sessions, breathing after exercise is naturally very small. I tried up to 30, then 40 and 60 minutes of aerobic exercise with the Training Mask, but no matter how long I trained, breathing after exercise was minimal. It seems that the opposite is true: the longer the training, the slower the after-breath.
These are the reasons why the Training Mask 2.0 is an exceptionally effective device for higher body oxygenation, VO2max, and better health, and why I encourage my students (especially those who like sports and try to become more fit, or those who try to break through 40 seconds body O2 threshold) to use this device during exercise, for up to 12-40 minutes for one session of aerobic training.
If you are interested to try it, I do not know any cheaper ways or sources to buy the Elevation Training Mask than using this link that connects you with creators and producers of this health and fitness device: Training Mask.
Warning. 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.
Reference pages: Breathing norms and medical facts:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- 6 breathing myths: Myths and superstitions about breathing and body oxygenation (prevalence: over 90%)
- Hyperventilation: Definitions of hyperventilation: their advantages and weak points
- Hyperventilation syndrome: Western scientific evidence about prevalence of chronic hyperventilation in patients with chronic conditions (37 medical studies)
- Normal minute ventilation: Small and slow breathing at rest is enjoyed by healthy subjects (14 studies)
- Hyperventilation prevalence: Present in over 90% of normal people (24 medical studies)
- HV and hypoxia: How and why deep breathing reduces oxygenation of cells and tissues of all vital organs
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
- Body oxygen in healthy: Results for the body-oxygen test for healthy people (27 medical studies)
- Body oxygen in sick : Results for the body-oxygen test for sick people (14 medical studies)
- Buteyko Table of Health Zones: Clinical description and ranges for breathing zones: from the critically ill (severely sick) up to super healthy people with maximum possible body oxygenation
- Morning hyperventilation: Why people feel worse and critically ill people are most likely to die during early morning hours
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in tissues
- Cell oxygen levels: How alveolar CO2 influences oxygen transport
- Oxygen transport: O2 transport is controlled by vasoconstriction-vasodilation and the Bohr effects, both of which rely on CO2
- Free radical generation: Reactive oxygen species are produced within cells due to anaerobic cell respiration caused by cell hypoxia
- Inflammatory response: Chronic inflammation in fueled by the hypoxia-inducible factor 1, while normal breathing reduces and eliminates inflammation
- Nerve stabilization: People remain calm due to calmative or sedative effects of carbon dioxide in neurons or nerve cells
- Muscle relaxation: Relaxation of muscle cells is normal at high CO2, while hypocapnia causes muscular tension, poor posture and, sometimes, aggression and violence
- Bronchodilation: Dilation of airways (bronchi and bronchioles) is caused by carbon dioxide, and their constriction by hypocapnia (low CO2)
- Blood pH: Regulation of blood pH due to breathing and regulation of other bodily fluids
- CO2: lung damage: Elevated carbon dioxide prevents lung injury and promotes healing of lung tissues
- CO2: Topical carbon dioxide can heal skin and tissues
- Synthesis of glutamine in the brain, CO2 fixation, and other chemical reactions
- Deep breathing myth: Ignorant and naive people promote the idea that deep breathing and breathing more air at rest is beneficial for health
- Breathing control: How is our breathing regulated? Why hypocapnia makes breathing uneven, irregular and erratic.
Go back to Breathing Techniques
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