“ Performance enhancer equipment „
Fitness gadgets come and go and for the most part they are gimmicks dressed up to suggest a marked improvement in performance, whilst in reality they are not that useful.
The Powerlung Trainer is different. It works and it works well. Respiratory training is not a new idea, but its intergration into the fitness industry has been quite slow. I'm guessing the main reason for that is advertising, because not many people I have trained have ever heard of it. It would certainly be more popular if people were aware of its effectiveness. So what is it and what does it do?
The powerlung was created by Barry Jarvis who in his youth was a competitive rower, but in his 40's suffered a debilitating heart attack. The result of his heart attack led to Barry not being able to do the things he used to regards his exercise. He found that he would tire quickly because he felt like he could not breath. Despite being given inhalers, he found there was nothing out there that could give him the extra oxgen he needed to be able to exercise again. In light of this, Barry began to work on the design of a devise that could help breathing. This was back in 1990 and fast forwarding 9 years, the first Powerlung was manafactured in 1999. Obviously over the next 10 years the product as been refined to improve its design and effectiveness
The powerlung itself is about 6 inches long and consists of a mouth piece (much like that on a scuba breathing tube) and two rotating indicators.
There is one indicator at the end of the device restricting the amount of air you inhale per breath. This has 6 level settings, 1 for easy through to 6 which is very hard. As you improve, there is enough scope within the devise to allow for a good progression.
The other indicator is on the bottom of the devise, this one restricts the amount of air you exhale. the indicator goes from 1 to 3, one being easy 3 being hard.
To find your ideal setting (because everyone is different) The devise comes with a full list of instructions on how to find your inhalation and exhalation setting and when to change the settings. alternatively you can visit the powerlung website which will provide you with full details (powerlung.com)
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Quite simply by restricting the amount of air you breath on your inhalations and expulsions, your lungs will be given a workout as they have to work harder. The resulting effect is an increase in your lung capacity and therefore an increase in the effectiveness of your oxygen transfer. Here's how to use the devise
The recommended use is 3 sets of 10 breathing repetitions twice each day. Each recommended use period takes about 5 minutes at most. A repetition begins when you breathe in and completely fill your lungs, and ends when you breathe out, completely emptying your lungs in 3 seconds. When doing a repetition, you are completing a full range of motion in training your breathing muscles.
At its most basic, this is how to use the powerlung, however for elite athletes, there are a number of different exercise programmes you can follow. For this I would again direct you to the powerlung.com website which will provide you with a full training programme.
DOES IT WORK?
The answer to this both from a statistical and personal level is YES
Much like any new devices that come onto the market in the health and fitness industry, the devise is scrutinised and tested by the best brains in the business. Sometimes the findings are inconclusive, which is the case for a good many products. The powerlunbg however seems to have passed scruting with flying colours.
The makers claim the following improvements by using the powerlung
Inhale Muscle Power > 40%
Exhale Muscle Power > 150%
Tidal Volume > 25% (This is the volume of air that is inhaled and exhaled!)
Peak Exhalation > 20% (The maximum amount you can Exhale)
The makers claims have stood up in the various tests that have been carried out by the sport science world. This is a heavy endorsement because they do not write for profit therefore have maximum objectivity to their research areas.
On a personal level, I have seen a marked improvement in my breathing and resultant improvement in my cardio output. I used the machine mainly to help with playing football. I wanted to improve my fitness and whilst I am generally in good shape, my cardio has always let me down (especially with about 15 minutes to go in the game). Having used the Powerlung as prescribed, I have seen a noticeable difference in my endurance.
However more importantly I have seen its effectiveness most prevalent in one of the clients I used to train. She was asthmatic and our training would always have to be delicately constructed around her asthma. I suggested trying the power lung and the improvements were huge. Her cardio training practically doubled within a month of using the devise as her lung capacity (which I did test) increased. For me this was the best barometer for testing its success as a product.
WHO WILL IT BENEFIT
I actually like the description on the Powerlung website (powerlung.com)
Powerlung is for anyone who breathes......................
Thanks for that, could all the people who are reading this and not breathing please try the following telephone numbers (999, 911 or 118118 they'll answer any questions you have!)
The power lung can really be used by anyone 13 years and above. It has benefits to everyone, whether you are an elite sportsman, a weekend warrior or just someone who needs a bit of extra help breathing (Asthmatics, elderly). In essence it re-teaches you how to breathe correctly, thus improving all aspects of the cardiovascular system. Must point out at this point, if you are a singer, this product is incredible for helping you breath correctly from your diaphragm.
The cost vary's on the type of Powerlung you opt for. There are 4 different types you can buy
Powerlung SPORT aimed at sports people and elite athletes £60 to £80
Powerlung TRAINER aimed at moderate exercisers (people who maybe walk and cycle but don't go to the gym) £50 to £60
Powerlung BREATHE AIR aimed at exercisers, not elite but you are active £50 to £60
Powerlung AIRESTREAM aimed at the elderly £40 to £50
The cost therefore fluctuates between about £40 through to £80. Amazon stocked all of the options and from the searches I achieved, were the most cost effective. The value of these won't really go down a great deal because there is no second hand market for them (for obvious reasons!)
In conclusion, the power lung is an effective tool to aid, well really anyone that has an interest or need to improve their cardiovascular system. In terms of its effectiveness I would not hesitate to recommend this product, the only drawback for me is the price. It is quite steep and despite its effectiveness I think people may be put off before they get a chance to benefit from it.
Hope that helps,
PowerLung is the only product specifically designed to train and strengthen all the muscles you use when you inhale and exhale. This enhances your breathing muscles for greater flexibility, endurance and relaxation. The PowerLung Sport provides a serious workout at a high level of resistance. It offers users the optimum in isolated threshold resistance strength training.