A training mask or elevation mask is not the most glamorous fitness gear. If anything, it’s more on the grunge side as far as the looks are concerned. However, it’s capable of really amplifying the intensity of your workouts and gives you the energy to break your own records.
For starters, it’s long been a favorite for cyclists and runners, especially those who cycle at high altitudes, hence the name elevation mask. But now, it found its way in the gyms too, where people are throwing on masks before getting on a treadmill or benching 200.3
The training mask mimics the effect of the higher altitude on the breathing. In scientific terms, it creates pulmonary resistance. Now, why would one want to do that? This has many health benefits, especially in the training perspective.
Almost all the cyclists and runners who compete in the Olympics train at a higher altitude or wear these training masks to simulate the effect. When you go on a higher altitude, the oxygen levels drop. As a result, it’s relatively difficult to breathe at a significantly higher level than the sea level.
It has also been featured in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. So this is a gear that has been tested by scientists and fitness experts, which goes to show that it’s quite effective. There are very real implications of wearing a training/elevation mask, which can have a dramatic effect in the long run.
This is not one of those trendy fitness accessories; it’s a scientifically proven respiratory training gear. That said, there’s a need for more research about its effects on different kinds of workouts.
On a surface level, a training mask is quite simple. However, it’s quite different from any regular masks you wear for protection from dust and germs. This kind of mask is usually made of non-breathable material, often containing a hardshell surface.
There are outlets in the mask that control the inflow and outflow of air. Some masks may even have setups based on the altitude, for instance, 3000 feet above sea level. So there are quite a lot of variations and altitude levels, so to speak.
The effect of this controlled or rather restricted airflow is pulmonary resistance. In other words, it gets harder to breathe, simply by wearing the mask. Your body does the rest of the work.
When you’re pressed for oxygen, your body has to find other sources within to make up for it. The red blood cells or hemoglobin carries oxygen to the tissues. So when you wear a training mask and exercise, your body produces more hemoglobin.
This excess production has a direct effect on your energy levels. As it increases the capillary density and more oxygen reaches your muscles, you have a boost of energy. As a result, you’re able to work out harder, regardless of whatever kind of exercise that you’re doing.
In addition to the increase in the production of oxygen, there are some other physiological effects as well. The management or buffering of waste acid increases, and the muscle function increases.
These masks are most commonly used for training purposes by cyclists touring in Tour de France or taking part in Summer Olympics. But that has not stopped people from wearing it to the gym. That said, if you’re going to spend a hundred bucks on a mask, you best be really committed to your workout regimen.
If you work out just to stay healthy, perhaps once or twice a week, you could do without the mask. However, those who are working towards a goal and looking to intensify their workout can use a training mask to their advantage.
You will still have to exercise pretty hard and stick to a diet plan. However, wearing a training mask would have many positive effects.
Some people argue that it’s not highly beneficial for those lifting weights, as it does not necessarily involve raising the heart rate. On the contrary, even lifting weights can benefit from an increased heart rate. Simply lifting heavier weights might not increase your pulse as much as it would, paired with restrictive breathing.
Anyone really dedicated to their workout goals and looking for a challenge should go for training masks. On the other hand, those with existing cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions should seek medical advice first to make sure it’s safe for them to use a training mask.
Training masks are not cheap, so it only makes sense to go for the one that would have the right impact on your workout. It goes without saying that you want something quality and long-lasting.
These masks are not exactly one-size-fits-all. These may have stretchy straps, but the main shell that sits on your nose and mouth does not stretch. Therefore, it’s imperative that you choose the right size.
The FDBRO Training Mask 2.0 comes in three sizes, designed according to the person’s weight. This makes the mask not only suitable in terms of physical size but also physiological capabilities. In other words, it’s designed based on your weight, so you get an optimal effect for your body, nothing too low or too harsh.
There’s a difference between restrictive breathing and uncomfortable breathing. The latter will have a negative impact on your workout and mess the tempo of your movements.
The training mask should have different altitudes or levels of resistance. Each person has different levels of resistance, so there should be room for adjustment. Those with pre-existing breathing conditions may want to use the least possible level of restriction.
The FDBRO Training Mask 2.0 offers a six-level resistance. The good thing is you do not have to take off the mask, you can simply adjust it with a valve.
Also, it’s super easy to clean, which is another thing you want to look out for. Since you’ll be sweating a lot during the workout, the mask will also get sweaty along with your clothes. You can throw the clothes in the washing machine, but not the mask. So it should either have moisture-wicking materials or be easy to clean or wash.
There are many training masks on the market, so why should you buy the Training Mask 2.0? Well, it checks most of the requirements for quality elevation training masks. Plus, you get a lot of benefits that other such masks might fail to provide.
Six Levels of Resistance/Energy
This is a no brainer that the number one benefit of wearing a training mask is supplementing your body energy. But that varies from person to person. Some people may need a higher degree of breathing resistance to amp up the heart rate.
Training Mask 2.0 provides six different resistance levels that cater to these varying needs. For instance, someone who is just starting cardio can use the lowest level. Similarly, someone doing high-intensity training (HIT), can turn it all the way up to the sixth stage to get the most resistance and 90-100% heart rate.
When you’re spending top dollar for fitness equipment, you want it to last long. Training Mask 2.0 is made with durable materials that can stand the test of time. Even if you’re one of those individuals who go to the gym five or six times a week, this will last a very long time.
Warm-up is good and essential before any workout, but it does not have to be too long. While most people think warm-ups are for stretching muscles, they are mainly to rev up your heart rate. You have to increase your pulse rate for your workout to have a better impact.
Depending on the person’s weight and strength, the warm-up time can vary. It can take you quite some time on the treadmill to get to the aerobic heart rate zone, which comprises 70 to 80 percent of your heart rate. This time would reduce significantly with Training Mask 2.0, as the restriction of oxygen would do the trick and raise your heart rate.
Training Mask 2.0 can also be used by people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People with COPD have breathing difficulties due to poor airflow to the lungs. Wearing a training mask can significantly strengthen pulmonary muscles.
The materials used in this mask are absolutely safe. You do not want cheap, harmful material on your nose and mouth. The product is SGS International Certified and RoHS certified.
A training mask is only a small means to the end. If it can improve your workouts and give you healthy pulmonary muscles along the way, it may be worth your time and money. Cycling is all about stamina, so you can achieve that kind of stamina and resistance in your gym at sea level, simply by wearing a mask.
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