Why should I use Training mask ?
Many athletes opt to go to high altitude areas for endurance training. They do this because high altitude areas expose the body to hypoxic conditions. This is a condition where the body or parts of the body are deprived of adequate oxygen supply.
High altitude areas have low oxygen and low nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere. The higher one goes above sea level, the thinner the air. This change in altitude also changes the gaseous pressure within the body.
Athletes chose to train in high altitude areas because exposure to low oxygen levels increases the body’s capabilities in terms of performance and hence one can achieve more training results within a shorter time.
Training in high altitude causes the body to increase its production of erythropoietin which helps in increased muscle endurance, higher physiological, physical and mental stimulus for the athlete. High intensity exercises in high altitude areas improve the body’s anaerobic work capacity. There is more production of red blood cells in the body triggered by erythropoietin. Every athletes dream is to deliver. Many will go to any lengths to do whatever it takes to have more muscle power and better endurance. However, not every athlete can manage to every now and then go to places ranging from between 2000 to 18000 feet elevation to get this kind of training.
The introduction of Altitude Training Masks to mimic high altitude conditions was introduced to the market for use by those who can’t train in the actual high altitude areas. Altitude Training Masks give the same results to an athlete as training in a high altitude area.
What is a training mask/ what is an elevation mask?
A training mask is a hands free respiratory muscle training device that is intended for use by physically fit persons over the age of 16 years. It looks more like a gas mask and has big round eyeholes and a filter that goes over the mouth.
A training mask is used by athletes and those in fitness programs to improve exercises. Its main aim is to restrict breathing thus creating pulmonary resistance during physical exercise, to avoid exertion, and to strengthen the diaphragm. A training mask helps the user burn more calories when working at high intensities and it provides the user with the benefit of reducing their workout time.
A training masks may also be referred to as workout training masks, oxygen restricted training masks, running training masks, elevation training masks or altitude training masks.
Do training masks work? Using a training mask brings out the same effects to a user as training in a high altitude area. Training masks use an advanced peripheral air resistance valve system that provides the user with multiple levels of air resistance allowing them to use the mask at multiple fitness levels.
Mimicking high altitude training, oxygen restriction masks are used to reduce or restrict the volume of air that comes into the breather thus making the body adapt to less oxygen levels. Oxygen restricted masks help in buffering lactic acid a compound that builds up in muscles, increasing the acidity of the muscle cells.
Oxygen training masks allow the user to work at high intensities and at the same time helping the user create more energy. Use of oxygen restricted masks helps in increase of carbon dioxide during each cycle of training. This is so because the air exhaled from the body into the mask does not exit fully and can be reused by the user before the next breath. This allows more carbon dioxide into the body. Elevated carbon dioxide in the body regulates fatigue.
Training in a high altitude environment, aides in the increase of red blood cell volume in the body. Higher altitudes are lower in oxygen. But not every athlete can go for endurance training in high altitude areas to have these effects. So some of them train in an altitude chamber. Or they use a training mask to mimic the effects of high altitude without actually going to a high altitude area. The training mask mostly used to bring out this effect is called an elevation training mask.
Elevation training masks 2.0
Elevation training masks are used to mimic high altitude hypoxic conditions. The training masks use a flux valve system to reduce the amount of air to the lungs. They help the lungs to take deeper breathes and to use oxygen more efficiently.
This makes the body work harder to breathe in what is known as restricted air breathing. The elevation training masks or oxygen restricted masks, allow the user to experience the effects of training in a hypoxia situation.
With the use of oxygen restricted masks or altitude masks, the lungs adapt to the air resistance and are able to use the available oxygen more efficiently. This increases a user’s aerobics and their overall performance even when they are not using the masks. Elevation Mask 2.0 is widely used as the preferred oxygen restricted mask.
The Benefits of a training masks / Oxygen restricted training mask are:
1. It simulates high altitude training
Just like being in a high altitude area, using an oxygen restricted training mask, deprives the user of a high volume of oxygen into the body. The training mask has only two valves that introduce air into the lungs and so the air gets controlled
2. Saves time and maximizes performance in training
By using an oxygen restricted training mask, time used for training is reduced by almost half. One can get the benefit of a 40 minute workout in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.
3. An increase in oxygen efficiency.
Reducing the oxygen intake during training helps the body use less oxygen and thus make it more efficient. Less oxygen intake is like holding one’s breath while underwater. This streamlines the body to do better strokes. The heart beat in this state is at its lowest resting beat.
4. An increase in energy production
Restriction of oxygen into the body makes the body produce more platelets to make up for the deficit of oxygen and this gives more energy to the user
5. Increases the surface area and elasticity in alveoli, increasing the lung capacity and anaerobic threshold.
6. Better anaerobic status
7. An increase in both mental and physical stamina
8. An increase in mental focus
9. Improved overall performance
10. Conditions the lungs and strengthens the diaphragm helping a user to inhale fuller deeper breaths
The best Elevation Mask 2.0 has the following features:
- Ideal for any user, athletes, pros and amateurs.
- They are hand washable
- They come with several air resistance caps
- They have several base pieces with flux valve plungers
- They have silicone masks for maximum comfort
- They come with a detailed instruction manual
- They come with a certificate of authenticity
- They Come with different types of training sleeves
- They are clean to use
Other Types of Training Masks
There are other types of training masks in the market that help in acquiring maximum endurance and strength while doing a workout. These are:
1. Oxygen Restricted Masks: – Oxygen Restricted Masks are basically oxygen deprivation masks. The mask is only won when training to simulate altitude. There is low inhalation of oxygen into the lungs. The oxygen training masks have two valves that regulate the volume of air a user breathes into the body.
2. Altitude Training Masks: – Altitude training masks do not simulate the same type of hypoxia that athletes experience while training in high altitude areas or with a best elevation training mask.
Users of altitude training masks breathe in the same amount of air in the environment they are at. The only difference is the air has fewer molecules of oxygen. Altitude training masks are mostly used in altitude rooms and altitude tents like the high altitude training center in Colorado Springs. These masks remove the oxygen from the air a user is breathing so when he draws in a full breathe of air, there’s less oxygen.
3. Swimming Masks: – Better known as the Snorkel. This is a diving mask with a shaped breathing tube called a snorkel. It is attached to a face mask and used by swimmers and divers to draw in air from above the water when the wearer’s mouth and nose are submerged in water.
4. Training Mask 2.0:- very light and easy to use, it improves stamina and endurance, increases capacity for high density exercises and improves overall breathing mechanics. Unlike the older version of the Training Masks, the 2.0 does not interfere with the user’s visibility. It only provides a tight fit around the nose and mouth and the user can clearly see what is going on around them as they train
5. Elevation Training Mask: – this is a more improved fatigue tolerance Training Mask that allows the user to work out at peak hours for longer time intervals. It comes in three fits; large medium and small. It fits well around the head and there are no dangers of it falling off during training. It has straps so a user can always tighten the Mask if it is too loose.
6. Fitness Mask: – they mimic the same hypoxic conditions. Used in aerobics treadmills and weight lifting
7. Workout Mask: – even during work out, a user can use a training mask to get better results within a short period of time.
8. Breathing mask: – Designed to protect the wearer from inhaling harmful dusts, fumes or gases. It is a flexible pad held over the face by rubber straps. This mask however does not restrict the volume of oxygen inhaled into the lungs.
9. Running Training Masks: – These are especially great for running. They all have the same effects as Altitude Training Masks and Oxygen Restricted Masks.
10. Air Restriction Masks: – Designed to limit the volume of air inhaled into the body.
Hypoxic intermittent training
This is altitude training where the athlete performs for periods of between 3-5 minutes while breathing low oxygen air. This kind of breathing is not restricted. The idea here is to liken the situation to high altitude and to improve breathing response and adherence rather than improve fitness.
Training mask sizes
Training Masks come in three sizes. Small, Medium and Large depending on the head size of the user.
Small- these are about 100lbs to 149lbs and measure about 4” left to right.
Medium- these are about 150lbs to 240 lbs and measure4.5” left to right.
Large- these are about 250lbs to 300lbs and measure 5.0” left to right.
Note: – All Training Masks should measure 1” to 1.5” left and right from corner of mouth.
High altitude masks are mostly used by endurance athletes who are looking to go above and beyond the typical training methods to achieve their performance levels
Buying Guide for Training Mask 2.0
There is always that question. Does the elevation training mask work? Exactly what do training masks do?
Is altitude training using running masks really necessary for endurance athletes to go through to better their performances? Elevation training mask does it work? Don’t they still train a lot and for many hours a day even without going to high altitude areas? Isn’t that training enough to get the results they want for better performances?
Many athletes using the running and oxygen restricted training masks have had nothing but good reviews about using training masks. The effects are like training in a high altitude area where their performances get better and their body muscles get stronger.
Training masks have helped to kick up the cardio aspect of the body without having to travel to high altitude areas to get the same effects because, it simulates altitude training and helps the body adjust and work harder to breathe. To them, it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Get the kind of hypoxic training they want without having to travel to a hypoxic place and get to have better performances in whatever field they are training in.
Breathing through two valves in the oxygen restricted training masks is a challenge in itself as the user’s breathe in less air. This however has positive gains for the body as there is less oxygen breathed into the body and so the lungs have to work extra hard to create enough oxygen to the body cells.
The valves are adjustable and there are different settings with every piece that go according to the kind of sport the user is getting into. They have been known to shorten the workout time but with the same results and same intensity.
They are comfortable to use and come with head straps that help a user feel more secure.
If any athlete wants to push their workout to a greater and better level, the Training Mask has greatly been hailed to do this.
There is an increase in hemoglobin in the body when using Elevation Training Masks, which in turn increases oxygen supply to the muscles.
Many training mask users say they are able to focus more on breathing and claim that their abdominal muscles feel more relaxed when training with a training mask as compared to exercising or training without.
The oxygen restricted training mask has been said to help some people feel more comfortable while in a situation where they feel like they are being choked-out or rather in situations where they feel like they are short of breath. It helps the user learn how to control breathing and to cope better when faced with such a situation.
However, while some people will swear by the training masks, not everybody thinks the elevation training masks work as well as they are said to. Some think that there is really no big difference between training with an elevation training mask and training without.
There have been some disputed claims that hypoxic exposure only during exercise is not adequate enough to bring out the said positive effects of high altitude training. One has to actually live in low altitude and train in high altitude to have these effects.
Training masks are only won during a training session, and some believe that the effects are really not that phenomenal. To have great effects from wearing and working out with a training mask, one would have to wear it every so often even when not in training.
While some users say that training in running training masks and Oxygen restricted masks, help them to sleep better because of the high intensity work out the training mask gives them, there are others who say that training in hypoxic conditions affects their ability to sleep well.
Lack of sleep may greatly affect an athlete’s performance and slow down his rate of recovery. Exposure to training in hypoxic conditions may affect an athlete’s ability to perform an otherwise normal practice. Dependency on the training mask may make it almost impossible to some to do anything worthwhile without the mask.
Some athletes have especially found the training mask to be particularly beneficial during injury rehabilitation and to maintain their cardiovascular fitness.
Not all athletes respond well to training masks. Some may feel dizzy after using it, others may feel more fatigued and others may have slight headaches due to oxygen deprivation.
Frequent monitoring is recommended for those using training masks so as to prevent this kind of training from causing more harm than good.
Dehydration is also very likely to occur during hypoxic training and users are advised to hydrate more often.
Due to lack of oxygen, users are advised to have more intake of carbohydrates because lack of oxygen increases reliance on anaerobic energy.
In some workout mask reviews, some people think that training masks are too expensive and an actual gas mask which is cheaper and has almost the same features, works out just as well. Still others said that, the elevation training mask may improve the lung capacity, but this does not mean there is an increase in aerobics or anaerobic fitness.
Strengthening of lung muscles does not necessary amount to improved athletic performance. Some claim that breathing deeply only loosens up and increases the mobility of the lungs and increases the ability to take in deeper breathes but this doesn’t amount to better performances.
A few may think that elevation training masks and oxygen restricted training masks, are scientific gimmicks that can end up in doing more damage than good to the athletes. They think it’s taking the easy way out for faster and better results without having to think about the long term side effects.
With the introduction of training masks, some feel that not enough research was carried out and more homework should be done.
And still according to others, it is much better to spend money eating well and healthy and using supplements and proper training gear, than spend it on training masks.
Another drawback to using training masks is that at some time a user has to train without the use of the mask. Continued use of the training mask or too much dependency on the mask, may make an athlete go slower or start producing less power when left in a situation where he can’t use the mask.
Who cannot use a Training Mask?
People with certain medical conditions are highly advised not to use training masks. These are, people with high blood pressure, asthmatic people, people with heart conditions and anyone taking prescription drugs. Consulting a health expert would first be needed if anyone with a medical condition has the intention of using a training mask.
Where to Buy Training Masks
Elevation Training Masks 2.0, oxygen restricted training masks and running masks can be purchased from Amazon.com. Many sports shops also sell training masks.
Final Thoughts about Training Mask
While there may be a few negative reviews about the elevation training mask 2.0, running masks and oxygen restricted training masks, the benefits of training masks far outweigh the elevation training mask 2.0 reviews that are negative. Those who have successfully used them, claim to notice differences in training without a mask and training using a training mask.
The training mask helps in controlling regular breathing as well as making the user more aware of how often they may neglect their breathing during a workout. For many people, it takes only a couple of weeks of using a training mask to feel the need to breathe deeper and fill the lungs better.
It is easy to use. The product paperwork is quite easy to understand. It is good enough to use for every kind of training; working out on a treadmill, aerobics, jogging, track racing, riding, and many others.
They are however not good for everyone. Not everyone using training masks will have immediate results in endurance and better performance immediately they start using them. They are best suited for high level athletes who require very specific effects.
It is important to understand what it really means for the altitude training masks to improve breathing. Improving respiratory muscles doesn’t necessary lead to increased performance. What it does is getting oxygen from the air into the blood and using it more effectively. If you are an average fitness athlete or just out to do some simple aerobics; maybe once a week to keep fit, then the training mask may not be for you. But if you are that professional athlete who is looking to improve performance then the training mask is worth giving a try.