Elevation Training Masks (ETMs) have become a trendy fitness trend, promising to elevate performance by simulating high altitude conditions. But to assess their validity properly is crucial. In this blog we'll investigate their claims of effectiveness; additionally we will review an influential clinical study published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that offers insight into potential ETM benefits for athletes.
Understanding Elevation Training Masks
Elevation Training Masks are respiratory devices designed to restrict airflow during exercise. By limiting the amount of air inhaled, they aim to simulate training at higher altitudes, where oxygen availability is reduced. The underlying theory is that this respiratory muscle training may lead to adaptations that improve performance and endurance when training without the mask.
The Clinical Study: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
One notable clinical study, published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, investigated the impacts of ETM use among young male athletes from Saudi Arabia. It sought to measure its effect on various physiological and performance indicators relating to ETMs such as lung function, VO2 peak power output (PPO), cardiorespiratory fitness levels, hematological markers and lung health indicators.
The Study Findings:
The results of the study showed a range of significant improvements in several key parameters following ETM training.
These improvements included:
The study found positive changes in haematological variables, suggesting potential enhancements in blood oxygen-carrying capacity. This implies that ETMs might have the potential to improve oxygen delivery to the muscles during exercise.
Pulmonary Function and Lung Function:
ETM use led to improved pulmonary and lung function parameters. These findings indicate that ETMs may strengthen respiratory muscles and increase lung capacity, potentially improving oxygen exchange and respiratory efficiency during physical exertion.
The study observed an increase in VO2 peak, representing optimal oxygen uptake, as well as improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness. This implies that ETMs might have the potential to enhance aerobic capacity and endurance.
Peak Power Output (PPO):
The study demonstrated an increase in PPO, indicating improved explosive power. This suggests that ETMs may have a positive impact on anaerobic performance.
The clinical study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health provides valuable insights into the potential effectiveness of Elevation Training Masks. The findings suggest that ETM use, when incorporated at appropriate resistive breathing levels, may result in significant improvements in various physiological and performance parameters among young, male, Saudi athletes.