by Training Mask Strength & Conditioning Coach Brian MacKenzie
The idea behind the “Interval Breathing Recovery Protocol” is to maximize potential of actual work and teach better recovery. Most of us will "gas" out so hard from the workout that we want to breathe incredibly hard in order to get more O2 into the system. When we apply the Training Mask to the recovery portion, we quickly learn how to use more controlled, deeper breaths that utilizes the diaphragm. The problem we run into when using the Training Mask during a hard interval or even a hard session is a quicker reaction to fatigue. Fatigue brings on poor mechanics and poor mechanics are the precursor to injury. So the foundation for training is to have athletes training at 100% of what they are capable of, not 70 or 80, or even 90% of what they are capable of while still working for that 100% as we bring on fatigue quicker which leads us to poor mechanics. The ability to work at 100% and recover in a challenged position may extend the recovery, but in actuality it teaches better breathing mechanics which can (although scary/claustrophobic at the time) accelerate the recovery process. In situations where we are looking to stimulate the respiratory system further, there is no reason why we can't do a longer "cardio" session with emphasis on form while keeping breathing intensity moderately intense. This all fits into the train low live high principle as well.
Follow the series of protocols, completing one per week and let us know about your results. You should begin to see an increase in training endurance.