by Cliff Etzel – Editor
Due to the nature of my work as a website developer, the time I need for training is difficult to schedule – primarily because the hours for lap and dynamic apnea training at the pool I train at this time of the year coincides with my work hours. So scheduling my training time becomes an exercise in creative time management.
Two months ago, I came across a device that has helped me to continue with my training, yet allows me to perform it anytime.
The PowerLung is, in essence, a variable breath resistance device that can be utilized virtually anywhere and when used as directed, can increase your lung capacity through stronger intercostals muscle strength.
I had noticed in the past that during my lap and dynamic apnea lap swimming that I became especially fatigued and took a fair amount of time to recover due to tired breathing muscles. Since using the PowerLung in my daily lap swimming and dynamic apnea sessions, I am able to inhale much more deeply, and that I do not tire as easily as I use to, due to the eventual abdominal muscle fatigue that results through conscious deeper breathing.
The key to successful result with the PowerLung is reading the directions included with the device. This may sound obvious, but human nature typically shows that we do not like to read instructions – myself included. Failure to do so could result in possible injury. There are two adjustments that can be made. One is for the resistance of inhalation and the second is for exhalation. By being able to adjust each, you can vary your training session with the device and provide some variety in your workout.
I thought I was in decent shape when I received mine. I was sure that I could do at least setting three on the inhalation and a 4 on the exhalation. My ego was about to be put in its place with these settings. I couldn’t do them – I thought I was going to give myself a stroke when forcing this. I then made myself sit down and read the direction on proper use of the PowerLung. Starting off with the lowest settings, I performed the 30 breath cycle as instructed in the manual and have to admit that I was winded by the end, just barely finishing the 30th breath due to muscle fatigue, which was how you know that you got a good workout.
I performed this in the morning when I awoke and then repeated it before going to bed at night. The next day, my stomach muscles, my rib cage and my upper back felt as though I had done a major workout the day before – I knew I had found a perfect compliment to my pool-training regimen. And all of this was accomplished in two minutes twice a day.
The real test was going to show in my pool sessions.
I was not disappointed. Within two weeks of regular usage, I saw a noticeable difference in my breathing capacity. My lap swims were not as tiring, and my dynamic apnea lap swimming was much easier to perform. Now after using it for 2 months, I do not know what I would do without it – I have come to rely on it as a crucial part of my training. I am now considering constant ballast deep diving attempts next year, and will be utilizing it as a crucial element in my training.