“Train Your Lungs”
Review by Tom Rogers
Whether we’re training for an event or just running to get and stay fit, how many of us worry about the development of our lung muscles – probably not many of us!
Of more concern to most runners is how their legs are holding up and are the abs improving. A stronger heart will help our running no end, but it’s also true that more efficient lungs can play a key role in your performance, whatever your level. With that in mind we put one of the lung muscle training products from PowerLung® to the test.
There are a number of different PowerLung® models available but we got hold of the top of the range offering, the Sport.
The PowerLung® slogan is ‘Weight Training for your lungs’ and that really sums up what these products and this whole process is all about. Studies have shown that that the most effective way of training the muscles used in breathing is by resistance methods and when you use the PowerLung® Sport and Trainer products you do exactly that.
They provide what’s known as Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) and Expiratory Muscle Training (EMT) in the same breath, in other words you get a lung muscle workout when you breathe in and out! The higher you set the resistance level on the device itself the harder the workout…but does it work?
When you first see the PowerLung® the immediate temptation is to dismiss it as something that can’t possibly be of benefit. How can a piece of blue plastic help my breathing and make me run better? You then put the resistance to the highest level and blow. It’s at this point that you realise there’s more to this than you thought. Two minutes later, drenched in sweat you read the instructions and give the device some respect!
As with any training aid the secret is to start at the lowest resistance levels and work up over time. There are three levels on the exhalation control and six on inhalation. Never did I imagine that something like this could make me break sweat, but it does, even at the lowest level, although of course over time your lung muscles get stronger and the whole process gets easier. There’s a specific programme that you follow called the 2/30 Workout, which is thirty breaths, twice a day. Once you can do complete 30 reps at a certain resistance level you then move to the next one.
The PowerLung® is really easy to use and after a few days it became as integral to my training as putting on a pair of running shoes…and it worked!
It’s difficult to isolate the benefits of any particular component of your training, but I certainly felt my breathing was a lot stronger and my technique seemed better, which is essential for good running. All in all then it’s definitely worth having a look at one, you might just find it could be just what you’re looking for!