There are several products on the market claiming to improve your breathing, including PowerLung. PowerLung is nothing like any other competing product and any statement a competitor makes about being the same as PowerLung is simply not true.

What makes PowerLung different?

Restrictive Resistance

restrictive resistance, powerlungIt all comes down to the methods used to create resistance. Competitors such as Expand-a-Lung, SportsBreather (a.k.a. The Breather) and UltraBreathe use a method known as restrictive resistance.

The best way to describe this method of resistance is to imagine breathing through different sized straws. That’s all restrictive resistance is. You are simply “restricting” the space through which the air can flow.

“‘It’s not fancy,’ says inventor Jorge Brower… he got the idea for his Expand-a-Lung by watching innovative free divers rig up their own equipment to train their respiratory muscles. ‘Because of lack of resources, they take any pipe they can find, cap it, put a mouthpiece on it and put a pinhole through it… mine is no different…'”

Swimming Technique, Oct-Dec 2002
Pamela LeBlanc

increased restrictive resistance, powerlungUse this approach or simply use straws with different size openings or just whistle. Regardless of how you want to make your own “product” it will certainly cost less than even these products.

Regardless of how you choose to implement your restrictive device, it is only useful if you are aiming for no results. The restrictive method of resistance has been shown not to work and can lead to negative effects.

“…a decrease in inspiratory flow rate resulted and caused a drop in inspiratory pressures, even in situations where a smaller orifice than the original was used. This creates a paradoxical situation where reducing the orifice size may cause a decrease rather than an increase in inspiratory load…”

A Target Feedback Device For Ventilatory Muscle Training
Michael J. Belman, MD, and Reza Shadmehr, MS

A reduced “load” means reduced resistance and therefore reduced training effectiveness. So even if you make it yourself you may not get the results you seek over time even if you increase the amount of time you use it and decrease the size of the opening you breathe through!

Threshold Resistance

powerlung diagram

threshold resistance diagram, powerlung

PowerLung uses a method known as threshold resistance. Imagine a person who trains or exercises with weights. The weight creates a workload – resistance – for the muscles to work against and overcome. The more the person repeats the pattern of the exercise, the stronger his or her muscles become. As it becomes easier to do the exercise the person can increase the threshold to help make the muscles stronger.

When you breathe in and out through PowerLung, you are working against a threshold of resistance that is the same for every breath. PowerLung has two cells one designed to train your inhale and the other designed to train your exhale breathing. Both are adjustable to set your level (threshold) of resistance. Exactly like how a person adds resistance with weights for strength training.

By doing this, you are strengthening the muscles that support your breathing. This method of training to strengthen your breathing has been proven in various independent studies on PowerLung products.

A study performed at the University of Toronto shows regular training with PowerLung can increase your inhale muscle power greater than 40% and increase your exhale muscle power over 150%.

Respiratory Muscle Power Before and After Training (with PowerLung)
Greg Wells, University of Toronto Respiratory Research Group, 2003

What about the products that only support inhale breathing?

Going back to the weight lifter analogy, why would you only train the muscles in your arms when you lift them up but not when you lower them. Training for “lift and lower” is training for a full range of motion for the muscles. So, why shouldn’t this be true for your breathing? Your expiratory (exhale) breathing is just as important as your inspiratory. Ask any musician or someone who has asthma.

Or ask Mr. Barry Jarvis, the inventor of PowerLung. He tried products that focused on inhale breathing only or used restrictive resistance because they were the only products available at the time. This former rower and marathon runner was not getting the results he needed. He needed to exhale.

Being an inventor, Mr. Jarvis knew there had to be a way he could create what he needed. After much research and testing, Mr. Jarvis created the first prototype PowerLung and got the results he needed. He knew he wasn’t the only one in the world who wanted to breathe better and as an athlete, he knew all about the “Threshold Resistance”.

powerlung prototype

PowerLung design prototype,
July, 1999

In the 1990’s, a group in England joined together and introduced a product, POWERbreathe®, to focus only on IMT (inspiratory muscle training. One of the original founders also participated in research supporting the value of IMT only. A review published in March 2005 Curr Opin Pul Med, Review “Respiratory muscle training in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: inspiratory, expiratory, or both?” gave this summary:

“Inspiratory and expiratory muscles can be specifically trained yielding improvements in both strength and endurance. The improvement in inspiratory muscle performance is associated with an improvement in the sensation of dyspnea, exercise tolerance, and quality of life. When the expiratory muscles are specifically trained, a significant increase in exercise performance has also been shown…”

Remember, POWERbreathe only does inhale training. Yes you exhale through it, but there is no resistance, no training benefit and no exercise effort of any kind for exhale.

The benefits of training with PowerLung have been proven time and time again. Each study showing that expiratory breathing is just as important as inspiratory breathing. One study would show an increase in exhale muscle power greater than 150%! The really great part about our proof is it’s not endorsed. Independent researchers approached PowerLung and requested to perform studies on our products.

Similar products say they have advantages over PowerLung.

What are your advantages over them?

Yes, there are products that have an advantage over us (though they claim to have advantages). The only thing they have going for them is price and that is it. You know the story: you get what you pay for.

What does PowerLung have over them? You name it! PowerLung has far more advantages over competing products:

PowerLung Expand-a-Lung Luft Spiro Tiger POWERbreathe SportsBreather Breath Builder Ultrabreathe
Product lines for variety of users and areas of activities.
Inhale AND Exhale Muscle Training
25% Increase in Tidal Volume (Lung Capacity)
20% Increase In Exhalation Force (Respiratory Power)
Strength Trains EXHALE Muscles
Strength Trains INHALE Muscles
Aerobically Exercises EXHALE Muscles
Aerobically Exercises INHALE Muscles
Breathing Technique Training
Concurrent Respiratory Muscle Training
Pressure Resistance Operating Principle 1
Choked Air Flow or Restrictive Principle
Independent Peer Reviewed Studies 2 2 2
Printed User Instructions
Carrying Case
Specially Formulated Cleaning Solution
Breathing DVD for Music
Breathing Book for Music
Made in the USA
US Service Center
800-Phone Number Training & Help Desk
  1. For inhale only.
  2. The majority of the studies on the product were performed by the inventor(s) of the product, the inventor(s) were involved in the research, or the researcher(s) received financial benefit from the research on the product.