Masks that simulate the effects of high altitude have been used for some time now by competitive athletes. In fact, 95% of medal winners in the sport of short and long distance running since the 1968 Olympic Games have either lived or trained in altitude as a means of improving their performance. This year, the folks at Training Mask want to bring this capability to the everyday consumer with the third iteration of their mask.
For the uninitiated, the mask replicates a low oxygen environment as it reduces the intake of oxygen into the body. As a result, the body is forced to acclimatize to the lower levels of O2, which triggers the onset of a range of physiological adaptations geared towards enhancing the efficiency of the body’s respiratory, cardiovascular and oxygen utilization systems. Some advantages of this type of training include an increase in the number of small blood vessels (which helps to transport 02), an increase in buffering capacity (ability to manage the buildup of waste acid) and changes in the microscopic structure and function of the muscles. When 02 levels return to normal, the body can be more capable of working harder to achieve those goals.
Driven by a relentless desire to innovate, the Training Mask 3.0 is engineered to apply variable levels of load to the respiratory muscles by controlling air flow pass through; this increases tension on your breathing – which makes you more powerful and efficient over a long workout. It achieves this through its intuitive design. The mask is held on the face with a comfortable neoprene strap that overlays the air tight breathing apparatus. What makes the mask so effective is actually what Training Mask call their multi-patented NXT FORC3 Air Flow Platform. The NXT FORC3 technology features on the fly air flow adjustment which allows you to increase or decrease the load by simply turning a very simple dial at the bottom of the restrictor (a much better design choice over the 2.0 version) which places more strain on the breathing muscles based on the demands of your workout in real time.
After using the mask these past 3 months, my first impressions of this mask were a little scary, putting it on the first time at its default setting felt like someone had their hand clasped over my nose and mouth and I was breathing through the gaps between their fingers. However, after a little adjustment and once my body adjusted to the new o2 intake, I did find myself taking deeper more pronounced breaths. After a solid week of wearing the mask during my every other day gym routine that included lifting and 25 min cardio sessions, I have been really impressed with how this has helped me with my endurance and lung capacity. I don’t feel as tired, as breathless and even after my morning workout dare I say I feel more switched on and alert.
The Training Mask 3.0 is a product suited for the fitness world. Undoubtedly it can yield results when used appropriately but for your everyday average joe, we feel this may not be suitable for everyone without a little guidance from a fitness professional. Nonetheless, the Training Mask 3.0 remains a solid choice for those that want to reap the benefits of altitude training without the altitude.
BUY yours here – Training Mask 3.0 [All Black + Free Case] for Performance Fitness, Workout Mask, Running Mask, Breathing Mask, Resistance Mask, Cardio Mask, The Official Training Mask Used by Pros (Black, Medium)