Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 379 - 386

Research article
Effect of Wearing the Elevation Training Mask on Aerobic Capacity, Lung Function, and Hematological Variables
John P. Porcari1, , Lauren Probst1, Karlei Forrester1, Scott Doberstein1, Carl Foster1, Maria L. Cress1, Katharina Schmidt2
Author Information
1 University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, USA
2 University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

John P. Porcari
‚úČDepartment of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, USA
Publish Date
Received: 18-02-2016
Accepted: 03-05-2016
Published (online): 23-05-2016

Altitude training and respiratory muscle training (RMT) have been reported to improve performance in elite and well-trained athletes. Several devices (altitude and RMT) have been developed to help athletes gain the competitive edge. The Elevation Training Mask 2.0 (ETM) purportedly simulates altitude training and has been suggested to increase aerobic capacity (VO2max), endurance performance, and lung function. Twenty-four moderately trained subjects completed 6 weeks of high-intensity cycle ergometer training. Subjects were randomized into a mask (n = 12) or control (n = 12) group. Pre and post-training tests included VO2max, pulmonary function, maximal inspiration pressure, hemoglobin and hematocrit. No significant differences were found in pulmonary function or hematological variables between or within groups. There was a significant improvement in VO2max and PPO in both the control (13.5% and 9.9%) and mask (16.5% and 13.6%) groups. There was no difference in the magnitude of improvement between groups. Only the mask group had significant improvements in ventilatory threshold (VT) (13.9%), power output (PO) at VT (19.3%), respiratory compensation threshold (RCT) (10.2%), and PO at RCT (16.4%) from pre to post-testing. The trends for improvements in VT and PO at VT between groups were similar to improvements in RCT and PO at RCT, but did not reach statistical significance (VT p = 0.06, PO at VT p = 0.170). Wearing the ETM while participating in a 6-week high-intensity cycle ergometer training program does not appear to act as a simulator of altitude, but more like a respiratory muscle training device. Wearing the ETM may improve specific markers of endurance performance beyond the improvements seen with interval training alone.

Key words: Altitude training, interval training

           Key Points
  • Wearing the ETM during a 6-week high-intensity cycle ergometer training program may improve performance variables, such as VO2max, PPO, VT, PO at VT, RCT and PO at RCT.
  • Wearing the ETM did not improve lung function, inspiratory muscle strength, or stimulate changes in hemoglobin or hematocrit levels.
  • The ETM does not simulate altitude, but works more like an respiratory training device.
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