The POWERbreathe is a lightweight and efficient apparatus to work out my all my muscles associated with breathing. I use to run in a snorkel to get the similar effect that the POWERbreathe provides. I mainly use it to work on mental toughness. It gets you to a point of suffering really quickly as you can’t get the amount of oxygen into your body that your really wanted. The oxygen that you do get in, comes through much harder work than you really care for. For that reason it is spectacular. Picture the moment in a race or in your training where your legs feel fine, but your breathing is off and laboured. Or picture that moment where your legs feel like crap and every breathe is a struggle. This gets you there really quickly. I can attest that after using this for a period of time that when I am training without it, I rarely feel that panic and pain associated with the inability to breathe that I suffered from time to time before.
The first time I used it, I struggled to breathe with it on. I realized afterwards that I had purchased the POWERbreathe plus heavy. This is the toughest unit that they sell. I was just sitting and marking, and I couldn’t breathe as my breathing muscles couldn’t force air through it. That was a huge knock to my ego. I checked the manual to see if I was missing something in terms of the setup. It turns out that there are 10 levels that you can set the POWERbreathe to. It turns out mine was set to about 0.5 out of 10. That moment was bittersweet as I turned the level to 0 and found that I could breathe for extended periods of time with bearable discomfort. It was not long before I was at the 0.5 setting and have even cracked the 1 setting. I have not been brave enough to explore the other 9 levels. One day I will get there, I hope.
The weight is minimal in comparison to a snorkel, and the comfort is nice in comparison to a snorkel. The only thing that is different is that it is only difficult to breathe in as the breathing out is very simple. With a snorkel, the breathing is as difficult and constrained on the way in as it is on the way out. With the POWERbreathe, your muscles rest on exhale. A snorkel is very easy with no hope of having 10 levels of suffering. The POWERbreathe will get you to the suffer zone really quickly and will help to prolong how long it takes for you to get there. It has made my breathing muscles stronger and more efficient.