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How To Increase Your VO2 Max Anytime, Anywhere – Without Actually Exercising.

how to increase vo2max
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In the article “Underground Training Tactics For Enhancing Endurance – Part 1“, I introduce you to the concept of using things like resisted, restricted and hypoxic breathing to significantly increase your oxygen utilization, your lung power, your VO2 max, and your inspiratory and expiratory muscle strength and endurance.

In that article, I mention a “PowerLung“, which is a special portable restricted breathing device that I personally use when I’m driving around in my car, watching a movie, or waiting in line at the airport as a way to squeeze in a quick lung workout. I keep the Powerlung in my bag and just pull it out whenever I know I have a chance to boost my VO2max. It seems like cheating, but I can actually exercise my lungs just about anytime, anyplace.

But how does the PowerLung thing actually work, is it proven, and can you actually increase your VO2 max without exercising?

In today’s audio podcast, I interview Greg Wells, Ph.D., the Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education at the University of Toronto and Associate Scientist of Physiology and Experimental Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children.

During our interview, you’ll learn:

-Which hidden muscles use over 15% of your energy needs during exercise…

-The 2 best ways to do resisted breath training…

-How your body pulls precious blood away from your arms and legs if you have weak breathing muscles…

-Why breathing in and out of a straw isn’t a good idea…

-The sets and reps you should use for potent resisted breath training workout…

-How resisted breathing is different than hypoxic training…

-Why doing breath training the wrong way can increase body acidity…

-What kind of resisted breath devices to use if you have asthma or other lung issues…

-How resisted training could actually give you a six-pack abs…

-And much more!

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powerlungResources:

The PowerLung

-Study: Respiratory Muscle Power Before and After Training

-White Paper: The Importance of Respiratory Muscle Training Inspiratory and Expiratory Muscles.

The Sick Kids Foundation.

PowerLung.com


Questions, comments or feedback about the Powerlung? Leave you thoughts below!

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17 thoughts on “How To Increase Your VO2 Max Anytime, Anywhere – Without Actually Exercising.

  1. seems a bit peculiar that you cannot buy the powerlung on their site. Went to the upgraded site- coupon code didn’t work there- and couldn’t even find it on a couple other website carriers…not sure if anyone else is reporting this problem but it seemed worth bringing up.

    thanks

  2. Brilliant show…

    I went to Powerlung,com to order a Power Lung but they do not seem to sell anything…at least in the US. They just direct you to different stores that carry the product.

  3. Hey Ben, for serious triathletes (2:10-2:15 Oly time), which version would you recommend? The Green one or Blue one? The blue one seems like it is for a small minority of super elite.

  4. Sounds intriguing. I kept waiting to find out how much the device increased VO2 max, but didn't hear the guest mention the actual results of his study. I didn't see it on the powerlung site either. Is there a reference somewhere I missed?

  5. On the power lung website, their own study of college cross country runners showed no improvement to VO2 Max. So was Dr. Wells' findings different?

    1. From Dr. Greg himself:

      Thanks for the question ketoKt. I found that inspiratory and expiratory training improved a measure we called critical velocity (Vcrit) in elite level swimmers. Vcrit is the swimming speed at maximum heart rate, which is similar to but not exactly the same as VO2max. The improvements were 1-3% better in the respiratory training condition over the sham condition. You can read more here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15942767.

      Another interesting study which I think demonstrates one of the best ways to use respiratory muscle training (RMT) is this one http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11445767 which suggests that using RMT as part of a warm-up can be beneficial for rowing performance.

      Here are 2 review articles that summarize all the research in this area to date:
      Effects of respiratory muscle training on performance in athletes: a systematic review with meta-analyses.

      Effect of respiratory muscle training on exercise performance in healthy individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

      I hope that helps.

      Greg

      Greg Wells, Ph.D. http://www.drgregwells.com
      @drgregwells

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