Train your Breathing Muscles to Improve Performance: Part 4

In part 1 of this series, it was show that respiratory muscle training (RMT) is effective for enhancing performance. In part 2, it was discussed the mechanisms how RMT works. Part 3 showed a step-by-step way to implement RMT. Here, in part 4, what devices are available to start and continue using RMT.

What Respiratory Training Devices are Available?

I am not sponsored or reimbursed by any company, let alone any of the following products. A 2018 review of all available IMT devices (4), Menzes et. al. gave the pros and cons of 14 devices. I will only report on the home use devices that are somewhat affordable and available for purchase in the United States. There were 4:

  • POWERbreathe – The POWERbreathe and POWERbreath Plus were positively review for adequate load range, portability, mouthpiece sealing, ease of use, and easy adjustment.

  • EMST 150 – The EMST 150 was positively reviewed for all the same as the POWERbreathe except for mouthpiece sealing, that was deemed inadequate.

  • Threshold IMT – The Threshold IMT was also positively reviewed for portability, ease of use, and easy adjustment but poorly reviewed for load range and mouthpiece sealing. Also, there is no option to purchase on their website.

  • PowerLung – The PowerLung was rated as ‘N/A’ for load range. Apparently the PowerLung has one setting of load for IMT. This device was positively reviewed for all other factors as listed above.

There you have it. All the available up to date information on RMT. We now know that RMT is an effective way to improve performance by performing 30 inhalations, twice a day for 6-8 weeks using one of the devices listed above.


  1. Shei, R. J. (2018). Recent advancements in our understanding of the ergogenic effect of respiratory muscle training in healthy humans: A systematic review. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 32(9), 2665-2676.

  2. Karsten, M., Ribeiro, G. S., Esquivel, M. S., & Matte, D. L. (2018). The effects of inspiratory muscle training with linear workload devices on the sports performance and cardiopulmonary function of athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Physical Therapy in Sport.

  3. Gualdi, L. P., Sales, A. T., Fregonezi, G., Ramsook, A., Guenette, J., Lima, I., & Reid, D. (2015). Respiratory muscle endurance after resiratory muscle training in athletes and non-athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

  4. Menzes KKP, Nascimento LR, Avelino PR, Polese JC, Salmela LFT (2018). A Review on Respiratory Muscle Training Devices . J Pulm Respir Med 8: 451. doi: 10.4172/2161-105X.1000451

  5. Leddy, J. J., Limprasertkul, A., Patel, S., Modlich, F., Buyea, C., Pendergast, D. R., & Lundgren, C. E. (2007). Isocapnic hyperpnea training improves performance in competitive male runners. European journal of applied physiology, 99(6), 665-676.

  6. Wilson, E. E., McKeever, T. M., Lobb, C., Sherriff, T., Gupta, L., Hearson, G., ... & Shaw, D. E. (2014). Respiratory muscle specific warm-up and elite swimming performance. Br J Sports Med, 48(9), 789-791.

  7. Tong, T. K., Fu, F. H., Chung, P. K., Eston, R., Lu, K., Quach, B., ... & So, R. (2008). The effect of inspiratory muscle training on high-intensity, intermittent running performance to exhaustion. Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism, 33(4), 671-681.

  8. Seals, D. R. (2001). Robin Hood for the lungs? A respiratory metaboreflex that ‘steals’ blood flow from locomotor muscles. The Journal of physiology, 537(1), 2-2.

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