How Should You Use Training Masks?

As you may know, there are many amazing benefits of altitude masks and as a martial artist, I know that training with them has just crucial importance.

With that, after a quick research, I realized that there is not enough information about how to use them more efficiently

tips for training with a Training mask

I have experiences with two training masks so far and as you may know from my social media, I have a couple of friends in Thailand who religiously have trained with them for a really long time. And I know that this can make a difference for your training performance, endurance, and more. So as someone, who does martial arts training regularly, I want you to be the best version of yourself. So in this short article, you can find the details of how you should train with them.

Do not train with them all the time!

This is a big one. Many MMA fighters, boxers etc. train with them so their respiratory systems get used to training at higher altitudes and as you may know it is the most popular reason why many people train with them.

Sure you can adjust the resistance with valves, buttons etc. however it will not be so effective if you train with a training mask all the time. People generally think that if they gradually increase the resistance, the stamina will improve and they can breathe better at higher altitudes, expect their respiratory strength to improve etc.

Well, it is right however it is definitely not the best way to go.

When your respiratory system, lungs face resistance all the time, you will hit a plateau more often. Even though you can change (increase, decrease) the intensity of resistance, your respiratory system faces a challenge which is basically created by a machine. So your respiratory system will expect to face this mechanical resistance all the time and after a certain point, your respiratory system will be ready for it. And as you can guess it is not good for improving it. So even though you have an upcoming match at a higher altitude, you definitely need to train without training masks from time to time.

I talked about my friend’s (Atid) experiences a lot in the past. And while he was mainly hitting the bag, he tracked everything with his fitness and punch trackers. While he was traveling from country to country for matches (MMA) he showed faster progress (endurance) than usual.

Alright, popular brands like VEOXLINE, Training Mask always use the same resistance type. However, you may realize that some of the altitude masks work differently.

For example, some apply resistance only while you are inhaling and I strongly recommend you to stay away from these. And this is actually not related to price. There are some altitude masks which have expensive price tags and apply peripheral air resistance only while you are inhaling. And there are training masks which have affordable price tags, apply resistance while exhaling and inhaling. So basically the price does not matter and you need to check the product descriptions, read reviews etc.

See Good Training Masks 

A Common Mistake: I see that people do only one training type while wearing masks. They either run (steady state) or do heavy bag session, plyo box (plyometrics medicine ball etc.) or some other kind of training type. You definitely should not limit yourself to one training type while training an elevation mask.

You actually don’t do it intentionally however, your brain gives you a signal which basically says “your lungs get used to this training type so just continue doing the same training type”. This is why many people continue doing the same training type. I literally see a myriad of people who always do the same training type and according to my research, this is the reason.

However, the cool thing is that you can force your lungs more than one way. You can do plyometric or you can do different cardio types (HIIT, steady state). The variation is endless and the variation will get you better results.

For example, my stamina started increasing after I started wearing Training Mask 3.o during plyometric box sessions. And as you may know, a myriad of athletes use these masks during plyometrics like battle ropes.

Change Your Mask From Time to Time

Alright even though these masks use similar technology to improve your stamina, changing your mask will help you see better results.

Guys let’s face it. These are not expensive at all. If you have a budget, I strongly recommend you to get another one. If I can spend +$100 for a pair of boxing gloves (bag, sparring, for pads), I can also spend $50 for a top-notch training mask.

Interesting Writing: If you want to see the results of athletes, I also gathered athlete’s experiences with these masks and you can have a look at them on here.

How Should You Use Training Masks

I know that this writing is fairly short however these are my own experiences with altitude masks and I witnessed that these tips work and help you have more endurance and get faster results. Some of these might seem like small details like doing different training types, however, the results will be greater, if you implement them correctly.

And the funny thing is that everyone promotes these masks but no one writes a content about how to use them more effectively so I thought that I should have a writing about it. I hope that you enjoyed reading and if you have any other suggestions for having better results with elevation masks, just have a comment below and let’s have a discussion!

Note: Recently I started using famous Training Mask 3.0 and my old Aduro together and I try following Training Mask’s (the company) suggestions during my training routines. According to my experiences, I will update this writing regularly so you will find more information in this writing. 

Also, I appreciate the comments from people who have used training masks more than 2 years as well. According to a recent study, people can get used to breathing at higher altitudes faster (around 25%) if they have used these masks for 2 years. As a side note, this study is based on 6 000 and 9 000 feet difference. So if you work for a gym, sports center… and have experiences about this, please contact me. Since my MMA gym, which I currently work for, can start creating comprehensive workouts which include high altitude masks. But I have to see a document which shows that you work for a legitimate institution. So if you can just e-mail me with an attachment which shows it, I would greatly appreciate it!

Image Courtesy of U.S. AIRFORCES CENTRAL COMMAND and SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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