Tool Box: The Elevation Mask

“I’m not really a huge Batman Fan, so The Idea of running around, like a knock off Bane; Kind of deterred me from getting an elevation mask.”

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What is the purpose of the elevation mask?

I get asked this question a lot in the gym or on the trail when I am running, the idea behind the mask is to simulate high altitude training. Why would someone want to simulate training at a higher altitude? In order to gain a competitive edge, athletes often train at higher altitudes. since 1968, it has been well documented that Olympic runners, who’ve earned medals have a) lived at higher altitudes, or b) trained a higher altitudes. So the concept of using tools to simulate that environment was invented.

How it works

The mask creates an artificial hypoxia environment, basically the body tries to produce, the same amount, of energy it would with normal levels of oxygen. But since the masks, creates a simulated environment, where the altitude is higher, physiological changes occur. Ideally what is happening is the cardiovascular, and respiratory systems, are improving from this training method. Now this is not truly the same as training at a higher altitude, because you are basically altering the way your body sucks in air, so this type of training has been referred to as pulmonary resistance training.  So essentially you are really training your lung and diaphragm to take deeper breathes.

Are There any side effects?

Training at higher altitudes, can make cause you to lose weight, which isn’t bad unless your goal is to build muscle. Training improperly and not according to your goals can cause this to happen, also, a loss of appetite can occur; also the body may take longer to repair its self. Training properly will allow to to reap the gains and benefits of training with the mask.

How this will help me in my training?

I am not that strong of a runner, so I definitely hope to improve my endurance, and running with the elevation mask.

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