Benefits of RMST for Athletes
Exercise can serve as recreational pastime, improve fitness, help to reduce weight, or represent the core activity of professional athletes. Independent of the goals of exercise, one fundamental rule of exercise states that muscles must be trained to improve performance. While this rule applies to all muscles of the body, the respiratory musculature is often overlooked. Strengthening your respiratory power by RMST can however greatly contribute to improving exercise capacity and peak performance – and may just provide that little, but crucial advantage in professional sport.
Here is why respiratory muscle performance is critical for exercise, what impact RMST has had on the performance of athletes, and how RMST can be included into training routines.
What can The Breather do for athletes?
- The limit of exercise tolerance – in athlete and patient alike – is determined by local muscle discomfort, dyspnea and fatigue, with dyspnea being the greatest contributor to exercise cessation. The reason for both muscle pain and dyspnea is a failure of the cardiorespiratory system to deliver adequate oxygen to support the current metabolic requirements of the muscles involved .
Respiratory muscle training (RMST) improves exercise-limiting dyspnea and delays time to fatigue in healthy people and athletes [2–4].
- RMST enhances performance by improving respiratory muscle endurance, maximal sustainable ventilatory capacity (MSVC) and maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV) .
- Combining RMST with other training modules such as HIIT further enhances the effects of training, as measured by core strength and endurance, onset of blood lactate accumulation, endurance running performance and economy in recreational runners .
- Exercise underwater requires increased respiratory work due to hydrostatic pressure differences across the chest wall. RMST improves endurance of fin swimmers and significantly improves surface and underwater swim times .
- A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of RMST on endurance performance confirmed effectiveness of RMST, particularly of combining inspiratory and expiratory muscle training  – the Breather is the first device to offer both IMST and EMST.
- Studies have shown that respiratory muscle training (RMST) improves oxygen uptake, VO2max and ventilatory efficiency, improving aerobic fitness [8–12].
- RMST was also shown to improve the blood flow to resting and exercising limbs, delaying the metaboreflex, thereby improving exercise capacity and endurance .
- RMST strengthens the diaphragm and improves posture and proprioceptive use, for better balance and injury prevention .
How to use the Breather to boost performance?
- The Breather is intended for moderate to high-intensity RMST in healthy adults and athletes. RMST is recommended at 70% to 80% of MIP for 2 to 3x 10 breaths, twice a day.
- In addition, using RMST to warm up respiratory muscles before high-intensity exercise can significantly improve time to exhaustion. The protocol has to be determined individually for this purpose 
Conclusion on RMST
Integrating RMST using the Breather into your training schedule will boost your performance, fuel your body with oxygen and decrease the time to fatigue.
- McConnell A. Respiratory Muscle Training: Theory and Practice. 1 edition. Churchill Livingstone; 2013.
- Shei RJ, Lindley M, Chatham K, Mickleborough TD. Effect of flow-resistive inspiratory loading on pulmonary and respiratory muscle function in sub-elite swimmers. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016;56: 392–398.
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- Ramsook AH, Molgat-Seon Y, Schaeffer MR, Wilkie SS, Camp PG, Reid WD, et al. Effects of inspiratory muscle training on respiratory muscle electromyography and dyspnea during exercise in healthy men. J Appl Physiol. 2017;122: 1267–1275.
- Sales AT do N, Fregonezi GA de F, Ramsook AH, Guenette JA, Lima INDF, Reid WD. Respiratory muscle endurance after training in athletes and non-athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Phys Ther Sport. 2016;17: 76–86.
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- Laohachai K, Winlaw D, Selvadurai H, Gnanappa GK, d’Udekem Y, Celermajer D, et al. Inspiratory Muscle Training Is Associated With Improved Inspiratory Muscle Strength, Resting Cardiac Output, and the Ventilatory Efficiency of Exercise in Patients With a Fontan Circulation. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017;6. doi:10.1161/JAHA.117.005750
- Chiappa GR, Roseguini BT, Vieira PJC, Alves CN, Tavares A, Winkelmann ER, et al. Inspiratory muscle training improves blood flow to resting and exercising limbs in patients with chronic heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;51: 1663–1671.
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