Lung capcity training with snorkel?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by UMDRoadie, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. UMDRoadie

    UMDRoadie New Member

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    I am a swimmer and cyclist. At the suggestion of my swim coach, next week, one of my teammates and I are starting an extra workout program to increase our lung capacity. I am not aware of specifics at this time, but I was informed that it involves wearing a specially designed snorkel while lifting weights and doing wind sprints (suicides, etc, etc). Have any of you had any experience with this type of training? It seems as if it would be beneficial to my cycling also. Are there any pitfalls that I need to watch for with this type of training? Any information is helpful. Thanks

    Frank Pearson
     
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  2. lungdoc

    lungdoc New Member

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    I think there's relatively little data on this sort of training, I found a fair summary here (although the author is a believer in this he does fairly review the studies).

    http://www.cptips.com/respart.htm

    The conventional wisdom is that most athletes are not limited by the respiratory system at maximum exercise, they are limited by cardiovascular fitness and therefore respiratory muscle training is unlikely to help. There are a few studies saying otherwise. A cardiopulmonary exercise test can give some information on this, by letting you know how close to your maximum breathing capacity you are at your limits. I think the value of this training would be higher for truly elite ("world class") athletes who may have such good cardiovascular fitness that they approach their ventilatory capacity at maximum exercise. I don't have any direct experience with this sort of thing, I do know that it generally doesn't help patients with lung disease - training overall helps but not respiratory muscle training. It is more likely to change respiratory muscle strength than lung capacity.

    Good luck
     
  3. Smartt/RST

    Smartt/RST New Member

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    I believe what you are asking about is specific Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT). IMT is usually performed as a seperate workout, and not in direct combination with other forms of training (typically performed 2 times a day for 30min each using a specific IMT device).
    One can make the argument either way whether such training improves aerobic performance and/or recovery from anaerobic training (IOW, there is research that shows that it does and does not improve performance and/or lung function). However, ultimate benefit aside, I'm not sure why your coach would want you to perform anaerobic exercise while at the same time using a device that restricts your breathing. I would suggest that this is a mistake IF it leads to a decrease in the overall amount of work you are able to accomplish (i.e.: more intervals w/o IMT would result in a greater training adaptation).
     
  4. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    The Native Americans used to do something similar in their ascension to manhood. Boys used to have to take a sip of water while not swallowing it and go running for some specified distance. This forced them to breathe through their nose. At the end of the run they had to spit out the same amount of water in order to become a man.

    However, I would have to agree with Mr. Smartt. Scientifically, there is no basis for such training as your limiting factors in fitness are not related to breathing through restricted passageways, unless you're asthmatic.

    There does seem to be some evidence that training at certain altitudes can improve one's performance. But I think those studies showed that you had to live at that altitude also.
     
  5. in.10.city

    in.10.city New Member

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    Another 'unassisted' way to improve your functional breathing capacity is to work on your abdominal and lower back flexibility and your form on the bike as it relates to these. If you have tight abs or hunch over while riding, you restrict your ability to reach your full functional chest and diaphram expansion.
     
  6. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

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    I tryed this yesterday! holding a mouthful of fluid for 3minutes during 100% effort then again at max. i wonder if this really will work :D for improving sprints over distances :confused: i don't usually breath through my nose, but in regards to the mess on my face on completion its hardly surprising why i don't... >>snot goes everywhere, its a great way to clear your nose, and it is most deffinately something to do when your alone since laughter makes it difficult to ride after you've just sprayed it everywhere <<<
     
  7. ghostpedal

    ghostpedal New Member

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    Thanks for the laugh. I might be immature, but I found it very funny. I can just picture. (I will do this in my mind though, please don't post any.)

     
  8. BlueIcarus

    BlueIcarus New Member

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    Hi I also swim and bike, but my main focus is on freediving (apnea diving).
    You really can't improved your lungs volume (genetics) . But what you can really train
    is ribcage and lung flexibility and to breath with your whole lungs. This will really add liters to your maximum inhale.
    Right breathing is done from the diafragphm (SP?). Best training for this is Yoga and Pranayama (yoga breathing exercises). For the lung/ribcage flexibility you can also do the following: Inhale to the max (this is: inflating your stomach (where 50% of the air of your lungs is), then your chest (expanding your ribs) and then your upper lungs (clavicle). Hold the air while
    you grasp your hands overhead and stretch your body to the sides. Then stretch backwards and forward. Then exhale.... Do this 3 times, next week 4... and so on. There's another manoeuvre called 'lung packing' which consist
    in pushing air into the lungs with 'mouth sucks' (like from a straw) after reaching the point of maximum 'natural' inhale. Then stretch like in the exercise above... This way you can push more air than your lungs afford (1-2 liters more), but I won't explain this in detail because It's still not known if it's healthy (long term speaking). It pushes lots of pressure in your heart, drops blood pressure, etc.
    To delelop your diaphragm muscle you can do what is called in Yoga discipline Uddiyana Bandha. Basically is to exhale all your aire (watch out: while
    still having your ribs raised.. the chest must retain its expanded form held
    after an inhale) and draw your stomach upwards, completely collapsing your lugs (i.e: No air left). Hold for a while and repeat. Inmediately after doing this
    if you try a maximum inhale you'll note how easy it is because of the diaphragm strength...
    What you can also train is hypoxia (low O2) and hypercapnia (CO2) doing efforts while holding your breath. The first signal that triggers your aire hunger is from excess CO2, so if you exercise while holding your breath till that point, you train your CO2 tolerance and after that point you train your low O2 tolerance. The adaptations? More hematocrit, more blood cells, more anaerobic buffers and maybe more fun while snorkeling U/W :)
    This information is by no means accurate, but should do It. If you want more information, just send me a Private Message

    Cheers!!

    Oscar

    PS: With this apnea training my breathing muscles are strong as ever and my lungs are so elastic that is no longer an effort to inhale to the max. Sprinting
    and climbing power has raised.. you connect more with your breathing. In my last spirometry, I measured 6.5 forced exhale volume (which should do a Total Lung Capacity of around 8 liters). Before the training I had only 4 liters
    at forced exhale. See?? My lungs were 6.5 litters (or even more) but only breathed half of them
     
  9. jack1978

    jack1978 New Member

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    Hey guys - I'd be interested to know more about this snorkel breathing to help with training. Has anyone else done it and how successful was it?

    Is it something that you wouldn't want to try cos you would look stoopid? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
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