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This Sci-fi Mask is the Next Gym Craze

This Sci-fi Mask is the Next Gym Craze
August 03
13:14 2016

If you are a frequent visitor of the gym, you may have noticed some fellow gym-goers wearing a mask that looks like it is out of a sci-fi movie.

But these are not a fashion statement. They actually serve a purpose.

The slightly jarring masks are known as elevation training masks. Basically, they simulate exercising at a high altitude. Athletes use the masks to supposedly increase their lung capacity, while strengthening their diaphragm.

“When you’re at high altitude, the air is less dense, so there’s less oxygen compared to sea level, “said Benjamin Levine, M.D., of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

The masks add resistance to your breathing, giving you less access to air, making it much difficult for your lungs to breathe.

These masks are about $80. According to, “the secret of truly elite athletes isn’t the amount of time spent working out, the intensity of the workout, or the determination to push one’s body to the limits. No, world-class athletes are beating their competition thanks to the effects of high-altitude training.

When the air is thinner, your body works harder, increasing your ability to process oxygen. When you return to lower elevations, your performance will show substantial increases in strength, endurance and speed. It’s as if you were wearing a suit of armor while working out and then removed it for the competition.”

So does it actually improve your fitness results like the companies that sell these products say they do?

“We studied training at altitude and found that it didn’t improve respiratory muscle strength or endurance more than training at sea level,” said Levine.

If you plan on climbing a mountain and want to get used to doing strenuous activity in high elevation, then it may make sense to give one of these masks a try. Otherwise, Levine says that a placebo effect would be the only benefit and maybe looking super badass at the gym.


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