Anyone use a training mask to build altitude endurance?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by xray328, May 1, 2015.

  1. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    I've seen a lot of posts discussing what a difference the increased elevation makes with running during the first few weeks at the academy. Has anyone tried something like one of these elevation training masks prior to arrival?

    http://www.trainingmask.com/training-mask-2-0/
     
  2. haleym

    haleym Member

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    My honest opinion is that it's a waste of money. Pretty pricey for something that only makes it more difficult to breathe, but doesn't help you in any way when it comes to the physiological acclimation process.
    Really pushing yourself to your limit when you work out will be much more beneficial for you than any sort of product that these companies are looking to sell when you are preparing for BCT.
     
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  3. jculligan

    jculligan Member

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    Not to mention how dumb someone would look running around in that. LOL
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    If you want to train to handle the higher altitude and lower air pressure on your body, "Thus making it more difficult to breath", then train to do more than you will when you get to the academy.

    If you can easily run 5 miles where you live, and can sprint a 400m (1/4 mile), then you will be fine at the academy. Throw in a little bit of swimming on a regular basis to develop muscle resistance, and you'll have no problem adapting.

    More than 50,000 individuals have become cadets, and they've come from all over the world. And I would bet that exactly 0% of them needed to train with any type of mechanical breathing devices. Yet, they've all adapted fine to the academy.
     
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  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    If you are actually considering such a device, boy howdy! Do I have some property, waterfront!, in Kansas I'd like to sell you.

    Really, just run run run, swim swim swim. and if you think you can't go one more lap, go three. You'll be fine.

    Please, skip the masky-thingie.
     
  6. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    I honestly had never heard of the thing until last night. It seemed kinda gimmicky, thanks for the advice.
     
  7. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Where I go to school, these "Bane Masks" were a huge fad last year, started when one of the gym regulars always wore one, likely for intimidation factor than anything else (you look like a bad*** and sound like Darth Vader when you wear them). Wasn't long before a pretty big portion of the cadet regiment wore them, always saw them running around town and in the weight room (yeah, these things are not designed to be used while weight lifting, saw the repercussions of that first hand). They were everywhere for a while.

    But I haven't seen them at all this year. I guess everyone eventually learns that you can always lift more weight or run farther/faster. I'm no doctor but I don't see the point of intentionally starving your body of oxygen while doing much of anything, especially working out.
     
  8. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Try this. I'm as far from a competitive athlete as one can be, but I do something like this before going skiing or mountain biking in Gunnison Cty., CO where all my activity is at or mostly above 9000 ft. I live at about 1100. Hydration and complex carbs are very important at altitude.

    http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/how-train-sea-level-and-race-altitude

    The intimidation factor should not be discounted. For that I recommend this mask:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. USAF463

    USAF463 Member

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    It takes a couple of weeks for hemoglobin levels to adjust to higher altitudes and a day or two to adjust at lower altitudes. All one would be doing is depriving the body of oxygen that would be needed to work out and build muscle and stamina at lower altitudes. The mask, in my opinion, is a waste of money and would just make a person tired. The mask does not build hemoglobin levels as the body would just adjust to lower levels as soon as the mask is removed. The Academy gives Basics appropriate time to adjust.
     
  10. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    The best way is to do cardio (run, run and guess what run some more) and if you're still worried after that, you can look up breathing exercises that singers and wind musicians do to increase "lung capacity".

    I think these lung capacity exercises are more effective in increasing the efficiency of your breathing than capacity but that's what everyone calls it. That last is a personal opinion.
     
  11. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    DS is running a 5:20 mile, they run 4-5 miles a day in track. He also plays school and club soccer. I'm sure he'll be fine. Thanks for the info again though, I'll put it in the "do not buy" list.
     
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  12. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    LOL yeah your DS will be just fine. He'll still suck wind and be slower than he's used to but he'll quickly recover and be running those numbers again in no time.
     
  13. EarlyRetirement

    EarlyRetirement Banned

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    Do Not use one of these! USAFA is at 6000 ft, which still has a lot of oxygen. Levels start to decline rapidly at 8000....I know, I live in Summit County Colorado, at 9800 ft. You'll be fine after a week or two.
     
  14. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Guess I just realized that our candidates CFA done during Summer Session is probably NOT the one that is going to be used!
     
  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Actually, the academy sits at about 7,300 feet. That's in the cadet area. The football stadium is quite a drop down at 6,600 feet. I only bring it up, not to quibble over the actual elevation, but to show that there's actually quite a large variance at the academy. The air force academy is the 2nd largest college campus in the united states with 18,000 acres. And because it sits on the side of the Rocky Mountains; "Literally", the elevation change is drastic. While the cadet area is 7,300 feet, there's still a lot more of the campus that goes higher than that. The lowest point at the academy is right at the south gate. It's approximately 6,200 feet. The highest point at the academy is at the recreation area. It tops 9,000 feet.

    With all that said, your body will get use to the altitude. You don't need any fancy contraptions that will only waste your money. Your first couple weeks at the academy is in the cadet area. Normal Physical fitness, military bearing, etc. The academy keeps a close eye on you. By the time the 2nd half of BCT starts and you get involved more physically, you'll be getting accustomed to the area. Don't sweat it.
     

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