Training Mask – Elevation Training Mask

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Training Mask

Training Mask is the brand name for a line of masks developed to simulate high altitude training by oxygen restriction. Using Training Mask leads to increased lung capacity, increased oxygen efficiency, increased stamina, and more. Training Mask has found use with SOF, Soldiers, and Marines, and is even carried by the Marine Corps Exchange. For more information, check out the capability statement .pdf above.


25 Responses to “Training Mask – Elevation Training Mask”

  1. Austin says:

    This is not a good simulator for altitude training. Does it make it harder to breathe? Yes. Does it actually make the air “thinner” and reduce oxygen content and air pressure – like training at high altitude? No. Working your diaphragm harder be using a resistance filter is a great training mechanism, but this will not increase lung capacity or train your body to use oxygen more efficiently through elevated red blood cell counts – the two measures of real altitude training. When we see clients prepare for high altitude climbs or ski trips with these, all of our guides cringe.

    This is not a case of bashing a product that “doesn’t fit my mission” or that I don’t understand. Peer reviewed science doesn’t support it:

    Read the abstract. VO2 max and Peak power actually suffer in the long term from hypoxic training like this. The exact opposite of the marketing shill.

    • Dave says:

      nuh uh! It’s harder to breathe while I workout, so it makes me way more fit and I won’t be tired when I get to altitude. The guy at the place told me so.

      Honestly, my favorite memory at the gym in Carson is watching one of the fitness instructors pull a young soldier aside while he was wearing one. The kid had no answers, an he learned a whole lot really quickly.

      • Austin says:

        The “logic” behind buyers is usually: “their website said SF and Marines have used them so they’re good enough for me.” Every serious mountain guide I work with will dump clients for using them. They are a danger.

        • FHRITP says:

          Thats with anything. If its associated with any part of sof then its obviously high speed as shit. If only ppl knew whats actually up with those guys theyd probably cry laughing

    • A man called Jayne says:


  2. Jeremy says:

    These masks actually hurt your training. Went to a Mountain Medicine course last year, and they said that people think that since the Olympic Training Center is at altitude, that training at altitude is good. What they don’t know is that the athletes live and sleep at altitude, but train at lower elevations. Training at altitude/wearing training masks doesn’t give your body enough oxygen to perform. It may increase your aerobic performance, but everything else will decrease, due to lack of oxygen for your muscles to work effectively.

    • Explosive Hazard says:

      Bingo! Train at low elevation, sleep/live at high elevation. Michael Phelps sleeps in an altitude chamber along with many other endurance athletes. They don’t wear a mask because it doesn’t work.

  3. Tackleberry says:

    I picked up this product for my freediving training and work it into my cardio as a warm up, do the restricted inhalations prior to interval training, etc., NOT WHILE doing the exercise. I find it helps stretch abdomen and that I take bigger respirations/inhale more fully.

    Going to pass on the neoprene beard protector though.

  4. Aaron says:

    If you workout with one on, you’re a douchebag. It’s like running with a pro-mask, it just makes you uncomfortable.

    You can get real elevationg masks, but they’re ridiculously expensive.

  5. Casey says:

    I cringed when i saw this posted. I wish more people were aware of all the hype. Lots of dudes from my unit used them. I tried to explain they were like shape-ups but nobody seemed to listen.

  6. Darth says:

    I must be doing it wrong because I’ve lived in Colorado Springs since April, climbed every trail that adds 2k+ feet of elevation and do cardio in excess of 6 days a week. The thin air still kicks my ass, I haven’t gone to lower altitude yet to try this theory out, but all I know is, I hate Colorado Springs

  7. The idea behind the “Interval Breathing Recovery Protocol” is to maximize potential of actual work and teach better recovery. Most of us will “gas” out so hard from the workout that we want to breathe incredibly hard in order to get more O2 into the system. When we apply the Training Mask to the recovery portion, we quickly learn how to use more controlled, deeper breaths that utilizes the diaphragm. The problem we run into when using the Training Mask during a hard interval or even a hard session is a quicker reaction to fatigue. Fatigue brings on poor mechanics and poor mechanics are the precursor to injury. So the foundation for training is to have athletes training at 100% of what they are capable of, not 70 or 80, or even 90% of what they are capable of while still working for that 100% as we bring on fatigue quicker which leads us to poor mechanics. The ability to work at 100% and recover in a challenged position may extend the recovery, but in actuality it teaches better breathing mechanics which can (although scary/claustrophobic at the time) accelerate the recovery process. In situations where we are looking to stimulate the respiratory system further, there is no reason why we can’t do a longer “cardio” session with emphasis on form while keeping breathing intensity moderately intense. This all fits into the train low live high principle as well.

  8. Supporting Training Mask claims
    1Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia. [email protected]

    Altitude training has been used regularly for the past five decades by elite endurance athletes, with the goal of improving performance at sea level. The dominant paradigm is that the improved performance at sea level is due primarily to an accelerated erythropoietic response due to the reduced oxygen available at altitude, leading to an increase in red cell mass, maximal oxygen uptake, and competitive performance. Blood doping and exogenous use of erythropoietin demonstrate the unequivocal performance benefits of more red blood cells to an athlete, but it is perhaps revealing that long-term residence at high altitude does not increase hemoglobin concentration in Tibetans and Ethiopians compared with the polycythemia commonly observed in Andeans. This review also explores evidence of factors other than accelerated erythropoiesis that can contribute to improved athletic performance at sea level after living and/or training in natural or artificial hypoxia. We describe a range of studies that have demonstrated performance improvements after various forms of altitude exposures despite no increase in red cell mass. In addition, the multifactor cascade of responses induced by hypoxia includes angiogenesis, glucose transport, glycolysis, and pH regulation, each of which may partially explain improved endurance performance independent of a larger number of red blood cells. Specific beneficial nonhematological factors include improved muscle efficiency probably at a mitochondrial level, greater muscle buffering, and the ability to tolerate lactic acid production. Future research should examine both hematological and nonhematological mechanisms of adaptation to hypoxia that might enhance the performance of elite athletes at sea level.

    [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

  9. CLINICAL STUDY BY (Northern Alberta Institute Of Technology
    Elevation Training Mask 0

    Back to Clinicals/Blog
    Clinical Study and Technical Report by NAIT University
    Posted by Training Mask Clincal Study on February 24, 2014
    Submitted to:

    Mr. Ray Richards, MBA, Director (Fire Chief) Fire & Disaster Services

    Station #3 – Headquarters – 100 Giroux Road St. Albert, Albert, Canada


    Mr. Casey Danford, President and CEO Training Mask, LLC

    1140 Plett Rd

    Cadillac, Michigan, USA

    Submitted by:

    Randy W. Dreger, PhD, CSCS, CSEP CEP Scott Paradis, CSEP CPT

    Personal Fitness Trainer Program, School of Health Sciences Northern Alberta Institute of Technology


    March 7, 2013

    Executive Summary
    The physical demands of firefighting have been well documented in the scientific literature. The protective equipment necessary for the firefighter to do their job has been shown to negatively impact work ability. The weight and heat stress associated with the equipment is a major factor. In addition, the self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) has been shown to be a significant limiter to performance.

    Various strategies have been used to alleviate the impact of the SCBA including design modifications, enriched oxygen mixtures and physical training programs. The most cost effective method of counteracting the negative effect of the SCBA has been high intensity interval training while wearing the SCBA; in essence, a form of resistive breathing while exercising. However, the cost of an SCBA along with the cost of refilling the air cylinders could be cost prohibitive to small departments.

    On the market are a number of resistive breathing devices that are typically used in a sitting position at rest, which is very different from the demands of firefighting. Recently, the development of a resistive breathing device that was designed to be used during exercise has become commercially available – the Elevation Training Mask (ETM). The ETM primarily provides an adjustable resistance during inspiration with a set resistance on expiration.

    The current investigation set out to determine the effect the ETM had on indicators of performance. A training study of high intensity interval training (HIIT) was employed while wearing the ETM. Participants (8 males and 6 females) were pre and post tested on measures of pulmonary and cardiac function. The training consisted to cycle ergometry, 2 times per week for 5 weeks. Intensity was set at a load equivalent to a percentage of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and was adjusted in a periodized model.

    The response to the HIIT training while wearing the ETM showed an improvement in the primary variables of power output and VO2max in the Rudolph valve maximal test condition. The males showed significant improvements in VO2max (8.3%) and power output (9.8%) whereas; the females were 4.6% and 8.3% respectively (not significant). These findings were similar to previous investigation of HIIT training while wearing the SCBA (Dreger and Paradis, 2011; Paradis and Dreger, 2011).

    The underlying physiological mechanisms for the improvements in VO2max and power output were related to increases in ventilator ability for both males and females (VE increased by approximately 9% in both groups [p<0.05]). In addition, cardiac function as described by O2 pulse, which is a surrogate for stroke volume, increased for both males and females 10% and 6.8%, respectively.

    During the training sessions heart rate responses were measured at the end of each work and relief interval. The heart rate responses in the last work interval during the first and last training sessions were substantially lower for the males (180 vs. 176 beats•min-1) and females (180 vs. 173 beats•min-1). When averaged over the entire training session, there was a significant reduction in total heart rate responses from the first to last session. Further supporting the improved cardiopulmonary changes noted during the maximal testing.

    The results of this study demonstrated that HIIT while wearing the Elevation Training Mask significantly improved selected variables for males and females. The males tended to have more variables significantly improve than females. These findings are similar to previous study using the same training protocols, but wearing the SCBA; thus, implying that the Elevation Training Mask is equally effective as the SCBA during HITT. It is suggested that further study of the female participants are required to determine the reasons why they do not respond to the training as their male counterparts.

    Acknowledgments and Disclaimers
    The authors would like to thank the many volunteers that participated in this study. With out their participation this project could not have been completed.
    Elevation Training Masks were provided by Training Mask, LLC to perform this study.
    City of St. Albert Fire Department provided air cylinder filling for this project.
    Financial support was provided in part by Alberta Innovates Product Development Program grant.
    Financial support was provided in part by novaNAIT Applied Research grant.
    SCBA and Training Mask pressure testing was provided by Acklands-Grainger Inc, Edmontn, Alberta.
    Firefighting is considered to be one of the most physically demanding and hazardous civilian occupations (Gledhill and Jamnik 1992a, b; Guidotti and Clough, 1992). Lusa et al. (1994) determined that regardless of age or rank, one of the most physically demanding tasks faced by firefighters is that of smoke-diving (search and rescue). This task typically involves entry into a dark, smoke-filled structure where the firefighter must search, by feel, for casualties and then evacuate them to safety. Research has shown that search and rescue work during actual fire emergencies elicits near-maximal heart rate responses (Sothmann et al., 1992) and places a significant demand on the aerobic system (Gledhill and Jamnik, 1992a; Bilzon et al., 2001).

    Due to the environmental hazards the firefighter faces, they are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Previous investigations have assessed the effect of the SCBA (Eves et al., 2005), PPE (Louhevaara et al., 1995) and the combined effects of SCBA and PPE (Dreger et al., 2006; 2009) on working capacity. This research has shown that the SCBA has a negative impact on an individual’s working capacity (VO2max). Dreger et al. (2006) showed a 17% decrease in VO2max when encumbered in the PPE and SCBA. The cause of this decrease has been associated with a decrease in exercising lung function (ventilation) and heart function (Dreger et al., 2006; 2009; Nelson et al., 2009).

    The negative impact the SCBA has on VO2max; researchers have studied various methods to alleviate this problem. One means of improving VO2max is through high intensity interval training (HIIT) (Gormley et al., 2008; Wisloff et al., 2009). Changes in both lung and cardiac function have been associated with the improvements in VO2max (Helgerud et al., 2007). Recently, Dreger and Paradis (2011) and Paradis and Dreger (2011) reported the effect of HIIT while breathing from an SCBA. Their study showed significant improvements in performance, pulmonary and cardiovascular function that was significantly greater than HIIT training without the SCBA. However, the cost of an SCBA is approximately $3,500 with air supply being an additional “disposable” cost. This may be cost prohibitive to for smaller fire departments and those preparing to go into the fire trade. On the market there are a number of devices that restrict breathing, however many of them are used during sitting and not during exercise. Recently, a device has been developed to be used during exercise (Training Mask LLC, Cadillac, MI). The Elevation Training Mask provides variable breathing resistance, which may simulate the SCBA. However, there has not been any scientific study of the ETM nor its effects relative to the SCBA. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effect of the Elevation Training Mask while performing HIIT.

    NAIT UNIVERSITY Research Design
    A two phase approach was undertaken in this project. The first phase involved prototyping and fitting the ETM (Figures 1 and 2) and the SCBA (Figures 3 and 4) with a custom made “cone” to collect expired air while the subjects were exercising.


    Figure 1. Custom cone for ETM

    Figure 2. ETM with custom cone attached

    Figure 3. Custom cone for SCBA

    Figure 4. SCBA with custom cone attached

    The SCBA and the ETM were then tested to determine the resistance of the devices with the custom made cones.

    Figure 5 shows the testing device (PosiCheck3, Sophia, WV) utilized to determine the mask pressure of the ETM and the SCBA.

    Testing was performed by a certified technician at an accredited testing center (Acklands- Grainger Inc, Edmonton, Alberta).


    Figure 5. PosiCheck3 pressure testing device with ETM and custom cone attached.

    The second phase involved recruiting subjects to participate in the research study and then undergo a battery of pre-testing, supervised training program, and post-testing followed by data analysis and report writing.

    Experimental Overview

    Each subject underwent the following; informed consent; screening via rPAR-Q and Physical Activity Index; pulmonary function test; orientation; three VO2max tests (Rudolph valve, SCBA and ETM condition); a 5-week intensive aerobic training program using the Training Mask; post training pulmonary function test and VO2max tests. Screening Each participant provided written informed consent to participate in the project, which was approved by the NAIT Research Ethics Board (Appendix A). Upon consent, each subject completed a Physical Activity Index (PAI, Appendix B) and Revised Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (rPAR-Q, Appendix C) that was designed to identify those individuals for whom vigorous exercise may be inappropriate. Depending on the answers to these questionnaires participants may have become ineligible for entry into the study.


    The orientation session provided subjects the opportunity to become familiar with the SCBA and ETM, maximal testing and high intensity training. At this session subjects performed pulmonary function tests along with measures of height, weight, and body composition. In addition, they performed an abbreviated exercise bout wearing the SCBA and the ETM.

    Anthropometry and Body Composition

    Measures of height and weight were taken for each of the subjects and recorded to the nearest 0.5 centimeter and 0.1 kilogram, respectively (CSEP, 2006). Body composition was determined via bioelectrical impedance (BIA) using a hand-held BIA device (Model HBF-306CAN, OMRON, Burlington, ON).

    Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)

    During the orientation session and prior to the last VO2max testing session

    subjects performed a standard spirometry test (Ruppel, 2009). Subjects sat quietly while breathing through a hand-held screen-pneumotach (#113183, Hans Rudolph, Inc. Kansas City, MO) while wearing a soft nose clip (Figure 6). Subjects were asked to take as deep a breath as possible, and then exhale into the sensor as hard as possible, for as long as

    possible. They performed this maneuver two or three times with the best result recorded for the study.


    Figure 6. Subject performing spriometry and MVV with hand-held pneumotach.

    Maximum Voluntary Ventilation (MVV): Subjects performed a standard MVV (Ruppel, 2009). Subjects sat quietly while breathing through a hand-held screen- pneumotach (#113183, Hans Rudolph, Inc. Kansas City, MO) while wearing a soft nose clip were asked to breathe as deep a and as quickly as possible for a 15-second interval (Figure 6).

    VO2max Testing

    Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2max) test: Subjects rode a cycle ergometer (Velotron Dynafit Pro, RaceMate Inc., Seattle, WA) for the exercise mode. The first phase involved 2 minutes sitting quietly. Subjects then peddle at a self selected rate, with the initial intensity set at 25 Watts with an increase of 25 Watts per minute until volitional exhaustion. During the VO2max test subjects were dressed in athletic shorts, t-shirt and running shoes. They were either breathing through a low resistant valve (Hans Rudolf

    2700 series, Shawnee, KS – Figure 7), the SCBA system (Eves et al., 2005 – Figure 8) or Training Mask (Figure 9), which was attached to a metabolic measurement system (TrueOne 2400, ParvoMedics, UT).


    Figure 7. Subject performing VO2max test with Rudolph valve condition.


    Figure 8. Subject performing VO2max test with SCBA condition.


    Figure 9. Subject performing VO2max test with ETM condition.

    Training Program

    The training program had the subjects wear the ETM (Figure 10) while performing 2 training sessions per week for 5 consecutive weeks. While riding a cycle ergometer (Ergomedic 828E, Monark LTD., Vansbro, Sweden), subject performed a 5 minute warm- up, 2 minute work interval at an intensity equivalent to 90% of VO2max, 3 min relief interval at an intensity equivalent to 30% of VO2max based on the results from the ETM VO2max condition (Figure 9) repeated 5 times, and a 5 to 10 minute cool down (Gormley et al., 2008; Helgerud et al., 2007). When heart rate has returned to below 100 beats per minute subjects were considered “cooled down”. Each session was performed under the supervision of a qualified Personal Fitness Trainer. Table 1 describes the periodized training program used throughout the study.

    Table 1. Periodized training program
    Week Sessions/wk Work Time Work Intensity Relief Time Relief Intensity
    1 2 2 min 90% 3 min
    2 2 2 min 90% 3 min
    3 2 2 min 95% 3 min
    4 2 2 min 100% 3 min
    5 2 2 min 90% 3 min

    Figure 10. Subject performing a training session while wearing the ETM.


    Standard descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation were used to describe the data. A paired t-test was used to determine a main effect between group means. A probability value of 0.05 was used to determine significance.

    Results and Discussion Pressure Testing

    Prior to sale, all SCBA are pressure tested with the same or similar system as described earlier (Figure 5). After the cone was attached to the SCBA (Figure 4) the unit was retested by a qualified technician to determine if there were any functional changes. There were no significant differences between the manufacture and retesting results (maximum pressure 5 cm H2O). During the assessment of the ETM, the pressures generated were beyond the capacity of the testing device (greater than 20 cm H2O) thus causing an automatic shut down. Due to the pressures generated with the ETM, it was determined that the standard (yellow) inspiratory resistance be used on the ETM (Figure 2) during all the testing and training sessions.

    Subject Characteristics

    Eight male and 6 female participants completed all the testing and training. Both the males and females were of average height and weight (Hoffman, 2006). The females had a normal BMI and percent body fat values; whereas the males BMI would be considered pre obese, however, their body fat percentage suggested that a large portion of their weight was due to muscle mass (Table 2).

    Table 2. Subject characteristics
    Males Females
    Variable Mean ±SD Mean ±SD
    Height (cm)
    Weight (kg)
    BMI (kg/m2)
    Body Fat (%)
    BMI = body mass index. SD = Standard Deviation

    Training Responses

    During the training sessions, heart rate responses were recorded during the work and rest intervals. Figures 11 and 12 depict the average heart rate responses for the male and female subjects during the first training session and the last training session. The exact same workload was applied in each condition. When the heart rates were averaged for the entire training session there was significant reduction post training for both the males (155 vs. 149 beats•min-1) and females (153 vs. 147 beats•min-1).


    Figure 11. Average, male heart rate responses during the first training session (pre training) and the last training (post training) session.


    Figure 12. Average, female heart rate responses during the first training session (pre training) and the last training (post training) session.

    Power Output

    On a cycle ergometer performance is described via power output. The change in power output pre to post testing was significantly improved for the males with a 9 to 12% change (Table 3). The females had improvements from 4.5 to 9.4%, but this did not reach significant change in performance.

    Table 3. Power output (watts – W) pre and post test during the various testingconditions (mean ± standard deviation)
    Condition Males Females
    Pre Post Pre Post
    RV 294 ± 29 325 ± 42* 233 ± 44
    SCBA 281 ± 42 309 ± 35* 225 ± 42
    ETM 265 ± 33 303 ± 31* 204 ± 29
    *= significant difference from pretesting (p<0.05). RV = Rudolph valve condition. SCBA = self contained breathing apparatus condition. ETM = Elevation Training Mask condition.

    Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2max)

    The primary physiological variable investigated was the effect of the HIIT training while wearing the Elevation Training Mask had on VO2max (Table 4). The males significantly improved their VO2max values in all three conditions whereas the females improved but the results were not statistically significant. In a previous set of studies (Dreger and Paradis, 2011, Paradis and Dreger, 2011) it was noted that males responded to HIIT training with the SCBA produced significant results whereas the females results were selective. The improvement for the males was 11% in the SCBA VO2max testing condition, Dreger and Paradis (2011) found that HIIT training with the SCBA showed a 9.3% improvement in SCBA VO2max. Thus, indicating that physical training while wearing the ETM or SCBA produce similar results

    Table 4. Maximal oxygen consumption Values (VO2max [L•min-1]) pre and post test duringthe various testing conditions (mean ± standard deviation)
    Condition Males Females
    Pre Post Pre Post
    RV 3.36 ± 0.47 3.67 ± 0.48* 2.40 ± 0.49
    SCBA 2.62 ± 0.49 2.98 ± 0.79* 1.99 ± 0.35
    ETM 2.78 ± 0.35 2.99 ± 0.31* 2.05 ± 0.30
    *= significant difference from pretesting (p<0.05). RV = Rudolph valve condition. SCBA = self contained breathing apparatus condition. ETM = Elevation Training Mask condition.

    Pulmonary Responses

    Previous studies have shown that changes in pulmonary function are strongly associated with changes in VO2max. The maximum voluntary ventilation test during rest did not show any significant change pre to post training. However, the maximum values during exercise in the Rudolph valve condition was significantly increased in both the males and females, except for breathing frequency for males (Table 5). Similar patterns were found in the SCBA and ETM VO2max conditions, however significance was not reached. These results demonstrate the impact ETM has on the respiratory musculature.

    Table 5. Ventilatory responses pre and post test during the rudolph valve VO2max testing condition (mean ± standard deviation)
    Variable Males Females
    Pre Post Pre Post
    VE (L•min-1) 144 ± 32 158 ± 28*
    VT (L) 2.57 ± 0.37 2.75 ± 0.39* 2.21 ± 0.34
    F (breaths•min-1)
    *= significant difference from pretesting (p<0.05). VE = expired ventilation. VT = tidal volume. F = breathing frequency

    Cardiac Responses

    Maximal heart rate during the Rudolph valve VO2max condition was not significantly different pre to post testing (Table 6). The O2 pulse, which is a surrogate for stroke volume, showed a significant increase for males but not for females. However there was a 6.8% increase in O2 pulse for the females.

    Table 6. Cardiac responses pre and post test during the rudolph valve VO2max testingcondition (mean ± standard deviation)
    Variable Males Females
    Pre Post Pre Post
    Heart Rate (beats•min-1) 183 ± 10.6 180 ± 10.8 177 ± 8.36
    O2 pulse (ml•beat-1) 18.1 ± 2.48 20.2 ± 2.38* 13.7 ± 3.27
    *= significant difference from pretesting (p<0.05).


    The results of this study demonstrate that using the Elevation Training Mask while performing HIIT significantly improved cycling performance responses in males, specifically power output. The increased power output was related to the improvements in VO2max, which were attributed to improved pulmonary and cardiac function. Furthermore the combined ETM and HIIT were as effective as SCBA and HIIT.

    The female responses to ETM and HIIT were similar to the results found by Paradis and Dreger (2011), in that, there were selective improvements that reached statistical significance. Thus, suggesting further investigation is required to determine the underlying reasons for the gender differences.

    Bilzon, J.L., Scarpello, E.G., Smith, C.V., Ravenhill, N.A., Rayson, M.P. (2001). Characterization of the metabolic demands of simulated shipboard Royal Navy fire- fighting tasks. Ergonomics. 44: 766-780.

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    Dreger, R.W., Jones, R.L., Petersen, S.R. (2006). Effects of the self-contained breathing apparatus and fire protective clothing on maximal oxygen uptake. Ergonomics. 49: 911- 920.

    Dreger, R.W. and Petersen, S.R. (2008). Impact of fire-protective equipment on peak exercise in males and females. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. 33: S29.

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    Gledhill, N. and Jamnik, V.K. (1992a). Characterization of the physical demands of firefighting. Canadian Journal of Sports Science. 17: 207-213.

    Gledhill, N. and Jamnik, V.K. (1992b). Development and validation of a fitness screening protocol for firefighter applicants. Canadian Journal of Sports Science. 17: 199-206.

    Gormley S.E., Swain, D.P., High, R., Spina, R.J., Dowling, E.A., Kotipalli, U.S., Gandrakota, R. (2008). Effect of intensity of aerobic training on VO2max. Medicine Science Sports and Exercise. 40: 1336-1343.

    Guidotti, T.L. and Clough, V.M. (1992). Occupational health concerns of firefighting. Annual Review of Public Health. 13: 151-171.

    Helgerud, J., Høydal, K., Wang, E., Karlsen, T., Berg, P., Bjerkaas, M., Simonsen, T., Helgesen, C., Hjorth, N., Bach, R., Hoff, J. (2007). Aerobic high-intensity intervals improve VO2max more than moderate training. Medicine Science Sports and Exercise. 39: 665- 671.

    Hoffman, J. (2006). Norms for Fitness, Performance, and Health. Human Kinetics. Champaign, IL.

    Lusa, S., Louhevaara, V., Kinnunen, K. (1994). Are the job demands on physical work capacity equal for young and aging firefighters? J. Occupational Medicine. 36: 70-74.

    Paradis, S.M. and Dreger, R.W. (2011). High intensity interval training (HIIT) while breathing from a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) selectively improves VO2max values in females. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. 36: S343.

    Petersen, S.R., Mayne, J.R., Hartley, T.C., Butcher, S.J., Jones, R.L. (2007). Regulator design improves peak exercise performance with self-contained breathing apparatus. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. 32: S71.

    Ruppel, G.L. (2009). Manual of Pulmonary Function Testing (9th edition). Mosby: St. Louis, MI.

    Sothmann, M.S., Saupe, K., Jasenof, D., Blaney, J. (1992). Heart rate response of firefighters to actual emergencies. Implications for cardiorespiratory fitness. Journal of Occupational Medicine. 34: 797-800.

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    • bulldog76 says:

      Longest post in ssd history ????

      • Education is key here fellas. We see a lot of copy and paste from studies that were from 1990’s , we have our own clinicals and a lot more information pertaining to the Training Masks benefits. The above posts are 2 clinicals along with a protocol system.
        Before you comment know what your speaking about and post cited sources.

      • bloenoser says:


        “Elevation training mask” is a bit of a misnomer; Austin’s first comment hit the nail on the head.

        “The results of this study demonstrate that using the Elevation Training Mask while performing HIIT significantly improved cycling performance responses in males, specifically power output. The increased power output was related to the improvements in VO2max, which were attributed to improved pulmonary and cardiac function. Furthermore the combined ETM and HIIT were as effective as SCBA and HIIT.”

        … has nothing to do with elevation other than the name of the product.

    • Loopy says:

      OK, I’ll bite. Even if I accept that there is some benefit to hypoxic training, what is the difference between training with an Elevation Training Mask and a dust mask I can get at Home Depot for $4.99 (for three)?

  10. Aaron says:

    I’ll pass.

  11. defensor fortismo says:

    I actually have one of these back home. I’ve been in the practice of running in full gear, (mask, vest and helmet,) for a few years now, I normally use a gas mask, but seeing as I’m getting ready to seperate I went ahead and invested in one of these. Overall it works out pretty well, the fact that it’s only a half mask is nice, I don’t have to mess with inserts, or taking off my glasses so that’s convenient. As far as the credibility of the program, I just look at it as resistance training, If you can run in a mask and Interceptor vest/plate carrier, you can run in anything. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go dodge a wrench.

  12. Rick says:

    As with some scientific studies there are results available supporting both sides.

    If you are ever confused you cannot go wrong with doing what the elite athletes in your chosen discipline are doing. Their performance is a result of the accumulated knowledge of their coaches and own experience, trial and error, and long periods of hard work. Do you see any elite athletes using these? Guys who would wear different shoelaces if it gave them an edge? That is a clue.

    I am not going to post rival studies (there are numerous) because you can google for yourself.

    Make good decisions. 99% of the time your answer is you aren’t working hard enough, not that you need a new flashy tool.

    • Terry B says:


      …and I might add that in PT, like many other disciplines, focusing consistently on the fundaments is usually the best way to get positive, sustainable results. Not fancy, but it works.

      This mask might be of value to some. But lets be honest, for most it would just be the latest fad and probably more harm than good.

      • Badjujuu says:

        “For most it would just be a latest fad and probably do more harm than good” you can certainly throw in five finger shoes in that category.

        • Rick says:

          Surprisingly most of the guys wearing these masks have those on as well. As they do curls and ab work.

  13. Todd Olson says:

    Lot’s of great comments here!

    Interesting fact: Resistance breathing has been used for centuries in Yoga and Karate by pinching off a nostril or pursing the lips..

    Training Mask 2.0 is a radical product that restricts breathing so the wearer can effectively train their respiratory muscles; it does not thin the oxygen in the air. I encourage everyone to read what is presented in the capability statement: Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT) can increase human performance by as much as 11% depending on fitness level, but there is also the mental focus (Fog of War) factor of restricted breathing, and the use of the mask to better prepare for working under operational and tactical load…

    Training Mask 2.0 can be used as a basic training tool to make a sweeping change in a less fit individual or after a break from training and as a precision training tool for elite individuals who are interested in fine tuning their performance to maintain a competitive edge…

    Why is it preferred over other resistance breathing devices on the market? Training Mask 2.0 fits over the mouth and nose allowing the wearer to nose or mouth breath during periods activity or recovery.