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Elevation training mask

Old 08-11-15, 12:05 PM
  #1  
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Elevation training mask

For anyone who has used this, do they work or it's just another fad.
I see a CAT2 on my commute doing short hill intervals on this every week and was just curious about this.
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Old 08-11-15, 06:45 PM
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I saw one in the gym a few weeks back. Thought about asking the user, but was afraid it was due to some horrible condition. Have no idea if it does anything.
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Old 08-11-15, 07:15 PM
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bunk
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Old 08-11-15, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
bunk
Kinda what I suspected. Why not just breath through your nose, or a paper bag? I haven't seen the guy in the mask since (who I would only recognize in the mask), so I have to assume he either expired soon after he left the gym that evening, or decided the results did not justify continued use of the apparatus. And he did seem to be suffering a lot while running 3.5 mph on the treadmill at a 0 degree incline.
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Old 08-11-15, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sprince View Post
Kinda what I suspected. Why not just breath through your nose, or a paper bag? I haven't seen the guy in the mask since (who I would only recognize in the mask), so I have to assume he either expired soon after he left the gym that evening, or decided the results did not justify continued use of the apparatus. And he did seem to be suffering a lot while running 3.5 mph on the treadmill at a 0 degree incline.
Good thing I wasn't having a drink right about now, otherwise you would have owed me a new keyboard.
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Old 08-11-15, 07:36 PM
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the theory is that training at high altitude causes your blood to compensate for low oxygen by increasing your red blood cell count. I would think that short exposure as in using a bag in a gym would have little if any effect. I think it would take long exposure to high altitude to cause the blood changes. I would bet that it would require several weeks living and training at altitude for meaningful change in RBC count.
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Old 08-11-15, 08:25 PM
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The mask can't simulate altitude, obviously, since it's not changing the amount of oxygen in the air. All it can really do is strengthen your diaphragm since you're working your "breathing muscles" harder when you breathe through the mask. Has no effect on your blood or oxygen absorption, though.
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Old 08-11-15, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jsk View Post
The mask can't simulate altitude, obviously, since it's not changing the amount of oxygen in the air. All it can really do is strengthen your diaphragm since you're working your "breathing muscles" harder when you breathe through the mask. Has no effect on your blood or oxygen absorption, though.
I'm not so sure...there is some expelled CO2 that one may breath back.
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Old 08-11-15, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
the theory is that training at high altitude causes your blood to compensate for low oxygen by increasing your red blood cell count. I would think that short exposure as in using a bag in a gym would have little if any effect. I think it would take long exposure to high altitude to cause the blood changes. I would bet that it would require several weeks living and training at altitude for meaningful change in RBC count.
The usual advice for altitude training is to 'live high' and 'train low'. The body adjusts to low oxygen at altitude but is able to do more effective work at lower altitudes where the O2 concentration is higher. Training at high altitude isn't going to give your legs the same workout.

The mask is a gimmick used by cross-fitters.
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Old 08-12-15, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
I'm not so sure...there is some expelled CO2 that one may breath back.
Unlike carbon monoxide, inhaled CO2 doesn't interfere with oxygen absorption.
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Old 08-12-15, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
the theory is that training at high altitude causes your blood to compensate for low oxygen by increasing your red blood cell count. I would think that short exposure as in using a bag in a gym would have little if any effect. I think it would take long exposure to high altitude to cause the blood changes. I would bet that it would require several weeks living and training at altitude for meaningful change in RBC count.
It would be interesting to get Nairo Quintana's red blood cell readings. And then compare his with the same age (non rider) indigenous people of Colombia.

For instance, Peruvian city altitudes:


City Height (Ft) Height (Meter)
Lima 5080 1550
Cusco 10800 3300
Ollantaytambo 9150 2790
Machu Picchu 8040 2450
Puno 12420 3860
Arequipa 7740 2380
Lake Titicaca 12420 3860

Then Colombia cities:

Ranked Town / City Country Height (m) Height (ft)
14 Guachucal Colombia 3285 10777
18 Ipiales Colombia 2900 9385
20 Tunja Colombia 2820 9310
24 Bogotá Colombia 2640 8661

Last edited by Garfield Cat; 08-12-15 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 08-12-15, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Unlike carbon monoxide, inhaled CO2 doesn't interfere with oxygen absorption.
But what you breath in CO2 you can't breath in oxygen. Lungs still have the same limited capacity.
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Old 08-12-15, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
But what you breath in CO2 you can't breath in oxygen. Lungs still have the same limited capacity.
So breathing through a lit cigar should be like altitude x10?
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Old 08-12-15, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sprince View Post
So breathing through a lit cigar should be like altitude x10?
Didn't say that.
Clue number 1:
when i breath through my mask part of my breath goes back into my lungs (i can notice the difference in terms of smell between my breath and fresh air). To be expected since when i expels some CO2 i have to create enough pressure for the CO2 to go through the mask valves. As you can guess not everything can go through.
Clue number 2:
i ride slower with my mask on. Get tired faster....

Last edited by erig007; 08-12-15 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 08-12-15, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
It would be interesting to get Nairo Quintana's red blood cell readings. And then compare his with the same age (non rider) indigenous people of Colombia.

For instance, Peruvian city altitudes:


City Height (Ft) Height (Meter)
Lima 5080 1550
Cusco 10800 3300
Ollantaytambo 9150 2790
Machu Picchu 8040 2450
Puno 12420 3860
Arequipa 7740 2380
Lake Titicaca 12420 3860

Then Colombia cities:

Ranked Town / City Country Height (m) Height (ft)
14 Guachucal Colombia 3285 10777
18 Ipiales Colombia 2900 9385
20 Tunja Colombia 2820 9310
24 Bogotá Colombia 2640 8661
The Lima I visited is on the coast with an elevation close to sea level. Not sure where your data came from.
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Old 08-12-15, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
Didn't say that.
Clue number 1:
when i breath through my mask part of my breath goes back into my lungs (i can notice the difference in terms of smell between my breath and fresh air). To be expected since when i expels some CO2 i have to create enough pressure for the CO2 to go through the mask valves. As you can guess not everything can go through.
Clue number 2:
i ride slower with my mask on. Get tired faster....
If you're using a mask, there's a very simple test you can do to see if it does anything. Wear a pulse oximeter while exercising with the mask on. For it to have an effect, your blood oxygenation has to drop below 93%. Pulse oximeters are quite inexpensive.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
But what you breath in CO2 you can't breath in oxygen.
Again, you're wrong. The lungs will absorb whatever oxygen is present, regardless of the amount of CO2 present. If you want to talk about a diminished amount of available oxygen from rebreathing the same air over and over, you'd be on the right track. But the "Elevation Training Mask" doesn't do that -- it's just a restrictor.
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Old 08-13-15, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Again, you're wrong. The lungs will absorb whatever oxygen is present, regardless of the amount of CO2 present. If you want to talk about a diminished amount of available oxygen from rebreathing the same air over and over, you'd be on the right track. But the "Elevation Training Mask" doesn't do that -- it's just a restrictor.
I wasn't talking about what the lungs absorbs but what you breath. And what you breath is anything that is near your nose and/or mouth that you want to breath it or not. It's one of the main reasons why people die during house fires because they can't choose what to breath.
My mask isn't an elevation training mask but a basic mask that do pretty much that. It's harder to breath through the mask that it is without it. And I end up breathing the same air over and over partially with some new air getting inside the mask.


Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
If you're using a mask, there's a very simple test you can do to see if it does anything. Wear a pulse oximeter while exercising with the mask on. For it to have an effect, your blood oxygenation has to drop below 93%. Pulse oximeters are quite inexpensive.
I will do that but without exercising as the pulse oximeter seems to lose accuracy when there is motion and strong light.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v3rae-73jc

Last edited by erig007; 08-13-15 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 08-13-15, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
<snip>
I will do that but without exercising as the pulse oximeter seems to lose accuracy when there is motion and strong light.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v3rae-73jc
I don't know about that. I've used them climbing at altitude and on my rollers at sea level. Seemed to work fine as long as I didn't need to use my finger for anything.
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Old 08-15-15, 05:42 PM
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I been seeing them around. I've got nothing to add as to their validity, but they certainty are creepy:

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Old 08-24-15, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
If you're using a mask, there's a very simple test you can do to see if it does anything. Wear a pulse oximeter while exercising with the mask on. For it to have an effect, your blood oxygenation has to drop below 93%. Pulse oximeters are quite inexpensive.
Might try that during winter
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Old 08-25-15, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
I wasn't talking about what the lungs absorbs but what you breath. And what you breath is anything that is near your nose and/or mouth that you want to breath it or not. It's one of the main reasons why people die during house fires because they can't choose what to breath.
My mask isn't an elevation training mask but a basic mask that do pretty much that. It's harder to breath through the mask that it is without it. And I end up breathing the same air over and over partially with some new air getting inside the mask.
People die during house fires from carbon monoxide and/or lack of oxygen, if they don't burn up.

What kind of mask do you use that holds onto a significant amount of exhaled air? Smelling your breath when breathing in doesn't count.
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Old 08-25-15, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
People die during house fires from carbon monoxide and/or lack of oxygen, if they don't burn up.

What kind of mask do you use that holds onto a significant amount of exhaled air? Smelling your breath when breathing in doesn't count.
Respro techno, 3M 8293. Those 2 reach their limits during hot summer days and high exertion activities like climbing. My other P100 half masks with removable filters breath way better than those 2 but they lack stealth. I also have some cheap dust masks that are of no use when riding because there is no way to breath through these masks while doing any type of work out.
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Old 08-25-15, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
Respro techno, 3M 8293. Those 2 reach their limits during hot summer days and high exertion activities like climbing. My other P100 half masks with removable filters breath way better than those 2 but they lack stealth. I also have some cheap dust masks that are of no use when riding because there is no way to breath through these masks while doing any type of work out.
So, this guy?



Yeah, you're not rebreathing a significant amount of air with that. Your lungs themselves retain more air between breaths.
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Old 08-25-15, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
the theory is that training at high altitude causes your blood to compensate for low oxygen by increasing your red blood cell count. I would think that short exposure as in using a bag in a gym would have little if any effect. I think it would take long exposure to high altitude to cause the blood changes. I would bet that it would require several weeks living and training at altitude for meaningful change in RBC count.
Everything I've heard or read said that when doing an event at high altitude, either go up the day before (to avoid altitude sickness) or go three weeks before to adjust.
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