Home   |   Contact   |   Help

Get Our Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get training tips and stay up to date on Catalyst Athletics, and get a FREE issue of the Performance Menu journal.

Go Back   Catalyst Athletics Forums > Community > Community & Events

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-07-2011, 07:21 PM   #2721
Matt Thomas
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 61
Default

Sorry to digress guys, but I would like to learn something.

Regarding the gas masks, yes they look stupid, but honestly I can understand the thought process behind it so I would like to know why the science doesn't work the way the logic does.

I imagine the thinking is along the lines that if you give your body less oxygen during exertion it will learn how to make do with less, which will teach it how to operate more efficiently. Then, when you workout and there's no barrier to your oxygen intake your performance will be that much before. I guess along the same lines as altitude training.

I know this is not how it works and I have read that it doesn't work many time, but I still am not sure why. Can someone explain?
Matt Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 07:29 PM   #2722
Justin Arnold
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 101
Default

My simpleton understanding of it is that it comes down to red blood cell count.

Training with a gas-mask "should" help raise the count.. but most people won't restrict oxygen for day-to-day living (as would happen if you lived at altitude) so the effect is reduced dramatically.
Justin Arnold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 07:33 PM   #2723
Matt Thomas
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 61
Default

Ah. So the effect is the same/similar, but you'd have to walk around with a gas mask all day for it to work?
Matt Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 07:41 PM   #2724
Justin Arnold
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 101
Default

I doubt a gas-mask would restrict breathing enough for day-to-day activities to matter anyway.

so crossfitters should just live and train in hypobaric chambers.
Justin Arnold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 07:58 PM   #2725
Andrew Wilson
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 1,140
Default

I'm glad you brought this up because it reminds me of this Jack Daniels (the phd in exphys, Cortland coach, and olympic medalist, JD) interview I was listening to a few months ago. If I remember correctly, he owns a training facility at Flagstaff that is well over 7,000 ft in elevation and he has done extensive research with the runners he's trained over the decades with how the effect of training within the elevation has physiology changed within the sportsman and their training results. Surprisingly he said it made no difference. Reason being that because the sportsman had not been physiologically prepared to handle the altitude conditions, and took sometime for them to adapt, the quality of their training actually suffered (compared to if it was performed at sea level), and did not produce any significant advantage in improving performance. He said if there were benefits of moving to the altitude training facility, it had to do more with taking the sportsman out of their dailylife, where distractions interfered with their training, and allowed them to focus better. It is of course different if the competitive event is at altitude, such as the Mexico Games, where the sportsman is not accustomed to. This applies to the gas mask; using it is actually hinders the quality of the session, unless the job itself requires using a gas mask. Within regards to the daily life, absolutely correct, perfect example would be Sherpas and Kenyan sportsman, among generations of genetics.
Andrew Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 08:29 PM   #2726
Shane Skowron
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 227
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Thomas View Post
Sorry to digress guys, but I would like to learn something.

Regarding the gas masks, yes they look stupid, but honestly I can understand the thought process behind it so I would like to know why the science doesn't work the way the logic does.

I imagine the thinking is along the lines that if you give your body less oxygen during exertion it will learn how to make do with less, which will teach it how to operate more efficiently. Then, when you workout and there's no barrier to your oxygen intake your performance will be that much before. I guess along the same lines as altitude training.

I know this is not how it works and I have read that it doesn't work many time, but I still am not sure why. Can someone explain?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Arnold View Post
My simpleton understanding of it is that it comes down to red blood cell count.

Training with a gas-mask "should" help raise the count.. but most people won't restrict oxygen for day-to-day living (as would happen if you lived at altitude) so the effect is reduced dramatically.
No, actually gas mask training does not simulate altitude training. Doesn't matter if you wear it all the time or for a 10 minute workout.

When you are at a high altitude, the pressure of air decreases. At sea level, the air pressure is 1.0 atm. At 18,000 feet, the air pressure is 0.5 atm. It decreases at the same rate as you go higher.
But what's important is that even though the air pressure changes, there's still 21% of oxygen in the air at all times (except when you basically leave the atmosphere).
So when you are at altitude, your body still processes O2 and CO2 the same way, but the problem is that there's not enough atmospheric pressure to pump the oxygen into your blood vessels. So no matter how hard you breathe, you're still going to only be able to get a certain amount of oxygen at one time. Breathe too hard and you'll hyperventilate.
If you train at altitude you can stimulate your body to produce more blood cells so that it can temporarily store more oxygen.



Now with a gas mask, it's not the same. The air pressure does not change externally, but the difficulty of breathing in that same amount of pressure does change. Not only that, but when you exhale, where does all that carbon dioxide go? Hopefully the gas mask will release it, but there's no guarantee that it will release it at the same rate as if you were to exhale normally. So in other words there's a strong possibility that oxygen will no longer be 21% of the gas in the air you're breathing. Likely scenario: you inhale too much CO2 from the build-up in your gas mask and pass out.

So what you're doing with gas mask training is making the lungs work harder. People who support gas mask training (only people I've heard of are Crossfitters and MMA fighters) say that this helps build lung capacity since the diaphragm has to work harder. Okay -- that's fine. But increased lung capacity does not prevent AMS. It doesn't improve your Vo2Max. I'm not even sure what the point of it is. The people with the highest lung capacities are rowers because a) they are tall and have huge lungs and b) because they are cardiovascular athletes.

There are certain gas masks that will actually decrease the pressure of the air as it passes it to you. They need a regulator/depressurizing mechanism. And they're not cheap -- they'll run a couple hundred bucks.

So:
- if you want the ability to blow harder -- wear a gas mask.
- if you want to produce more RBC, ability to perform at altitude and avoid AMS -- train/sleep at altitude or use hyperbaric chamber or regulator mask.
Shane Skowron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 08:49 PM   #2727
Shane Skowron
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 227
Default

Another thing I should add.

In sports like running and rowing, your cardiovascular indicators (RBC count, VO2 max, lactate threshold, etc) are pretty important. In Crossfit, I'm not convinced they're that important except for maybe a select few (I'm thinking of Chris Spealler).
The reason is that in most workouts in Crossfit, you are either limited by your strength or your local muscular endurance. Improve both of those and 95% of the time your Crossfit performance will improve with no changes in cardiovascular endurance.

Now if you have a respectable strength level and local muscular endurance level, only then does it become time for one to start training to improve cardiovascular endurance to improve Crossfit times. In other words if you are trying to do some metcon with 100 pushups and 45 deadlifts 275# and you don't have the strength/muscular endurance to do both very quickly -- more cardiovascular endurance isn't going to help.
It's only the people like Chris Spealler, Josh Bridges, etc who can do things like 100 pushups+pullups+situps+squats in a row with no breaks where your cardiovascular ability comes into play there.
Shane Skowron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 05:30 AM
Justin Z. Smith
This message has been deleted by Justin Z. Smith.
Old 09-08-2011, 05:48 AM   #2728
Steve Shafley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,285
Default

Nice. I'm tired of explaining to people why training with gas masks and snorkels and shit like that doesn't really do anything.

I really don't anymore.

Most (almost all) people don't need to be any stronger on inspiration or expiration. I did know a cyclist who insisted that a bunch of yogic stretching for his ribcage improved his lung capacity by letting him take bigger breathes, but, once again, too many factors at play.

Andrew has a great point. Wearing something that restricts your breathing is a great way to sub-optimize your session.

Now, if you are a firefighter or someone who wears a gas mask or respirator under strenuous conditions, getting acclimated to that particular stress is not a bad idea. I used to wear a full faced respirator during some operations at the chemical company where I worked, and if it was vigorous activity, it got hot and uncomfortable.

I had an Ukrainian woman I worked with who insisted that she'd seen research in the Ukraine that extensive respirator work caused issues with people with heard disease.
Steve Shafley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 05:49 AM   #2729
Steve Shafley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,285
Default

SHANE! When did you get so smart? Hahahaha. Nice!
Steve Shafley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 09:03 AM   #2730
Andrew Wilson
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Posts: 1,140
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
- if you want to produce more RBC, ability to perform at altitude and avoid AMS -- train/sleep at altitude or use hyperbaric chamber
I heard exactly this. I can't remember where, I think was from the supertraining yahoo group.
Andrew Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Subscribe to our Newsletter


Receive emails with training tips, news updates, events info, sale notifications and more.
ASK GREG

Submit your question to be answered by Greg Everett in the Performance Menu or on the website

Submit Your Question
WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

Read More
Olympic Weightlifting Book
Catalyst Athletics
Contact Us
About
Help
Newsletter
Products & Services
Gym
Store
Seminars
Weightlifting Team
Performance Menu
Magazine Home
Subscriber Login
Issues
Articles
Workouts
About the Program
Workout Archives
Exercise Demos
Text Only
Instructional Content
Exercise Demos
Video Gallery
Free Articles
Free Recipes
Resources
Recommended Books & DVDs
Olympic Weightlifting Guide
Discussion Forum
Weight Conversion Calculator