I’ve seen a couple people wearing them at my local gym and now we’ve started getting emails on them so I think its time to finally address altitude training masks. The premise is that athletes who train at high altitudes are able to allow their bodies to produce extra red blood cells. For those interested in lifting, body building or any type of sport this has the potential to be a great advantage. Here is the thing. even true altitude training will only last 10-20 days so keep that in mind!
Now of course not all of us live in places like Colorado that have a higher altitude than other geographical locations so manufacturers have released what they call altitude training masks. Here is the thing, not one altitude training mask that I checked out resembles altitude training at all and I looked at everything from $69.99 to $399.99. All of the masks I found on the market did a great job of resistance to breathing but not one had the capability to filter out oxygen to truly simulate altitude training. They are basically replicating breathing through a snorkel. On the other hand true high altitude training as no restriction on what goes in, but has lower O2 concentration. They work your diaphragm, not your lungs.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe altitude training is significant and there is something there. After all there is a major sporting complex in Colorado where Olympic athletes train and its no coincidence that its at a higher altitude. But are altitude training masks the correct substitute? I wouldn’t waste your money.