If you pass our studio or come in early, you may see a pretty funny (or creepy) picture: a few guys training in gas masks. Don’t worry, there is no spill and nobody is in danger. We are simply putting ourselves to the test doing gasmask training!
The whole idea behind gasmask training is to get in better shape by improving your longue function. For example when athletes train at high altitude, one of the reasons Boulder is so popular with elite athletes all over the world and why many training camps for fighters are also located at high altitude.
When you train at higher altitude than what you’re used to, your body experiences a state of oxygen deprivation named hypoxia. This causes you to feel sluggish, out of breath, tired and out of shape. Your body gradually gets accustomed to it by increasing the red blood cell count in your body and your VO2 max. Red blood cells are the carriers of oxygen in the blood and deliver these to the muscles for their aerobic fueled efforts. When there is less oxygen, your muscles are forced to use anaerobic energy systems which produce lactate to be stored until it can be processed at a later time. Once the red blood cell count is lifted, you will feel better training at that current altitude. When you go back down to sea level, you will have a competitive advantage (for up to approx. 15 days) because more oxygen is delivered to the muscle tissues so you can fulfill efforts longer on an aerobic level.
Now what does this have to do with gasmasks? Well wearing a gas mask will limit your oxygen intake because it is not readily available and the mask makes it harder to breath large amounts of air at once. However, whether a workout of let’s say an hour will actually increase your red blood cells and VO2 max is still debatable. Other advantages though are for a fact proven. When you wear a gasmask and it takes you more effort to breathe, your body will have to compensate for a lack of oxygen and your muscles will learn to become more efficient with the oxygen. Also the ventilation muscles you use to breathe will become stronger because they simply have to work harder. If you improve them in training, they will be less likely to fatigue during everyday life and competition. Another benefit is that you are forced to control your breathing better, which creates a better body and breathing awareness.
The final advantage is mental. Gasmask training will force you to push yourself more and go beyond your limits. Normal training will start to feel easier and you will become tougher and more resistant to situations where there’s oxygen deprivation (think about chokes for example). Gasmask training is not for everyone and only our experienced instructors have utilized this method so far.
Warning: we do not encourage you to train with gasmasks, this article is simply for informational reasons. Please do not utilize without professional supervision.
Define Defense is Boulder’s premier place for modern martial arts, self defense and personal training. We are not the typical martial arts school as we incorporate personal training and fitness into our classes.
Our clients enjoy a blend of fight / self defense instruction and physical training. Define Defense has a fully equipped 2,400 square feet gym which includes over 1,000 square feet of martial arts mats and cutting edge gym equipment. We are also pleased to provide our clients with 2 spacious brand new locker rooms and showers.
1805 11th Street Suite B Boulder, CO 80302 West side alley on 11th Street between Canyon Blvd. and Walnut St. (alley between 1095 Canyon and 1050 Walnut building)