What does anyone know about "PowerLung" product?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Sluggo 13 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #1439

    Sluggo
    Member

    Hello All,

    Has anyone heard of this? If not, the websites http://www.LungPower.com and http://www.PowerLung.com describe it. Is it just baloney? Thanks, Sluggo.

  • #14315

    Zeke
    Member

    Kinda looks like the penile enlarger I bought. 🙄

  • #14316

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    After a race, how frequently do you feel that your diaphragm and other muscles used in breathing are too fatigued? Usually, it’s something else for me.

    These websites make a lot of statements about it does increase “tidal breathing volume” and it could increase O2 uptake. Notice anything about that? It does increase something that most runners have probably never heard of (but it is a cool, scientific sounding term) and I have no knowledge of as a performance factor and it could (or could not?) result in an increase in something that is a performance factor. A quick scan of the studies they list doesn’t seem to show anything about actual performance improvement in athletes, just a lot of cool scientific-sounding terms and numbers.

    Based on an admittedly less than thorough scan of the websites, add me to the list of skeptics. If I have more time this evening, maybe I’ll take a closer look but don’t hold your breath waiting for me to change my mind.

  • #14317

    As FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in 1 second) and FVC (forced vital capacity) are determined by genetics they cannot be altered by exercise or training (training augments your cardiac function not pulmonary fxn). Conclusion: Powerlung and related products are nonsense! Save your $$$.

  • #14318

    magpie
    Member

    My personal estimation is that something like PowerLung (which I have frequently seen on eBay) is a legit product, it just comes nowhere near measuring up to the manufacturer’s/retailer’s claims. As Ryan has indicated, you will be spending money on an essentially frivolous item, it trains something in isolation (diaphragm muscle(s)) that you would be training anyway through simply running . . . or even by lying on one’s back and breathing deep with a stack of text books (or bricks :-P) on one’s chest. As Steve, er, Evets mentioned, this device is only another way for some charlatan to make a buck by selling snake oil that appeals to the ambitions and hyperanalytical nature of recreational endurance athletes, as well as their societally-ingrained desire for instant gratification.

    Hell, even Zatu’s infamous utility pole drills would be more effective.

  • #14319
    Evets Sberk wrote:
    As FEV1 (forced expiratly volume in 1 second) and FVC (force vital capacity) and determined by genetics they cannot be altered by exercise or training (training augments your cardiac function not pulmonary fxn). Conclusion: Powerlung and related products are nonsense! Save your $$$.

    The upper limit of FEV1 and FVC may be set, but they do respond to training.

    However, moving air is not the limiting factor in exercise for most healthy people. A colleague at Texas Tech has been doing studies with college XC runners for years trying to get a performance improvement using a similar device with no luck. However, he does see changes (improvements) in some pulmonary functions. You can PubMed him and his research (look for Jim Williams).

  • #14320
    Ryan wrote:
    After a race, how frequently do you feel that your diaphragm and other muscles used in breathing are too fatigued? Usually, it’s something else for me.

    These websites make a lot of statements about it does increase “tidal breathing volume” and it could increase O2 uptake. Notice anything about that? It does increase something that most runners have probably never heard of (but it is a cool, scientific sounding term) and I have no knowledge of as a performance factor and it could (or could not?) result in an increase in something that is a performance factor. A quick scan of the studies they list doesn’t seem to show anything about actual performance improvement in athletes, just a lot of cool scientific-sounding terms and numbers.

    Based on an admittedly less than thorough scan of the websites, add me to the list of skeptics. If I have more time this evening, maybe I’ll take a closer look but don’t hold your breath waiting for me to change my mind.

    “…hold you breath…” funny!

  • #14321

    Not to be a huge pain in the ass but FEV1 and FVC are measures of intrinsic lung function and are in no way ever “improved” with training. Training may improve your “minute ventilation” towards its theoretical maximum but practice, pray, train, beg, borrow, or steal…. as an adult you have a maximal FEV1 and FVC and you cant expand them meaningfully. Issue is the lung device marketed might improve your NIF (negatvie inspiratory force) allowing you to inhale faster it does not improve your ability to exhale. As the expiratory phase of respiration is the rate limiting step in theoretical maximal minute ventilation improved NIF will not/cannot improve your maximal minute ventilation. The maximal rate of expiration is much more dependent on the intrinsic elastic tissue in the lungs than the muscular apparatus surrounding it. This is precisely why diseases of airflow obstruction to the expiratory phase (asthma, emphysema, pneumoconiosis) cannot be improved with “breathing exercises.” Conclusion: Its nonsense!… steer clear friends! (unless of course you frequently smoke pot and want to inhale as fast as possible to maximize each hit off the doobie!) 😀

  • #14322

    Anonymous

    http://www.asep.org/Documents/Ammonette.pdf

    I saw this posting and did a search for info on the device. I found the above link. Since we actually have some people here like Evets who can much more easily decipher this article than I ever can, perhaps those of you who have the science background I most definitely lack can take a look at this journal article and let us know what the heck it means. Thanks for your learned advice.

    Notice as part of the Acknowledgments, Powerlung funded this study.

  • #14323

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    Guest wrote:
    Notice as part of the Acknowledgments, Powerlung funded this study.

    I’m sure sub3 and Evets could both offer a better analysis of this also, since I’m not a scientist either. However, here’s what I took from the abstract. It improved their ability to breathe more air but did not improve their ability to process the air that they were breathing. They did not get more oxygen to their muscles and, seeing as they didn’t even mention it, I’ll assume they didn’t exhale more carbon dioxide. This suggests that, while you are breathing more air, you are not doing anything to improve performance since you are not doing anything with that extra air.

    This actually surprised me. I was ready to give you a story from my Physiology of Exercise course in college based on the quote I took there. My Phys of Ex professor frequently pointed out how studies that were funded by companies which made products involved in the studies usually “proved” the effectiveness of the products in question. It’s amazing how things can work out when the people paying the bills have a vested interest in a specific result.

  • #14324

    The “study” involved only 12 subjects (9 men and 3 women), no discussion is made of the subject’s ethnic back ground (there are huge differences in pulmonary function based on race), and no discussion of other factors that can effect cardiopulmonary function are mentioned. All these are confounding variables that a true reasearch study would address in the protocol. Based on the tiny number of subjects no further analysis is required as statistical power of this paper is worthless. Just for fun Ill go on though-In the data section you will note the % of change for the FVC and FEV1 variables are less than 1%!!!!!! Regardless they actually reach the correct conclusion: “The (Powerlung) device did not produce a significant change in VO2max.” They might as well have written “we concluded our device does not work.” Particularly ominous is that the study was funded by Powerlung Inc. A slick faux-study that looks scientific but contains no substance and is written in such a way that you might actually think the thing has value and hence buy it. Not, not, not! 🙄

  • #14325

    Anonymous

    I’m not too familiar w/ PowerLung, but I’m assuming it’s an inspiratory muscle trainer.

    As someone indicated, FEV1, FVC and other static and dynamic lung volumes cannot be changed with training.

    However, in some good endurance athletes (from the literature “good” would be D1 distance runners and better) do reach their expiratory and/or inspiratory flow limitations at or near VO2max.

    Furthermore, at these high flow rates, some good data from the Wisconsin lab (for anyone wanting to do a lit search, do it under J Dempsey) suggest that at intensities close to max, the blood vessels in the diaphragm dilate so much that they impair blood delivery to working muscles. This contributes to fatigue at high intensity levels. Again, this is only known to occur in endurance athletes and in masters athletes.

    Based on this, SOME recent research has shown performance improvements at or near VO2max in rowers and cyclists, while a recent study suggested it didn’t work in runners.

    Bottom line: You gotta be a pretty decent athlete for this to have a noticeable effect and, if it does have an effect, it seems to vary with exercise mode.

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