If you’ve been to the gym lately, you’ve probably seen some people working out using those crazy-looking masks that kind of make you look like Bane from Batman. There’s no need to fret. People who use them aren’t necessarily plotting to overthrow the government. And they certainly aren’t using them to protect themselves against a silent plague. These altitude training masks are designed to enhance the results of your workout regimen.
Below you will find everything you need to know about these masks, including some of the best models available today.
What Does an Altitute Training Mask Do?
Sure, training masks, or high altitude training masks as they are also known, make you look like a cool supervillain but they can add so more to your workout. These masks are designed to improve inspiratory muscle strength and endurance.
Elevation masks simulate low oxygen conditions much like training at high altitudes where the air is thinner by increasing the air resistance as you breath in. They cover your mouth and nose to make breathing a bit more laborious than usual. When you’re wearing a mask while exercising, it forces you to take deep breaths to get enough oxygen. This is called restricted-air training. Just like occlusion training with BFR training bands restricts blood flow to your muscles, training masks restrict oxygen flow to your lungs.
Deep breathing requires more energy, and with each breath, you let more oxygen into your bloodstream. Over time, this exercise should increase the strength as well as the endurance of your respiratory muscles, hence the popularity of the elevation training mask.
What’s the best training mask?
The best training mask is the Training Mask 3.0 which offers a total of 6 valves that are all air resistant. You can adjust the overall effect by using its components such as the flux valve plungers and 3 air resistance valve base components. The mask is low maintenance in terms of cleaning. The brand also makes it the best training mask by selling custom sleeve designs for the fashion-conscious.
The Benefits: A High Altitude Training Mask Works to Strengthen the Pulmonary Muscles
Breathing exercise devices such as high altitude training masks may improve your respiratory muscle strength and endurance. As already mentioned, a mask would reduce the total amount of air you can intake, forcing your lungs to work harder than normal. In turn, the surface area in your alveoli will expand, allowing more space for blood and oxygen.
Over time, your lungs and thoracic diaphragm will get used to this type of training with the help of a elevation training mask. When they become stronger, so will your pulmonary system. At the same time, it becomes more efficient in transporting blood throughout your body.
Training Masks Should Not Be Used Every Time You Train
Your high altitude training mask can be incorporated into nearly every workout, but you don’t need to wear your gear each time you train. You also don’t need to wear it for every part of your workout. For instance, research conducted at the London Southbank University and Exeter University suggests that you can work on increasing your sprinting speed by using your mask for half of the workouts you usually do.
You can do warm up sets with the mask off. But if you want your respiratory system to get warmed up faster, you may opt to do fewer sets with the mask on. You can start your workout with short distance sprints without the mask, and you can progress to long distance sprints with the mask on.
Here are the best training masks you can buy:
1. Training Mask 3.0
For premium quality, you should get your gear from the company that started this trend and inspired so many others to embrace this workout gear, the Training Mask. Version 3.0 features six air resistant valves. It also has three air resistance valve base pieces that come with flux valve plungers, which enable you to tweak its levels of resistance to fit your capabilities and fitness goals.
When used properly, this mask may boost your lung capacity, oxygen efficiency, and physical stamina. It may also improve your anaerobic threshold and energy production.
You can purchase custom sleeves that go with the mask if you want to look cool when you’re exercising. You can look like a stormtrooper or Bane or whatever masked character you prefer. Best of all, it’s easy to use and clean.
A more affordable option is the Pioneeryao elevation training mask. It claims to simulate high-altitude environments such as Tibet and the Himalayas. Travelers who want to get used to such high elevations may want to train with this mask prior to the trip. It should improve your lungs ability to gather oxygen from the air and even your physical health.
It has a two valve design. You can take this mask with you when you’re biking cycling, hitting the gym or doing aerobic exercises.
Pioneeryao mask will fit you to a tee. It comes with adjustable velcro straps to ensure maximum comfort. You won’t have to keep adjusting it or holding it in place when you’re in the middle of your exercise. It’s made with mash mask shell, making it lightweight, durable, and very easy to clean.
3. Training Mask 2.0
While the Training Mask 3.0 is the newest updated version the original 2.0 high altitude training mask is also an excellent choice and is cheaper if you are looking to save a few dollars.
Many people will buy both the 3.0 and 2.0 version they prefer the 3.0 Mask when running and the 2.0 Mask for weight lifting or CrossFit training. Breathing resistance can be changed by placing caps over the air intakes. You can simulate elevations from 3,000 to 18,000 feet giving you different levels of resistance.
From a style perspective its different that the 3.0 version in that the air valves protrude from the font which gives it a distinct look from the smooth front of the 3.0 model.
If your looking to get a high quality elevation training mask and save a few dollars the 2.0 version is a great choice.
The Veoxline mask is our pick for best multipurpose training mask. It was designed to be able to be used for multiple sports and outdoor activities. From cardio workouts to HIT training the Veoxline training mask can help you increase your lung capacity.
The Veoxline elevation training mask offers different levels of resistance simulating altitudes from 2,000 to 18,000 feet.
It is also very reasonably priced and an ideal choice if your training and exercise program varies from day to day and you want to make a training mask part of it.
You can take your athletic career to the next level starting by improving your respiratory muscles. You can improve your endurance and boost your performance by training with the WHPH workout mask. Its 16 resistance levels valve system is designed to help you breathe more effectively when you’re going through high-intensity physical activities. It has three resistance levels. With its dual lever system, you can easily switch between levels of resistance while you’re training.
One of the biggest problems with training masks is that the sleeves almost always rip apart after a few sessions. That’s why the WHPH mask now features durable sleeves, one of the best, if not the best, on the market. It also features sweat-wicking technology that keeps you dry and cool throughout your workout.
The WHPH training mask is BPA-free. It’s made with medical-grade silicone, which offers excellent comfort and a snug fit. This model is one-size-fits-all.
6. Sparthos Workout Mask
The Sparthos elevation mask is an excellent option for beginners and veterans alike. It has a whopping 16 different resistance levels, ergonomic design, three color variations, and sturdy ear straps for maximum comfort.
The sheer number of this mask’s air resistance levels means there’s a setting fit for any user. The mask can let you fine-tune the intensity according to your needs. Just one click on the filter is enough to adjust the resistance level. Which means no need to take your mask off.
The Sparthos mask can fit snugly around the lower half of your face, thanks to its ergonomic design. Once you pick a size according to your measurements, you’ll be able to enjoy a hassle-free workout without worrying about the mask slipping off.
If you want to try working out with a training mask on, then this one is a very viable choice to start with. Once you feel comfortable, you’ll be able to crank up the intensity and work on improving your training.
7. FITGAME Workout Mask
This mask is another great option for when versatility is a priority. FITGAME’s workout mask features premium quality materials, an intuitive design, and a staggering 24 different air resistance levels. If you’re looking for a mask that you can fine-tune according to your training needs, then this one is for you.
The mask is very well-constructed. The material used is durable, and the stitching is strong enough to prevent rips and tears. It’s lightweight and comfortable to the touch. The mask also follows the curves and edges of your face with ease.
FITGAME’s unisex design allows it to fit well on both men and women of all ages, and it can be used for any sport or training activity.
8. Adurance Training Workout Mask
This training mask by Adurance offers four different resistance settings that are ideal for intermediate users. If you’re craving for a challenge, then the highest resistance level offers the same breathing conditions as that of a 16,000-foot altitude setting. If that seems a little excessive for you, then you can opt for the lowest level, which simulates altitudes of only 4,000 feet.
The mask features a breathable strap that wraps around the back of your head for maximum support. Meanwhile, the facepiece is made of high-quality silicone materials. It’s designed to provide a comfortable fit around your nose and mouth.
It’s a good mask for its price and does exactly as advertised. The high resistance levels can offer an intense challenge, so if you think your current training mask isn’t cutting it, then you may want to give this one a try.
9. NextGen Elevation Breathing Workout Mask
This is a perfect option for HIIT workouts or if you need a mask for exercises of varying intensities. Its 24 different resistance settings allow users to carefully pick their preferred intensity level without sacrificing personal comfort.
The main portion of the mask is made with sturdy ABS plastic that can resist a reasonable amount of damage. Its strap is designed to provide a universal fit without feeling too tight. It also comes with its own carrying case.
The mask can give you a surprising amount of protection against dust and pollution. The air valves are fitted with replaceable carbon filters that keep unwanted particles out while letting clean air inside. This feature makes the NextGen mask ideal for roadside jogging where car fumes are plenty.
10. Friorange Sport Workout Hypoxic Mask
This is a good entry-level option if you want to try out training masks during your workout sessions. The Friorange mask doesn’t have as many features as the others in this list, but it makes do with what it has. It offers a simple three-level air resistance regulator fitted onto a non-toxic silicone base with an elastic headband.
While it isn’t as fancy as the rest, it still has plenty of value for beginners. The mask can snugly fit your face without any discomfort, and the universal design can let almost anyone wear it.
There are a few things you should know about training masks. Make sure to keep the following in mind to get the one that suits your needs the most:
High altitude training masks are mostly made out of synthetic materials. These include ABS plastic, silicone, or nylon-reinforced materials. While all of them are the same in terms of function and purpose, they have a few qualities that distinguish them from one another. For example, nylon is denser and more flexible than ABS plastic, while the latter is more rigid.
When looking for a well-fitted elevation training mask, you should consider its size, strap style, and the design itself. While you should always look for a mask that’s your size, there are some with a one-size-fits-all design. Some are also designed to contour around the edges of your face for a more comfortable fit. Most masks have elastic straps that keep the entire piece secure over your face.
Aesthetically speaking, the kind of mask you want to wear depends entirely on you. If you’re looking for more practical features, then you should take a look at how many resistance levels a mask can switch between.
Don’t let price tags fool you. While high-end masks will always be of high-quality, there are also some more affordable options that can compete with their more expensive counterparts.
Does Wearing a Training Mask Help You Lose Weight?
According to a study conducted by the Hermann Buhl Institute for Hypoxia and Sleep Medicine Research, training in hypoxic conditions may help you achieve your weight loss goals faster.
In the study, 32 healthy respondents were required to train for three days a week over a period of eight weeks. One group was asked to train in a hypoxic (low oxygen) environment while the other group had to do their workouts in an environment with normal oxygen levels. The participants weren’t required to follow a standardized diet. They were merely told to commit to the training regimen.
After two months, researchers found that the group that trained in low-oxygen conditions lost more weight than the group that exercised in normal setups.
Do Elevation Masks Really Replicate What It’s Like to Train or Live at High Altitudes?
Despite its inability to replicate high altitude training, you shouldn’t discredit its capacity to improve performance. There are studies that prove that elevation training masks can accomplish similar short-term physiological effects to high altitude training.
Would You Want to Wear a Workout Mask While Training at High Altitudes?
No. Without elevation masks, training at high altitudes already makes breathing laborious. When you further limit your oxygen intake in an environment that’s already low in oxygen, your workout is going to suffer. It will also be harder for your body.
How Would It Enhance My Workout?
There’s not enough evidence to prove or discredit training masks’ capacity to improve your athletic performance. But one thing is certain: you can use an elevation training mask to enhance your breathing mechanics. You can amplify your endurance and strengthen your respiratory muscles based on the needs of your workout.
By training yourself to control your breathing in a state of hypoxia, your respiration becomes efficient. You get to boost your workout capacity. Your tolerance for your preferred workout intensity improves. You should also see an improvement in your recovery rate. For these reasons, you may start performing better in a wide range of physical activities such as running and weight lifting.
You can achieve all of that without having to spend so much money to train at high altitudes. All you need is a good training mask.
What Workouts/Sports Should I Wear My Training Mask For?
As already mentioned, you can use elevation masks to train for almost every sport, especially ones that rely heavily on your respiratory system. You can use the gear when you’re running, cycling, etc. You may also opt to use training masks when you’re at the gym or at home doing the shuttle run, burpee jumps, shoulder touch pushups, and more.
Will Wearing a Training Mask Protect Against COVID-19?
Unfortunately, training masks won’t do much against the coronavirus. Despite covering a good portion of your face, the open valves on training masks don’t really offer any filter against potentially contaminated droplets or particles. And if you’re the one infected, training masks won’t prevent you from transmitting the virus to others.
he World Health Organization recommends using medical-grade face masks to help protect against COVID-19. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using cloth face masks instead of those with valves. Wearing a mask should be paired with frequent hand washing and the observation of healthy practices like social distancing and quarantining.
Training masks can be a great addition to your fitness equipment and allows you to simulate elevation training no matter where you are. Increased lung capacity is vital to excelling in all sports activities and the regular use of a training mask can help you achieve this.
There are many different models of training masks to chose from and we hope our list of the best ones we have found is helpful for you when making your choice.