Last updated: August 10, 2021

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If you're an athlete looking to push your body to the limit with workouts that speed up your metabolism and get more oxygen to your muscles, this article is definitely for you! We are interested in telling you all about training masks.

This type of technology is essential for athletes, as it seeks to replace high altitude areas as well as mountain conditions in order to improve their performance. However, before choosing a training mask, you need to consider and evaluate the important criteria and we want to help you do so.




Summary

  • A training mask is an accessory that has the function of simulating environments where you are made to reduce the amount of oxygen you breathe, regulating it according to the altitude to be represented. They are usually made of neoprene and cover the nose and mouth so that all your breath passes through it.
  • Because of the way they work, training masks can be single or multiple mouthpieces. Each offers the athlete the opportunity to significantly improve performance, as well as recovery when practising at altitudes other than everyday.
  • When selecting this type of sports equipment, you need to consider the most important impact factors such as type of support, type of valves and size. If you take these criteria into account, we guarantee that you will get the ideal complement for your workouts, but above all for that goal you want to achieve.

The Best Training Mask: Our Picks

Buying Guide: What you need to know

In order to get your hands on a training mask, you first need to know about this sports accessory in order to find the one that suits your requirements and training style. We'll show you the essentials and explain what you need to know for efficient use and impressive results.

Training masks increase your performance. (Pavel Biryukov/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is a training mask and what are its advantages?

A training mask is an accessory that is used to simulate the high altitude zones of the planet from 100 to 5,500 metres, in order to improve your respiratory system and your performance no matter what sport you are doing. It is widely used in pre-season soccer, American football and running.

"A training mask is indispensable for those who are passionate about a specific sport or those who practice it as a profession, as it significantly improves performance and lung capacity, making it easier to recover after physical exhaustion"

One of its main advantages is that it improves lung capacity, resulting in better performance in competitions, as well as quicker recovery after intense exercise. In addition, you have the possibility of choosing the right altitude, through the different levels of resistance.

Advantages
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Rapid recovery after exercise
  • Improves performance
  • Increases the presence of oxygen in the blood
  • Increases lung capacity.
Disadvantages
  • Requires a period of adaptation
  • Generates a feeling of lack of oxygen
  • The exercise to be performed has to be gradual
  • At the beginning you can only do short exercise sessions.

Single or multiple mouthpiece training mask - what to pay attention to?

When referring to a training mask, you may think of one that you have seen when you go to the gym. However, due to their technology, comfort and functionality, there are two most commonly used models. Here are the types of sports accessories you can find.

Single mouthpiece training mask.

It is used by athletes who have never used this accessory, as the intensity is low and allows an easy and simple adaptability to it. There are models that only cover the mouth so that you don't feel the sudden change in your breathing.

Multi-nozzle training mask.

These are used by athletes who have already mastered the intensity levels of the single mouthpiece and are looking for greater challenges or altitude simulations. It also improves your oxygenation and allows you to recover faster. All models cover both mouth and nose.

Single mouthpiece Multi mouthpiece.
Usage Preferably if you have never used it before If you have already mastered it and are looking for more intensity.
Intensity levels Up to 6 levels There are models with more than 20 levels.
Activities Ideal for endurance activities Both endurance and explosive.
Environments Preferably indoor Indoor and outdoor.

How to use a training mask?

It is important to consider the following points to get the most out of your training mask from the first time:

  • Before fitting your training mask, make sure it is at the lowest level to start your training.
  • Place the mouthpiece in the area of your nose and mouth, making sure it is comfortable and secure at all times.
  • Place the supports on the back of your head, finding the ergonomic and comfortable fit.
  • Start the desired exercise, as you adapt and master the level, you will be able to increase the intensity, your body will adapt much better and faster.
Did you know that a training mask can simulate an altitude of over 18,000 feet? That's approximately 5,480 metres above sea level

Training masks are ideal for various sports. (Pavel Biryukov/ 123rf.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of training masks

Before making any purchase, we recommend that you consider a few factors that will help you not only in acquiring the right training mask for you, but one that matches the type of sport and training you do. While it's easy to get one, make sure you're getting the one with the most functionality.

  • Fastening
  • Type of valves
  • Size

Fastening

When it comes to how you attach your training mask, there are two main methods used for this sporting accessory, each with specific features, which we'll explain below.

Elastic straps help you to fit your head perfectly

Elastic headbands.

They usually have an adjuster that allows you to find the perfect size for your head. If you do activities such as boxing, crossfit or weightlifting, this model is the one for you, as it will hardly move from its original position.

The velcro helps you to be more secure when you stop it

Velcro.

The system of "independent straps" is the one that is fastened by means of Velcro, which provides great security. If you are looking for a complement for activities such as walking, hiking, cycling, triathlon or running, this method is perfect for you, because of its comfortable fastening.

Type of valves

The mouthpieces have two types of valves inside them which are vital for the proper functioning of the training masks. Each one is explained below.

Fixed valves.

They are of high quality and durability, so they do not need to be replaced. If you are new to training masks, we recommend only using this type of valve.

Interchangeable valves.

They are manufactured to have a function of providing different types of intensity to simulate varying altitudes. The higher the altitude, the more of these valves we recommend.

Size

In terms of size, the training masks are categorised into 3 segments, so please note that they are sized according to your body weight. It is worth mentioning that all models can be used by both men and women.

Size S.

It is the smallest size and the most used by women. If your weight is less than or equal to 70 kg, this is the right size for you.

Size M.

It is the intermediate size, in this category it is used by both men and women. If your body weight is between 70 and 90 kg, this is the right training mask for you.

Size G.

This category is for larger sizes, mostly used by men. If you weigh 90 kg or more, this size will fit you perfectly.

Featured image photo. (Jasminko Ibrakovic/ 123rf.com)

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