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Powerlung(6 posts)

May 19, 2001 7:05 PM
Does anyone have any infornation about the effectiveness of the product "Powerlung" for a rider who loses his lungs before his legs?
Are you kidding?Thioderek
May 19, 2001 7:27 PM
Tell me you are kidding. I have never heard of anything remotely like this.
Apparently notmike mcmahon
May 19, 2001 7:40 PM
I just typed in and found the contraption he's talking about. I haven't had a chance to read about it yet, but my guess is that it's about as effective as the fat-burning cream that I see advertised on the local Spanish-language TV stations. You know the stuff that women smear on their thighs and, without exercising or changing diet, they go from looking like Rose O'Donnell to Cindy Crawford in a week? I can't wait to start being passed by couch-potatoes who go out and buy a Powerlung. ;-)
Apparently notAndrew
May 19, 2001 10:58 PM
I just checked out the site and it sounds a little fishy to me. The contraption sells for $95 plus shipping and handling. My opinion is that you will get the same benefit if you just get out on your bike and ride. Your lung capacity will improve with time and work.

I would pass on this product.

Goofy-looking deviceE3
May 20, 2001 8:14 PM
This product is offered by Colorado Cyclist. It's supposed to strengthen the muscles and tissues that support the lungs. I think the guy demonstrating it looks silly wearing a cycling jersey as he is poised to suck on this thing.

Wouldn't a hard interval session do the same thing this gizmo is alleged to do?
re: PowerlungKyle
May 21, 2001 9:58 AM
I actually saved an answer I gave to this question on MTBR, thinking it would come up again (and again.) Here it is...

Is this the same company that makes pen!s enlargers? (sorry I couldn't resist.)

The theory here is not to increase your lung ‘capacity' (not a limiting factor in a healthy person) but to train the ‘breathing' muscles and thus make them more efficient. Is this productive? Yes and no.

At rest, your breathing is controlled primarily through the diaphragm (this is why your stomach moves in an out as you sit at your computer.) When you start really cranking, not only does your diaphragm have to work harder, but you bring your ribcage muscles into play to expand and contract your chest. With training, it would appear that you can (slightly) improve the endurance capacity of both the diaphragm and intercostals (i.e. ribcage muscles.)

But should you, when you could otherwise use the time drinking beer and watching sports?

At low intensities, your body uses 3-6% of its total oxygen capacity (VO2) to fuel breathing. During hard efforts, this can go as high as 10-15% in young athletes with above average VO2maxes, and will go still higher as you age (man, I get tired of hearing that.)

The bottom line: Studies have shown that at efforts below 85% of VO2max (pretty close to a race pace for most people) the fatiguing of your respiratory muscles isn't a limiting factor. Above this level of effort, though, it is possible that this could be a performance limiter. I don't think anyone is sure about this (or at least they weren't in '97 when the paper I'm getting a lot of this from was written.)

Based on the above, it seems to me that training time would be better spent doing more productive things.