Right now I’m writing this review from my hotel room in beautiful San Diego looking out at the Coronado Bridge. I’m at 18,000 feet of elevation–well, actually I’m probably only at around 120 feet above sea level (I’m on the tenth floor), but because of the restriction on my breathing it feels as though I were sitting at the top of Mount Saint Elias. I’m wearing the Elevation Training Mask 2.0. (Ok, so I have some issues.)
The idea behind the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 is to mimic the effects of training at higher elevation in order to improve performance. While to this point, I cannot provide any scientific evidence that it has made me stronger, faster and better at my WOD’s. What I can tell you is that it certainly makes breathing substantially more difficult, and, with more use, time well tell just how effective is this training tool. Within the first five minutes of putting it on for the first time, I was very close to the edge of freaking out because it did not feel like I was getting anywhere enough oxygen (mission accomplished). Once I got my breathing under control by forcing myself to breathe more deeply, I began to wear the mask comfortably. In fact, I even forgot I was wearing it until I tried to take a drink of water and spilled the contents down my shirt.
I plan on integrating this simple neoprene, rubber and plastic contraption into my training regime. Because of its relative small size, it is easy to pack in my gym bag, it is is extremely easy to put on. There are lots of customizing options as well. The only real drawbacks are that you have to take it off to hydrate (maybe a CamelBak adapter could be in the future?) and that facial hair compromises the seal of the mouth piece (similar with respirators and scuba masks) allowing a small amount of air to leak in. Oh, and I guess it may be another negative that people view you as a Bane-looking-lunatic when you run past them on the street wearing your Elevation Training Mask and HSGI Woosatch-E Plate Carrier (review coming). Then again, that’s pretty cool too.
Where to buy: Elevation Training