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Training Mask 3.0, MSRP: $70 – BUY NOW
SKI Gear 360 Review
Want to get the maximum benefit from your workouts without adding time, weight, or reps? Wear a training mask. The idea behind the mask training technique is simple: When oxygen is restricted by breathing through the mask, your heart and lungs have to work slightly harder, boosting endurance and recovery. When you take the mask off, your body’s respiratory and cardiovascular systems are stronger, ready to better utilize available oxygen, resulting in improved athletic performance. Masks were originally marketed for altitude-prep—for simulating a low-oxygen environment—but now they have become more mainstream.
Our tester liked the look of the Training Mask 3.0 out of the box. The all-black, sleek design is paired with composite rubber that looks really durable (it’s also available in white and other patterns). Our expert’s first venture out was a run. Except for a hint of claustrophobia and a few odd looks from passersby, the mask was comfortable and stayed in place during a high-impact workout. Next, we took it on a hike, which was more enjoyable with the mask, partly because the workout was lower intensity. The third trial workout was a weight-training and agility session consisting of plyometric and jump rope intervals. The mask definitely made this workout far more challenging.
The Training Mask 3.0 also lets you adjust airflow, a key feature for customizing your workouts. Our tester spent most of her workouts at the 3x setting, with a few trial intervals at 0x and 6x. Dial it up to work harder, dial it down for a reprieve. She says she can see how regular use of a training mask can easily improve overall performance and strengthen cardio power.
To be clear, the Training Mask 3.0 is not meant for COVID protection during exercise (check out the Performance Filtration Trainer for that). But anyone who is looking to ramp up lung function during cardio output would be wise to give this mask a go in an open-air setting or private gym space.
Training Mask 3.0, MSRP: $70 – BUY NOW
Consumer Ratings From Around The Web
SKI Reader Review
I used the Training Mask 3.0 for two weeks, 3x/week at my gym, The Alpine Training Center in Boulder. Colo. I think the concept of the mask is interesting and I could really feel my diaphragm and lungs working harder to draw each breath. I can definitely see how in the long run, this would strengthen those muscles and lead to a stronger overall respiratory system and better stamina in cardio and strength workouts. I had a bit of trouble with the strap that goes around the back of your head—it’s supposed to be half above the ear and half below, but it kept sliding down around my neck, which put more strain on the front of the mask over the bridge of my nose. It’s also worth noting that even in the most open setting, the mask limited airflow to around half of normal. During the mid- to high-intensity sections of the workout, I struggled to take in enough air. My recommendation for this product would be for people who want to strengthen their respiratory system doing low- to moderate-output activity and in an open-air setting. With steady use, athletes can work their way up to high-intensity workout with the mask on, but new users should take it slow and most important, be consistent. I can see how using the Training Mask 3.0 consistently can increase one’s overall cardio and strength conditioning.
—Jim Lamancusa, Boulder, Colo.