Quantifying my respiratory muscle strenght

My last 12-week project has been to measure and improve my respiratory muscle strength.

Devices used:

WellO2 (for respiratory muscle training, RMT)

Mybreath (smart mouthpiece that measures metrics like maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP) & maximum expiratory pressure (MEP)

Garmin watch (For estimated VO2 Max)

Training routine:

One session is 4 minutes (17 exhales and 16 inhales against resistance)

4-6 times a week, usually one session daily, sometimes double. Gradually increasing the resistance.

One deload week in the experiment.

Results after 12 weeks:

in MIP & MEP, we can see a significant increase:

My MEP value was already solid (above my age group), so the increase was “only” 16%.

One potential benefit of RMT is increased VO2 Max, I witnessed an 8% increase with estimated VO2 max:

Garmin watch is not the same as laboratory level VO2max test. However, few studies are showing that Garmin’s estimated VO2 max result is around 95% accurate.

The main question in my case isn’t the actual VO2max value; rather, did my VO2max increase during the experiment?

Luckily I have estimated VO2max data in my Garmin watch since 2019. There has not been such a sharp increase before. Usually, data fluctuates ±1, sometimes 2. Here is my data during the experiment vs 6 months before the experiment:

After the experiment, I was unable to beat my MEP record and only achieved a 1% (169 cm H20) increase in MIP. It feels like I have achieved my maximum levels with MIP, MEP, and estimated VO2 Max with RMT.

More info, data and pictures can be found here: Superior respiratory muscles with WellO2 MyBreath (12-week experiment) - Addicted to optimization


Related experiment: Reduced Blood Pressure: Was It Caused By Lung Muscle Training? - YouTube

I wonder how much of this effect could be achieved with regular (i.e. non-resistance) breathing exercises?

All studies that I cited, they had a control group that uses a breathing device but without resistance or very low resistance. Especially in MIP and MEP, the benefit of RMT with resistance was evident, but in Vo2Max the difference wasn’t statistically significant in all studies.

One interesting study stated that Swimmers doing RMT didn’t show benefits, It could be that they have already such strong lungs from swimming training.

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