So have you noticed that when you go around certain MMA gyms you see a lot of athletes trying Elevation Training Masks. But do they actually give you any proven benefits? Yes they make you look like a badass ninja, or an excellent Bane look alike, but do they actually assist high level MMA training?
Well today at the MMA Gateway we will dive deeper into this question to give a full review getting to the scientific facts about these masks and where you can pick some up if you want to try yourself.
Honestly there is a lot of mixed reviews and conflicting science about Elevation training masks in MMA, so i’m not going to sugarcoat any of that in this article.
Let’s start by looking at what the masks are suppossed to simulate, which is an effect from elevation or altitude training called Hypoxia.
Why High Altitude training?
The thought process behind high altitude training is to benefit from three major benefits from Hypoxia –
- It increases the volume of red blood cells in the body, which raises one’s endurance levels. Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone that is released at an accelerated rate at high altitudes, EPO acts to stimulate red blood cell production. This is why some athletes try to get an advantage in MMA and various sporting events by injecting EPO into their body, which depending on the drug testing in the particular competition could be illegal.
- The muscles in the body are used more efficiently at high altitude.
- It can increase a person’s strength, speed, aerobic endurance and recovery times, which is a major benefit when competing of course.
Do Elevation Training Masks really work?
Well long story short is that nobody really knows at this point, there are plenty of studies that conflict each other, but I would say that for the most part no they do not work in what they are intended to do.
I would say at best training masks could possibly assist some to breathe more efficiently, but its very unclear if they actually assist athletic performance in anyway.
In fact I think they may even harm you if you train in them too often this article was a great piece of studying by the writer.
He highlights that training masks claim to recreate Hypoxia, which means low oxygen which is what happens when you train at high altitude. But these Elevation training masks actually create a different effect called Hypercapnia, which happens when there is too much Carbon Dioxide in the blood.
Hypercapnia can cause: Reduced neural activity, Increased cardiac output, Elevated blood pressure, Possible loss of consciousness, Disorientation, Possible convulsions and in severe cases, death.
The masks are essentially to my understanding creating a Hypoventilation effect, which restricts the breathing generally and it gives you dangerous levels of Carbon Dioxide which puts a lot of strain on your heart and lungs.
Also studies do show that these Elevation training masks actually decrease your training intensity, as wearing one is like putting duct tape over your mouth before a long run. This will of course be harder, but you will not be able to run as hard then if you didn’t put duct tape on your mouth.
Also another obvious red flag is that Elevation training masks cost typically less then £100, when there are actually large Hypoxia/Hyperbaric Chambers that high level professional athletes use which are in the thousands. If I tried to sell you a car for £100 claiming it could do what a £50,000 car could, you would question me right?
Well if you want to try an Elevation Training Mask, then you can do that HERE but I would say proceed with caution, I will not be doing any full reviews of Elevation Training Masks, because I think the negatives outweigh the positives mostly and I do not want to encourage the purchase of equipment which could be harmful, especially in a sport like MMA where enough harm is dished out among training partners as it is.
Also don’t forget that if you have any high blood pressure or cardiovascular issues, then you should definitely avoid using these training masks under any circumstances.
The actual safest way to get the benefits of Hypoxia from elevation is actually to live at high altitude and train at low altitude.
Anyway that’s all for today, I hope you have enjoyed reading as usually, so don’t forget to like, share, subscribe and stay tuned for more from the world of MMA right here at the MMAGateway.
See you round!