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Acute Effects of the Elevation Training Mask on Strength Performance in Recreational Weight lifters

Jagim, Andrew R.1; Dominy, Trevor A.2; Camic, Clayton L.3; Wright, Glenn2; Doberstein, Scott2; Jones, Margaret T.4; Oliver, Jonathan M.5

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 482–489
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002308
Original Research
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Jagim, AR, Dominy, TA, Camic, CL, Wright, G, Doberstein, S, Jones, MT, and Oliver, JM. Acute effects of the elevation training mask on strength performance in recreational weightlifters. J Strength Cond Res 32(2): 482–489, 2018—The Elevation Training Mask 2.0 (ETM) is a novel device that purportedly simulates altitude training. The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effects of the ETM on resistance exercise performance, metabolic stress markers, and ratings of mental fatigue. Twenty male recreational weight lifters completed 2 training sessions of back squat and bench press (6 sets of 10 repetitions at 85% of 5-repetition maximum and seventh set to failure) as well as a maximal effort sprint test (18% body mass) with the mask (ETM) and without the mask (NM). Training evaluation included baseline and postexercise blood lactate and oxygen saturation measures. Performance evaluation included peak and average velocity bar velocity, total volume load, total work, total repetitions completed, and sprint performance. Adverse side effects were reported in 12% (n = 3) of participants, which included feelings of light headedness, anxiety, and discomfort. No differences were found in repetitions or total workload in back squat (p = 0.07) or bench press (p = 0.08) between conditions. A lower peak velocity was identified during the back squat, bench press, and sprint test in the ETM condition (p = 0.04). Blood lactate values were lower after bench press and sprint during the ETM condition (p < 0.001). Significantly lower ratings of alertness and focus for task were found after squat, bench press, and sprint test in the ETM condition compared with the NM condition (p < 0.001). Wearing the ETM during bouts of resistance training did not hinder the ability to achieve desired training volumes during the resistance training session. However, wearing the ETM does seem to attenuate the ability to maintain working velocity during training bouts and negatively influence ratings of alertness and focus for task.

1Exercise Science Department, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri;

2Exercise and Sport Science Department, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin;

3Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois;

4Division of Health and Human Performance, George Mason University, Manassas, Virginia; and

5Kinesiology Department, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas

Address correspondence to Dr. Andrew R. Jagim, ajagim@lindenwood.edu.

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.