Elevation Training Mask, High Altitude Simulation


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Messages 1 - 18 of total 18 in this topic
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 22, 2013 - 11:54am PT
I stumbled onto this looking for some other gear, interesting concept, and lots of generally positive comments. Kinda creepy to be wearing it in public. Would it work?


Elevation Training Mask
Elevation Training Mask
Credit: Jon Beck


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 22, 2013 - 11:56am PT
I would undoubtedly forget that I had it on and walk into the bank.

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Oct 22, 2013 - 01:50pm PT

Would a gas mask work for training just as well?

they're a lot cheaper.

cf. http://www.amazon.com/Civilian-Gas-Mask-Haversack-Expiration/dp/B00AB0VPIK/ref=sr_1_5?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1382474936&sr=1-5&keywords=gas+mask


Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 22, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
A cheaper way is a clear plastic bag over the head and tied around the neck.
The more pin holes in the bag, the lower the elevation being simulated.

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Oct 22, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
They are excellent. Make sure you get the extra neoprene strap that goes over the top of the head, it helps keep the mask in position... You will need it.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
The training mask needs to be upgraded into the one shown in this photo--- with built-in cell phone , GPS ,wi-fi, wet bar , and oyster cracker snacks.
Just because you're depriving yourself of oxygen doesn't mean you have to go without the good things in life.
Train for Mt. Everest in comfort!! ...and style
Credit: Ward Trotter

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Oct 22, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
Most relevant quote from user reviews... I was wondering about this:
AMAZING tool for conditioning your intercostal muscles and diaphragm and increasing lung capacity BUT!!!! PLEASE don't think that this ACTUALLY simulates being at elevation. At sea level, you can't reduce the percentage or the partial pressure of oxygen you're getting (at least not without being in a chamber). This does limit the AMOUNT (volume) of air you take in with each breath, but you're still breathing 21% oxygen at a partial pressure of 160 mmHg. Only being at altitude where the partial pressure and percentage of oxygen is reduced will cause you to become polycythemic (produce more red blood cells) and increase your body's oxygen carrying capability. Again, this is AWESOME at increasing your lung capacity, cardio efficiency and forcing you to engage muscles that are rarely thought of, but you will NOT change your actual cellular physiology. Only being at altitude or in a chamber can do that.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Oct 22, 2013 - 03:01pm PT
Jeepers ...

Read a post from a guy on Facebook yesterday who had just came down from an 8000 meter peak . He said he had forgotten all his passwords and contact numbers due to high altitude brain damage ... lol
He was trying to reset and would be in contact with family as soon as possible.

I have a test tomorrow so I think I will pass on this product..

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 22, 2013 - 04:07pm PT
Unfiltered Camels are just as effective training....AND, they suppress appetite so you won't have to drag extra weight up the hill.

Oct 22, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
There's a guy that goes to the same gym as I that wears one around the gym. I say: Idiot.

First, it takes approximately 4 days for every 1000 feet of elevation for physiological changes to occur (I seem to remember something like +/-10 days per kilometer). Spending even a couple of hours each day with that mask won't do a damn thing, especially since air is 21% oxygen at ALL altitudes; you get less at altitude due to lower pressure.

This mask may restrict your air supply forcing you to breath "harder", but I doubt that will help in any way. Even if it does help develop stronger "breathing" muscles, having stronger "breathing" muscles isn't likely to offer any help at altitude since the issue is not that it's "hard" to breath (it's not) - you need to breath "faster", not "harder".

Having stronger "breathing" muscles at low elevation (if this mask even achieves that) may be more of a hindrance than a help: you may find yourself inducing alkalosis. Of course, if the body self-regulates to prevent this (and the mask actually works), then all your training with the mask is for naught.

Either way, seems like a hyped-up product with no real science behind it.

But it sure "sounds" cool.

Oct 22, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#326806

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Oct 22, 2013 - 07:31pm PT
D'wolf... You're a putz. That thing is far from cool. Its actually stupid... But it does help your cardio. It does not help or claim to help one simulate the effects of high altitude.


Trad climber
Oct 22, 2013 - 07:36pm PT
How does it help your cardio? For years the laker use to train @ 5000 ft. they stop it cause there medical team realized it didn't help not even 1%.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Oct 22, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
The are very good studies on the effects of altitude on endurance performance. Up to a point, being at altitude stimulates red blood cell production, which increases oxygen-carrying capacity, which increases endurance. Just like taking EPO (except not banned).
The most recent thinking I have heard is that it is best to sleep at altitude, but exercise lower, where the intensity of the workout is not limited.
None of this, of course means that mask works well to do this.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Oct 22, 2013 - 10:57pm PT
At the most you end up rebreathing a bunch of Co2. So I guess there could be less of a concentration of O2 because you have changed the concentration of Co2 and O2.
Trying to figure out if this would affect the atmospheric PO2 in the mask area but it would certainly affect the users Po2. But the more I think about it the more complex it gets. You could actually suffer a respiratory acidosis while wearing this and as Co2 rises you are going to suffer some of these effects. Imagine what occurs when you breath into a paper bag; which is still the best treatment we have for respiratory alkalosis that is caused by hyperventilation syndrome( panic).

It's also the opposite effect of a non- rebreather mask which is used to increase a pts Po2.

It's really easy to change the po2 of a pt by increasing O2 or decreasing ventilation.
Pretty much this is my primary job everyday right now.

So it may actually work pretty good to use it for training purpose multiple hours a day and then take it off.
There would have to be some well designed studies performed to know for sure.
Be interesting to see the results.


Oct 23, 2013 - 06:35pm PT

I guess that makes you putz squared. Unless you are being sarcastic, I agreed with you - I think the thing is stupid, a waste of time.

Check their site: science, clinical studies, and case studies are all mentioned but there is nothing there except one(!) case study. That study was done on ONE person and that person was the tester himself. Hardly a valid study. Furthermore, even he admits only moderate changes (any of which could be attributable to the exercise itself).

Lastly, they DO claim to simulate the effects of high altitude:

"Adjustable Flux Valve System...to simulate high altitude training..."
"Air Resistance Valves strengthen your diaphragm...resistance valves to simulate different altitudes. 12,000 feet too intense? Start at 3,000 feet..."

Under "Case Studies" they discuss how the reduction of oxygen at altitude, "...promotes an altered muscle metabolism and increased mass of hemoglobin and Red Blood Cells."

"Elevation Training Mask mimics the effects of High Altitude Training."

Their site is filled with references to high altitude training and how altitude affects the body.

The theory sounds good and they talk a good game, but that's about it.

I stand by my statement: all hype with no real science behind it.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 23, 2013 - 06:52pm PT
Frumy, did you mean the Lakers? If so, then I would take issue with yer use of 'train'. Those
wankers don't know from training, except Kobe. When I lived in Albuquerque (5500') I was a
cardio monster, if I do say so.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Oct 23, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
All it does is make it difficult to breath by overing your mouth, and thus causes you to work harder to inhale.

I do not not how or why that would be considered "elevation training."

Devices like this are why we need the government to protect us.

This device is a load of crap.
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