Authors:
Michael S. Brian Department of Health and Human Performance, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH, USA
Department of Kinesiology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA

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Ryanne D. Carmichael Department of Health and Human Performance, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH, USA

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Felicia R. Berube Department of Health and Human Performance, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH, USA

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Daniel T. Blake Department of Health and Human Performance, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH, USA

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Hunter R. Stuercke Department of Health and Human Performance, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH, USA

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Evan L. Matthews Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, USA

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Abstract

No studies have directly measured ventilatory and metabolic responses while wearing a respiratory training mask (RTM) at rest and during exercise. Eleven aerobically fit adults (age: 21 ± 1 years) completed a randomized cross-over study while wearing an RTM or control mask during cycling at 50% Wmax. An RTM was retrofitted with a gas collection tube and set to the manufacturer's “altitude resistance” setting of 6,000 ft (1,800 m). Metabolic gas analysis, ratings of perceived exertion, and oxygen saturation (SpO2) were measured during rest and cycling exercise. The RTM did not affect metabolic, ventilation, and SpO2 at rest compared to the control mask (all, effect of condition: P > 0.05). During exercise, the RTM blunted respiratory rate and minute ventilation (effect of condition: P < 0.05) compared to control. Similar increases in VO2 and VCO2 were observed in both conditions (both, effect of condition: P > 0.05). However, the RTM led to decreased fractional expired O2 and increased fractional expired CO2 (effect of condition: P < 0.05) compared to the control mask. In addition, the RTM decreased SpO2 and increased RPE (both, effect of condition: P < 0.05) during exercise. Despite limited influence on ventilation and metabolism at rest, the RTM reduces ventilation and disrupts gas concentrations during exercise leading to modest hypoxemia.

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