"Athletes Claim These Creepy Masks Boost Their Workouts" - Christian Gollayan
Training masks have been gaining popularity among athletes for a few years now. Gym rats are now catching on. John Serafano, marketing director of the popular brand Training Mask, says that their devices are worn by athletes and regular guys alike. Experts are dubious. For one thing, there are no published studies to back the effectiveness of these masks. It’s basically like “putting a hand over your mouth,” said Joseph Herrera, DO, professor and system chair of the department of rehabilitation and human performance at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Herrera said the training at higher altitudes with reduced oxygen pressure actually can lead to stronger endurance – but that these masks don’t really mimic that effect. Dr. Herrera said that running, sans mask, is the best way to build up your lungs. “Adding mileage goals” and gradually increasing how far you run “helps your body adapt to the distance and the amount of oxygen that you’re taking in,” he said. That said, he’s had athletes who have come in and sworn by these masks’ effectiveness, and he’s not judging them for it.
- Joseph Herrera, DO, Professor and System Chair, Rehabilitation and Human Performance, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai