A Complete Guide to Airofit PRO Breathing Trainer
1: How does Airofit work?
2: What does Airofit PRO measure?
3: Why is respiratory training so important?
4: What are the benefits of Airofit?
5: Does Airofit actually work?
6: Is Airofit the same as an elevation mask?
7: Why is Airofit a better way to train?
8: How good is Airofit?
9: Our verdict
10: How do I train with Airofit?
11: How often should I use Airofit?
12: Why does Airofit use mouth breathing not nose breathing?
13: Is Airofit just for athletes?
14: What sports does Airofit help in?
Airofit PRO has revolutionised breathe training by combining SMART analytics with the traditional breathing trainer. This allows you to breathe better and stronger than ever before. Using it ourselves, it felt like having a personal trainer on hand to guide and progress your training.
Airofit PRO is a SMART respiratory trainer designed to improve your ability to inhale and exhale. Adjustable wheels provide resistance to your respiratory muscles when breathing in and out. The SMART app instructs, measures & progresses your training with custom programs for specific goals.
Want to know more about Airofit? Read on to have all your important questions answered.
How does Airofit work?
Airofit has six adjustable resistance levels for inspiration and expiration to strengthen your breathing muscles. The Airofit app measures your breathing capacity and respiratory strength in real-time, using this data to track your progress and program your sessions.
First you sign in to the Airofit app to register your account. This is quick and easy. Then Airofit ask you if you are using the device for general wellbeing or sport.
You are then given a lung test to measure your respiratory capacity. This is a quick test taking no longer than a minute. It involves exhaling all the air out of your lungs before a maximal inhalation and exhalation.
Using the information you entered when registering and your performance data, Airofit gives you a 28 day program customised to your current ability.
Airofit PRO gives you a weekly lung test and also the option for daily lung tests. When speaking to an Airofit expert they said that ‘taking the lung test is vital to ensuring you are training at the right level and progressing your training. Airofit’s algorithm calculates your performance from each lung test and uses this to program your difficulty level.’
It is therefore important to really standardise your testing and to take it seriously. Treat it like you would treat a training session for accurate results.
During your training you can see your performance live and get feedback after your session. Airofit visually displays and explains the technique you need to apply making it very easy to follow along.
The compliance statistic is excellent. Throughout your workout it shows you how closely you have followed the correct technique and gives you a percentage score after your workout. Airofit’s experts stated that ’80% was good and that 90% was excellent.'
This allows you to follow Airofit’s exercises correctly to reap the full benefit for your breathing muscles. When speaking to Airofit they said that the breathing techniques and patterns they use are based on ‘highly in depth research from breathing experts, working with athletes and analysing your training data.’
Of course the data is used in a way without any personal identifiers, strictly to analyse stats and patterns. Airofit continues to research, analyse and improve the Airofit PRO with updates to make it an even better training tool.
What does Airofit PRO measure?
Airofit PRO measures your Maximal Inspiratory Pressure, Maximal Expiratory Pressure and your Vital Lung Capacity. It uses these values to calculate the difficulty level of your program. It shows your performance compared to similar peers using your height, weight, age and gender.
Here are these terms explained in more detail:
Vital Lung Capacity (VLC) - The maximum amount of air a person can expel from the lungs after maximal inhalation-reflects a larger respiratory capacity leading to more energy production.
Maximal Inspiratory Pressure (MIP) - Maximal pressure when inspiring, measured at the mouth-a measure of inspiratory strength.
Maximal Expiratory Pressure (MEP) - Maximal pressure when expiring, measured at the mouth-a measure of expiratory strength.
VLC allows you to monitor how much of your lung capacity you can use to exchange more air. MIP and MEP measure your respiratory strength which is an indication of how strong and efficient your breathing muscles are.
Why is respiratory training so important?
The ability to breathe more air in and out without tiring whilst using less energy to breathe is influenced by respiratory muscles. Together they increase and decrease the volume of the chest cavity to force air in and out of the lungs. Stronger respiratory muscles provide more energy and use less.
When air is drawn in and out of the lungs your respiratory muscles work to increase and decrease the volume of your chest cavity. These muscles include the diaphragm, intercostals and rectus abdominis or abs.
For example when breathing in the diaphragm across the bottom of the ribs depresses and contracts whilst the intercostal muscles contract and pull your ribs upward and outward to increase chest cavity volume.
An increase in volume within the chest causes a decrease in pressure. Since air moves from high to low pressure air is forced into the lungs. When exhaling your expiratory muscles contract your chest cavity to reduce the volume of your chest cavity to force air out of your lungs. (Source)
By making these muscles exercise against resistance, Airofit makes them stronger. This means you can breathe in more air in with each breathe and exhale more deoxygenated air from the lungs.
This allows you to make the most of the total volume within your lungs by breathing more oxygenated air in and more deoxygenated air out. Stronger muscles also have better endurance and function more efficiently. This means your breathing muscles use less energy with each breathe so they are able to function well for longer without fatiguing.
This is particularly important for those looking to improve sports performance but can also benefit those wanting to improve general well-being, particularly those who become breathless easily.
What are the benefits of Airofit?
Airofit exercises your respiratory muscles by creating resistance. This causes muscle growth, making them stronger, faster and more efficient. The four key benefits are improved Vital Capacity, Anaerobic Threshold, core and respiratory strength as well as core flexibility and rotational force.
Let’s review these benefits in more detail and see what they translate to.
Vital Lung Capacity (VLC) is the maximum amount of air that you can inhale and then exhale after completely emptying your lungs. Increasing VLC allows you to take advantage of more of your lung capacity. This makes you more a more efficient breather as you can take in more with each breathe so you don’t fatigue as easy.
Anaerobic Threshold is an indicator at which it becomes very difficult for our bodies to tolerate low oxygen and high C02 conditions. It is used to pinpoint the rapid onset of fatigue. Airofit trains your exhalation capacity and your ability to hold your breathe with empty lungs. This increases the level of activity required to reach your Anaerobic threshold so you can perform better.
A strong core is important for efficient breathing as it helps provide the correct posture for easy passage of air and also allows us to move efficiently in sports, preventing fatigue. Stronger respiratory muscles mean we can exchange air whilst using less oxygen so we don’t get tired as quickly. By training these muscles Airofit increases the the time it takes you to fatigue.
Airofit also makes your core more flexible. By using the full range of motion of these muscles we can generate more force to move more air in and out of the lungs. Improved flexibility of these muscles has also shown to increase rotational force where the torso twists.
Like an elastic band, the further the muscles stretch the more force you can generate. Golfers using Airofit increased their ball speed by 7% thanks to a more flexible core, allowing you to create more force.
Does Airofit actually work?
Airofit works just like other respiratory trainers have been medically cleared to help people with breathing problems for many years. With regards to sports performance, the evidence indicates that respiratory trainers such as Airofit improve performance and reduces fatigue.
We will focus on respiratory problems later in the blog and focus on sports performance for now.
Respiratory trainers such as Airofit work on a simple principle. The stronger a muscle is the more force it can generate and the more efficiently it can produce a certain force. Practically for breathing this means you can create more force to move air in and out of the lungs.
Also your muscles can produce a certain level of force when breathing without using as much oxygen. This is because when a muscle becomes stronger a certain level of force which we can call ‘X’ is easier to produce than before. The reason for this is that ‘X’ is a smaller percentage of the total strength of the muscle.
For example if I could bench press 100kg for a max rep rather than 80kg, then lifting 40 kg would be even easier.
Let’s see what some of the studies say:
When testing 20 athletes with respiratory muscle training, Airofit saw an increase in performance ranging from 3-15%. (Source)
Another experiment with 68 people concluded those with the highest intensity of training with Airofit had the biggest change in physical endurance and Vital Lung Capacity. (Source)
When using Airofit in this experiment, exercise performance improved: 12-19% in the group using Airofit at a higher intensity, 7-10% at a lower intensity, and 0-1% at the lowest intensity. This was after 8 weeks training. (Source)
Illi concluded that ‘less fit subjects benefit more from RMT than highly trained athletes.’ (Source)
This makes sense as athletes tend to have more conditioned respiratory muscles as they use them more. However at this level, the smallest improvements make a huge difference at a competitive level.
Average people and sports enthusiasts using Airofit for everyday well-being and sports performance can expect bigger results.
In high intensity exercise the respiratory muscles consume ten to fifteen percent of total oxygen and consume 15% of our blood. (Source) Reducing this by improving our breathing can have a great impact on our performance.
Interested in buying Airofit? You can shop our collection here.
Is Airofit the same as an elevation mask?
Airofit is completely different to an altitude mask. The device is used outside of your training session allowing you to effectively strengthen your breathing muscles. Guided breathing modules help you perform exercises correctly and track your progress.
Altitude masks initially claimed to replicate the benefits of altitude training. This was an impossible claim to make. Altitude training forces our body to produce more oxygen carrying proteins called haemoglobin.
This is due to the fact that at altitude there is a smaller concentration of oxygen in the air so our body adapts by producing more haemoglobin. Athletes use this training hack to improve fitness just before a race by training at altitude.
An altitude mask does not decrease the concentration of oxygen in the air. It simply limits the amount of air you can breathe in, not the concentration of oxygen in that air. Therefore you do not get the haemoglobin benefits.
Now manufacturers of altitude masks have switched their claim despite the still misleading name of their products. They now argue that these masks act as a form of ‘functional respiratory strength training.’
This means that as opposed to Airofit which trains your respiratory muscles outside of your training, altitude masks train these muscles while you are working out.
Read on to find out why this can limit your gains and is even dangerous.
Why is Airofit a better way to train?
1. Airofit isolates the muscles to effectively strength train
Strength training involves isolating a muscle or muscle group and applying heavy resistance. We can’t strength train while exercising other muscle groups at the same time.
This is because it takes considerable energy away from the muscles being trained. How can we push our respiratory muscles to their limits when we train other muscles simultaneously. We can’t. Imagine trying to squat and do arm curls at the same time.
You could not do either effectively and multi-tasking will not improve your maximum ability to do one effectively. Airofit is designed to be done outside of your training to properly strength train your muscles.
Your muscles become stronger and more efficient when we can push them to their limits, this can only be done when isolating them.
2. Altitude masks compromise your workout benefit
As we mentioned in the last point you cannot do two things well at one time. For example when running with an altitude mask you are limiting the air to your arms and legs. This means you do not get the most out of your workout as your muscles do not have the fuel to perform.
Your muscles only improve and grow when adapting in response to a need to produce more energy more effectively. An altitude mask prevents this by limiting the oxygen and fuel that your muscles can process and the demand to adapt. You lose out on training adaptations as your muscles have not been using a high amount of energy so the body won’t adapt.
At the same time you are not pushing your respiratory muscles to the limits as your arms and legs are still utilising considerable energy.
Studies have concluded that altitude masks can limit your training adaptations:
The ability to maintain a higher working velocity output during multiple sets throughout a training session could potentially result in enhanced training adaptations in muscular strength and power over time. Therefore, wearing the ETM may hinder long-term training adaptations by diminishing velocity and subsequent power output during single training sessions. (Source)
This is why Airofit is used outside of your training to not compromise your sessions.
3. Altitude masks limit your recovery
Exercising with an altitude mask causes you to train without enough oxygen. This means you produce more energy anaerobically. It causes cell damage which need repairing, increases waste products that need removing and decreases oxygen saturation which needs replenishing.
This lengthens your recovery time and may extend which may increase further with the possible side effects mentioned in the next point.
Your recovery takes longer despite you not being able to push your body enough to maximise your training adaptations. It is a lose-lose situation.
4. It is risky to train with altitude masks
Using an altitude significantly limits the amount of oxygen you get during exercise. When experimenting with altitude masks scientists found ‘significant lower ratings of alertness and focus for task’ and also dizziness. (Source)
12% of participants in one experiment reported adverse side effects including light headedness, anxiety and discomfort. These factors could lead to injury and harm as well as not training optimally in the first place.
5. Airofit is a training system
How good is Airofit?
Airofit has got very good feedback from its users indicating it is a quality product. In a poll of 50 people, 83% of people rated it 4 or 5 star. The digital features, user friendliness and focus on expiratory and inspiratory training make it unique to anything else currently on the market.
To give you the best answer we will give you some feedback from users and our own opinion from using it.
We polled 50 people and here are the results.
33 rated it 5 star. 8 people rated it four star. 2 people rated it 3 star. 2 people rated it one star and 5 people rated it 1 star.
82% gave Airofit 4 or 5 star here which is very positive.
When looking at some of the negative comments we saw a very small number of problems with the battery and system which would be rectified under the manufacturers warranty.
Here are some of the positive reviews:
"Ingenious, simple to use and effective"
Only a couple of weeks into using it but well thought through product design and app is very easy to use. Simple programs are challenging but achievable and you notice improvements very quickly.
It seems like quite a lot of money for what it is when you open the box. The reality of the situation is that within one week lm finding big improvements in my lung capacity and to me that is priceless.
What do we think?
From using the device ourselves we feel that the Airofit Pro is a unique training tool. It is more of a respiratory training system than a respiratory trainer. It tells you what to do each day based on your goals, sets your difficulty and tracks your progress. Live training guidance and feedback after each session make it feel like you have your own personal trainer to guide you towards results.
Airofit trains inspiratory and expiratory training which are both equally important to breathing, despite nearly all respiratory trainers are only inspiratory. Studies have shown that inspirarory and expiratory training together are superior to either of them alone. (Source)
This makes sense as it is not just the amount of air and oxygen you can breathe in that influences breathlessness. It is also the amount of deoxygenated air you can remove so you can maximise the amount of oxygenated air to breathe in. These two factors alone make the Airofit a unique device. In addition to this you can join the Airofit community online. Airofit are constantly working to research and update your device.
To get the best results you need to treat each session as a proper training session. Do it consistently at a point in the day when you have the energy and time to commit to to get the results you want.
How do I train with Airofit?
How often should I use Airofit?
Why does Airofit use mouth breathing not nose breathing?
Mouth breathing is the only way to give respiratory muscles resistance. We can’t apply breathing resistance via the nose. Although nose breathing is more efficient, the goal of respiratory training is to improve muscle strength. Your breathing muscles benefit whether this is done via nose or mouth.
Is Airofit just for athletes?
Airofit is for athletes, sports enthusiasts or those wanting to improve general wellbeing. Studies have shown that respiratory training benefits non-athletes even more than athletes. (Source) Stronger breathing muscles help improve performance whether it be competitive or for everyday wellness.
Carry on reading to see who else Airofit can help.
What sports does Airofit help in?
Airofit can help across all sports. Whether it is a continuous sport such as running or intermittent sport like rugby or crossfit, Airofit can help. Being able to breathe better, maintain a strong core and reduce fatigue is a competitive advantage across all sports.
Airofit positively contributes to three factors which play a critical part in performance in every sport.
First the ability to breathe in air efficiently. Whatever sport you play the better our breathing muscles can perform the more oxygen we can inhale and carbon dioxide we can remove. At the same time stronger respiratory muscles use less oxygen to exchange more air as they are more efficient.
This reduces fatigue and increase endurance by using oxygen more efficiently.
Secondly Airofit improves anaerobic threshold. As we mentioned before this is the ability to tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide before we significantly fatigue. By practicing holding your breathe and improving your exhale power you can tolerate and remove carbon dioxide more effectively. This means it takes more work for you to fatigue, improving your performance.
Finally Airofit contributes to a stronger core by increasing the strength of our expiratory and inspiratory muscles. A stronger core is vital for maintaining the correct posture to carry any movement with efficient technique. A fatigued or weak core creates an unstable body leading you to become unbalanced, use poor technique and waste energy, speeding up fatigue.
Airofit delays this by improving the strength and resistance of these muscles so you can go further. Stronger core muscles also allow you to generate more force improving your power output.
Airofit can help even more in sports like rowing and swimming where the demand on the upper limbs is even higher. There is a double demand here on respiratory muscles to perform sports specific movements and to perform their breathing function. (Source)
When the respiratory muscles become fatigued it causes a reaction called the metaboreflex. This is when the respiratory muscles become tired and the body diverts blood to these muscles. Accessory muscles not involved in breathing also try to help the fatigued muscles. This wastes energy by inefficient breathing and saps energy from your sports specific muscles. (Source)
Respiratory trainers like Airofit help delay this metaboreflex which can happen in all sports, especially those using the upper body frequently. We can also extend this to other sports like rugby, boxing and crossfit.
Better conditioning of these muscles can increase resistance which helps in endurance activities like “running, rowing, triathlons and cycling.’ (Source)
A systematic study found that respiratory muscles training 'improves endurance performance, independent of the type of sport.’ (Source)
So, longer endurance sports will benefit from having a more economical breathing performance. Intermittent sports will benefit from using less energy within each burst and recovering better from each intensive period.
One study that evaluated that those with inspiratory training improved their performance between different sprints by 30%. (Source)
Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor
"This device, plus the app, gives me that extra gear needed to perform better and we always want to perform better!"
"The progress I see on the golf course is brilliant. I hit the ball harder, I hit it longer and I hit more greens in regulation!"
US Para National Team
"After Airofit it’s easy to swim underwater! Now I do dolphin kicks, or really try not to breathe, and it’s super effortless.
2x Olympian in 3000m Steeplechase
"I use the Airofit to train and optimize my breathing muscles such as the diaphragm to ensure the highest efficiency possible."
JIU Jitsu athlete, 2x Nogi World Champion, PAN American Champion
"Airofit is one of the best pieces of cutting edge technology I’ve used for becoming a better athlete.”
Does Airofit help with COPD and asthma?
Airofit is not a medical device but works in the same way as other medically approved devices treating asthma and COPD. Airofit was originally developed as a medical device to deal with respiratory conditions and has positive feedback from users saying it helps relieves symptoms of these conditions.
Respiratory trainers such as Airofit help with the second most important cause of breathlessness, weak muscles.
The primary factor causing shortness of breathe or dyspnea is obstruction of the airway, second to this is weakness of the the respiratory muscles. This causing neuromechanical dissociation-an imbalance between the demand for air and your capacity, causing breathlessness. ‘Respiratory Muscle Training: Theory and Practice’ (McConnell, 2013). In a recent review McConnell provided an authoritative up-to-date report on the mechanisms contributing to patients with COPD suffering from dysenea stating that:
“A common final pathway of dyspnea relief and improved exercise tolerance across the range of therapeutic interventions (bronchodilators, exercise training, ambulatory oxygen, inspiratory muscle training, and opiate medications) is reduced neuromechanical dissociation (imbalance between demand and supply) of the respiratory system”.
Let’s look at COPD and asthma individually starting off with COPD first.
COPD is a broad term covering a group of lung diseases including refractory asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema (COPD Foundation). Users of Airofit with these diseases claim to improve general wellbeing and Vital Capacity within weeks of starting to train with the device. The most robust evidence is from a meta-analysis and systematic review of inspiratory training.
Based on 43 studies it was concluded that:
“IMT using threshold devices improves inspiratory muscle strength (IMT), exercise capacity and quality of life, decreases dyspnea.” (Source)
Another recent study showed the benefit of IMT on reducing diaphragm activation and reducing exertion dyspnea (becoming breathless when exercising).
The study found that:
“8 weeks of home-based, partially supervised IMT improved respiratory muscle strength and endurance, dyspnea, and exercise endurance. Dyspnea relief occurred in conjunction with a reduced activation of the diaphragm relative to maximum in the absence of significant changes in ventilation, breathing pattern, and operating lung volumes”.
This meant that exercise endurance was improved. The diaphragm was more powerful whilst requiring less activation which would improve breathing efficiency and reduce fatigue.
Now we will take a look at asthma. There is less research on the effects of inspiratory muscle training on asthma. However, athletes and people suffering from asthma have had good feedback on how it helps them cope with their disease.
A 2013 systematic review concluded that:
“There is no conclusive evidence in this review to support or refute inspiratory muscle training for asthma. The evidence was limited by the small number of trials with few participants..” (Source)
Despite this there are similar mechanisms that cause breathlessness between acute asthma and COPD. It is reasonable to assume that for some people with asthma IMT will have similar benefits as shown with patients with COPD. (Beaumont et al., 2018; O'Donnell et al., 2019)
“These findings suggest that IMT may be an effective modality to enhance respiratory muscle strength, exercise capacity, quality of life, daily living activities, reduced perception of dyspnea, and fatigue in asthmatic patients.” (Source)
As we have mentioned before, there is also good feedback from asthma and COPD Airofit users.
Here are some reviews:
“I have the Airofit Pro and have been using it daily for 3 weeks - already I have positive changes to my results. I have Asthma and the start of COPD - I have found using the Airofit has helped so much with my breathing and stamina.”
“A very good tool to help with my Asthma. Very slick service and easy to use units. The data is incredible if you like that sort of thing. I’ve seen improvements in my lung capacity inside 4 weeks.
Worth the investment for sure.”
“After 8 days of training with Airofit, I managed to break four of my personal records. Even though I’m an asthmatic, I could get through the high-intensity training without my medicine.
Feedback from users of Airofit indicates that it is also able to also help those suffering from sports asthma too.
Polling 14 users of Airofit suffering from problems like asthma and COPD,13 of the responses were four or five star. We saw a variety of people from over 70’s year olds to sports people showing that Airofit can help across all ages and fitness levels.
We hope you found this blog helpful. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
Click here to buy Airofit Pro!
If you want to find out more about the medical uses of respiratory trainers, below is a list of medical studies:
Effects of inspiratory muscle training in COPD patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2018).
Effect of Inspiratory Muscle Training in the Management of Patients With Asthma: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL (2018)
Inspiratory muscle training reduces diaphragm activation and dyspnea during exercise in COPD (2018)
Respiratory Muscle Training: Theory and Practice (2013)
Dyspnea in COPD: New Mechanistic Insights and Management Implications. (2019)
The role of inspiratory muscle training in the management of asthma and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. (2016)
Inspiratory muscle training for asthma. (2013)
Duruturk N, Acar M, Doğrul MI. Effect of Inspiratory Muscle Training in the Management of Patients With Asthma: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2018 May;38(3):198-203
Griffiths LA, McConnell AK. The influence of inspiratory and expiratory muscle training upon rowing performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2007 Mar;99(5):457-66. doi: 10.1007/s00421-006-0367-6. Epub 2006 Dec 22
Hartz, Charlini S et al. “Effect of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Performance of Handball Athletes.” Journal of human kinetics vol. 63 43-51. 24 Sep. 2018
Illi, S.K., Held, U., Frank, I. et al. Effect of Respiratory Muscle Training on Exercise Performance in Healthy Individuals. Sports Med 42, 707–724 (2012)
Jagim AR, Dominy TA, Camic CL, Wright G, Doberstein S, Jones MT, Oliver JM. Acute Effects of the Elevation Training Mask on Strength Performance in Recreational Weight lifters. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Feb;32(2):482-489
Lorca-Santiago, Juan et al. “Inspiratory Muscle Training in Intermittent Sports Modalities: A Systematic Review.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 17,12 4448. 21 Jun. 2020
Shei, R. J., Paris, H. L., Wilhite, D. P., Chapman, R. F., & Mickleborough, T. D. (2016). The role of inspiratory muscle training in the management of asthma and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Phys Sportsmed, 44(4), 327-334
Silva IS, Fregonezi GA, Dias FA, Ribeiro CT, Guerra RO, Ferreira GM. Inspiratory muscle training for asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Sep 8;2013(9):CD003792.
‘Respiratory Muscle Training: Theory and Practice’ (McConnell, 2013)