PowerLung and the Effects of a Respiratory Muscle Training Program on Respiratory Peak Flow (PEF), Forced Expiratory Volume 1 (FEV1) and SPO2 over an 8 week period
Dr. Joseph A. Sheppard, The Happy Athlete

Introduction:

The complex relationship of the respiratory musculature and athletic endurance is extremely important in many sports today. While the skeletal muscles will increase in both endurance and strength levels during weight resistance exercises, the musculature involved in inspiration and expiration will have the same benefits as well. Research shows that training agonist and antagonist muscle groups improve muscular co-ordination, efficiency and kinetic movements. This relationship is essential for peak performance and recovery in training. During high intensity interval cycling and weight training that function of the respiratory muscles is increased which requires increased oxygen and energy metabolism to sustain these exercise. Respiratory fatigue causes decreased blood flow to the peripheral muscles. The breathing mechanism spends 15% of total energy during intense exercise. Respiratory endurance provides the essential nutrients and elements to the extremities to improve function and performance. Specific respiratory resistance training provides both endurance and strength to the 12 sets of muscle involved in breathing.

Spirometry and the SPO2 pulse oximeter are objective, specific and non-invasive testing to measure lung and vascular function in the beginner and elite athlete. Expiratory peak flow (PEF) is the maximum flow generated during expiration performed with maximal force and started after a full inspiration. PEF is the fastest speed air can be blown out of the lungs after inhalation. FEV1 measures the volume after exhaling in 1-second. Peak Flow (PEF) and Forced Expiratory Volume in 1-second (FEV1) measurements can tell how well lungs are breathing by monitoring airflow. Pulse oximetry is a technology that enables the noninvasive measurement of oxygen saturation, contributing to this measure’s rapid acceptance as a “fifth vital sign” (in addition to temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate) in clinical assessment. A pulse oximeter shines light at two wavelengths—red and infrared—through a part of the body that is relatively translucent and has good arterial pulsed blood flow (e.g., finger, toe, ear lobe). The ratio of red to infrared light that passes through the measurement site and is received by the oximeter’s detector depends on the percentage of oxygenated versus deoxygenated hemoglobin through which the light passes. The percentage of oxygen saturation thus calculated is referred to as the percent SpO2. An SPO2 of greater than 95% is generally considered to be normal.

This study will show the correlation of Resistance Muscle Training on lung function and oxygenation in the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.

Methods:

A 45 year old Ovo-lacto Vegetarian male used the PowerLung Sport version with High Resistance Cells over a 6 week period. Testing was recorded on the Microlife peak flow spirometry and PC based SPO2 Pulse oximeter equipment. During the initial 4 weeks, 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions were performed once per day and the last 2 weeks, 3 sets of 8 repetitions were performed 2 times a day. The last 2 weeks Post testing, no PowerLung resistance exercises were performed during that time period. Interval cycling training and resistance Kettlebell workouts were performed 5 days a week. Nutritional supplementation in the athletes diet consisted of 2 Tablespoons Organic Flax seed oil, MHP Probolic SR Protein powder 1 scoop daily, 1 scoop of FLUID recovery drink and a desiccated liver supplement were consumed. My diet also included 6-7 eggs per week, 7-9 daily servings of Fruits and vegetables, 2 cheese serving per week with 2 Soy (soy/rice milk, Tofu or soy based protein) based servings a day with 2.5 cups of coffee with flavored creamer every day.

Results:

Initial Baseline on May 24, 2012 PEF = 541 FEV1 = 3.69
June 4, 2012 PEF = 633 FEV1 = 3.87 SPO2 97%
June 18, 2012 PEF = 705 FEV1 = 4.04 SPO2 97%
July 4, 2012 PEF = 737 FEV1 = 4.13 SPO2 98%
Post Testing with no PowerLung July 18, 2012 PEF = 650 FEV1 = 3.72 SPO2 97%

Conclusion:

The results of the Respiratory Muscle Training study showed that there was a significant improvement in total Peak Expiration Flow (PEF) spirometry by 36% and Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV1) by 8.3%. This study also showed that there was an difference in the improvement of the total amount of times a day (once or twice) that the PowerLung RMT device was performed. RMT that was performed one time a day improved by PEF 30% and FEV1 9% while RMT that was performed 2 times a day only increased PEF 4% and FEV1 2%. I do feel that during the two weeks of performing two times a day the respiratory muscles were fatigued and were not able to recover as efficiently as when performed the PowerLung device one time a day. There was a slight change in SPO2 from 97% to 98%, which did improve the oxygenation of the blood over a several week time period, but not during the initial resistance training. Resistance training of the respiratory muscles increases strength and endurance and the last phase of the testing with no PowerLung Resistance Muscle Training validated that importance of regular and consistent RMT with the decrease of PEF and FEV1 output levels. I feel that due to the current level of athletic endurance and conditioning that the alternation and significant improvements in SPO2 and PEF was directly related to the RMT on the PowerLung.