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Breathe Strong, Perform Better [Paperback]

Alison McConnell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.99
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Book Description

3 May 2011 0736091696 978-0736091695 1
Today's top athletes, as well as their coaches and trainers, know the benefits that breathing muscle training provides. From performance to conditioning, the results are clear. Now with "Breathe Strong, Perform Better", you will learn how to use breathing training to excel. In this comprehensive guide, the world's leading authority on breathing muscle training, Alison McConnell, will show you how to apply the latest scientific research and case studies to maximise training, conditioning and performance. With detailed instruction, practical advice and easy-to-use sample programmes you will be able to achieve all of your fitness goals!

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers; 1 edition (3 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736091696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736091695
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Alison McConnell graduated from the University of Birmingham with a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences (Physiology; 1983). An interest in human physiology drove her to undertake an M.Sc. in Human and Applied Physiology at King's College London (1984), after which she completed a PhD in the Department of Thoracic Medicine at King's College Hospital, exploring control of the exercise hyperpnoea in human beings (1989). The transition into exercise physiology was completed when Alison went to the University of Birmingham as an MRC Research Fellow (1986-89). Her research explored the control of breathing in healthy older people, and sought to understand why they are more breathless during exercise than younger people. Her attention quickly turned to the respiratory pump muscles as a potential contributor to breathlessness. Alison took the first step on the journey that led to the publication of her two books on "breathing training" by asking a simple question - 'does strengthening the inspiratory muscles of older people make them less breathless'? Alison set about developing her own breathing trainer, which she brought to market in 1997 as "The POWERbreathe®". After a short period running the University spinout company that brought the POWERbreathe® to market, Alison retruned to academic life. She joined Brunel University in 2000, where she has pioneered research on the ergogenic effects of inspiratory muscle training. Her guide to breathing training for sport, "Breathe Strong, Perform Better", was published in 2011 (www.breathestrong.com), and her guide for clinicians was published 2013 (www.physiobreathe.com).

Product Description

About the Author

Alison McConnell is a professor of applied physiology at Brunel University in London. She is a fellow of both the American College of Sports Medicine and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and is a BASES-accredited physiologist. McConnell is acknowledged as a leading authority on breathing muscle training and is the author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters. She is a regular presenter at international scientific and medical conferences.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book exceeds expectations 26 May 2011
As one would expect, Prof. Alison McConnell writes engagingly and in depth on her specialist subject (she's the world's leading expert), but I guess what impressed me most about this book is not only its encyclpaedic knowledge base but the fact that it genuinely offers the reader a hitherto 'secret' pathway to athletic success. I guess I had not fully appreciated the limitations that even the healthiest chest and lungs can place on athletic performance, or indeed everyday life, but to also read that this limitation, however it is experienced can be mitigated by certain forms of exercise and that breathing related restraints on performance can simply, with the application of comparatively little effort, be 'trained away' is nothing less than astonishing. As Sir Matthew Pinsent says in his Foreword to the book "if you want to perform better or just make exercising feel easier, I urge you to read this book". So do I.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath Strong Perform Better 7 Jun 2011
A bit of an oxymoron to say this book took my breath away - but it did!
Highly recommend this book to anyone looking to iimprove their athletic performance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Max, MD
I started training with the IMT (the Powerbreathe K5) in December 2011. Hesitant at first, now a true believer. The device works! But I wanted to know more and do even better, so I also bought the book 'breathe strong, perform better'. Since I am a runner, I wanted to optimize my breathing and my training with the K5. And the book proved to be a good addition to my knowledge and understanding.

The book has various chapters and parts. First some background information is given about breathing and some scientific evidence about inspiratory muscle training is explained. This way you get a better understanding of the whole breathing process and the possibilities to improve your own breathing. Even if and when you don't have any difficulties with your breathing, it gives you a good idea of the whole process and I bet there are things to improve in anybody. We might think that breathing is something we do automatically, but I encounter many people that simply lost the ability to breath properly. Not a lot of people are belly breathers and the book also gives exercises and tips to become a proper breather again.

The last chapters are filled with exercises and tips and suggestions for specific sports and undurance training (for example running, swimming etc.) and fitness.

If you are interested in (your own) health, fitness and performance, this is the book for you!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works 7 Jun 2011
Many years ago I bought a powerbreathe device and over the weeks I noticed a steady improvement until its effect plateaued and for better or worse I stopped using it. I guess at the time I didn't really know where to go next. After reading this book I now realise there is more to it than just buying a IMT device! Breathing is central to everything we do and when you say it out loud (or type it) it seems obvious, but it really does affect your performance. This book is really, really well presented and although backed up by sound science, is easy to understand. The exercises in the back are well organised and clearly demonstrate how to do them. I cannot recommend this book more highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but layout is a bit haphazard 19 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've always felt that my performance was limited by my breathing, so this book looked just the ticket. I'm interested in sports science anyway and this book has two sections; a sports science bit, and then a section on the exercises themselves, which sounds very good... however, I do find there is a lot of repetition, and one thing that really annoys me is that each exercise page states an IMT resistance level at which the exercise should be performed*... (light, moderate, heavy) however you need to search through the book to find what this means in terms of "number of breaths until failure", which is hidden in the text (on page 102)...

* You will need to purchase an IMT resistrance training device to use this book... I already had one, but I'd be a bit annoyed to find out this fact after I bought the book... having said that -I do realise that's a bit like saying you need to buy free weights to use a book on weight lifting, so I won't mark the book down on that account!

I also found that the book often used unnecessary technical terms in the text which spoilt the flow and would probably alienate the casual reader...

So, whilst I'm not a big fan of the style of the book , I have learnt from it, and I have started to use the techniques described within it... time will tell whether it helped me or not...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book review 21 Aug 2012
By bjpause
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a highly technical book, which could change your perception of how you breath and function! Although written mainly for the performing Athlete it has substance for all who wish to maintain a better than average level of fitness. The organisation of the book allows the reader to skip the technically detailed chapters, more suited to trainers or researchers, and jump straight in at end users exercises and breath function chapters. One for the library, at the forefront of personal physical development.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alison McConnell came to the notice of the sports press many years ago when the first Powerbreathe was launched. It was her research on which the Powerbreathe was based. At that time the running magazines said that it was useful for rowers and swimmers where the inhalation phase is time-limited, but didn't see it as assisting runners. This book explains further research where fatigue in the diaphram and the core / postural muscles led to a measured decline in performance on a range of sports. If you do inverted rows and bridges in the gym, yoga asanas, or ride a bike on the drops or aero position, you know how the conflicting roles of core stability and breathing can be uncomfortable. To overcome this conflict, there are illustrated training exercises to be done whilst breathing through a Powerbreathe. I've always been a bit sceptical of Powerbreathe but the book has convinced me to give it a try.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Repetative
I found this book very interesting at first and it informs you of the latest diaphragm studies but it does become very repetitive and I would go as far as to say one of the primary... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mr. Daniel Sarkozi
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Very goood book, nice new book useful, can be used for fine gain or teaching, good for any athlete novice or semi pro
Published 16 months ago by O
5.0 out of 5 stars breath new life into yourself
first class book . nothing else need be said but since i have to say more i will say it again first class book
Published 17 months ago by keith albert
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and.... expirational.
When I was young I used to have asthma and around the time of one particularly bad attack I remember my uncle (who I always thought of as a bit of a 'boffin' in the kindest Dr. Read more
Published 20 months ago by December Hare
5.0 out of 5 stars More than worth it
As an amateur endurance athlete I have always taken a keen interest in enhancing my performance, yet over time, I have found no adage more true than 'there is no easy way' when it... Read more
Published on 2 Jan 2012 by Andy B
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy from the developer of the Powerbreathe
I purchased my original Sports Powerbreathe device over 7 years ago and have used it on and off since. Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2011 by Jeff Hodgson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good!! Still Reading
Even though I bought the book a while ago I've Only just begun reading it this last week. I've been doing a lot of Odd projects for other members of my family!. Read more
Published on 13 Jun 2011 by Jill R. Greedy
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