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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

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on 13 July 2017
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on 15 May 2012
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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on 19 January 2013
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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on 8 December 2015
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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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on 7 June 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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on 7 June 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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on 4 December 2012
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. Emmett Brown Tradition [ see Back to the future]) telling me that if I spent more time breathing with a handkerchief in my mouth I would have far fewer asthma attacks. Now I must say that I have been skeptical ever since I heard this claim (and it was over 20 years ago) - how nice and amusing therefore to find out that the substance of his claims ie lung resistance training can help breathing was correct! Okay so a handkerchief isn't the hi-tec tool the authors promulgate here (thought I do wonder if you need fancy tools at all actually) but the physiological underpinnings are the same - if you resistance train your inspiratory muscles then they will work better and fatique more slowly when you are running, cycling, swimming.

The back has lovely sections on the underlying physiology (a little dense if you haven't studied the subject) and then a substantial section on the practical aspects. That is, what to do and how often.

I personally believe all the claims, the evidence is fairly sound, the claims not over the top, and I can certainly feel less effort when I am running hard compared to before (having started doing this type of training.) As I said the only thing I am uncertain of is the need to buy the respiratory device, but then it probably does give you a more graduated, calibrated and guaged way to train.

(warning: breathing with a handkerchief in your mouth can potentially cause choking)
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on 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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on 13 June 2011
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!. That's how it['s always been being the handicapped one I'm also the one the gets dumped with all the mindless things that have to be done that No One Else will do but they dump on Me to do for them!!! Ok That's enough about my life!!! Back to the Book!!! Like I said I've just started it and I'm only in Chapter 3. However what I've read Makes a lot of sense as someone with mulitple health issues/condtions one being Asthma I've always looked for things and ways to help make my lungs stonger in anyway that's why I got the Powerbreather's years ago and was amazed at how much they Did help me/my lungs only understanding a little of the science behind them when I saw the book written by Allison and read her Bio and discovered she came up with them I had to get the book!! So I could understand how they work better and who to thank for them!!!!! Because I maybe slighty handicapped but I do compete in Special Olympics Cycling & Powerlifting. and they have helped with my Cycling!! more so than the powerlifting. I noticed a Remarkable improvement in my training after I started usising the PowerBreather's. I was almost able to make a full ride without having to use my rescue inhalor at All!!! where as before I would use it at least 3 x's on the climbs.

P.S. My two main conditions are Cerebral Palsy & Asthma. And it's because of the Cerebral Palsy I have to type one-handed and I hope I caught all the typo's but if I missed some please don't let that keep you from getting this book especially if you are investigating the Powerbreathers's! I truly believe in them!! and have a couple different models.
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