Restrictive Breathing Mask Reduces Repetitions to Failure During a Session of Lower-Body Resistance Exercise

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Andre, TL, Gann, JJ, Hwang, PS, Ziperman, E, Magnussen, MJ, and Willoughby, DS. Restrictive breathing mask reduces repetitions to failure during a session of lower-body resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res 32(8): 2103–2108, 2018—The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of restrictive breathing mask (RBM) on muscle performance, hemodynamic, and perceived stress variables during a session of lower-body resistance exercise. In a crossover design, 10 participants performed 2 separate testing sessions, RBM and no mask, consisting of squat, leg press, and leg extension. The paired-samples t-test was used for session rating of perceived exertion (S-RPE), perceived stress before and after, heart rate (HR), pulse oximetry, and a 2 × 4 (session [mask, no mask] × time [squat exercise, leg press exercise, leg extension exercise, total resistance exercise session]) factorial analysis of variance with repeated measures (p ≤ 0.05). A significant decrease was found in total repetitions during the RBM condition (p < 0.01). A majority of the decrease in repetitions to failure occurred in the squat (p < 0.05) and in the leg press (p < 0.01), whereas no difference was observed in leg extension (p = 0.214). A significant increase was observed in S-RPE during the RBM session (p < 0.01). A significant increase was found in prestress (p < 0.01) and poststress (p = 0.01) in the RBM session. No significant difference existed for HR between exercise sessions (p = 0.08). A significant decrease existed in pulse oximetry during the RBM session (p < 0.01). The use of an RBM had a negative effect on the number of repetitions completed during an acute session of lower-body resistance training.

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