Face Masquerade: Do fitness masks actually help workouts?

You certainly see plenty of things at the gym on a daily basis, items, people or actions that catch your eye.

From the new exerciser working out in his jeans, to the mom who can’t manage her way through a circuit without throwing up her arms in disgust or the always present gym attire that is either too large or too small for one’s body, the gym is always bustling with plenty to talk about or discuss.

Even the workouts themselves or the latest and greatest equipment is up for debate.

But one particular piece of attire is not only a discussion point, but most of the every day gym crowd doesn’t in know what it is

Take in deep breath ironically and listen to this: a facemask that is designed to cover your mouth and increase your lung capacity and thus make your workout better. They are technically referred to as elevation training masks, and the goal behind using them is to simply add longevity and intensity to the exercise and training.

The real question, however, is do they actually work?

Some experts believe this product is positively smoke and mirrors and does little if anything as advertised. You’d be hard pressed to assume that a product of this ilk would be totally worthless but some are overly skeptical that it’s more about selling an idea of having fresh air to breathe and promising a better result, when in actuality you’re getting something that makes little to no difference in how you workout.

The end result is the mask is just that, a mask. It makes breathing harder because it quite frankly is covering most of your mouth and nose. The idea that the mask helps with breathing is true but only in the purest and simplest sense. If you take the mask off, airflows freely and breathing isn’t hard. It’s easy, really.

That isn’t so much about a mask that helps you breath earlier, but the notion that this elevation-training mask could be replaced with any sort of mask and still accomplish the same thing. It remains to be seen if the elevation make does what it says.

By the looks of it, this headgear comes across as a reach rather than what the future of the fitness industry holds in the palm of its hand. Spending money on unfiltered air or a better workout won’t be on the top of the lists of exercisers when these masks are included in this conversation.

Rest easy, however, these masks are more about those who will try anything to get ahead in the fitness game then the actual results being achieved.