CLIENT - OPRO 360
EXPERTISE - RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION
The Respibelt is a creation of Progressive Sports Technologies that was licensed to Opro 360. The concept is simple, by creating a load on the breathing muscles it is possible to train them to be stronger and improve performance of an athlete. The theory of training and improving the respiratory muscles is one that has been proved previously, but mainly in respirator capacities.
Progressive’s theory was that the same effect can be achieved with a device that limits discomfort (like that of a mouthpiece) and maximises natural range of motion by not getting in the way. This theory was shown to hold up in research run by Progressive in the Sports Technology Institute. Not only that, but the benefits of the RespiBelt were observed by a wide range of professionals seeking improvements in performance, many of which gave a testimonial.
The RespiBelt is a prime example of Progressive moving a product through the entire product development process. In-depth research was undertaken by a team at the Sports Technology Institute on the effect of training the breathing muscles. Included within this team was Prof. Mike Caine. This research led to the development of PowerBreathe, a mouthpiece with the scientific proof of improving muscle strength. To remove the discomfort of wearing a mouthpiece, Mike and the Progressive team came up with the concept of restricting the thorax’s ability to expand in order to work the breathing muscles, rather than using a respirator.
Four different tests were conducted to verify and validate the ability of the RespiBelt to enhance an athlete’s breathing muscles and performance:
– 11 week british triathlon trial
– 4 week running trial
– warm-up trials
– effect on breathing dynamics
Initially, the creation of a breathing restriction device was manifested as a vest initially. Through multiple prototype phases, the RespiVest became the RespiBelt, when tests indicated that loading from a belt alone created the same effect as an entire vest.
And so the RespiBelt was born. Progressive moved the belt through the research, development and validation stages of the product before, eventually, licensing the product to Opro 360.
The research conducted showed that using the RespiBelt increases the running economy of an athlete, as well as breathing endurance, sub-maximal oxygen consumption, % VO2 max and respiratory frequency. More information on the tests can be found at respibelt.com/case-studies/