Emilee M. Bounds, John H. Sellers, Jessica A. Schnaiter, Bert H. Jacobson FACSM; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Respiratory training masks have been utilized to increase warm-up intensity via increased respiration rate, heart rate, and body temperature without inducing muscular fatigue. However, the majority of such claims appear to be based on anecdotal evidence as opposed to evidence-based research. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a high-intensity warm-up (HWU) using a respiratory training mask on vertical jump (VJ) performance in Division I American football athletes. METHODS: Seventeen male (mean ± SD: age = 17.94 ± .75 years, mass = 104.43 ± 23.02 kg, height 184.93 ± 7.06 cm) American football athletes from the NCAA Division I level were recruited to participate in this study from a Midwestern university. Participants were informed of risks, and after completing an informed consent form, completed two testing sessions to assess VJ performance. Prior to each testing session, a member of the university’s strength and conditioning staff led the participants through a dynamic warm-up that focused on lower body musculature. For one testing session, participants completed the warm-up (WU) without the respiratory training mask, while for the other testing session, participants completed the warm-up with the respiratory training mask. The respiratory training mask was set so as to increase the athlete’s respiratory efforts 12-fold in order to create the high-intensity warm-up (HWU). After completing the warm up, participants executed three counter-movement vertical jumps (VJ). For data analysis purposes, values from each participant’s highest VJ performance were selected from both the control (WU) and experimental (HWU) sessions. A one-way repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) design was used to assess differences between control and HWU results. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS (Version 21.0 for Windows; SPSS, Chicago, Illinois) with statistical significance set a p < .05. RESULTS: No statistical difference was found (p = 0.07) between vertical jump performance using a standard warm-up and high-intensity warm up. CONCLUSION: Using a respiratory resistance mask for a warm-up does not impact vertical jump height, and practitioners should exercise caution when prescribing its use to increase performance.

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