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Review: Elevation Training Mask 2.0

This week, we take a moment to review the Elevation Training Mask 2.0. Check out that review below or watch  the battle of the masks in our Elevation Training 1.0 vs Elevation Training Mask 2.0 here.

Item: Elevation Training Mask 2.0
Price: 
$91 USD
Manufacturer: 
Training Mask
Purchase:
www.trainingmask.com

The Elevation Training Mask 2.0 is essentially a mask that covers your face and controls the amount of oxygen going it your body. The ideal is simple: restrict the amount of oxygen into your body to make workouts more difficult, and improve your overall fitness.

This latest model is an updated version of the original Elevation Training Mask, which was a lot bigger in size and less practical for functional fitness athletes. We reviewed the original Mask over a year ago and had mixed results with it, so we were keen to see what improvements were made to the second version.

The Elevation Training Mask 2.0 uses a number of valves and plastic caps to control the amount of air coming into your body, with tougher settings for advances users, and easier settings for beginners. Just like the original Training Mask, there are some theories that suggest the 2.0 version can increase your red blood cell count, your overall cardiovascular ability and your lung capacity.

I’ve used the mask for the past year and had some good and bad results when using it. So here is a closer look at what I liked about the mask, what I didn’t like, my overall conclusion, and whether or not you should buy the Elevation Training Mask 2.0.

Elevation Training Mask 2.0

The Good

It works: As soon as you put the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 on your face you will notice your breathing is restricted. You should find it tougher to get oxygen into your system, you should find breathing a lot harder, and you should find yourself concentrating more on your air flow, inhaling and exhaling. When you use the mask for the first time you may encounter a period of panic in the first few minutes – It’s quite common for beginners to want to rip the mask off their face to get some much-needed oxygen. However, the more you use the mask, the more comfortable you will be with it, and the less you will panic while wearing it. Either way, the mask definitely controls the amount of oxygen into your system, and you will certainly feel the difference while wearing it.

Visibility: The mask provides a tight fit around your nose and mouth, but it doesn’t cover your eyes, meaning your vision is not affected. Unlike the original Training Mask, the 2.0 allows you to maintain peripheral vision while working out, and there are no restrictions to your vision. While wearing it, you should be able to clearly see up, down and sideways without a problem. In functional fitness you need your peripheral vision so that exercises like box jumps, O-lifting, pull-ups, muscle-ups, handstand push-ups and other skills don’t become hazardous. I did a number of functional fitness workouts while wearing the mask and never really felt like my vision was affected.

Elevation Training Mask 2.0

Fit: The Elevation Training Mask 2.0 comes in three different sizes: small, medium and large. Personally, I’ve found the mask to fit perfectly around my head and have never had any issues with it falling off during workouts, or even moving out of position. The elastic straps make it easier to find the perfect fit, and you won’t have any issues with your hair getting caught while putting it on and taking it off. However, if you do find the mask to be a little loose on your head, there is also a head strap you can use to make the mask more stable while working out.

Size: One of the great features of the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 is its size. The mask is literally small enough to fit in your pocket and won’t take up much room in your gym or training bag. It’s also easy to scrunch up and keep stored away in tight places like a glove box in your car, or a drawer at your work desk. The size makes the mask very accessible and easy to use.

Elevation Training Mask 2.0 caps

The Bad

Confusing: The Elevation Training Mask 2.0 comes with a user manual and a DVD with all the information on how it works. However, the mask can still be a bit confusing to use. Changing the settings from an easier level to harder one (and vice-versa) isn’t as easy as just switching over a cap. The mask comes with seven individual caps and three valves, all of which work together to create different settings. Sometimes you might have to turn a valve up the other way to get a desired setting, and some combinations don’t work with other combinations. Basically, I found myself referring to the user manual every time I wanted to change the settings, making it tedious and annoying. It can also be frustrating when you are in the middle of a workout and realise you have the mask on an unwanted setting. There is nothing worse than having to stop your workout just to read a user manual!

Appearance: How often do you see people training in a mask? Not often. And when you do, it’s fair to say they stand out a lot. The reality is, when you use the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 at your CrossFit affiliate, you will probably have people staring at you and calling you names like Bane from Batman. Personally. I was a bit hesitant to wear the mask while training at my box, running around my block, or even bike riding in my neighbourhood, purely because of its appearance. If you are going to buy the Elevation Training Mask 2.0, be aware there may be some social settings where you might stand out a bit when using it.

Elevation Training Mask 2.0

Cleanliness: The inside of the mask is actually quite small, which is great for some things, but not so good for cleanliness. While working out, it can often become hot and humid inside the mask, which may result in a lot of moisture from sweat and saliva. Without going into too much detail, the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 is not as clean as some people might hope it to be. So all you ‘Germaphobes’ out there, it might be something worth noting.

Fidgety: As mentioned before, the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 comes with seven small caps, and three valves. The caps are made from plastic and could break easily if you don’t take care of them. In addition, these pieces are also very small and can be lost or misplaced quite easily. I found all these pieces annoying to carry and often had to scrounge through my gym bag after misplacing some of them.

Elevation Training Mask 2.0 new

Conclusion

Personally, I had some really good experiences with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0. I found it gave me an extra element to my training and made my workouts a lot harder. I also found myself focusing more on my breathing and using my abdominal muscles more while wearing the mask.

For MMA fighters or jiu-jitsu enthusiasts, the mask is a great product and it will teach you to control your breathing and to cope better in situations where your oxygen intake might be reduced. For example, the training mask might help you feel more comfortable while being ‘choked–out’. Likewise, if you are used to running at high altitudes it might help too.

All up, I think the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 has a number of positives. However, does it really increase your red blood cell count? Does it really improve your overall cardiovascular ability? And does it really improve lung function? Without being put under a clinical trial and having my blood tested, I don’t think it does.

Elevation Training Mask 2.0

During my 12 months using the mask, I didn’t notice a massive increase in my fitness or my overall lung capacity, and I can honestly tell you I didn’t notice any major improvements in my overall performance. While you will still get some benefits from using the mask, don’t buy it expecting to see phenomenal results.

So in a nutshell, is the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 worth buying? If you are an elite CrossFitter or fitness professional, then yeah, it’s a great tool. For $90 it’s a great addition for any gym bag and will add an extra element to your training. But for the average functional fitness athlete, and for someone on a budget, I don’t think it is worth it.

If it’s price tag was $50, I’d be happy to pay the money for it, but for $90, I would prefer to spend my cash elsewhere.

  • lota

    I do Jui Jitsu and on a competision level ! What do you think would this be good for my traning ?

    • As I mentioned in the video review Iota, I think it would be a good tool to help you feel comfortable in situations where you might not have a lot of oxygen. For example, when you are rolling with someone in Jui Jitsu there are many times when you might not be struggling to breathe or even close to be being choked out. The mask may help you feel more relaxed in these situations, and help you perform better in them. I’ve found it helped my swimming and surfing a little bit as I felt more comfortable being out of breathe, and i was better prepared for those situations. Hope that answers your questions 🙂
      Cheers,
      John

  • benergy2k

    I’m an ultra marathoner who is from deep south texas – it’s flat. I’m training for a mountain race in new mexico (50miler), so I purchased it thinking it might help me w/ the oxygen intake or in prep for altitude running.

    • nicg003

      Did you gain any performance from using the training mask? I am training for a couple 50k’s and a 50 miler in the next few months and was wondering if this really did help?

      • Michael

        Hi! I bought the mask and just received it yesterday, I play soccer and am using it to get in better shape for the winter months and work on my fitness. I can say I have noticed an immediate impact from it when running on the treadmill. I often struggle to run a mile under 530 but after warming up with a mile of mask on and then run a mile after with it off, I noticed I was able to run a lot more because of the better breathing and almost got under a 5:00 mile with no struggle. I would hope that long term use will definitely help me but so far so good!

  • airon

    how to do you clean it?

    • Hi Airon,
      The caps pull apart and can be cleaned easily. But it can get a bit messy during workouts with sweat and saliva.

  • Roni

    Just a small gripe, but this doesn’t actually reduce the oxygen content of the air in your lungs (once you’ve managed to pull it inside, which is a bit more restricted), so it’s closer to the experience of having too weak muscles around the lung than being (or training) at high elevation.
    This is disregarding the fact that most scientific studies have suggested that for biggest benefit it actually makes sense to live high and train low.

    Think of it as more of a training device for the muscles used for breathing.

  • Rachael

    When you first received the mask, when did you start to use it?

    • Hi Rachael,
      I purchased the mask almost two years ago and starting using it straight away. I also used it in a variety of different workouts and training styles (cycling, running, etc). As well as CrossFit training, I also used it to train for an Ironman Triathlon. Thanks,
      John

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  • Joe

    Real simple…ditch the mask and just workout. Everybody is tired of listening to you breathing obnoxiously loud.

    • Corrie

      And people are tired of hearing you grunt when you pick up weights that are to heavy for you

      • Orlanjoel

        Turn down for whattt!? lol

  • Phil

    You breath Air (Mix of Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and other gases) not oxygen alone, the mask does not adjust oxygen concentration content and cannot mimic the atmosphere at altitude, which is caused by pressure, thinning the atmosphere.
    Best to save money and buy sports nutrition and a good coach

    • ocdwrestlingcoach

      Truth!

    • Sweet Swing

      A good coach is going to cost you 100 fold this mask and nutricion will do nothing for breathing. This restricts your breathing. Forcing you to control your breaths better. It will strengthen your diaphram as you need to pull harder to get the required breath in. If you can control your breathing under a restricted environment. In theory when you are less restricted (no mask) your breathing should become easier and less eradic as which is what happens when many are running short on breath. They breathe faster.

  • Great review! Bought one for $60: a really good and versatile tool for almost all possible workouts (CrossFit, MMA, BB, HIIT and so on…). Also very useful for keeping focus and concentration on breathing. Like you said, it’s a great addition for any gym bag.

  • Nikkyo

    the benefits of altitude training are not found from areas that lack oxygen, but from areas of lower-barometric pressure. restricting airflow does not simulate training in altitude

  • sean

    Does the size matter or are they all the same when it comes to breathing in it.

    • Josh

      There’s a size chart on the box. It depends on weight but yes it matters cause it goes by weight class and guesstimates how big your head it. Medium is ideal for anyone between 150 and 180 pounds

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  • Jgho

    I am a firefighter and want to work on improving my breathing with my air tank on. I was wondering if this would help to wear when I’m working out simulating firefighting techniques

    • tom

      Mine made a huge difference with my scba breathing. Took a good month or so but man it made a huge difference in my ability to calm my breathing in a high stress atmosphere.

  • 1coolguy

    No way I’d buy it – on looks alone, let alone having you breathing restricted.
    Given that people have trained very successfully throughout history WITHOUT it, I just don’t see its’ value.
    Definitely HIGH on the creep factor though.

    • Jean Noel

      uhhmmmm actuallly allot of ppl did the same training but in high altitude places… it does the same thing but without having to buy a plain ticket to a high altitude area… lol

      • Mdoug

        Actually there is a huge difference between high altitude training and this mask. At high altitude you still get to breath in the same amount of air, it just lacks oxygen. This mask makes it so you don’t get enough air while working out.

        • Jean Noel

          yeahhh but it comes up to the same thing, the fact that you are breathing less Air means less oxygen, your body doesnt really care about the nitrogen and other gaz in the air… its main focus is the o2 in the air for the blood cells to carry them through your system… so this mask is made to recreate the same kind of feeling and effects you would get by training in high altitude… even check their offical site if you’d like

          • DismayedUK

            This doesn’t add up to the same thing. There is no pressure change while wearing this mask. There isn’t a shred of research or anecdotal evidence behind the utility of these masks, nor do they in any way simulate the physiology of training at altitude. Your money and training energy are better spent elsewhere.

          • Sweet Swing

            Well, Energy drinks for the most part are useless but it is a billion dollar business.

            Sometimes a placebo is what many need in order to gain an edge.

          • ocdwrestlingcoach

            You are breathing 21% o2 before you put it on and breathing 21% o2 after you put it on. They don’t work.

  • That looks scary but i think you are right!

  • tbssic

    Training with this product will elevate your performance to the same level as pissing in
    the ocean will raise a fishing boat.

  • terrymartin

    Needs a drain to get rid of excess moisture

  • Mark Swenson

    This thing is a joke to say the least. I have had a total Laryngectomy. So I have to wear HME filters to be able to breathe. If you want to make it harder to breathe and seem like a high altitude. Save a lot,of,money and just wear a wet towel or handkerchief over your mouth. It will do the same thing and not cost nearly as much.
    Looks like a giant scam to me and makes people in my situation being looked at different when out in public with our required MEDICAL equipment on!
    Don’t waste your time with it.

  • J Cole

    Having a training mask is cool. Every time I go to the gym and use it, I like to stand out. People would look at me like I’m working hard and it intimidates others. People would think I’m a serious person working out. It also frightens the females at the gym. Being a little scary kinda turns them on. 😉

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  • Pedro Lasso

    I received my mask on August 1st, I started using it to do some insanity workout three days in a row, and it really helped me, I love this mask, and I will continue using it no matter what, It reduces how easily the air get into your lungs, and just doing that its helping you resist much more.

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