Working Out With A Mask
Fact: Working out with a mask is hard. It’s hard to breathe, you feel confined, you suck the mask into your mouth, and exercises seem more difficult. There’s no getting around it, it definitely makes your workout more difficult. With that being said, there are some strategies to help improve your masked-workout experiences.
First, don’t think that you’re getting less fit wearing a mask. Even though your metcon times might be slower, and you may not be able to move as fast you’re definitely still getting fitter. Your body doesn’t know that it is harder because of the mask, it just knows it is hard. So embrace it and do your best!
The type of mask you use can make all the difference. Don’t get me wrong, none of them feel as good as the freedom of going maskless, but some are definitely better than others!
The most common mask we see is the surgical mask (light blue). The benefit of these is that they are lightweight and disposable. The downside is that when they get wet from your sweat, you’ll be sucking it into your mouth every time you breathe. Probably not the best option here.
Cotton masks are probably the second most common. In my opinion these are too heavy for working out in. They get wet quickly and also don’t fit to your face very well. It’s not fun doing burpees and your mask slides up over your eyes.
Fitness brand masks – Under Armour and Adidas made masks specifically for training. The benefit is that it does get sucked into your mouth and they feel a little bit easier to breathe in. Honestly, these are probably the best available options right now. Unfortunately they are a bit expensive at $35/mask.
Mask Brackets. These are not necessarily a mask themselves, but more of an accessory for your mask. You put the plastic piece on over your nose and it keeps your mask an inch or so away from your face. This way you can look and feel like Bane when you maxing out your power clean. A Bonus is that it is a little easier to breathe and again you wont be eating your mask and choking the entire workout.
Tips for training
- Lower expectations of how you “should” perform. This is a whole different ball game, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get fitter.
- Wear a mask that fits your face. Too big or too small and it’ll slide around.
- Leave a little space at the top of your mask for air to escape. If its tight around your nose and cheek, your mask will get wet faster and it’ll come harder to breathe.
- Set some goals that are strength related. Strength work doesn’t seem to be as affected by wearing a mask, so lets make a push to hit some PRs!
- Bring 2 masks. You may need to switch mid workout for a fresh one.