Before the Super Bowl kicks off on Sunday, you will almost certainly see Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch wearing a bizarre mask similar to the one seen at right.
It turns out that the mask is a training device that simulates training at high altitudes and Lynch says gives him a “boost” during games according to Daniel Friedman of SI.com.
Lynch was first introduced the mask manufactured by Elevation Training Mask by a friend. The first time he used it he had to take it off after just a half-lap around a training building.
According to the company’s CEO, the three valves on the front of the mask can be adjusted to simulate elevations from 3,000 to 18,000 feet and the result is that the lungs and diaphragm are conditioned to take deeper breaths and use oxygen more efficiently, improving Lynch’s stamina and mental focus.
“With the pregame thing, I don’t like to run around a lot,” Lynch told SI.com. “So, when I do my laps around the field, and I have the mask on, it gets my heart rate up a little, it makes me breath a little bit harder. So instead of going and just running around and doing a whole lot of drills, I just get my mask on, and I get my little boost like (Lynch takes deep breathes and exhales). OK, it’s time to go to war.”
Lynch calls the effect a “boost” just minutes before the game.
Interestingly, Lynch doesn’t have an endorsement deal with the company, first contacting them hoping to buy some. However, now the company overnights Lynch “any gear he needs.”
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