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Gym members can breathe a sigh of relief – but only under the protective mask, if it is expected to at the beginning of June to be able to open the Gyms in many States again.

In public transport, when shopping, or the doctor has got used to the mask duty. But how it behaves when playing sports?

Is it even healthy or safe to drive with the cloth or plastic protection over the mouth and nose Sport?

The sports scientist Dr. Dr. Michael Despeghel has studied it for the health portal with different masks, accurate and FIT-FOR-FUN-Interview explains what athletes should in the future pay attention.

FIT FOR FUN: Dr. Dr. Despeghel, protective masks, include in the fight against the Corona of a pandemic in one’s daily life. When visiting the doctor or shopping, even to the hairdresser, gewöht you slowly. But what about the Sport? Can you train at all with a mask?

Dr. Dr. Michael Despeghel: Here, one must of course first of all, be grateful that a Training in closed areas from the 1. June apparently again allowed to take place.

To wear a mask when Training a shift – not only mental, but also for the body is certainly the first.

The more important it is to listen to his body and to choose a mask that also allows for comfortable Breathing. The masks, as we know it so far do not, unfortunately, so good.

That’s why my Team and I also a mask has been developed specially for the fitness training.

But on the FIBO has been seen in the past year, but increasingly athletes with masks to simulate altitude training. Training with the mask, seems to be a Trend?Dr. Dr. Despeghel: In the case of a lack of oxygen in the blood is the kidney and increased erythropoietin and, as a result of more hemoglobin and red blood cells – that, in turn, improves the transport of oxygen.

These adjustments want to be athletes at the high altitude training advantage.

However, this does not automatically, if Breathing is difficult through a mask that is mandatory adjustments of a height training course can be achieved.

The assessment is in line with the results of various studies, the was able to find after a six-week Training with the mask for changes in the hemoglobin concentration.

For this, indicators point to an improved function of the respiratory muscles changed.

For example, the VO2-max-value [editor’s note: could. d. R.: maximum oxygen uptake, the record during the load and utilize.

The value indicates how good is the endurance power of a Person.] be improved, which is associated with endurance performance. The effects of high altitude training may not mimic the mask, apparently, but.

The Trainingsmaksen for the high-altitude training, however, not in front of the Coronavirus, or?

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: Theoretically, i.e., not the carrier itself, but for contact with his fellow men, as a mouth-nose protection.

But these masks do not have a high wearing comfort, are significantly more expensive and also not really intended.

They have examined how different protection masks must be worn in the gyms, affect the oxygen saturation on the treadmill. What Material is recommend the most?

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: Here is a mixture of Nylon and elastane clearly the material of choice. The are these substances that we know of swimsuits or sports Shirts. The have the properties to dry super fast.

Because the next point is that the normal once-a-masks, or the self-stitched cotton masks just in case of stress, a strong damp – that creates, in turn, soil for bacteria and viruses. Thus, a Bamwoll or plastic mask is more likely to be virus spreader.

The only masks that protect the contact and the carrier itself, the medical FFP2 masks. Thus, it is actually rather dangerous to go into Training, because this mask allows much less oxygen, and the oxygen actuator in the blood drops dangerously.

These special masks are not meant to be, for example, for about several hours worn.

What exactly happens when the oxygen saturation decreases because of the mask? When is it dangerous?Dr. Dr. Despeghel: The oxygen saturation of the loading of the red Blood pigment (haemoglobin) with oxygen. Various factors can affect the oxygen saturation, for example, the degree of acidity (pH) of the blood and the concentration of CO2.

The oxygen saturation of the blood is within the normal range between 94 to 98 percent. In the case of a lower value, it speaks of a lack of oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia). The feeling of weakness, dizziness, and General malaise is noticeable.

Under the medical FFP2 mask we had in our sport test an oxygen drop of seven per cent – that is worrying a lot of and five percent below the normal Once – or cotton mask. That is already critical.

The sports mask, we have developed specifically for the Training, provided by contrast, for an oxygen drop of only two percent.

What people should prefer to do without completely on the Training with the mask at the gym?

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: people with the lung disease, such as COPD. Also, asthmatics should avoid a Training with a mask.

Is moderate strength training, such as hypertrophy Training with periods of recovery recommend, under a mask rather than a Cardio workout?

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: With a mask, the sufficient gas exchange allows both forms of training with the mask is possible.

On the path of blood through the body all cells with oxygen, supplies and other important nutrients–. This is referred to as the “inner breathing”.

Until the blood returns to the lungs, changing its composition, the blood is oxygen-poor and enriched with carbon dioxide, as an important “waste product” of metabolism.

The carbon dioxide is disposed of on the Exhale out of the body.

Most people are likely to be Jogging rather continue to be alone outside without a mask. Fitness classes will not be held for the time being. Strength training is probably in the focus, when people go in the future, to the Gym, is it? Warm up on the treadmill and then to the devices with a mask would be acceptable?

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: With the “Oxygym Mask” that we designed for the Training have developed, is a Sport in the fitness centre, also with a mask, easy to carry out. Here are all the training shapes are conceivable.

It will be crucial to observe whether or not you will feel during the training, welfare, and no diakomfortablen feelings by Wearing a mask.

How do you rate in this context, high-intensity interval training (HIIT): Are maximum loads, with restrictions on the supply of oxygen at all possible? Dr. Dr. Despeghel: If you get a cotton or even mask the Sport want to use, you should better not HIIT Training. Here, you should minimize its urgent intensity to around 20% in the endurance area, and about 30 percent in the area of strength training, so no performance orintiertes Training, but more of a moderate workout.

In the case of a lack of oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia) due to reduced supply of oxygen by Wearing a mask, breathing and pulse accelerated. Here, it is recommended to observe during the training the heart rate.

As a guideline, the following applies: 190 minus your age for permanent loads, 220 minus half the age for HIIT-loads.

Accordingly, I advise you to listen to here on the body, or to look at the heart rate measurements and training load, to adjust.

They have developed a protective mask designed specifically for fitness studios: What is it that makes “Oxygym” so special?

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: The Oxygym-mask characterized by a rapid Drying, a high wearing comfort through Stretch Material and an anatomical shape with adjustment of the bands. Of course, you can be at 60 degrees wash.

Workout in the fitness center is also often something with Style and appearance. Fortunately, there is the Oxygym mask in many colors – so everyone can adjust to the individual Style easily. In addition, it is under six euros for everyone affordable.

It is available on The fitness centre are informed about this new mask. Fitness First and Fitness4you are already in conversation with us, to buy it directly for the members.

On what further actions need to set the members, if the fitness studios are allowed to re-open it?

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: The Hygiene requirements are extremely increased, as you can see in the Video below looks. This mask is compulsory when you Enter the Studios, disinfection at the entrance to the field, glove requirements, but also specific applications by turning away at the meet with the other members include:.

In addition, each second the device will be cordoned off, so that the distance of one and a half meters is given, and the devices may even be surrounded by plastic discs. Of course, you need to be after each use, thoroughly disinfected.

Courses there will be, if at all, in much smaller Form. So Spinning classes with 30 people and only 40 centimeters distance, we will not see for the time being.

Members could remain in the inlet to the fitness center, be denied, if this is busy. Or you will need to sign up in the future, possibly even before?

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: Certainly is the logistics to the limits, if, even under these conditions, many re-train want, the Primetime here, too, the challenge is. You will observe this first.

May be then Apps to the advance notification could be useful, the use of a lot of a fitness center per se.

How do you rate these measures and you believe that this could be damaging to the fitness industry? After all, fitness have seen fans for months: It is, if necessary, even without the gym – YouTube and Instagram, thank.

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: damage is the Studios, especially if they do not soon re-open in may. The voucher solution has not so far been covered entirely legally, and that economic risk is slumbering still, if nobody knows when and how to do it more.

I was generally opposed to the complete Lockdown of the fitness center, after all, people should just keep active now fit to strengthen your immune system. The next pandemic is certainly disease of type 2 Diabetes and tumor. For these risks with a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet and Sport, significantly reduce.

I think it is now, but also from a health point of view important to quickly recover and to show the gym members – 20 million in Germany – ways that you, even under these difficult conditions can quickly conquer your Fitness and your health, and especially the efficiency of the immune system can promote.

The majority of people can’t keep it in the long run, to keep fit alone fit.

And unfortunately, it is in the area of nutrition and sports so that, unlike in the case of other addictions, such as Smoking, sweets, alcohol, or other things you liked for far to long – if it is a few weeks out, immense difficulties, to get back in to the good feeling during and after sports.

Are you also train with your mask in the Gym, as soon as this is opened again?

Dr. Dr. Despeghel: Absolutely! I look forward to the Training. My mask will be blue.

The Sports Scientist Dr. Dr. Michael Despeghel

Interview with the sports scientist Dr. Dr. Michael Despeghel

The sports scientist and author Dr. Dr. Michael Despeghel is a guest lecturer at the Institute for sports medicine of the Justus-Liebig-University of Gießen and as an expert in the areas of sports, health, lifestyle, and diet in great demand. He has written over 30 books, translated into 11 languages.

In addition, the Fitness and health expert, winner of the award “Speaker of the year” in 2006 and 2008.

Dr. Dr. Despeghel is on the Board of the German society for preventive men medicine e. V., Advisory Board member of the Foundation for men’s health and the Board of management of the German community of interest for the preventive men medicine. For more information, see


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  • Williams et al. (2002): Inspiratory muscle training fails to improve endurance capacity in athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Jul; 34 (7): p. 1194-8
  • Gigliotti, F., Binazzi b, Scano, G. (2006): Does training of respiratory muscles affect exercise performance in healthy subjects? Respiratory Medicine Jun 6; 100 (6): p. 1117-1120

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*The contribution of “mask of duty in the gym: Is sports with a Mouth guard dangerous?” is published by FitForFun. Contact with the executives here.