O2 Trainer by Bas Rutten
More Power For Your Workout?

O2 Trainer – the invention of MMA fighter Bas Rutten can help you to optimize your performance in sports, at work and / or in everyday life.

This little training tool gives you a variable way to train your respiratory muscles to have more “steam on the kettle”.

In this article you will learn more about how the O2 Trainer works and how it is clearly differentiated from other breath training tools, especially masks.

O2 Trainer, small but powerful?

Before we go into the specifics of the Bas Rutten O2 Trainer, let’s take a quick look at the process of breathing.

The following pictures show a simple representation of the inhalation (= inhalation / inspiration) and the expiration (= expiration), the (orange) diaphragm (= Greek Dia / Phragma, for Greek Dia = through and Greek Phragma = fence) as well as the right and left lung . [1]

Between your two lungs , further to your left, lies your heart (not in the picture). Therefore, the left lung is slightly smaller than the right (viewed from the first person!)

The blue / red trachea (trachea from grch. Trachys = rough) connects the lungs with the upper respiratory tract.

In order to understand what makes Bas Rutten’s O2 Trainer different from other devices – especially training respirators – and how its impact on your organism, we go even deeper into the physiological process of breathing.

The following graphic gives you a very detailed overview of the respiratory system. The terms are all listed in English, those that are relevant, I translated into German!

Diaphragm (English: Diaphragm), also shown here in orange), Lung (Engl. “Main bronchi (right and left)”) and the trachea (English “Trachea”) we already know.

Breathing Air – How Much Steam Is on Your Kettle?

If you exhale normally, there will always be residual air capacity – the so-called functional residual capacity (about 3 liters) in your lungs, among other things to prevent the lung from collapsing (see diagram).

The graph shows you a “normal” breathing process in which on average about 0.5l of breath inhaled (= tidal volume , shown in green) and exhaled again. In this example, we assume a maximum lung capacity (= total capacity of six liters).

After the “normal” exhalation, about three liters of air (= residual functional volume ) remain in the lugh.

If, after the “normal” exhalation, you continue to exhale forcefully, you could exhale in addition to the approximately 0.5 l another 1.5 l ( expiratory residual volume), until you have your natural max. Has reached the exhalation volume and only the residual volume ( callous volume + minimal volume ) remains in the lungs.

As already mentioned, the collapse volume prevents the lungs from “collapsing”.

Dead space vs. alveolar ventilation

Note: Lungs is the name of the entire organ. The bronchi (lung branches) are therefore only IN the lungs (see right picture). Visualize and simplify the bronchi like the branched branch system of a tree (see picture left picture).

The bronchi are divided into individual bronchi lobes (“lobar bronchus”).

For example, the right lung has three bronchi lobes (upper, middle, superior, middle, inferior), and the left lung two bronchi lobes (superior, inferior).

The trachea and the bronchi are involved in the breathing process, but not in the gas exchange !

Your (windpipe) main task is, among other things, in the cleaning of the inhaled air (from dust or microorganisms, for example) as well as the warming of the breathing air and the water vapor saturation.

Since the trachea and bronchi (as well as nose, throat and larynx) are not involved in gas exchange, the process of inhalation in these areas is referred to as dead space aeration / ventilation / volume .

As alveolar ventilation (Latin alveolus = demin of alveus = depression, tub, depression, here: alveoli) [3] on the other hand refers to the gas exchange of the lungs with the ambient air (ie of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2)).

Imagine the alveoli (alveoli) like a grapevine (see picture).

How much of the inhaled air is “lost” as a dead space aeration, and how much is actually available for a gas exchange of the alveolar ventilation, decides the depth of inspiration or the tidal volume (see diagram above).

The respiratory gas exchange is regulated by the respiratory center of the brainstem, which is based on blood gas values.

The external breathing exchanges respiratory gases with the environment (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide), the inner respiration with the cell metabolism.

More about the inner respiration (= cellular respiration of the mitochondria) you will find in my article about microcurrent .

Inhale and exhale with the 02 Trainer – Training the respiratory muscles

The Bas Rutten 02 Trainer is – as already mentioned – designed to train your respiratory muscles and indirectly also the respiratory muscles.

In the case of respiratory muscles contracting (contracting) through inhalation (diaphragm lowers, rib muscles raises chest) the lung volume is increased. This lowers the pressure and air flows into the lungs.

When the breathing muscles relax, the lungs return to their original position, the volume in the lungs drops, the pressure rises, air can flow out. The process is reversed.

The respiratory muscles include:

  • Diaphragm (diaphragm)
  • Intercostal muscles (intercostal muscles, Latin inter = between, Latin costa = rib = Greek pleura)

The respiratory aid muscles include:

  • Head turning (M. sternocleidomastoideus)
  • Sawtooth muscles (mm. Serrati)
  • Pectorals (mm. Pectorales)
  • Stair muscles (Mm. Scaleni)
  • Trapezius muscle (with trapezius)

Bas Rutten – the man behind the O2 coach

Bas Rutten , who is actually called Sebastian Rutten, is a former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter born in the Netherlands in 1965. He now lives in the state of California, USA, where he works as a commentator and actor.

To a broader audience Rutten is probably mainly from series such as “King of Queens”, “Kevin Can Wait” known – in which he always smaller guest appearances had – or from the movie ” The Heavyweight ” (Original title: “Here comes the boom”) with comedian Kevin James.

Rutten claims to suffer from asthma for a long time. In the course of this disease and through his decades of training know-how from the various martial arts (including Thai boxing, teakwondo and Kyokushin karate) he developed the O2 coach.

The O2 Trainer does not simulate altitude training!

The O2 Trainer is not an apparatus to simulate training in hypoxia – also known as altitude training. But this is not his job and so not intended and intended by Rutten. [5]

The O2 Trainer should serve to exhale against a resistance, but without resistance, so that the lungs can empty as completely as possible (except for the reserve volume).

The aim is to train the respiratory muscles (esp. The diaphragm and the intercostal muscles).

Rutten explains:

Fatigue makes cowards out of men ” in German about: “Fatigue makes cowards cowards”.

This refers to a situation in combat when you are no longer able to maintain your cover, for example, or simply there is no “gas in the tank” and you start to feel weak.

How does it work?

The O2 Trainer has a mouthpiece that looks like a snorkel. There is an air inlet on the right side and an exhaust valve on the left side (from a first-person perspective). (see pictures).

The O2 Trainer comes with a total of 14 interchangeable air intakes, which are getting smaller and smaller from 0 to 14 in diameter. There is an optional nose clip (which is basically not required).

The ever-smaller air intakes restrict (hinder) inhalation, but allow a resistance-free exhalation. That’s exactly where the small but subtle difference to training masks lies.

Because these make it difficult to exhale, which means that there is always air left in the lungs, which could actually have been exhaled.

Rutten recommends using the O2 Trainer to perform breathing exercises twice a day, exhaling 30 times and breathing in an explosive control with the help of the O2 Trainer. (see video )

This can then be used for (martial arts) ideally six to eight weeks before a competition to provide for optimized breathing / oxygenation.

Of course, the O2 Trainer can also (additionally) be used during any other physical activity.


The trend to use breathing masks for (strength) training is currently a real hype. The question is whether you can / should throw Bas Rutten’s O2 coach into a pot with these masks.

For one, the O2 Trainer is not a mask, and on the other hand, it is clearly differentiated by its function of training masks!

Since I encounter new training tools, techniques, etc. always open – but with healthy basic skepticism – I had also asked myself here at the beginning whether and how (fast) you can actually achieve visible or noticeable results.

I must confess that I’m really positively surprised, especially about the speed with which one can feel the deeper breathing.

A deep – so-called “abdominal breathing” – always makes sense, because it allows you to use your lungs to the tips. Most people breathe too shallow and probably never use their entire lung volume.

Deeper breathing is therefore not only beneficial in sports, but also in all other situations.  

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Literature on the topic

[1] Cf. Latin-Greek Vocabulary in Medicine, Becher et al., 1991, p. 68.

[2] See trachea (substantiation of the adjective from the common line he tracheia arteria “the rough artery”, ie the trachea, from which the artery was distinguished as he leia arteria “the smooth artery”). Latin-Greek vocabulary in medicine, Becher et al., 1991, p. 230.

[3] Cf. Latin-Greek Vocabulary in Medicine, Becher et al., 1991, p. 36.

[4] See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR5UxdWK_YU , access v. 01.25.18.

[5] See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR5UxdWK_YU , access v. 01.25.18.

[6] See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFbmNhbVZaA , access v. 07/02/18

Note: For legal reasons, I would like to point out that this blog article does not represent any medical treatment, diagnosis, medical statements or recommendations for action. It merely reflects my own experiences / views and is expressly for informational purposes only!