- Chronic renal failure can result in a variety of conditions leading to muscle weakness. We investigated inspiratory muscle (IM) performance and functional capacity in chronic renal failure before and after specific inspiratory muscle training (SIMT). 9 men and 1 woman, ranging in age from 22-78 years, while on chronic hemodialysis received SIMT 3 times a week, for 3 months, while 10 others received sham training. Static inspiratory pressures, IM endurance and functional capacity were reduced in most subjects. Following SIMT, IM performance improved significantly and was associated with improved functional capacity, but not in the control group. We conclude that patients with chronic renal failure undergoing maintenance hemodialysis have reduced IM performance, and SIMT improves functional capacity.