Altitude Training for Pre-Acclimatization
“Hypoxic pre-conditioning provides protection from acute and otherwise lethal hypoxia (Everest is close to lethal at pO2=30mmHg) by preserving vital organs and reducing the formation and severity of pulmonary and cerebral edema.”
Thousands of people each year ascend to altitude, whether it be for a mountaineering expedition or just a leisurely ski vacation. Individuals spend a great deal of time and money on such trips. Mountaineers must spend weeks at base camp acclimatizing to the harsh hypoxic conditions they will face in their trek to the summit. Even with this investment of time, and regardless of one’s physical condition, the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or other factors preventing a successful ascent or ruining a vacation is always present.
A person’s reaction to high altitude is heavily dependent on genetics. Certain people are predisposed to acquiring AMS more severely than others. However, studies show that 80% of people ascending to altitudes of 13000ft/4000m or higher will suffer the debilitating symptoms of AMS (headache, nausea, insomnia) to some extent. This risk cannot be completely eliminated, but it can be predicted, controlled and significantly reduced in a cost effective and timely manner.
By sleeping at progressively higher levels of normobaric hypoxia and exercising in hypoxia at home before leaving for an expedition, mountaineers can pre-acclimatize and prepare themselves for exposure to extreme altitudes. Similarly, tourists and vacationers that live at sea level can insure an enjoyable vacation by pre-acclimatizing in their home with a simple IHT program starting 4-8 weeks before their trip.
Through the stimulation of EPO production and other physiological effects previously listed, users can expect the following benefits as a result of such a pre-acclimatization program:
- Reduced symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness
- Money saved by minimizing time spent acclimatizing on site
- Increased probability of a successful summit attempt
- Improved power and endurance
- Diminished fatigue
- Decreased recovery time after aerobic and anaerobic efforts
Pro-Tip: Depending on the altitude of your trip, and your experience at elevation, a 4-8 week rental is typically advised with primary focus on sleep training. Active altitude workouts are a great complementary option for those looking to mirror the efforts they will see on the mountain. Additional passive IHT can also be added to supplement sleep and exercise training.
Hypoxico Training for Rapid Ascent Mountaineering
In the last few years, Hypoxico technology has been instrumental in revolutionizing the sport of high-altitude mountaineering. We’ve partnered with world-class commercial guiding operation, Alpenglow Expeditions, to help clients achieve “Rapid Ascents” of some of the worlds most iconic peaks. Alpenglow clients receive Hypoxico altitude training packages to pre-acclimatize from home prior to traveling to their climbing destination. The results has been quite successful and the benefit of accelerated climbs are far reaching. First, the client doesn’t have to make as much of a time investment to the trip. Because much of the acclimatization is achieved at home, most itineraries can be cut 40-50%. This means that a typical 70 day itinerary on Mt. Everest can be cut 35-40 days. In addition, using Hypoxico equipment will increase the likelihood of success on your climb and, most importantly, significantly improve safety.
For a real world example of Rapid Ascent success, read this Men’s Journal article on how Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington smashed the speed record on 27,000′ Cho Oyo – the world’s 6th highest peak. Adrian and Emily accomplished the climb in just 9 days – a feat that takes most climbers two months or more.
“We all made it to the roof of Africa and back in one piece! No headaches or illness, just a fantastic family experience. Our Hypoxico training made all the difference. Hannah officially became the youngest person to legally summit Kilimanjaro on the 17th October.”
“The Hypoxico equipment worked like a charm. On my recent successful summit of Denali I had no issues with the altitude, not even a slight headache. I slept in the hypoxic tent in a spare bedroom at various altitude adjustments for 40 days plus before my trip. Additionally, I used the mask for IHT training on a treadmill. On past trips, because of altitude, I always felt that I was a little behind the mental curve–that’s a potentially dangerous thing in this environment. I always felt like I was in the moment, very aware of the surroundings and conditions. With a lot of luck on the weather, the summit was bagged.”
Hypoxia for Health and Wellness
For decades, doctors and epidemiologists have documented that populations living at high altitudes have decreased occurrences of nearly every chronic disease known to man. Many of these conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and alzheimer’s, wreak havoc on contemporary society and traditional medicine has been unable to solve the problem. In addition, most of the longest-living civilizations in the world reside at elevations of greater than 10,000ft/3050m. This relationship between altitude and health is not a coincidence, and researchers have begun to uncover the science behind this reality.
The cumulative physiological adaptations associated with hypoxic training provide both your mind and body with feelings of rejuvenation. Each session will revitalize your nervous system, leaving you feeling energetic and focused for the rest of the day. Hypoxico offers a wide variety of products designed to maximize the benefits of health and wellness, customized to fit your schedule and lifestyle.
Altitude Training and Weight Loss
A 2013 study found that Americans who live at sea-level are 4 to 5 time more likely to be obese as those who live in high-altitude communities. These results remained constant, even after controlling for other factors like exercise level, socioeconomic status and family history. In addition, Colorado is “the leanest state” in America and the only state with obesity rates below 20%. These statistics are not a coincidence, but are instead a result of the increased energy expenditure required to adapt to the thin air environment.
More energy expenditure = Faster metabolic rate and more calories burned!
The same study also showed that altitude effects the way we experience hunger and satiety (feeling of fullness). The results showed that people exposed to altitude feel less hungry because levels of leptin (the satiety hormone) surge in the body, while grehlin (the hunger hormone) remain unchanged. This remained the case even after intense exercise. So, to be clear, the subject’s metabolic rates spiked, meaning they burned more calories, but they also felt less hungry after the exercise session. This is the perfect combination for accelerated weight loss.
Increase in metabolic rate + decrease in hunger = better portion control and accelerated weight loss
Hypoxia for Asthma Patients
Bronchial Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease for which the cause is largely unknown. Scientists believe that the tendency for development of asthma is hereditary and that asthmatic episodes are strongly linked to the immune system’s response to certain allergens. As there is not a consensus on the cause of Asthma, there is no cure. There are, however, treatments and ways to control symptoms of this chronic disease. Scientists understand that chronic bronchial inflammation in asthma patients is a result of hyperventilation and lower than normal blood CO2 levels. Therefore, the key to a successful treatment is reduction of hyperventilation and improved oxygen utilization.
The idea of using hypoxic therapy for treatment of Bronchial Asthma has been studied in Russia for years, and has recently made its way to the western hemisphere. Studies have shown that a proper IHT program can successfully minimize the symptoms of asthma and the occurrence of severe asthmatic episodes. Through its enhancement of mitochondrial (and thus cellular) tolerance to oxidative stress via increased anti- oxidative enzymes, hypoxic therapy can alleviate asthmatic stress, which is largely a result of compromised anti- oxidative defense. In addition, through improvement of cardiovascular/respiratory fitness, hypoxic therapy serves to reduce hyperventilation and hypocapnia (low CO2 levels in blood). In turn, the desired balance of CO2 andO2 in the blood is maintained, and the severity of asthmatic episodes and chronic bronchial inflammation is reduced.
This complementary treatment for asthma provides significant benefits over conventional symptomatic treatments. Patients can avoid negative side effects of Corticosteroids (inhalers) such as increased blood pressure, osteoporosis and weight-gain. Also, by preventing asthmatic episodes before they occur, patients can minimize chronic lung damage. Through a proper IHT program, bronchial asthma patients can expect the following benefits:
- reduction of asthmatic episodes and chronic bronchial inflammation
- positively influenced immunological status
- bolstered enzymatic anti-oxidative defense
- increased Forced Vital Capacity (FVC)
- increased Forced Expiratory Velocity (FEV)
Hypoxia for Heart Disease – A Tent that can save your Ticker
Watch the below video to see how Hypoxico technology is being used as a progressive treatment for some heart conditions.
“People who completed this protocol have seen improvements in the ability to exercise and improvements in their quality of life.”
Hypoxia for Spinal Cord Injury
Hypoxico continues to work with Dr. Randy Trumbower and his team at Emory university to develop new and progressive interventions to address incomplete spinal cord injuries. The results of various studies have been very promising, showing significantly improved walking speed and endurance in patients.
“What was really dramatic in the exercise protocol was that just a single week of breathing with intermittent hypoxia and walking had an effect size that was comparable to, if not in many cases greater than, that shown in previous studies of locomotor training for 4 to 6 weeks.” – Dr. Randy Trumbower, Emory Unoversity
Hypoxico is honored to support people like Dr. Trumbower in their research. We are convinced the medical and rehabilitative application of hypoxia is only just beginning.
Altitude Training for Athletes
Altitude training improves physical performance at sea-level and at altitude by enhancing muscle function and increasing the body’s ability to uptake and transport oxygen. Through sleeping, exercising, and/or intermittent breathing, individuals and teams can naturally and legally increase power, endurance and recovery.
Athletes in every sport are now realizing the performance benefits that altitude training can have on strength, power and endurance. Through a combination of sleeping in normobaric hypoxia and exercising at altitude 2-3 times per week, athletes can increase performance to otherwise unachievable levels. Scientific studies have shown improvements in VO2 Max and Lactate Threshold by as much as 10%.
The proper altitude training program can substantially boost body’s oxygen transport systems through enhanced ventilation, naturally increased EPO production and increased mitochondrial efficiency. This will allow more efficient energy production both aerobically as well as anaerobically. Ultimately this will allow the athlete to experience:
- Increased endurance and speed
- Less Fatigue
- Improved recovery
Altitude Training Strategies:
Depending on the demands of your sport, there are many different ways to apply Hypoxico technology to your training. We are happy to provide free consultation on best practices based on your athletic goals. As it pertains to strategy, there are three specific methodologies that we encourage our clients to implement. Keep in mind, these protocols can be mixed and matched to fit your lifestyle and achieve maximum adaptation. Some clients will use just one while others will consistency implement all three. Explore the links below for more information:
Altitude training has been proven to provide the following benefits to athletes:
- Increase VO2 max and lactate threshold.
- Increase power output and Speed.
- Enhance Endurance and Stamina.
- Reduce recovery time.
- Increased capillarisation (density and length), enabling increased oxygen delivery to tissues.
- Boost in mitochondrial enzymes allowing more efficient use of oxygen for energy production.
- Decreased heart rate and blood pressure.
- Increased production and release of human growth hormone.
- Stimulation on fat-burning metabolism.
Professional triathlete, Helle Fredrickson, maximizing recovery between sessions. Many people now combine Hypoxico with recovery boot technology.
Featured Sports Clients
- Jan Frodeno
- Gwen Jorgensen
- Heather Jackson
- Craig Alexander
- Heather and Trevor Wurtele
- Ben Hoffman
- Helle Fredrickson
- Mathias Hecht
- Lesley Patterson
- Matt Chrabot
- Jimmy Johnson
- Shalane Flanagan
- Jordan Hasay
- Timothy Olson
- Ellie Greenwood
- Ben True
- Karl Meltzer
- Hal Koerner
- Reid Coolsaet
- Carlos Sa
- Sebastien Chaigneau
- Fernanda Maciel
- Ryan Sandes
- Aliza Lapierre
- Devon Yanko
- Virtually every grand tour cycling team in the world
- Nonito Donaire
- Marlen Esparza
- Amir Khan
- Karim Mayfield
- Lamont Peterson
- Cung Lee
- BJ Penn
- Frank Mir
- Dan Henderson
Teams and team sport athletes
- New York Jets
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Mike Mitchell
- Miami Heat
- Dwyane Wade
- Lebron James
- Houston Rockets
- Manchester United
- Aston Villa
- Tottenham Hotspur
- English World Cup Team
- USA World Cup Team
In addition, Hypoxico works directly with the USA Olympic Committee and other international olympic federations. Most recently, Hypoxico installed an environmental simulation chamber in the USA Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs that simulates not only altitude, but also temperature and humidity. The chamber helped the USA earn the most medals at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
“The Hypoxico Altitude System has been an incredible addition to our strength and conditioning program. It’s a revolutionary, cutting edge way of training that gives us an advantage over the regular day to day methods of conditioning our athletes.”
– Tommy Moffitt (Head Strength Coach, LSU Football)
“Having now slept in this tent for 7 months, I can clearly see the training benefit of this. It really works. We initially got it because Nathan needed to adapt to altitude for Hardrock but we have continued to use it since we have seen and felt the benefits to our overall fitness. My resting heart rate is lower, my oxygen capacity has increased, my body fat is lower and I am sure my V02 max has increased as well. Often times we will be running along quite fast and are able to hold a casual conversation and not feel winded at all. This purchase was a huge boon for our supplemental training
– Devon Crosby Helms, Pro Ultrarunner