Exercising at Altitude

Exercising at Altitude

Exercising in hypoxia has been proven to improve muscular endurance and increase fitness through intensified aerobic and anaerobic training sessions. Training under intermittent hypoxia optimally prepares an individual for competition at altitude or sea-level by improving breathing economy, and the ability to stay saturated with oxygen whether they are in Death Valley or the Rocky Mountains.

The result is that the athlete feels less fatigued and will recover quicker, leading to increased training intensity and physiological adaptation. Studies have proven significant (often staggering) improvement for repeat sprint ability, increasing anabolic hormonal responses and increased red blood cell mass – all of which are enormously valuable across all contexts of sport.

One study done on elite male triathletes showed a 7% increase in VO2max and a 7.4% increase in mean maximal power ouput/Kg body weight (Wmax) after 10 days of exercise training at a simulated altitude of 8000ft/2500m. That kind of improvement is unheard of using any other legal means of training.

Live Low – Train High

Let’s face it, sleeping in an altitude tent doesn’t always fit with every person’s lifestyle. Luckily, athletes can experience the same physiological benefits of hypoxia by performing training sessions at simulated altitude. Since being developed by the Soviets in the 1930’s LLTH has evolved a lot. Contemporary research indicates enormous benefits both aerobically and anaerobically, making active IHT a highly valuable and important part of any athlete’s altitude training strategy.

Hypoxic Training and Team Sports

Since most team sports have a healthy balance of aerobic and anaerobic demand, hypoxic training is uniquely suited to boost individual and team performance. The science of altitude training has long been well understood by endurance athletes, but team sport has historically lagged a bit behind. That tide is turning now as some of the world’s best sport franchises have begun incorporating Hypoxico technology to boost player fitness, gaining a competitive advantage on their opponents. We now work with professional teams in countries all over the world and have a few championship rings and trophies  to show for it.

The bottom line is this: all sports have unique demands that need to be met for top performance. Some intermittent sports rely mostly on strength and power (football, rugby, etc.), while some emphasize aerobic endurance (basketball, soccer, etc). When applied correctly, hypoxic training is a tremendously valuable and 100% legal way to meet these demands and gain a measurable edge on the competition. In other words, it is equally effective at improving a football player’s explosive power as it is at enhancing the endurance of a grand tour cyclist or marathon runner. There are no limits to it’s application, it’s only a matter of the strategy and protocols employed. At Hypoxico, we are happy to consult on best practices and provide recommendations based on your goals for free!

Read this article by British physiologist Nick Grantham on the benefits hypoxic training in team sports.

Repeat Sprint Ability

Some of the most exciting research in the area of intermittent hypoxic training came out of the UK in 2013 that focused on repeat sprint ability (RSA) in elite rugby players. This study observed a much larger performance improvement after repeated sprint training in hypoxia than for to the same training performed in normoxia. The main findings were that repeated sprint training in hypoxia leads to the following adaptations:

  • Increased variations of blood perfusion possibly delaying fatigue during a repeat sprint test.
  • Specific molecular adaptations inducing further improvement in systemic RSA performance.
  • Improved vascular conductance in repeated sprints to exhaustion.
  • Increased growth and improved utilization of fast-twitch muscle fibers.
  • Improved waste metabolite removal and lactate buffering.
  • Improved anaerobic glycolytic activity (more efficient use of muscle glycogen for energy).

The practical benefits of these adaptations are significant improvement in explosive power and endurance in team sports. This results in a better athlete/team in the 4th quarter when the competition is fatigued. As it applies to endurance sport, athletes have “more matches to burn” and are better able to make moves or respond to moves late in races.

Featured Athletes

Ironman Triathlon Champ Jimmy Johnsen training at 12,500ft

Ironman Triathlon Jimmy Johnsen training at 12,500ft

Nonito Donaire, reigning WBO and IBF Super Bantamweight Champion

“Nonito Donaire, reigning WBO and IBF Super Bantamweight Champion Official Site: http://www.filipinoflash.com/

 

Exercising at altitude has been proven to provide the following benefits:

  • 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.

 

Exercising at Altitude

“The record has shown that since 1968, 95% of all Olympic and World Championship medals from the 800 through the Marathon were won by athletes who lived or trained at altitude. It can therefore be concluded that altitude training is necessary for success in endurance events.” – Dr. Joe Vigil, 2008 USA Olympic Team Running Coach

Why Altitude Training Works

Training at altitude has been used to improve athletic performance for decades.  Following the Olympic Games in Mexico City, numerous American running records fell, and soon after researchers discovered that altitude was the reason.  Since that time, many teams and individuals have used altitude training as part of their preparation. From world-class athletes to weekend warriors, altitude training is the best legal way to improve one’s performance.

Exposure to reduced oxygen levels (altitude or hypoxia) is a challenge to the human body because oxygen is the primary source of energy for our cells. Under a state of hypoxia the body strives to produce required amounts of energy with less oxygen available. To do so, a protein called Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF-1) sets off a host of reactions geared toward improving the body’s ability to utilize oxygen.

There are 3 main training methods used to gain the benefits of Altitude Training: Sleeping at altitude, Exercising at altitude, and Intermittent Hypoxic Training. Visit those pages to learn more about how each of the training modalities can be beneficial to your athletic goals.

The following physiological reactions have been shown to occur:

  • Amplified pulmonary oxygen absorption
  • Boosted production of Erythropoietin Hormone (EPO) by the kidneys, stimulating generation of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and enhanced oxygen transportation through the body
  • Increased capillarization for greater oxygen delivery to the tissues, muscles and brain
  • Enhanced production and rejuvenation of mitochondria (the cell’s hub for aerobic energy production) and mitochondrial enzymes, allowing more efficient use of oxygen for energy production and superior enzymatic anti-oxidative defense.

Some additional benefits include:

  • Decreased average Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • Increased production and release of Human Growth Hormone
  • Stimulation of fat metabolism
  • Decreased oxidative stress from Free Radicals (Reactive Oxygen Species “ROS”)

 

Exercising at Altitude

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Exercising at Altitude

“The record has shown that since 1968, 95% of all Olympic and World Championship medals from the 800 through the Marathon were won by athletes who lived or trained at altitude. It can therefore be concluded that altitude training is necessary for success in endurance events.” – Dr. Joe Vigil, 2008 USA Olympic Team Running Coach

Why Altitude Training Works

Training at altitude has been used to improve athletic performance for decades.  Following the Olympic Games in Mexico City, numerous American running records fell, and soon after researchers discovered that altitude was the reason.  Since that time, many teams and individuals have used altitude training as part of their preparation. From world-class athletes to weekend warriors, altitude training is the best legal way to improve one’s performance.

Exposure to reduced oxygen levels (altitude or hypoxia) is a challenge to the human body because oxygen is the primary source of energy for our cells. Under a state of hypoxia the body strives to produce required amounts of energy with less oxygen available. To do so, a protein called Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF-1) sets off a host of reactions geared toward improving the body’s ability to utilize oxygen.

There are 3 main training methods used to gain the benefits of Altitude Training: Sleeping at altitude, Exercising at altitude, and Intermittent Hypoxic Training. Visit those pages to learn more about how each of the training modalities can be beneficial to your athletic goals.

The following physiological reactions have been shown to occur:

  • Amplified pulmonary oxygen absorption
  • Boosted production of Erythropoietin Hormone (EPO) by the kidneys, stimulating generation of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and enhanced oxygen transportation through the body
  • Increased capillarization for greater oxygen delivery to the tissues, muscles and brain
  • Enhanced production and rejuvenation of mitochondria (the cell’s hub for aerobic energy production) and mitochondrial enzymes, allowing more efficient use of oxygen for energy production and superior enzymatic anti-oxidative defense.

Some additional benefits include:

  • Decreased average Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • Increased production and release of Human Growth Hormone
  • Stimulation of fat metabolism
  • Decreased oxidative stress from Free Radicals (Reactive Oxygen Species “ROS”)