Altitude Training

In high altitude locations the body will acclimate to the lack of oxygen (hypoxia). The stress which is created by an hypoxic environment will increase the natural production of the Erythropoietin hormone. Erythropoietin, better known as EPO, stimulates the production of red blood cells which improves the oxygen transport throughout the body. This gives athletes the ability to improve physical performances significantly over a long period.

The ability of the body to adapt to various circumstances makes altitude training essential for great sport performances.

Many studies and athletes have proven the benefits of altitude training. Even adding a few hypoxic intensity workouts can provide significant benefits. These sessions are boosting the production of red blood cells while the lung and heart function are extensively trained. Active hypoxic training brings about muscular adaptations in the shape of new blood capillaries and increased mitochondrial activity – making muscles able to deliver more power. A study by Galvin et al shows the repeated sprint ability improves twice as much when training is performed at altitude. This makes altitude training also very effective for athletes in team sports.

While altitude training stimulates the production of red blood cells, it can also induce some detraining effects due to an inability to train at the same intensities as at sea level. The hypoxic environment makes it impossible to train at the same VO2 max. This is where simulated altitude has a big advantage, since hypoxic training sessions can be mixed with regular sessions.

Another popular training method is the “Live high, Train low” model. A study by Levine and Stray-Gundersen published in the “Journal of Applied Physiology”, found that by living at high altitude but training at sea level, athletes increased their VO2 max at sea level by five percent, which was in direct proportion to the increase in red blood cells. They also increased their running speed. However, for most athletes, living high and training low is not practical, unless an hypoxic air system can be used.

To offset the effects of detraining, the “Live high, Train low” model is very effective.

CHASINGTARGETS has a distributor agreement for home and professional altitude systems of Sporting Edge UK. Sporting Edge UK has over 10 years experience with the design and construction of high altitute climate systems. The product range differs from small tent system to large environmental chambers, being able to reproduce every climate condition in the world.

Increased number of red blood cells
Greater aerobic capacity
Improved results