Hypoxia Training Started to be Widely Used in 2000
More than 350 athletes, climbers and teams throughout the world are using the Hypoxia Training and are seeing excellent gains in performance - quite phenomenal in many cases.
This is because Intermittent Hypoxia Training (IHT) increases the effeciency of exercise and training.
The maximum use of oxygen has not changed for 40 years even in the world's greatest runners.
The development of world records in the 21st century is possible only through an improvement of anaerobic training.
IHT also improves Anaerobic capacity (V02max)
Causes of Fatigue In Sport
- Hypoxia of tissues.
Increase the formation of free radicals
IH TRAINING: anti-hypoxic defense and reduce hypoxia in tissues.
- Hypoglycaemia, exhaustion of glycogen in muscle
IH TRAINING: reduces the accumulation of H+ in muscle, which increases the dispersal of glycogen, training insulin-glucogon and adrenaline balance, building stress protein
IH TRAINING: improved function of the membrane and movement electrolytes K+, Mg++, Na++, Ca++ etc through it
- Disturbance of the central nervous system
IH TRAINING: strengthening of psychological tolerance to stress, eliminate depression
- Muscle damage
IH TRAINING: more rapid muscle reparation.
Target - Improved Performance
It has been proven that the key to the best results of hypoxic training is not altitude value, duration of stay, or timing of exposure.
The trick is in the correct selection of all of these three parameters adjusted for the particular individual.
The experience of hundreds of researchers and thousands of users of IHT demonstrates that the effect of the hypoxic adaptation is magnified by multiple transitions from LOW to HIGH and back. Believe it or not, but a 50-90 min session of IHT is even more efficient than staying (sleeping) at low oxygen air environment for a much longer period.
What effect does the HTS have, and how does it help athletic performance?
Controlled studies on sleeping in hypoxic environments has shown it to stimulate:
- An Increase in total red blood cell mass - This means more red blood cells are available to transport oxygen to the muscle cells. More oxygen to the working muscle cells will result in improved aerobic performance.
- Possibly an increase in the mass of haemoglobin within the blood cells. Haemoglobin is the protein which actually carries the oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.
- An Increase in total blood volume. - Greater blood volume means the heart's stroke volume (amount of blood pumped by the heart with each heartbeat) also increases A greater stroke volume means more oxygen rich blood reaches the working muscles, again, resulting in improved athletic performance.
- By increasing the blood volume, the body can increase the total red blood cell mass whilst keeping the hematocrit (% of cells which are "red") in it's optimal range.
- An increase in muscle cell mitochondria. The mitochondria have been referred to as "the powerhouse of the cells" where oxygen is used in the "furnaces" that create useful energy. More mitochondria means the muscle cells can more readily use oxygen, and so more efficiently produce energy.
- An increase in the number of capillaries in the muscles. - ie more pathways for the blood to get to the muscle cells, and thus there is more oxygen availability to use in the production of energy. Again, this leads to better athletic performance.
- An improvement in the oxygen association curve. This will improve your efficiency of gas exchange meaning that oxygen can more easily pass through the lungs into the blood stream.
What this means as a result is:
- Increased VO2 max and aerobic capacity - Your VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body uptake and use in the production of work. More oxygen converted to energy equals more power, more endurance and less fatigue.
- Improved anaerobic capacity - This means increased endurance at high and max levels of exertion. Using the HTS increases your blood content levels of hemoglobin and myoglobin - both of which are excellent buffers of lactic acid. That is, they counter the build up of lactic acid which ultimately limits anaerobic capacity. In short, use of the HTS delays the onset of "the burn".
The combined results of these effects are impressive- as much as a 15% increase in oxygen carrying capacity and efficiency of oxygen use. The best part is that all of these positive gains require can be obtained with no additional effort on the part of the athlete. All you have to do is sleep!
- Levine, Benjamin D., and James Stray-Gundersen. "Living high-training low": effect of moderate-altitude acclimatization with low-altitude training on performance. Journal of Applied Physiology. 83(1): 102-112, 1997.
Interested in learning more about the "high-low" principle and related studies?:http://sportsci.org/traintech/altitude/wgh.html
In the interest of improving our understanding of how to make the very most of this technology, may we suggest that athletes petition their governing bodies to commission further studies and research . In this way we all gain!