Training at altitude has been used to improve athletic performance for decades. Following the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968, 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.
WHAT IS HIGH ALTITUDE TRAINING?
Altitude training is training at high altitude or in a simulated high altitude environment for several weeks. At higher altitudes, the air we breathe contains less oxygen. By training our body to adjust to these lower levels of oxygen, our body is forced to adapt – and stimulate metabolic, hormonal and physiological responses which give great gains to our health and fitness.
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.
Altitude training can be simulated through use of an altitude simulation tent, altitude simulation room, or mask-based hypoxicator system where the barometric pressure is kept the same
Benefits of high altiTude training:
Fitness – altitude training will make your body increasingly efficient at using oxygen available to it, which is extremely beneficial while training. Improvements in ventilation rate, oxygen consumption, and an increased area of capillary blood vessels are just some of the adaptions caused by altitude training. These changes will lead to an increase in your V02 Max & ultimately lead to better aerobic performances.
Faster Recovery Time – Altitude training provides a greater stimulus on the body which gives it an increased ability to improve fatigue & enhance areas of functioning that require oxygen. This then speeds up your recovery cycle.
Increased Strength – When your body is in Hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) hormones are released that induce hypertrophy (muscle growth) faster than under sea level. which improves your strength & endurance
Weight Loss – The decreased availability of oxygen makes your body work harder, stimulating our metabolic processes and burning more energy 25%-30% more calories can be burned at a simulated high altitude level. This level of increased calorie burn makes altitude training far more time efficient than regular workouts.
Altitude training is suitable for:
- individuals desiring high-performance training
- high level athletes
- aspiring athletes
- the general public
- sporting club practises
- ANYONE who wants to live a healthier lifestyle