Purpose: To investigate the effects of a training camp with heat and/or hypoxia sessions on hematological and thermoregulatory adaptations. Methods: Fifty-six elite male rugby players completed a 2-week training camp with 5 endurance and 5 repeated-sprint sessions, rugby practice, and resistance training. Players were separated into 4 groups: CAMP trained in temperate conditions at sea level, HEAT performed the endurance sessions in the heat,ALTI slept and performed the repeated sprints at altitude, andH + Awas a combination of the heat and altitude groups. Results: Blood volume across all groups increased by 140 mL (95%CI, 42-237; P = .006) and plasma volume by 97mL (95%CI 28-167; P = .007) following the training camp. Plasma volume was 6.3% (0.3%to 12.4%) higher in HEAT than ALTI (P = .034) and slightly higher in HEAT than H + A (5.6% [-0.3% to 11.7%]; P = .076). Changes in hemoglobin mass were not significant (P = .176), despite a ∼1.2% increase in ALTI and H + A and a ∼0.7% decrease in CAMP and HEAT. Peak rectal temperature was lower during a postcamp heat-response test in HEAT (0.3 °C [0.1-0.5]; P = .010) and H + A (0.3 °C [0.1-0.6]; P = .005). Oxygen saturation upon waking was lower in ALTI (3% [2% to 5%]; P < .001) and H + A (4% [3% to 6%]; P < .001) than CAMP and HEAT. Conclusion: Although blood and plasma volume increased following the camp, sleeping at altitude impeded the increase when training in the heat and only marginally increased hemoglobin mass. Heat training induced adaptations commensurate with partial heat acclimation; however, combining heat training and altitude training and confinement during a training camp did not confer concomitant hematological adaptations.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance|
|Early online date||16 Aug 2023|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2023|