Increased hypoxic dose after training at low altitude with 9h per night at 3000m normobaric hypoxia

Amelia Carr, Philo Saunders, Brent Vallance, Laura GARVICAN, Christopher Gore

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    14 Citations (Scopus)


    This study examined effects of low altitude training and a live-high: train-low protocol (combining both natural and simulated modalities) on haemoglobin mass (Hbmass), maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), time to exhaustion, and submaximal exercise measures. Eighteen elite-level race-walkers were assigned to one of two experimental groups; lowHH (low Hypobaric Hypoxia: continuous exposure to 1380 m for 21 consecutive days; n = 10) or a combined low altitude training and nightly Normobaric Hypoxia (lowHH+NHnight: living and training at 1380 m, plus 9 h.night-1 at a simulated altitude of 3000 m using hypoxic tents; n = 8). A control group (CON; n = 10) lived and trained at 600 m. Measurement of Hbmass, time to exhaustion and VO2max was performed before and after the training intervention. Paired samples t-tests were used to assess absolute and percentage change pre and post-test differences within groups, and differences between groups were assessed using a one-way ANOVA with least significant difference post-hoc testing. Statistical significance was tested at p <0.05. There was a 3.7% increase in Hbmass in lowHH+NHnight compared with CON (p = 0.02). In comparison to baseline, Hbmass increased by 1.2% (±1.4%) in the lowHH group, 2.6% (±1.8%) in lowHH+NHnight, and there was a decrease of 0.9% (±4.9%) in CON. VO2max increased by ~4% within both experimental conditions but was not significantly greater than the 1% increase in CON. There was a ~9% difference in pre and post-intervention values in time to exhaustion after lowHH+NH-night (p = 0.03) and a ~8% pre to post-intervention difference (p = 0.006) after lowHH only. We recommend low altitude (1380 m) combined with sleeping in altitude tents (3000 m) as one effective alternative to traditional altitude training methods, which can improve Hbmass.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)776-782
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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