Haven’t given altitude training a go yet…
Altitude training is defined as training over 2500m. It is effective in making your body utilize the oxygen more efficiently, allowing you to become fitter, faster and stronger in a shorter time as opposed to training at sea level. When your body is under stress caused by lack of oxygen, it releases endorphins called EPO, which are used to multiply your oxygen carrying cells (red blood cells). The more oxygen carrying cells you have, the more efficient and fitter your body will become. Red blood cells are also the key to acclimatisation.
- INCREASE RED BLOOD CELL CONTENT – these are the cells, which carry oxygen to your muscles.
- FASTER/INCREASED METABOLISM – your body keeps burning energy/calories for a sustained period post altitude session.
- TIME EFFICIENT/EFFECTIVE TRAINING – training in altitude effectively can increase your output by up to 20% compared to training at sea level. Therefore, a 60min altitude session is the same as 72min of hard training at sea level.
- OXYGEN UTILISATION – While adapting, you blood is becoming thicker with more oxygen. Side effects of this being able to concentrate for longer and glowing skin.
- ACCLIMATISATION – All of the above results in your body acclimatizing to be able to cope with lower oxygen levels, which is perfect for trekkers.
Recent research around altitude training has found:
- High-intensity interval training under normal pressure in intermittent hypoxia for 12 weeks in overweight/obese women seems to be promising for reducing body fat content, while at the same time increasing muscle mass.
- Hypoxic interventions appear to be a worthwhile training strategy for improvement in high-intensity running performance in team-sport athletes, with enhanced performance, persisting for at least 4 weeks post-intervention
- Increases in VO2 Max and lactate threshold, leading to increases in high intensity endurance performance.
- Increases in red blood cell (RBC) count, which directly contributes to enhanced oxygen transport and oxygen availability for working muscles.
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