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.
Increase fitness, performance, stamina, burn more calories and enjoy faster recovery time and less muscle fatigue
When deprived of oxygen, our bodies produce more of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO). This hormone regulates the amount of red blood cells in the bone marrow – and more red blood cells allow your body to transport more oxygen to your muscles.
The air we breathe at sea level consists of approximately 78% nitrogen, 20.9% oxygen with the remaining 2% consisting of carbon dioxide, argon and other gases. When set for 3500m the oxygen percentage lowers to just below 15%.
New research on altitude training also indicates significant metabolic changes that can burn 25 to 30% more calories than training at sea level, making it not only a bonus for weight loss but for time management!
The 1968 Mexico Olympics
Altitude training gained prominence due to the 1968 Mexico Olympics, held at approx. 2240m altitude. At these games, endurance events saw slower times whereas sprint events saw faster times achieved. Consequently, research into the effect of altitude training took off before and during the games and has continued to be researched ever since.
According to controversial Italian physician and cycling coach Michele Ferrari, Lance Armstrong would have achieved the same level of performance through appropriate periods of altitude training without resorting to doping with EPO infusions.
Altitude training is suitable for
- individuals desiring high-performance training – from aspiring athletes to the general public
- sporting clubs
- sporting and adventure associations
- schools and colleges
- government sporting bodies