What is altitude training?
Altitude training, also known as Hypoxic Training, is a training regimen that focuses on improving athletic performance and physical wellness for people from all walks of life. It can also help individuals with acclimatisation to high altitudes, where the air has reduced levels of oxygen. High altitude training comes down to exercising in, living in or breathing in these low oxygen conditions. Exposure to this low oxygen air, which is also referred to as a state of hypoxia, is a great challenge for the human body. Since the energy of our cells primarily comes from oxygen, the body has to work hard to compensate for the lack of it while under hypoxia.
Altitude training has been used to improve athletic performance for decades. After numerous American running records fell at the Olympic Games in Mexico City, researchers soon found out this had to do with altitude training. Nowadays, plenty of teams, athletes and individuals who are concerned with their health have been using low oxygen training as part of their training regimen and/or preparation.
Circa 1995, Hypoxico's patented technology made it possible for people to reap the high altitude training benefits without the actual need to be at a height. High altitude training facilities could now be set up anywhere and the hardship of traveling to- or living in high altitudes could easily be prevented. We have accomplished this through the production and use of so-called normobaric air which is used to simulate altitudes of up to 21,000ft/6.400m.
What are the benefits of altitude training?
So, what does altitude training do? High altitude training will provide plenty of benefits, regardless of the method used. Due to the fact that the state of hypoxia -or exposure to low oxygen air- proves to be an enormous challenge for the human body, several physiological reactions will occur. This, for example, includes increased capillarization, which provides greater oxygen delivery to the tissues, muscles and brain. A decrease in average heart rate and blood pressure helps with stimulating the metabolism of fat.
The following physiological reactions have been shown to occur
- Amplified pulmonary oxygen absorption
- Boosted production of Erythropoietin Hormone (EPO) by the kidneys. This stimulates generation of Red Blood Cells
(RBCs) and enhanced oxygen transportation through the body
- Increased capillarization for greater oxygen delivery to the tissues, muscles and brain
- Enhanced production and rejuvenation of mitochondria (the cell’s hub for aerobic energy production) and mitochondrial enzymes, allowing more efficient use of oxygen for energy production and superior enzymatic anti-oxidative defense.
- Decreased average Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
- Increased production and release of Human Growth Hormone
- Stimulation of fat metabolism
Methods of Altitude Training
Before deciding on an altitude training method, you have the option to choose between two types of systems, either commercial systems or home systems. Commercial systems are multi-user systems that are specifically designed to fit your every need. Home systems allow you to train at altitude from the comfort of your own home.
The actual hypoxic training methods are as follows
- Exercising at altitude
- Sleeping in an altitude tent
- Intermittent Hypoxic Training
You can find more information on these methods by clicking the buttons below.