Hard Work and High Altitude For Anthony Joshua

Things are getting serious in the Anthony Joshua camp ahead of his bout against Oleksander Usyk on 25th September, and that can mean only one thing: altitude training.


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For a number of years now, the two-time unified world heavyweight champion has been a huge (literally) proponent of altitude training, using a range of training methodologies both at our London centre and in camp. In 2015, in the build up to Commonwealth title fights agains Gary Cornish and Dillian Whyte, he began training on site at The Altitude Centre, including high intensity interval training and personal training at 2700m, and POD sessions to aid rest and recovery at altitudes of up to 6500m. Since then, altitude has formed a key part of pre-fight camps, with off feet conditioning and sparring taking place at altitude, and the use of altitude tents while sleeping to enhance endurance.

The research underpinning the use of altitude training in combat sports has exploded in recent years. An early study in 2015, in which 16 boxers trained at altitude 3 times per week for 3 weeks, showed those who trained at altitude significantly improved maximal power, fatigue index, blood lactate, maximal heart rate and heart rate recovery compared to those who trained at sea level. Since then, we’ve seen research from elite athletes showing that repeat upper body sprint training in hypoxia significantly improves peak power and and mean power across all out efforts in as few as 4 sessions in 2 weeks, and that resistance training in hypoxia improves strength to a greater extent than matched training at sea level. Add to that the already strong literature base supporting the use of altitude training for endurance (bear in mind that a 36 min heavyweight bout lasts ~10 min longer than an Olympic 10,000m track race!) and we can see that altitude training can enhance every piece of the training puzzle for combat athletes.

With just under 2 months to go until the title fight, it’s clear things are heating up in the Joshua camp. As anyone who has trained at altitude with us before knows, the work is hard but the results are worth it, and with so much on the line you can be sure the Brit will be putting the hard yards in to get those altitude training gains.

As with all things altitude, however, it is not just for the elites. Across the years we have worked with countless combat sports athletes across a range of different sports and across all levels, to take their performance to the next level- and the benefits go far beyond sports performance. To learn more about how you can train like Anthony, get in touch with the team below!

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