A new study published in the April 2015 issue of The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has found that a live-low, train-high training protocol significantly improves performance in amateur female boxers.

Existing research on the effect of hypoxic training on combat sports is limited, so this is an exciting new development in the application of hypoxia in athletic training. In the study, 16 female boxers were randomly assigned to hypoxic or normal training groups for 21 days using a standard boxing training regime.The hypoxic group trained in normobaric hypoxia of 2,500m (approx. 15 per cent oxygen) three times a week on alternating days.

In both groups, peak power, mean power, fatigue index and blood lactate concentrations were recorded pre- and post-the 21 days training using a 30s Wingate cycling test, and by measuring maximal heart rate and one-minute heart rate recovery from a simulated sparring test.

The boxers who completed the hypoxic training were found to have significant improvements were made in maximal power, fatigue index, blood lactate, maximal heart rate and heart rate recovery compared to those who trained at sea level.

From this study, we can conclude that a live-low, train-high training plan can help improve anaerobic performance, with benefits in power output, lactate clearance and post-exercise recovery.

Amateur female boxer
Amateur female boxer