Want to know how sitting back and relaxing on the POD can help improve your athletic performance? Read on…

A recent study conducted in Brazil has shown the value of IHE (Intermittent Hypoxic Exposure, the scientific name for the POD) for athletic performance. Published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers from the University of Sao Paulo took 28 male and female well-trained distance runners, and investigated the following:

• The impact of IHT (Intermittent Hypoxic Training, such as the classes we have in our London chamber) on athletic performance.
• The loss of the training effect once you stop training at altitude (hypoxia).
• Whether IHE (the POD) can help mitigate against this detraining effect.

One group performed IHT and IHE, one group performed IHT only, and a placebo group performed only sea level training. All groups carried out the same training regime, with only the hypoxia/normoxia condition altered.


Improvements in VO2max were seen for all but the placebo group, together with improvements in running speed at both VO2max and ventilatory threshold (your maximum work rate), showing the benefit of training in hypoxia.

The improvement in VO2max for the IHE and IHT combined group, was almost double that of the IHT only group. Both groups maintained their benefit for 4 weeks, but the authors suggest that a higher dose of IHE may extend this. They used air containing 16% oxygen, which may not be simulating a high enough altitude for beneficial adaptation at rest. The POD can produce air with only 10.4% oxygen, and this higher altitude dose may encourage the gene expression necessary to enhance athletic performance.

What does it mean?

Put simply, in terms of athletic performance, training in the chamber carries more benefit than training at sea level. For even more altitude gains, using the POD and training at altitude may further enhance the benefits. It may also help to protect against any detraining effect that occurs when you stop training at altitude.

The best thing about this?

IHE training is completely passive, so even if you aren’t feeling up to gruelling session in the chamber, you can get some training in just by sitting back and relaxing on the POD.

Find out more about IHE training, and how to book your sessions here.

Study details:
Effect of Intermittent Hypoxic Training followed by Intermittent Hypoxic Exposure on Aerobic Capacity of Long Distance Runners – (Nakamoto et al., 2016) – Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(6), 1708–1720