This study hypothesised that repeated sprint training (RST) at normobaric hypoxia would enhance repeated sprint ability (RSA).

Thirty professional rugby union and league players completed 12 sessions of RST over four weeks in either hypoxia of 13% oxygen or 21% oxygen (sea level).

Both pre- and post-training, participants complete sports specific endurance and sprint-field tests, and ten, 6s RSA tests on a non-motorised treadmill whilst measuring speed, heart rate, blood lactate, muscle and cerebral deoxygenation and respiratory measures.

Gains were significantly greater in the hypoxic group compared to the normoxic group: 12 RST sessions in hypoxia resulted in two-fold greater improvements in the ability to complete repeated aerobic high intensity workouts than compared to those training in normoxia.

The study concluded that the gains are short-term evident, within 4 weeks, and can be used as a useful pre-season training protocol for athletes.