We’ve been extremely lucky with warm, bright and sunny conditions this year in England – but sadly, winter, or at least cooler and darker conditions are on their way! With this on the horizon, it’s time to consider your plans for training over the autumnal and winter months.

To prepare for and execute next seasons PB’s, naturally, it’s important to become faster and more efficient. We understand that waking up early and going out to train in cold and wet conditions may not be too kind on our morale and immune system. So what can you do instead? Across the week, we run circuit-based classes – comprised of cardio-strength, bodyweight and kettlebells in our hypoxic chamber. The purpose of these classes are to increase strength and power, remove imbalances (between ‘strong’ and ‘not-so-strong’ limbs) and offer a different alternative to standard interval-based classes. In short, doing these types of sessions over the winter months, or the ‘off-season’, puts you in good stead for what’s to come. Our clients including these types of classes in addition to the traditional HypoxicHIIT within their training schedule are reaping the benefits. But what sort of benefits can you expect?

A recent study carried out by a group of researchers in Spain looked into this. They prescribed a group of healthy individuals circuit training (full-body) twice per week for 8 weeks. Half of the group completed the training in hypoxic conditions (15% O2; ~2700 m) and the other half in sea level conditions. After the training block, those in the hypoxic group had a reduced fatigue index during repeated sprints and greater VO2MAX compared to before, whereas, no improvements were found in the sea level group.

So what does this mean for me? Completing only 2 circuit sessions per week for 2 months in our chamber will improve how far you can push yourself during high-intensity exercise, and how long you can maintain high-intensity exercise for! Following a consistent block of winter training, you’ll be beating your peers (…or opponents) to the finish-line quicker than they expect you to as your limits will be higher than they are now! Although it wasn’t measured in the study above, you’ll also become stronger, which typically couples well with improved athletic performance! We’ll get the dumbbells ready for you!

Study details
Ramos‐Campo et al. (2018). Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13223.