Research:

The higher; the better? Not when it comes to hypoxic training. Many athletes and coaches think there’s an extra advantage to training, living or sleeping at altitudes higher than recommended by research.

We get quizzed on this topic quite often: It’s great that so many of you want to find out about the research behind hypoxic training.

Published earlier this year, this study set out to define the optimum dose of altitude to live at to gain the best enhancement in sea level performance.

A group of 48 collegiate distance runners were randomly assigned to live in one of four altitude groups: 1,780m (16.8% O2), 2,085m (16.2% O2), 2,454m (15.3%) or 2,800m (14.5% O2). All athletes trained daily at altitudes of 1,250- 3,000m.

After pre- and post-altitude training haematological and performance tests were carried out, the researchers found that upon return to sea level, there was an increased improvement in 3,000m time trial performance in the groups living at 2,085m and 2,454m but not in those who lived at 1,780m and 2,800m. It was also found that Erythropoietin (EPO) returned to sea level baseline values in the 1,780m group after 72 hours.

How can you make these results work for you? This study suggests that completing four weeks of altitude training could produce physiological responses to improve your running times at sea level.

Our sleep systems allow you to sleep at altitudes of up to 2,500m, allowing you to train within the optimum range that is recommended in this study to get maximum gains. If you’d like to experience higher altitudes and lower oxygen, talk to one of our team about Intermittent Hypoxic Exposure (IHE) for both mountaineering and exercise.