Common Altitude Training Myths, What Does NOT Work
You have probably seen an advert, or discussion, about those mask-based altitude systems where hypoxic air is breathed at rest for 5-minute intervals, and no doubt you were curious about their effectiveness. Well, so were the US Olympic Association and the major researchers in the field of altitude training and human performance.
Finding that there had been no reliable independent research, a study was performed in Palo Alto, California.
The conclusion of this study (abstract) was that even 4 weeks of treatments, 5 days a week, 70 minutes per session, was "insufficient to elicit improved performance or change the normal level of erythropoiesis in highly trained runners"
The list of authors of this study read like a "who's who" of altitude training research, and consequently this is now considered the definitive study on the subject.
These devices may be relatively inexpensive (and have significant ongoing costs), but to have to spend an hour a day, every day, doing something that doesn't work...well that's not something a serious athlete can afford to be doing.
Despite the inconvenience, and increased fatigue this acute method causes (compared with merely sleeping at altitude), the reason CAT does not offer such equipment is quite simple: The research does not support its effectiveness as a method for improving performance.
Please feel free to contact a CAT expert to discuss the most effective and practical method to help you reach your specific goals.
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