Intermittent Hypoxic Training

Intermittent normobaric hypoxia does not alter performance or erythropoietic markers in highly trained distance runners

Colleen G. Julian,1 Christopher J. Gore,5 Randall L. Wilber,3 Jack T. Daniels,1 Michael Fredericson,4 James Stray-Gundersen,2 Allan G. Hahn,5 Robin Parisotto,5 and Benjamin D. Levine2 1Sports Medicine Institute International, Palo Alto, California 94300; 2Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75231; 3US Olympic Committee, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909; 4Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California 94305; and 5Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, ACT, Australia J Appl Physiol 96: 1800-1807, 2004 - link.

Protocol: 14 National class athletes. Control Group & Altitude Group 4 weeks, 5 X per week 70-minutes per session, 5 minutes “on” 5-minutes “off” O2 content 12% - 10% via mask.

Results:

Change in VO2 max IHT Group…… No significant change Sea-Level Group…. No significant change

Change in 3000m running time IHT Group…… No significant change Sea-Level Group…. No significant change

Change in erythropoietin, soluble transferrin receptor, or reticulocyte parameters IHT Group…… No significant change Sea-Level Group…. No significant change

Conclusions: Four weeks of a 5:5-min normobaric hypoxia exposure at rest for 70 min, 5 days/wk, is not a sufficient stimulus to elicit improved performance or change the normal level of erythropoiesis in highly trained runners.

Note: The authors of this study consist of the World’s leading researchers in altitude training, representing some major institutions that were looking for a definitive answer to the effectiveness of this novel modality of altitude training.