Hypoxia Training: Maximising Performance Without Scaling Heights
Every athlete is on the lookout for ways to boost their performance. Hypoxia training, an innovative approach that improves your body's efficiency by optimising your breathing, could be the solution you've been seeking. The best part? You can gain the benefits of high-altitude training without setting foot on a mountain.
High-altitude or hypoxia training has long been lauded for its ability to enhance athletic performance. It stimulates the production of erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that increases red blood cell (RBC) count, improving oxygen transport and endurance. Studies by Gore et al. (2006), Garvican et al. (2011), and Chia et al. (2016) have all highlighted this increase in EPO and RBCs following exposure to low-oxygen conditions, demonstrating the potential performance-enhancing effects of hypoxia training.
But what about athletes who can't train at high altitudes? This is where hypoxia training shines. By utilising specifically designed breathing protocols and equipment that simulate low-oxygen conditions, athletes can mimic the benefits of altitude training anywhere, making it a practical solution for athletes aiming to boost their performance through optimised breathing.
One of the most accessible methods is the dry-land hypoxia breathing protocol:
Start with three normal breaths.
Pinch your nose and hold your breath.
Walk as far as you can while holding your breath. Repeat this 4 to 8 times, with progression over time.
Continue walking until there is a strong urge to breathe.
However, individual factors, including genetic traits and concurrent training methods, can significantly influence hypoxia training's effectiveness, as outlined by Robach & Lundby (2012).
Disclaimer: This information is intended for educational purposes only. Before starting any new training regimen, always consult with a knowledgeable professional.