This study examined effects of low altitude training and a live-high: train-low protocol (combining both natural and simulated modalities) on haemoglobin mass (Hbmass), maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), time to exhaustion, and submaximal exercise measures. Eighteen elite-level race-walkers were assigned to one of two experimental groups; lowHH (low Hypobaric Hypoxia: continuous exposure to 1380 m for 21 consecutive days; n = 10) or a combined low altitude training and nightly Normobaric Hypoxia (lowHH+NHnight: living and training at 1380 m, plus 9 h.night-1 at a simulated altitude of 3000 m using hypoxic tents; n = 8). A control group (CON; n = 10) lived and trained at 600 m. Measurement of Hbmass, time to exhaustion and VO2max was performed before and after the training intervention. Paired samples t-tests were used to assess absolute and percentage change pre and post-test differences within groups, and differences between groups were assessed using a one-way ANOVA with least significant difference post-hoc testing. Statistical significance was tested at p < 0.05. There was a 3.7% increase in Hbmass in lowHH+NHnight compared with CON (p = 0.02). In comparison to baseline, Hbmass increased by 1.2% (±1.4%) in the lowHH group, 2.6% (±1.8%) in lowHH+NHnight, and there was a decrease of 0.9% (±4.9%) in CON. VO2max increased by ~4% within both experimental conditions but was not significantly greater than the 1% increase in CON. There was a ~9% difference in pre and post-intervention values in time to exhaustion after lowHH+NH-night (p = 0.03) and a ~8% pre to post-intervention difference (p = 0.006) after lowHH only. We recommend low altitude (1380 m) combined with sleeping in altitude tents (3000 m) as one effective alternative to traditional altitude training methods, which can improve Hbmass.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Sports Science and Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|