Hypoxic training and oxygen reduction is not a new thing in sports coaching and the fitness industry. Have you noticed how many Olympic gold medalists involved in ultra endurance events lived or trained in mountainous areas?
Altitude training helps build endurance. When at altitude there is less oxygen, so the body has to work harder to run/train at the same level, and in doing so the body produces more natural EPO which increase red blood cells so the body can grab more oxygen when breathing. When they return to the normal level they now have these extra red blood cells meaning more oxygen, more energy, and naturally more endurance so can race harder and faster than before.Altitude and hypoxic cycling training
A notable example is the fastest, super resilient runners from Kenya who train in the Mount Kenya regions. These athletes train at higher altitudes so that they could achieve greater results at lower, sea-level altitudes.
Similarly, adoption of reduced oxygen levels can improve a cyclist’s cycling performance and well-being. The option of altitude training is really not available to many people as it is expensive and really only suitable for only the most elite athletes. Fortunately, research has shown that hypoxia training can provide similar results without needing to go to high altitudes or require expensive equipment. This is a method where the stress imposed by low oxygen at high altitudes can be self-imposed by training your breath-holding capability. You can sign up for software to help you do this at the breathesimple web-site. This software first determines your current breathing health and capabilities and then guides you through a personalized course to get you to the level most suitable for you based on your personal profile.Altitude and hypoxic cycling training
What’s more, an elevation training mask can also be used in hypoxic training as a tool. The mask mimics the effects of High Altitude Training. When elite cyclists want to improve their performance they go to high altitude levels to train. When they come back to sea level they perform much stronger, faster, and have increased endurance. Because Elevation Training Mask helps condition the lungs by creating pulmonary resistance and strengthening the diaphragm.
And that is about all you need to know about its efficacy. While the mask itself is a resistance training tool, it will not prepare you to climb mountains. A basic protocol to prepare for this would be to actually train, sleep and live in such high-altitude conditions. Imagine doing your usual workouts at 8,000 ft above sea level or so, where oxygen makes up only about 20% of air.
Isn’t this exactly what an elevation training mask does? Not really. Your body would need to spend extended and strenuous amounts of time in these conditions (all day, every day) to produce the desired effects: red blood cell mass increase, enormous VO2 levels, hormone (EPO) and muscle metabolism changes. And this is quite different from the lung and diaphragm strengthening effects promised by the mask manufacturer.Altitude and hypoxic cycling training
Tu sum up, while the mask itself is a resistance training tool, it will not prepare you to climb mountains. A basic protocol to prepare for this would be to actually train, sleep and live in such high-altitude conditions. Imagine doing your usual workouts at 8,000 ft above sea level or so, where oxygen makes up only about 20% of air.
Does hypoxic (High Altitude) training help your performance? Absolutely. People who have no experience other than reading about it will say "Yeah, but it's too expensive, it's stupid, just train more effectively". But most of these Nay-Sayers haven't experienced racing or training at high altitude.
Living, racing, and training at very high altitude make you very aerobically fit, with a distinct advantage over sea level trainers. Of course, the opinion should only be based on individual performance. For cyclists who are looking around at hypoxic training stuff, just ride your bike more. If you aren't putting in the proper mileage or training, not even EPO is going to make much of a difference for you. You still have to train.