High altitude sprints create oxygen stress. The combined effects of stress oxygen deplete air, about 12%, compared to 21%, are known as hypobaric training. Hypobaric training causes several beneficial effects – which naturally occur for people that live at high altitude:
- Stimulates development of lung tissue
- Stimulates increase in blood oxygen transport capacity with increased red blood cells;
- Elevated RBC counts, increase the circulating reserve of oxygen which helps to delay the aerobic to anaerobic energy production during burst exertion.
- Other optimization occur but they are not understood at this time.
This protocol transitions the body from rich oxygen to poor oxygen to exercise the transition from aerobic to anaerobic, and back again. Our experiences indicates brief sprints at altitude also stimulate high altitude adaptive responses, even though the duration of high altitude strain is very short, usually less than 5 minutes in a 15 minute training session.
This is the protocol that has resolved season fatigue with NFL players.
- Fill the oxygen reservoir (don’t connect oxygen yet)
- Warm up on the exercise equipment until you reach your target pulse rate **
- Put on the mask and connect to the oxygen
- Monitor pulse and increase resistance to maintain target pulse rate
- Hold target pulse rate for 6 minutes on rich oxygen
- Switch to high altitude air, maintain constant exertion, (pulse & strain will increase)
- Hold level for until O2 saturation reaches 90% or down to 85%, or until you feel it’s “too much”
- Switch back to high oxygen
- Hold this high oxygen for 3 minutes
- Repeat high altitude interval
- Finish session on high oxygen until 15 minutes are complete
- Continue breathing oxygen until pulse drops below 100 bpm.