This protocol optimizes the body’s use of “stored” oxygen by stressing the body’s de-saturation and re-saturation mechanisms.
De-saturation allows the “delay” onset of anaerobic energy production by using blood-bound oxygen to prolong aerobic performance, and delay transition to anaerobic energy production.
Re-saturation training accelerates recovery from anaerobic metabolism back to aerobic. For an unknown reason, it seems to accelerate the transition from anaerobic back to aerobic energy.
This protocol adds another control parameter – the target de-saturation level. As you train, your body should be able to tolerate lower de-saturation levels during these intervals. As this level goes down, your body is using more of blood-bound oxygen to delay transition from aerobic to anaerobic energy production. When you shift to low oxygen, your body will use “stored circulating oxygen” to provide energy.
This protocol also creates a minimum saturation level this is the minimum O2 saturation that you can tolerate while under exertion. This is a new parameter in athletic training. The lowest level I have observed in an athlete is 61%, although most individuals capable of sustained physical exertion are capable of 75-85%.
You can test your personal de-saturation tolerance:
- Warm up under normal air until you reach your training pulse rate
- Continue another 5 minutes to make sure the circulatory system is fully adapted to strain
- Switch to high altitude mixture
- Monitor pulse and O2 Saturation
- Sprint at your 90% of your maximum
- Monitor pulse and oxygen saturation levels
- Continue to exertion tolerance
- Record minimum Saturation and maximum pulse at the end
Desaturation Training Method
- 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
- Exercise for 3 minutes increasing resistance to maintain target pulse rate
- Switch to high altitude air
- Sprint until respiratory tolerance – (note desaturation level & exertion delay)
- Switch back to oxygen mixture for 3 minutes (note how long it takes to return to 99%)
- Go To 5
- Stop exertion at 15 minutes
- Continue breathing oxygen until pulse drops 100 bpm.