Yes. Our altitude room is maintained at the same elevation as Park City, Utah. The risks are equivalent to travelling there. Roughly 30% of people experience some symptom of altitude sickness which may include headache, dizziness or nausea. As the body adapts, these symptoms dissipate. If you start to feel unwell in the altitude chamber, the best remedy is to leave the room. Additionally, hydration is extremely important to maintain at altitude to combat symptoms of altitude sickness. For this reason we recommend everyone using the room to bring hydration and to wait until at least 45 minutes after eating.
Use of a high altitude chamber is not just for pro or elite athletes. Benefits can be seen across the athletic spectrum, depending on your goals. You could be on an amateur team and wanting the edge before playoffs. Altitude training has also been used successfully during periods of injury where modified activity is required to maintain aerobic fitness. Talk to us about how altitude training can benefit you.
Altitude training must be done continuously and year round to show benefit. Most protocols for altitude training involve 6 weeks of exposure, two to three times per week prior to an event to demonstrate a significant benefit. Packages are available to meet each need.
Training in a high altitude room drives down the body’s blood oxygen saturation. When training, in this translates to less oxygen being carried to the muscles and triggers the performance boosting adaptations we are trying to create. The most common experience for first-time users is an increased sense of exertion. Generally, an increase in heart rate occurs with a reduced capacity to maintain the same power and or pace in regular room air.
Research has shown that altitude training can promote the burning of up to three times as many calories as normoxic training and this continues for up to 15 hours post workout.
The merits of high altitude training were first identified at the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. Performance results were clear: those who had trained at altitude significantly outperformed those who had not. Even more fascinating was the observation that in sports which depend on anaerobic performance, such as sprinting, record times were achieved more easily. This served as the catalyst for a closer examination of the benefits of altitude training on aerobic performance.
The first school of thought originally embraced the live high train low moniker based on research in the early 1990’s in Park City Utah. Although the work served to provide support to the hematological advantages to living high, it was falsely presumed to be the only way to use altitude training. The next 20 years of research have demonstrated significant evidence to support the substantial improvement to athletes who live low and train high.
Although it has taken time to open some minds, numerous professional teams have started to employ altitude training to improve their speed, power, endurance and recovery. Research has demonstrated for team sport athletes, up to a two-fold improvement in capacity to perform repeated aerobic high intensity work with use of a 4 week hypoxia training regime.
Response: The UIAA Medical Commission Standard 15 medical advice to those working in hypoxic conditions provides the following guideline.
“For healthy unacclimatized persons, an acute but limited exposure down to 13% O(2) does not cause a health risk. Employees should be advised to leave hypoxic areas for any break, if possible. Detailed advice is given for any other situation and pre-existing diseases. If the specific risk of the respective type of hypoxia is taken into account, a pragmatic approach to provide health and safety for employees is possible. In contrast to other occupational exposures, a repeated exposure as often as possible is of benefit as it causes partial acclimatization. The consensus statement was approved by written consent in lieu of a meeting in July 2009.”
Constantini, K., Wilhite, D. P., & Chapman, R. F. (2017). A clinician guide to altitude training for optimal endurance exercise performance at sea level. High Alt Med Biol, 18, 93-101.
Millet, G. P., Roels, B., Schmitt, L., Woorons, X., & Richalet, J. P. (2010). Combining hypoxic methods for peak performance. Sports Med, 40(1), 1-25. doi:10.2165/11317920-000000000-00000
Hamlin, M. J., Lizamore, C. A., & Hopkins, W. G. (2018). The Effect of Natural or Simulated Altitude Training on High-Intensity Intermittent Running Performance in Team-Sport Athletes: A Meta-Analysis. Sports Med, 48(2), 431-446. doi:10.1007/s40279-017-0809-9