Hypoxic Training or Exercise in Hypoxia

Who can benefit from Hypoxic Exercise or Hypoxic Training?

The first applicability of exercise in hypoxia is evident, those who have to face some type of physical activity at altitude will greatly appreciate not only having acclimatized to altitude at rest / night, but also having performed training in hypoxia; walking on a treadmill with a backpack, running on a treadmill, climbing in a climbing simulator, … all breathing hypoxic air.

Mountaineers, skiers, trail runners, cyclists who have to face stages at altitude and athletes of all kinds who have to compete at altitude.

Performance improvement at sea level

When you seek to improve performance through adaptations caused by exercise, you seek to perform workouts of the highest possible quality. The limitation that an oxygen-depleted air produces at altitude for the excellence of such training guided the Live Up Train Down strategy, especially for competitors at sea level; benefit from the positive physiological effects of a prolonged stay at altitude without reducing the effectiveness of training.

Multiple scientific studies in the area of ​​Physiology and Sports Medicine support Hypoxia Training showing improvements in the capacity for cellular oxygenation, energy metabolism, capillary perfusion and neuromuscular fatigue for athletes who compete at sea level. Aerobic-anaerobic endurance, recovery after efforts, and even muscle hypertrophy seem to benefit from the application of hypoxia to exercise. Although, the mode of inclusion within the athlete’s cycles as well as the designed protocols is shown as a decisive factor for the success of the hypoxic program.

Hypoxia training can be carried out in various ways depending on the facilities and equipment available. In the case of having a hypoxia generator at home / gym, the most common is to roll on a roller or cycle ergometer, run on a treadmill, row on a rower, climb on a climbing simulator, perform strength exercises, etc.

Training (exercise) at altitude as a method of improving physical capacities at sea level is based on Intermittent Hypoxia methodologies such as the following:


CHT> Continuous Training in Hypoxia. Example | Cyclist rolling on a roller for a specified period (~ 30´-180´) at simulated altitude (~ 2000m).

IHIT> Intermittent Hypoxia Interval Training. Example | perform series (~ 3-5) of high intensity (~ 80-100% VO2max) with recovery intervals in hypoxia (2´- 4´, altitude 2500-3000).

RSH> Repeated Sprints in Hypoxia. Example | Short sprints (= <30 ​​”) with incomplete recovery, sprints and simulated altitude recovery (~ 3000-3500).

RTH> Resistance Training in Hypoxia. Example | series (~ 3-6) of Back Squat with low load (~ 20-30% 1RM) at 80% arterial O2 saturation and with short recovery time (~ 30 ”).