SEVEN DAYS OF LIVE-HIGH/TRAIN-LOW EXPOSURE DOES NOT CHANGE IMPORTANT PHYSIOLOGICAL OR PERFORMANCE FACTORS
Ratz, I. K., Coggan, A. R., & McGregor, S. J. (2009). Anaerobic and performance adaptations to a “live high-train low” approach using simulated altitude exposure. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation Number 739.
This study determined if a seven-day “live-high/train-low” simulated altitude exposure could improve (a) anaerobic and/or aerobic capacity (maximal accumulated oxygen deficit and/or VO2peak) in trained cyclists (N = 8) and (b) VO2peak and/or 400 m swimming performance in NCAA Division I intercollegiate swimmers (N = 10). Ss completed tests before and after live-high/train-low conditions in a cross-over design. Cyclists performed seven cycle-ergometer trials to measure maximal mean power output for four minutes, maximal accumulated oxygen deficit, and VO2peak. Swimmers completed five incremental arm ergometer trials to determine VO2peak and four 400 m swimming performance trials. These tests were performed to measure adaptations to a live-high/train-low protocol consisting of sleeping at a simulated altitude of 2,500 m for seven nights for 8-12 hours each night.
Baseline values for the cyclists’ VO2peak, maximal accumulated oxygen deficit, and maximal mean power output for four minutes did not exhibit significant changes as a result of the control or live-high/train-low treatment. Similarly, swimmers’ pre-treatment values for VO2peak and 400 m performance trials did not show significant changes as a result of the control or live-high/train-low treatment. Sleep quality seemed to be disrupted and required adaptation in the treatment protocol.
Implication. Seven days of simulated altitude exposure of 2,500 m for 8.5 hours each night is insufficient to result in changes in maximal accumulated oxygen deficit, VO2peak, or performance among highly trained cyclists and swimmers.
Return to Table of Contents for Physiology of Swimming.