Karlsen, T., Madsen, O., Rolf, S., & Stray-Gundersen, J. (2002). Effects of 3 weeks hypoxic interval training on sea level cycling performance and hematological parameters. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(5), Supplement abstract 1250.

“Coaches and athletes use hypoxic training (live low, train high), convinced of performance benefits over similar training at sea level.” This study investigated changes in junior elite cyclists (N = 8) when exposed to two three-week periods in a nitrogen room. One period was at normoxia and the other at normobaric hypoxia (15% O2; simulated 3,000 m). Each training period consisted of nine 2-hour interval workouts, three per week at the S’s lactate threshold.

During training, there was a significant reduction in absolute workload and oxygen content in the blood in hypoxia. There were no differences in heart rate or lactate accumulated in training. No significant differences in hematologic parameters were found at any time. Maximal power did not change.

Implication. Normobaric hypoxic training produced no additional performance benefit at sea level compared to the same relative training at sea level.

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