HYPOXIA (ALTITUDE) DEPRESSES SWIMMING PERFORMANCE
Toussaint, H. M., Truijens, M. J., van Asseldone, E., & Levine, B. D. (2004). Hypoxic training in well-trained swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 2311.
Swimmers (M = 6; F = 10) completed five weeks of training, consisting of three high-intensity sessions in a flume and supplemental low-or moderate-intensity pool swimming per week. Ss were matched and assigned to a hypoxic (simulated altitude of 2,500 meters) or normoxic interval training group. Flume swimming consisted of 10 x 30-s swim, 15-s rest; 5 x 60-s swim, 30-s rest; 5 x 30-s swim, 15-s rest; and between sets rest of 2 minutes. Swimmers trained at similar intensities.
The hypoxic condition produced lower swimming speeds and power outputs. VO2 was significantly lower in the hypoxic condition. Both groups improved flume swimming speeds. The normoxic group improved significantly more in the performance of the second set of swimming but not in the first or third sets.
Implication. Hypoxia did not improve performance and largely depressed it through reduced power output.
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