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.
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