REAL ALTITUDE TRAINING IS MORE IMPACTFUL THAN SIMULATED ALTITUDE TRAINING
Wu, C. M., Lin, J. C., & Chang, Y. C. (2009). The differences of initial responses between short-term simulated and real altitude training. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 1095.
This study investigated the differences between the initial responses to short-term simulated and real altitude training. Elite male distance runners (N = 10) participated in three weeks of simulated hypoxic training (~1,900 m) and three weeks of real altitude training (1,906 m). Each was separated by three weeks. Erythrocytes, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, oxyhemoglobin saturation, and a 12-minute run were measured before and during training and after three weeks of detraining.
Erythrocytes were not different after both training experiences. Only after real altitude training did hemoglobin improve significantly. Mean corpuscular hemoglobin improved significantly only after simulated hypoxic training. The 12-minute run improved significantly after real altitude training. Heart rate and SaO2 were similar after both training experiences.
Implication. Real and simulated altitude training provoke some hematological responses but some are condition specific. Real altitude training had a greater impact in that it also affected performance.
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