Jongekrijg, L., Clancy, S., Murawske, J., & Davis, J. E. (2013). Effects of aerobic and anaerobic training on aerobic capacity and blood hematology at 3400 meters. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 2173.

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This study determined the differential effects of brief experiences to aerobic and anaerobic training on aerobic capacity and blood hematology during altitude exposure (3,400 m). S were assigned to an aerobic training group (N = 5), an anaerobic training group (N = 4), or to a no-exercise control group (N = 5). Testing occurred at five different times: original sea-level, upon initial acute exposure to 3,400 m, after one week at altitude, two weeks following initial introduction at 3,400 m, and upon return to sea-level. During each series of testing VO2max , hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, maximum heart rate, and oxygen saturation were measured. Both the anaerobic and aerobic training protocols were only five days in duration and completed on a cycle ergometer. The anaerobic training program consisted of 12 x 30-second bouts of exercise at 120% VO2max with 90 seconds rest, while the aerobic training included continuous exercise at 55% of workload for 30 minutes.

Brief aerobic training increased VO2max to a greater extent after five days of altitude training compared to the anaerobic program. After the training programs were completed and seven additional days of acclimatization were experienced, the anaerobic and aerobic groups increased their VO2max . The aerobic group increased more than the anaerobic group. Hemoglobin concentration increased significantly from initial sea-level to the second and third altitude measurements in the three groups. The rate of increase of hemoglobin from initial altitude to final altitude was greatest in the aerobic group relative to the anaerobic and control groups.

Implication. Completing a brief aerobic training program at altitude (3400 m) increased aerobic capacity. While the hematological response was observed in all groups, aerobic training appeared to accelerate the response relative to no exercise or anaerobic exercise training. No measures of performance were made.

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