Hiller, W. D., Kierenfield, L. M., Fortress, E. E., Nielsen, G. R., Pinkert, T. P., Scudder, D. A., Wong, D. L., Thrower-Rodriguez, T. R., Yamada, D. S., Forde, K. J., & Jensen, S. (2001). Response to live high, train low among elite Olympic distance triathletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 10.

Olympic triathletes (M= 14; F = 6) lived for 38 days at 2,100 m and commuted daily to train at sea level. Athletes continued their own training plans.

VO2max treadmill performance increased by 5.6%, peaking (6.5%) at week 4. VO2max increased by 4.6% for males and 8.0% for females. Only males lost a significant amount of body fat and gained lean muscle mass, females remaining relatively constant on those two factors. Blood analyses showed significant increases in hematocrit (4.4%), hemoglobin(4.3%), and red blood cell volume (4.4%). Overall, 9 males and all 6 females responded to the experience while 5 males did not.

Increased VO2max in females correlated with changes in blood indices, but not in body composition. Male responses were not explained by blood or body composition.

There was no control group in this study. Significant factors that affect performance adaptation, such as amount of rest, reduction in life-style stresses, etc. were not controlled.

Implication. Some athletes respond well to live-high/train-low regimens over a short period (five weeks) of time.

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