HILO TRAINING SUPPOSEDLY IMPROVES CYCLISTS' PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS
Roberts, A. D., Clark, S., Townsend, N. Anderson, M., & Gore, C. J. (2001). Changes in performance and MAOD after 5, 10, or 15 days of Live high:Train low altitude exposure. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 1634.
Well trained cyclists (N = 19) completed a multi-staged four-minute cycle ergometer test to exhaustion to determine maximal average power output (APO) and maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAOD). Athletes were divided into three groups, which completed 5, 10, 15 days of both Live high:Train low (HiLo) altitude exposure and a control condition. Ss spent 8-10 hours in normobaric hypoxia at a simulated altitude of 2750 m, and trained at the ambient altitude of 610 m. Controls lived and trained at 610 m. Training program content and intensity, and opportunities for post-training session recovery were not controlled.
There were no significant differences between the 5, 10, 15 day conditions in the HiLo or control protocols. When HiLo groups were combined, there were significant differences between APO and MAOD pre- and post-HiLo exposure. There were no differences in the combined control groups.
Implication. A Hilo protocol increased average power output and maximal accumulated oxygen deficit in cyclists, but because of insufficient control over factors that affect the training response, one cannot place much emphasis on this finding. That only five days of HiLo exposure is necessary for significant changes, suggests this procedure is a recipe for instant training impact, something that contravenes conventional wisdom in changing the trained state of serious/elite athletes.
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