Suzuki, Y., Kamei, A., & Kawahara, T. (2014). Short-term simulated altitude training camp using normobaric hypoxia swimming pool improves aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 46(5), Supplement abstract number 1565.

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This study determined the effects of five days normobaric hypoxia swim-training combined with nightly exposure to simulated altitude on sea-level aerobic and anaerobic performance. Elite male swimmers were assigned to either a “Hypoxic” (N = 7) or “Normoxic” (N = 7) group and performed swimming exercise twice a day for five days. Both groups followed the same training program in a long-course (50 m) swimming pool. The hypoxic group trained in a normobaric hypoxia swimming pool (16.4% O2), and rested in the normobaric hypoxia room (16.4% O2. Before and after the training, Ss completed a blood test, submaximal test (15x100m), and a maximal sprint test (1x50m).

After five days of swimming training, hemoglobin concentration was significantly increased in both groups. In the hypoxic group, ferritin concentration, lactate concentration after the submaximal test, and maximal 50 m sprint time were significantly decreased. In the mormoxic group, there were no significant changes in ferritin concentration, lactate concentration, and sprint time.

Implication. A simulated altitude training camp using a normobaric hypoxia swimming-pool enhanced both aerobic and anaerobic capacity in a short period of time in male swimmers. The latest swimming fad is to taper at altitude for championship meets. This investigation shows the negative or delaying effects of altitude-hypoxia on the physiological status of swimmers. One can still opine with authority that tapers for a meet should occur at the altitude of the swim meet.

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