The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of
intermittent hypoxic training (IHT) with 95 % of lactate threshold
workload (WRLT) on aerobic capacity and endurance performance
in well-trained cyclists. Twenty male elite cyclists,
randomly divided into a hypoxia (H) group (n=10; age 22 ±
2.7years; VO2max 67.8 ± 2.5 ml·kg-1·min-1; body height (BH)
1.78 ± 0.05 m; body mass (BM) 66.7 ± 5.4kg; fat free mass
(FFM) 59.3 ± 5.1kg; fat content (FAT%) 11.3 ± 2.1%), and a
control (C) group (n = 10; age 23.5 ± 3.5years; VO2max 67.7 ±
2.0 ml·kg-1·min-1; BH 1.79 ± 3.2 m; BM 69.2 ± 5.5 kg; FFM
63.6 ± 4.8 kg; FAT% 7.9 ± 1.94 %) took part in the research
project. The training program used during the experiment was
the same for the both groups. For three weeks, the subjects in H
group performed 3 training sessions per week in normobaric
hypoxia environment (IHT – O2 = 15.2%). During the elemental
core of the IHT session, the intensity was set at 95% WRLT for
30-min in 1st microcycle, 35-min in 2nd microcycle and 40-min
in 3rd microcycle. The same training procedure was provided in
C group, yet the intensity of the main sessions were set at 100%
WRLT in the normoxia environment. The results indicate a significant
(p < 0.05) increase in VO2max,VO2LT, WRmax, WRLT and
change in lactate concentration (ΔLA) during incremental test in
H group. Also a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in time of the
time trial was seen, associated with a significant increase (p <
0.05) in average generated power (Pavg) and average speed (Vavg)
during the time trial. The intermittent hypoxic training (IHT)
applied in this research did not significantly affect the hematological
variables considered: number of erythrocytes (RBC),
hemoglobin concentration (HGB) and haematocrit value (HCT).
Significant blood value increases (p < 0.05) were only observed
in MCV in H group. This data suggests that intermittent hypoxic
training at lactate threshold intensity and medium duration (30-
40min) is an effective training means for improving aerobic
capacity and endurance performance at sea level.

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climb to the summit of the planet at 8848m

“Failure is not having the courage to try”

On 30 March 2011 I arrive in Nepal for the privileged opportunity of an attempt to climb to the summit of the planet at 8848m.

Tibetans call her “Chomolungma”, Mother Goddess of the Universe and to the Sherpa people of Nepal it is “Sagarmatha”, The Churning Stick in the Sea of Existence. Westerners call her “Mt Everest’ (after the British surveyor Sir George Everest).

A small window to reach the summit generally presents itself for one week each year (when the jet stream winds at the summit drop just before the onset of Monsoon season) typically somewhere between mid to late May. Depending on when the mountain offers passage, I will be on the mountain for a total of 2 to 2.5 months.

Most of this time will be spent acclimatizing moving up/down to/from progressively higher altitudes, but when the summit weather window is forecast (not always with certainty), we will make a 6 day push from Base Camp to the summit, with summit day generally lasting 18 hours (mostly in the so-called “Death Zone”) on the back of 5 days of little sleep or food.

I have never trained as hard as I have in the last 6 months and never wish to again. Aside from the lofty goal of life-peak aerobic fitness I have also managed to increase my weight from my usual 72.5kg to almost 80kg, mostly in muscle, knowing that on Everest, climbers typically lose 20% of their body weight and I am keen to start summit day with some skin on my bones.

Aside from leaving my wife as a single mum for the period I will be away climbing, she has suffered without complaint through my absence as a husband and father as I have prepared for this trip and for her unquestioning support in chasing this dream, I thank her with all my heart and I know she will be with me every step of the way.

I would ask that, should you feel so inclined, you show your support for my trip by donating to an educational Scholarship Program for around 70 underprivileged Nepalese children based in Kathmandu. The Program is run by Australian charity Sunrise Children’s Association Incorporated (SCAI) and their local partners Sunrise Orphanage Nepal. Refer  All donations are tax deductible in Australia.

Sadly, thousands of children in Nepal are sent from their homes to orphanages in Kathmandu by their parents in the hope of a better future for their children. Primary motivations are a desire for their children to have better food, medical care and education.

In order for children to be accepted by some orphanages, parents may bribe relevant authorities to sign false paperwork stating that they are dead, whereabouts unknown or are too ill to care for their children. This often then tragically means that the parents cannot or do not see their children again.

The Scholarship Program supports local families, in particular single mothers who face great hardship, with education for the children at a local school and some basic needs for the family to encourage the parent/s to keep the children at home rather than abandoning them.

The scholarship program has been running for two years and its funding expired at the end of 2010. The total cost of the scholarship program budget for 2011 is $17,000pa and my wife and I will underwrite whatever shortfall exists after all your donations have been received to ensure none of the kids miss out in 2011. If we exceed our target the excess will go towards funding the program in 2012.

You can donate online at  Simply type “Sunrise Children’s Association Inc” in the Keywords search on the home page, click on the link called “Sunrise Children’s Association Inc Community Development Appeal” (Givenow Ref 566) and follow the prompts. Please be sure to type in “Paul/Everest” under “Special Messages” so we can identify your donation.  If you do not wish to pay via credit card, please contact Bec Stafford at Hamton (03 9522 8426) to arrange for donations by cheque and for corresponding receipts.

All good karma produced via your donations will be greatly appreciated.

I am climbing as part of a private expedition with Adventure Consultants (AC). I have my own western guide and Sherpa support and whilst at times we may shadow the main AC expedition of around 7 climbers, we can and will move independently on the mountain, particularly at the “business end” of proceedings.

If you are interested, you will be able to stay in touch with our progress via regular dispatches on the AC website at

Thanks in advance for everyone’s support.

Below are some pictures of some of the kids which the Scholarship Program ensures avoid the risk of abandonment and receive an education (and hopefully a bright future).

Noteworthy facts:

Amidst the postcard perfect smiles and colourful celebrations of the Nepalese people lurks the following statistics:

· Average annual income of US$240

· 49% of the 26.3m population live in absolute poverty

· 47% are unemployed

· Literacy is generously estimated at 29%

· Over 2.6m child labourers

· Infant mortality rate of children under 5 years is 10.4%

Paul Hameister

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Athletics: Britton to skip Edinburgh clash for altitude training

Friday January 07 2011

FIONNUALA Britton has turned down an invitation to compete in tomorrow’s Great Edinburgh Cross-Country championships in favour of travelling to South Africa this week for a month’s high-altitude training.

And she is joined there by Sligo’s Mary Cullen, another Irish athlete who knows only too well the frustration of finishing fourth in the European Cross-Countries.

While Britton was heartbroken to be just outside the medals in the Algarve before Christmas, Cullen was equally frustrated by having to sit out that event after breaking her collarbone in a fall from a bicycle.

Cullen is back training now and targeting a return in time for the European Indoors in Paris in March, a competition at which she won bronze last time out.

Both women will spend most of this month in a training camp at Potchefstroom, which also includes Ireland‘s European 100m hurdles silver medallist Derval O’Rourke.

National inter-county champion Joe Sweeney (DSD) and Clonliffe’s Mark Kennelly will dominate Irish interest in Edinburgh after being selected on the European team in the inaugural men’s ‘international’ 8km race.

But recent European U-23 team gold medallist Mick Mulhare, his brother Dan, Mark Christie and Stephen Scullion are all racing in the earlier men’s 4km. The ‘international’ pits Britain‘s double European track champion Mo Farah against his cross-country nemesis and European captain Sergey Lebid, while America will be skippered by Galen Rupp.

Lebid and Farah have had some cracking cross-country battles in recent years, including Edinburgh in 2007 and the 2008 European Cross Countries, both won by the Ukranian.

The men’s 4km features a host of Olympic and World medallists, including big-name Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge, Asbel Kiprop and Brimin Kipruto.

Kiprop is the reigning Olympic 1,500m champion, while Kipruto holds the same title in steeplechase.

The women’s race also has a star-studded field, which includes Kenya‘s current world 5,000m and 10,000m champions Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai as well as two-time world junior cross-country champion Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and Portugal’s European champion Jessica Augusto.

Edinburgh Cross-Country

Live, tomorrow, BBC 1, 1.30

- Cliona Foley


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Vascular adaptations to hypobaric hypoxic training in postmenopausal women.

Nishiwaki M, Kawakami R, Saito K, Tamaki H, Takekura H, Ogita F.

Graduate School of Physical Education, National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Kanoya, Japan.


The objective of this study was to examine the effects of exercise training in hypoxia on arterial stiffness and flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) in postmenopausal women. Sixteen postmenopausal women (56 ± 1 years) were assigned to a normoxic exercise group (Normoxic group, n = 8) or a hypoxic exercise group (Hypoxic group, n = 8). The Hypoxic group performed exercise under hypobaric hypoxic conditions corresponding to 2000 m above sea level, and was exposed to these conditions for 2 h per session. Aquatic exercise was performed at an intensity of around 50% peak oxygen uptake for 30 min, 4 days per week, for 8 weeks. Arterial stiffness was assessed by brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), and FMD was evaluated by peak diameter of the popliteal artery during reactive hyperemia. After the 8 weeks of training, the Normoxic group showed no significant changes. In contrast, baPWV (P < 0.05) was significantly reduced and peak diameter (P < 0.05) and %FMD (P < 0.01) were significantly increased in the Hypoxic group after training. These results suggest that exercise training under mild intermittent hypoxic conditions could more effectively reduce arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women, compared with exercise training performed at the same relative intensity under normoxic conditions. Our data also indicate that hypoxic exercise training may induce vascular functional adaptation, for example an increase in FMD response. These findings therefore could have important implications for the development of a new effective exercise prescription program.

J Physiol Sci. 2010 Dec 22.

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High altitude training and superior oxygen levels helped him cope with the situation better

Dual international Mat Rogers was “gripped by terror” as a Gold Coast boat cruise with former rugby league teammates and friends almost ended in tragedy at the weekend.

Rogers was one of 10 people, including two children, on a 10-metre boat with former Titans teammate Greg Bird, TV personality Matt Johns and international cyclist Robbie McEwen, when passengers began losing consciousness after inhaling toxic carbon monoxide fumes.

The passengers were inhaling the undetectable gas from exhaust fumes building up in the boat and six of the nine on board, including Johns and Bird, collapsed.

He and McEwen are being hailed as heroes after rescuing a passenger who fell overboard during the drama.

“There was a time on the boat I felt terrified and powerless to do anything,” the recently retired rugby league star told AAP on Wednesday.

“I was pretty messed up for a time. I slipped off my chair and ended up on the ground but I don’t think I lost complete consciousness.

“It was frightening.

“I was standing there thinking `what’s happening, what’s happening’, it was like something out of a movie.

“I remember I had my phone in my hand and I was looking at it wondering what I was going to do with it, I couldn’t even make a phone call.”

Despite his confused state, Rogers leapt into the water to help a man who’d fallen off the back of the boat after blacking out just off Sanctuary Cove.

He and McEwen, whose high altitude training and superior oxygen levels helped him cope with the situation better than other passengers, kept the unconscious passenger’s head above water until help arrived.


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Interval hypoxic training improves autonomic cardiovascular and respiratory control in patients with mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Haider, Thomas; Casucci, Gaia; Linser, Tobias; Faulhaber, Martin; Gatterer, Hannes; Ott, Guenter; Linser, Armin; Ehrenbourg, Igor; Tkatchouk, Elena; Burtscher, Martin; Bernardi, Luciano


Objectives: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with cardiac autonomic nervous system dysregulation. This study evaluates the effects of interval hypoxic training on cardiovascular and respiratory control in patients with mild COPD.

Methods: In 18 eucapnic normoxic mild COPD patients (age 51.7 ± 2.4 years, mean ± SEM), randomly assigned to either training or placebo group, and 14 age-matched healthy controls (47.7 ± 2.8 years), we monitored end-tidal carbon dioxide, airway flow, arterial oxygen saturation, electrocardiogram, and continuous noninvasive blood pressure at rest, during progressive hypercapnic hyperoxia and isocapnic hypoxia to compare baroreflex sensitivity to hypoxia and hypercapnia before and after 3 weeks of hypoxic training. In double-blind fashion, both groups received 15 sessions of passive intermittent hypoxia (training group) or normoxia (placebo group). For the hypoxia group, each session consisted of three to five hypoxic (15-12% oxygen) periods (3-5 min) with 3-min normoxic intervals. The placebo group inhaled normoxic air.

Results: Before training, COPD patients showed depressed baroreflex sensitivity, as compared with healthy individuals, without evident chemoreflex abnormalities. After training, in contrast to placebo group, the training group showed increased (P < 0.05) baroreflex sensitivity up to normal levels and selectively increased hypercapnic ventilatory response (P < 0.05), without changes in hypoxic ventilatory response.

Conclusion: Eucapnic normoxic mild COPD patients already showed signs of cardiovascular autonomic abnormalities at baseline, which normalized with hypoxic training. If confirmed in more severe patients, interval hypoxic training may be a therapeutic strategy to rebalance early autonomic dysfunction in COPD patients.

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Fitness & Training

GO2Altitude has a publication section which includes articles on altitude training from various magazines.

Fitness & Training


The Australian Sports Commission or the Australian Institute of Sport does not provide personal fitness or training programs. For an individually tailored program contact a coach or fitness centre in your area. For contact details of sporting organisations that may be able to direct you to the closest coach within Australia, try our directories page . Before undertaking any training or fitness program you should first check with your physician, and also verify with a professional the appropriateness of the program for you.

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VO2 responses to intermittent swimming sets at velocity associated with VO2max


Sebastien Libicz, Belle Roels, Gregoire P Millet

While the physiological adaptations following endurance training are relatively well understood, in swimming there is a dearth of knowledge regarding the metabolic responses to interval training (IT). The hypothesis tested predicted that two different endurance swimming IT sets would induce differences in the total time the subjects swam at a high percentage of maximal oxygen consumption (VO(2)max). Ten trained triathletes underwent an incremental test to exhaustion in swimming so that the swimming velocity associated with VO(2)max (vVO(2)max) could be determined. This was followed by a maximal 400-m test and two intermittent sets at vVO(2)max: (a) 16 x 50 m with 15-s rest (IT(50)); (b) 8 x 100 m with 30-s rest (IT(100)). The times sustained above 95% VO(2)max (68.50 +/- 62.69 vs. 145.01 +/- 165.91 sec) and 95% HRmax (146.67 +/- 131.99 vs. 169.78 +/- 203.45 sec, p = 0.54) did not differ between IT(50) and IT(100)(values are mean +/- SD). In conclusion, swimming IT sets of equal time duration at vVO(2)max but of differing work-interval durations led to slightly different VO(2)and HR responses. The time spent above 95% of VO(2)max was twice as long in IT(100) as in IT (50), and a large variability between mean VO(2)and HR values was also observed.
Canadian journal of applied physiology = Revue canadienne de physiologie appliquée. 01/11/2005; 30(5):543-53.
ISSN: 1066-7814

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High Performance Equine Hypoxicator

High Performance Equine Hypoxicator

Until recently, training horses at “altitude” in the same way as for humans was impractical.

However, what was once impractical is now a real option for race horse trainers with the advent of Intermittent Hypoxic Training (IHT) or simulated high altitude training.

Simulated high altitude training can vastly improve athletic performance by deliberately inducing hypoxia with the animals body producing more red blood cells, which in turn results in increased oxygen delivery to the tissues such as the heart, lungs and skeletal muscle.

There is no evidence that IHT will enhance the performance of the animal beyond its own genetic potential. But there is evidence that IHT does have a therapeutic role in minimising muscle damage associated with strenuous exercise.

Other applications of IHT include acclimatization of horses for air travel, enhance effects on fertility, and assists with the management of lung disease associated with Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage in horses.

Please email us at for sales price or other information enquiries. NB: The price for this product is not listed on the webpage, please contact us for further details.

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Tour de France 2011: Team Sky preparing for altitude training ahead of Alpine endeavours

By Brendan Gallagher

With the next year’s Tour de France spending a significant time 2000 metres above sea level next year Dave Brailsford, the team principal at Team Sky, has asked his sports scientist to overhaul his their training schedule for riding at such altitude.

A failure to ride competitively on the very highest reaches of this year’s mountain stages was quickly identified as the root cause for Bradley Wiggins being unable to get on terms with the main yellow jersey contenders and was already being looked into by Brailsford and his team.

Although Sky trained on all of the highest climbs in this year’s Tour, unlike most teams they did not organise long camps at altitude before the three-week race, but it is something they are seriously considering for 2011.

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