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Exploring the Benefits of High Altitude Training For Athletes

15 October, 2012 | Written by Recuperat-ion Recuperat-ion

Condition your body using this well-researched exercise technique.

High altitude training is a conditioning approach that was heavily investigated in the latter half of the 20th century, and since the benefits of the technique have been well-researched it’s been adopted by athletes and MMA fighters all around the world.

The Pros

Working out at an altitude above 1,500 metres makes the body work much harder. It’s harder to catch your breath in this environment, so your body needs to acclimatise to the reduced oxygen levels. It’s said that this acclimatisation actually improves the delivery of oxygen to the muscles, which will (in theory) ultimately improve the athlete’s performance.
The Cons
However, while most fitness freaks would jump at the chance to try high altitude training for themselves, sometimes it’s just not possible for them to travel to an area that accommodates their needs. Jumping in a car or hopping on a plane to reach mountainous terrain isn’t financially viable for many people. Athletes also need to adopt a cautious approach towards altitude training and read up on the potential downsides of such an extreme regime – for example, it’s impossible to train at such a high intensity so far above sea level, a factor which may actually hinder the performance of individuals participating in some sports.
A Cheaper Solution
There is a solution for those looking to try out the practice at a lesser cost. Sports equipment manufacturers have placed a lot of time and effort into creating special training masks. As an example, the Elevation Training Mask 2.0 is a great piece of gear for those looking to incorporate high altitude training into their existing routines.
In development for over 2 years, this mask is a noticeable improvement on the very first version and has combined comfort and style with the latest respiratory training technology to help the user get the most out of his workout. It recreates the conditions experienced by those training at high altitudes and conditions the airways by creating pulmonary resistance and increasing lung capacity significantly over a period of time. Best of all, its settings allow you to choose different levels of simulated resistances, so you can allow your body to get used to the sensation and build up your endurance levels at a natural pace.
High altitude training isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely a great option for those who want to explore extra ways of maximising their athletic performance. Where’s the harm in trying out a training mask for a few weeks in the comfort of your own home or gym? If you personally don’t feel the benefits once you’ve given it a go, at least you wouldn’t have spent hundreds of pounds jetting off to an exotic location to experience that unpleasant altitude sickness!
Fight Co is a top UK provider of mixed martial arts equipment and apparel.
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