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Altitude Gyms

Altitude Gyms

Altitude gyms in Australia are growing in popularity. People are looking to maximise the amount of time they are working out, and are seeking out alternatives or perhaps more boutique offerings.

Training in a reduced oxygen environment results in receiving a multitude of increased health benefits. What excites us most is some of the lesser known positives of training in an altitude environment. For example, increasing your natural growth hormone. This is triggered after strength training. Another benefit is you can also burn more calories at altitude, with some gyms advertising a loss of 25% more calories than at sea level. 

How many altitude training sessions should you do per week? 

  • We suggest a minimum of two sessions of at least 45 minutes, evenly spaced throughout the week. Alternate between specific strength training or sprint training. 

Sprint training 

Begin with 10 x 5 second sprints at an altitude of 2000m with an interval in between of 3 minutes of moderate exercise (let's say at a breathing rate of a brisk walk to light run). This will increase your ability to buffer lactic acid. Do this for three weeks and each week increase the amount of seconds by 1 second each session and cap it at 10 seconds.  

Strength training 

Begin with 4 x 3 minute strength efforts. When I was a professional cyclist I would increase the resistance at an altitude of 2000m with an interval in between efforts of around 3 minutes of moderate intensity high cadence for a cyclist (at a breathing rate of a brisk walk to light run). This will increase the amount of Growth Hormone that is released into you body. Do this for 3 weeks and each week I increase the resistance or time of the efforts.  

It would certainly be recommended to do three sessions, but this can be difficult with people’s busy lifestyles.

A recovery training session at altitude is a great way to get the benefits of altitude whilst maximizing your hard training sessions at sea level. As a cyclist I was averaging 25-30 hours on the bike a week and would still do 1.5-2 hours on my recovery days. I would do these recovery days at altitude because I could significantly lighten the training load on my muscles and still have a meaningful day of training.

Happy training. Rico.

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