Altitude training is not for the faint of heart. Altitude training is most suitable for athletes who are already well conditioned, as it can provide a much needed shock to your body.
Altitude training itself generally implies training at altitudes of at least 8,000 feet above sea level. Recently, altitude-simulation masks have become a “trend” in the fitness community, attempting to replicate the potential benefits of this type of training.
With each new version created the masks are becoming more and more effective at how they simulate this type of training. Since the mid-1960s, the physical conditioning benefits of training at high-altitudes has been well-known.
Although living in a place with actually very high altitude still provides the most overall benefits, the simulations themselves still possess real and effective advantages for the human body.
Altitude simulating training was produced due to research done on actual altitude training.
The masks are the result of the increasing desire from the athletic community to be able to create this effect without actual moving to a new place.
The current design of the elevation training mask is smaller and lighter than any which came before it; with a selection of valves that can be changed to replicate a higher altitude training environment.
Why Altitude Training?
The reason for high altitude training is so that the body will become used to the condition known as hypoxia.
Hypoxia is an environment with reduced oxygen supply for your body, where the body actually begins to struggle when producing a necessary amount of energy for training with a limited supply of oxygen.
This forces the body to acclimate to a lowered supply of oxygen, triggering a range of physiological adaptations aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the respiratory, cardiovascular and oxygen utilization systems.
The results you get from this process include:
- An increase in the body’s ability to effectively manage the build-up of waste acid.
- Increased number of small blood vessels that transport oxygen.
- Substantial positive changes in the microscopic structure of your body and the function of muscles
Benefits of Altitude Training Mask:
There are several benefits that you can gain from utilizing an altitude-simulating training mask. Regardless of whether it perfectly replicates training in places such as Denver, Colorado, it does mimic a large amount of real altitude features with great benefits including:
- Altitude training masks leads to increased oxygen and energy production
- Training with the altitude training mask builds physical and mental stamina, increasing control of your breathing pattern
- Training with altitude training mask leads to increased lung capacity and also anaerobic threshold, leading to increased endurance especially for workouts that require short, intense outbursts of energy, burning more fat and increasing overall fitness level quicker
- Red blood cell volume is strongly benefitted by this type of training, as the hypoxic condition caused by the altitude training mask creates an increase in red blood cell volume or the reduction in the oxygen hemoglobin saturation. This leads to greater performance and increased strength or stamina
- Using the altitude training masks will reduce your training session length, as your overall work output is increased, even with shorter duration of training time
The benefits of using the altitude training mask are undeniable, and unachievable unless actually traveling to-and spending a large amount of time in a climate with significantly different altitude than what you are accustomed to.
The use of the altitude training mask positively affects your VO2 max, heart rate and power output, all of which are indicators of overall performance and yield legitimate health benefits.
Regardless of your training goals or level, an altitude training mask is a worthwhile investment in order to achieve your goals faster!