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S&C UnderGround >> Does Altitude Training Really Work?


3/4/13 6:00 AM
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PTM2020
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Found this interesting article by Alex Ariza and thought he makes some valid points.

 

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Alex Ariza on altitude training:

Ariza’s Corner Of The Ring125 Comments
Alex Ariza’s Corner Of The Ring

Why Shane Mosley will lose this fight after the 5th roundMost people think high altitude training is the way to train. They feel that by getting their endurance to the level they want in an environment that is producing less oxygen will make the body perform better when the body is introduced back to lower climates when the body is introduced back to higher amounts of oxygen for every breath they take.In high altitudes, the amount of oxygen in the blood is reduced because there’s less oxygen in the air. To compensate for reduction of oxygen in the air, the kidneys secrete more of a hormone called erythropoietin, which causes the body to create more red blood cells.However the increase in red blood cells comes at a cost – having too many blood cells makes the blood thicker and can make blood flow sluggish. This makes it harder for your heart to pump blood throughout the body, and can actually decrease the amount of oxygen getting to where it is needed.

At very high altitudes (>5000m), weight loss is unavoidable because your body actually consumes your muscles in order to provide energy. There is even a risk that the body’s immune system will become weakened, leading to an increased risk of infections, and there may be adverse changes in the chemical make-up of the muscles. Additionally, the body cannot exercise as intensely at altitude. This results in reduced training intensity, which can reduce performance.

Besides Shane Mosley loosing muscle tissue and his body becoming depleted Shane Mosley has the biggest set back of all. By the time Shane Mosley steps in the ring, his body will already have become accustomed to the lower altitude. Everything his body built in the area’s of endurance up in Big Bear mountain are now gone. The body has already adjusted back to it’s natural environment.
It is not like Shane Mosley is sitting there with all this extra energy that he will be able to display for everyone in the ring.
Shane’s body will automatically get used to the higher levels of oxygen that you breathe in the lower climates. Their will be no benefit to what Shane tried to accomplish. Shane Mosley will have achieved no advantage. All Shane Mosley did was sacrificed muscle, strength, and speed for no reason.

The only reason I put this article out now is because it is too late for Shane to go backwards. He has damaged his body enough that those effects are non-reversible. (in the short time left to the fight on May 7th.)

I remember watching Tito Ortiz years ago when he was at the top of his game, but then he changed his training to Big Bear. He thought it would help him, but Tito started gassing in the 2nd round. That was simply because he actually weakened himself during training and his opponent was able to over power him during the second round.

Same thing will happen to Mosely. Shane has depleted himself. That is why you saw what you saw in the Mayweather fight. That is why you saw what you saw in the Sergio Mora Fight.

On the other hand, my fighter Manny Pacquiao is training as hard as he possible can in the environment he will actually fight in. He is eating and building muscle everyday. He is getting faster, stronger, while Shane is getting weaker and weaker.

This fight will not go the distance. I hardly ever predict fights. Freddie Roach is better at that then I am, but you will see many advantages for us in this fight, but the biggest one you will see will come in the fifth or sixth round and beyond; that is strength, endurance, speed, and power.

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This was an interesting post in a boxing forum I came accross

 

When you train at altitude you can't train at the same intensity, you dehydrate quickly and there is less oxygen. When you get back to ground level you've missed out on quality training and detrained if you were up there long enough, and any changes to red blood cell count disappear quickly. Intensity is the most important thing for fitness and altitude interferes with that.
You don't get in shape by struggling the most, you get into shape on the quality of your training. Your body adapts to how you train, no more no less.

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What say you???

3/4/13 10:56 AM
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Jorx
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I agree.

The actually proven dogma for the last couple of decades used to be "sleep high, train low". However I've heard that even that is changing now.

There is so much pseudoscience in MMA conditioning...
3/4/13 12:04 PM
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big_slacker
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The actual studies AFAIK were only done on aerobic performance, running and cycling. And the actual benefits may or may not be there depending on a bunch of factors. I would just say stick to proven methods.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18665950
3/4/13 1:33 PM
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NeoSpartan
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train wherever the fuck you want. up a mountain, outer space, hyperbolic time chamber... I'm still whooping that ass.
3/4/13 2:40 PM
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Adventure Runner
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Edited: 03/04/13 2:43 PM
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I found this peer-reviewed study to be a good explanation for the science of altitude training:

http://www.best-fs.com/downloadsEnglish/HAMB_Levine_Intermittent.pdf

The conclusions were "live/sleep high; train low".

When one thinks about it, it really is common sense. Think of mountaineering. These guys need to live at altitude for weeks for their bodies to adjust. Doing an hour or two at altitude is simply not enough time to elicit any sort of adaptive response from your body when the other 22 hours of your day are spent at sea level. On top of that, you are able to do less work and thus don't give your body as great a stimulus to respond to.

Now if you were to live high and train low, you get the best of both worlds. The overwhelming majority of your time will be spent at altitude allowing your body to adapt to that altitude. Likewise dropping down to train for a couple hours won't have a negative effect on that adaption, and you'll be able to function in your workouts as good as possible to give your body the greatest stimulus possible to respond to.
3/4/13 10:12 PM
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blaznbison24
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There's so much individual variance. Some people are excellent responders, others are not. I think fighting has a much greater anaerobic aspect than endurance sports, so altitude is less important. It seems like they would lose too much speed and intensity high up in the air.
3/4/13 11:30 PM
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BshMstr
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i think this whole thing got muddied when people needed to train at altitiude if they were traveling to compete somewhere at altitude....

3/4/13 11:30 PM
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BshMstr
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Adventure Runner - I found this peer-reviewed study to be a good explanation for the science of altitude training:

http://www.best-fs.com/downloadsEnglish/HAMB_Levine_Intermittent.pdf

The conclusions were "live/sleep high; train low".

When one thinks about it, it really is common sense. Think of mountaineering. These guys need to live at altitude for weeks for their bodies to adjust. Doing an hour or two at altitude is simply not enough time to elicit any sort of adaptive response from your body when the other 22 hours of your day are spent at sea level. On top of that, you are able to do less work and thus don't give your body as great a stimulus to respond to.

Now if you were to live high and train low, you get the best of both worlds. The overwhelming majority of your time will be spent at altitude allowing your body to adapt to that altitude. Likewise dropping down to train for a couple hours won't have a negative effect on that adaption, and you'll be able to function in your workouts as good as possible to give your body the greatest stimulus possible to respond to.

agreed.
3/5/13 1:49 AM
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HERTSWENIP
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I lived for 2 years in La Paz Bolivia (the airport is at 13-14k feet, city 12k). The EMbassy medical advisory pamphlets they gave to all the families of newly relocated employees, said it takes anywhere from a few months to a year for a person's to fully acclimate to altitude change, and this adaptation is lost within 1-2 weeks of being at sealevel.

With there being 20% less oxygen, the record time for a mile in my school's 50 year history was something like 6:40.

When I returned to the US, at sea level in PE it felt like I could run endless laps without fatigue.

I agree altitude training camps are a waste for the reasons noted above, in addition to the fact not nearly enough time is spent at altitude to elicit a substantial adaptation.

3/5/13 9:42 AM
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jeremy hamilton
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So you would pretty much have to wear your training mask for a year straight without taking it off once to get any benefit from it...
3/5/13 4:14 PM
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rrg1
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jeremy hamilton - So you would pretty much have to wear your training mask for a year straight without taking it off once to get any benefit from it...

lol
3/5/13 5:46 PM
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NeoSpartan
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jeremy hamilton - So you would pretty much have to wear your training mask for a year straight without taking it off once to get any benefit from it...

DON"T YOU DARE START GIVING ME IDEAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DON"T DO IT!
3/8/13 10:16 PM
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Johnny D
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Good read

http://www.cyclingtips.com.au/2013/03/explaining-the-science-of-altitude-training/ Phone Post
3/9/13 2:51 PM
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Mudderfaeg
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NeoSpartan - train wherever the fuck you want. up a mountain, outer space, hyperbolic time chamber... I'm still whooping that ass.
I wish I had a hyperbolic time chamber. Phone Post

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