Sprinting improvements from training at high altitude

Doug3

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#1
For the sprinters out there (especially track, points race) looking for a boost to anaerobic performance, if you do not have access to a hypobaric chamber, you should do your sprint training high in the mountains.

This article seems to indicate that sprint training at high elevations, compared to near sea level, causes adaptations in the body that allow greater blood flow and possibly better waste removal from the fast twitch muscles, thereby increasing the number of all out sprints one could perform before exhaustion.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0056522
 

Sikochi

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#2
Thanks for posting, but by having no control group doing the same training without the altitude stimulus, then it appears to me, that they failed to prove that it wasn`t sprint training in and of itself that brought about the improvement. Anyway, to someone who can barely scrape over 800 W, it doesn`t really matter :cry:
 

Doug3

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#3
Thanks for posting, but by having no control group doing the same training without the altitude stimulus, then it appears to me, that they failed to prove that it wasn`t sprint training in and of itself that brought about the improvement.
Beg to differ. There were 3 groups.

Subjects were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment groups with repeated sprint training either in normoxia (RSN, n = 20) or hypoxia (RSH, n = 20). A control group (CON, n = 10) completed only Pre- and, after four weeks without specific training,

RSN (normal partial pressure of oxygen) is probably what you are referring to as a control group. They were subjected to the same protocol as the RSH (low partial pressure of oxygen) group. Both groups did the protocol in the same chamber, and both groups were informed they were training at altitude.

Protocol was run in single-blind fashion, as subjects both in RSH and RSN were told that all training sessions were held at altitude (without any accurate information on the altitude level). When asked, 95% of the subjects in RSH and 85% in RSN declared that their training was performed in hypoxia.


And yes, the sprint training in and of itself did have an effect, as both the RSH and RSN groups showed improvement when compared to the actual control group (CON) that did not do the sprint training.

From Pre- to Post-, the average power of all sprints during the RSA test increased (p<0.01) to the same extent (6±7% vs. 7±8%, NS) in RSH and in RSN, respectively, but not in CON (2±5%, NS).
 

Sikochi

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#4
A control group (CON, n = 10) completed only Pre- and, after four weeks without specific training,[/I]
This was the bit I was referring to. Should have been 2 control groups surely - one with no training, and the second one with the training, but with no altitude. And then of course, the same again, but fed the wrong information to filter out any perceived placeboing - as below, they gave them the correct information re: altitude, just not actual altitude.

as subjects both in RSH and RSN were told that all training sessions were held at altitude (without any accurate information on the altitude level). When asked, 95% of the subjects in RSH and 85% in RSN declared that their training was performed in hypoxia.[/I]
Edit: to make my point clearer, all they have shown is that people who practice sprinting, improve at sprinting.
 

Doug3

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#5
This was the bit I was referring to. Should have been 2 control groups surely - one with no training,
Check, CON

and the second one with the training, but with no altitude.
Check, RSN

And then of course, the same again, but fed the wrong information to filter out any perceived placeboing - as below, they gave them the correct information re: altitude, just not actual altitude.
RSH was given correct info that they were training at simulated high altitude, RSN was given false information. RSN was told they were training at simulated high altitude, but were actually at low altitude conditions.

So what you are suggesting is 2 RSN groups, both in the chamber, with one group being misled that they are testing at high simulated altitude (which is what actually happened, while actually testing under low altitude conditions),
and another control RSNSC who are told they are testing at low altitude, and actually are.?:confused:



Edit: to make my point clearer, all they have shown is that people who practice sprinting, improve at sprinting.
Agree they show that people who practice at sprinting improve, but, in my humble opinion, they also make a valid claim that the RSH group could perform a higher number of sprints than the RSN group on the RSA test protocol after 4 weeks of training, even though the performance of the 2 groups prior to training was statistically equivalent.
(Referencing Figure 3)

Would be very interested in hearing other opinions from people who may be familiar with the design of experiments.
 

Sikochi

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#6
I need to study more science then, as for someone who lives at about 5 m, I wasn`t aware that an altitude of 450 m is regarded as normoxia - I`ve never once lived even close to that altitude. To me, 450m is altitude, so I accept your points, due to my ignorance.

For a more complete answer to the study then, the main faults are the use of `moderately trained male cyclists` and as you state, the only `performance` benefit of 3,000m vs 450m simulated altitude was the number of sprints that could be done to exhaustion. For this study to then have value, they then need to show whether the effects apply when the subject returns to `normoxia`, as races with sprints aren`t run at 3,000m.

And also, given the nature of cycling, what is the value of being able to manage more maximum sprints until exhaustion? What cycling events fit into that category? How many sprints will a rider do in a race? Maybe one or two for intermediate points, and then the final one. It`s the combination of peak power with sustainable power that counts, and confusingly, peak power was higher in the hypoxia group, but average power was higher in the normoxia group.

Anyway, the study is irrelevant to me, as there is nowhere in Shikoku above even 2,000m.
 

FarEast

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#7
Sikochi, I guess you have never raced criterium races or cyclocross where you are constantally attacking over the course of an hour or raced a crit with primes where its a nasty tactic for teams to neautralise riders by suddenly attacking straight after a prime sprint..... if you can't responde to these kind of attacks the race is over.

There is plenty of use for this kind of training and ability.
 

GSAstuto

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#8
Like! The dynamic aspects and demands of real racing cannot be underestimated. Especially when podium spots are won and lost based on fractions of seconds. You're absolutely right on here - and I think most recreational riders and amateur triathlon oriented folks just think in terms of steady state performance. Like, 'how long does it take me to get there', not 'how many times' can I pull off a 1500w @ 10s attack.

Sikochi, I guess you have never raced criterium races or cyclocross where you are constantally attacking over the course of an hour or raced a crit with primes where its a nasty tactic for teams to neautralise riders by suddenly attacking straight after a prime sprint..... if you can't responde to these kind of attacks the race is over.

There is plenty of use for this kind of training and ability.
 

Doug3

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#9
And also, given the nature of cycling, what is the value of being able to manage more maximum sprints until exhaustion? What cycling events fit into that category? How many sprints will a rider do in a race? Maybe one or two for intermediate points, and then the final one. It`s the combination of peak power with sustainable power that counts, and confusingly, peak power was higher in the hypoxia group, but average power was higher in the normoxia group.
In addition to what Tim and James said, the track points race is relevant too. (the first sentence of this thread)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/get_involved/4263734.stm

Anyway, having been off the bike for 2 months now, I have to do something with all the extra time, (besides online shopping for gear:eek:), so studying up on cycling research is a good distraction.
 

mrkamot

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#10
sorry if i am overly simplifying it; but i think this can be similar to dennis rodman's impressive basketball rebound numbers.

he is not the highest leaper, but he leaps quickly, and in quick succession, hence he is able to tip the ball to either side to get the actual rebound.

/mindlessdribbleover
 

Sikochi

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#11
Sikochi, I guess you have never raced criterium races or cyclocross where you are constantally attacking over the course of an hour or raced a crit with primes where its a nasty tactic for teams to neautralise riders by suddenly attacking straight after a prime sprint..... if you can't responde to these kind of attacks the race is over.

There is plenty of use for this kind of training and ability.
I agree with your point re: the races. My comment re: the study was in terms of the precise protocol - 10 sec maximal sprints followed by 20 sec recovery at 120 W repeated 5 times, followed by 5 mins recovery at 120 W, whole process repeated 3 times, aren`t part of any cycling race. Multiple sprints sure, but not to exhaustion and not followed by a long recovery.

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Thinking about it, the study is closest to the tabata protocol.