Above the limits

Hypoxia, or in other words oxygen debt

A traditional way of improving endurance, would consist of athletes going on training camps to hilly regions and return to the lowlands after a few weeks in order to beat their own records. This ‘altitude effect’, in form of putting an organism in a state of slight oxygen debt, forces it to certain adaptations and changes, which improve its endurance in the lowlands.

The first devices to imitate these conditions were introduced in the last decade of the 20th century. Because of these methods, we are able to expose an organism to the same conditions as in high mountains. Due to reduced level of oxygen, the body tissue becomes under-oxidised, forcing adaptations, which in turn increase its endurance and working capacity. Currently, there is no need to go to remote training camps in the mountains, as the same results can be achieved in specially designed chambers, such as HYPOINT.

Who can benefit from hypoxia?

Exposure to hypoxia can be particularly beneficial for endurance athletes (such as: runners, cyclists, rowers, canoeists and triathletes), those preparing for high-altitude expeditions, martial artists and people practicing team sports. However, the benefits can be observed in every discipline, where conditioning plays an important role.

What is hypoxia?

Both training and sojourning in a reduced-oxygen environment facilitate great improvements in organism’s endurance. Decreased access to oxygen (hypoxia) is a condition naturally occurring in an alpine environment. With an increase in altitude, the atmosphere becomes systematically diluted, which means that the amount of oxygen absorbed by the blood stream is reduced, leading to deteriorated tissue oxygenation.

It is no longer necessary to travel to high altitudes to achieve such an effect.

Thanks to our specialised equipment, we are able to create a reduced-oxygen environment, exposing body to conditions, under which tissues oxygenation is reduced. Because of that, it is no longer necessary to travel for remote and costly training camps in the Alps, Kenya or the USA as the same conditions can be replicated in HYPOINT.

What are the benefits of hypoxia?

Reducing the amount of oxygen absorption by the blood stream and body tissues triggers a range of physiological reactions in order to improve oxygen provision to the body. One of the fundamental reactions is stimulating kidneys production of erythropoietin (EPO). This hormone is responsible for production of erythrocytes in the bone marrow, which is said to be a legal ‘blood doping’. It results in an increase in haemoglobin concentration, which in turn boosts organism’s ability to transport oxygen to muscle. There are also changes occurring in muscles themselves, such as growing network of blood vessels or enhanced activity of the oxidative enzymes, which improve energy generation during physical activity. This amplifies the usage of oxygen absorbed by the blood stream. Usage of hypoxia stimulates production of erythrocytes as well as improves functioning of the cardiovascular and muscular system.

What are the variants of hypoxia?

An illegal and commonly used way of cutting corners in sports is done by supplanting athletes with an artificial EPO. However, it can only contribute to improvements in quality of blood.

Laboratory research has demonstrated that the usage of hypoxia can boost organism’s endurance by up to 10 percent, which largely contributes to improved performance. This effect could be compared to reducing the weight of an elite runner by a few kilograms or increasing power of an elite cyclist by several dozen watts.

There are a several ways of enhancing endurance using hypoxia. Simply sojourning as well as training in a reduced oxygen environment can tangibly improve athlete’s physical performance. Currently, there are two main schemes to be offered:


LHTL (Live-High Train-Low)

This requires training at the sea level and living 2500-3000 meters above. Due substantial difference in altitudes, such conditions can rarely be encountered in a natural environment. Simultaneous training and living in high altitudes caries a risk of overtraining, due to body’s restricted capability to cope with high training loads in a low-oxygen environment.


THLL (Train-High Live-Low)

This type of training is recommended in cases when we are looking to improve endurance under oxygen debt. This method significantly increases glycolytic endurance, which is organism’s ability to work under high load in a short period of time. This could be particularly beneficial for martial artists, team sports athletes, cyclists, runners and of course mountaineers increase the chances of successfully accomplishing the expedition

Altitude acclimatisation

Every person who has ever been on a trekking or a mountain climbing has experienced the implications of oxygen deficit. Even an altitude of 2000m could cause a discomfort resulting from a 20 percent decrease in oxygen availability. At an altitude of 3000m the oxygen availability decreases by further 10 percent, relative to the sea level. In this light, it is clear that reaching the highest peaks and successfully accomplishing mountain expeditions requires prior acclimatisation, in order to avoid the negative impact of oxygen debt. The optimal length of acclimatisation depends on a range of factors, such as height of mountains and prior training experience. For an active person, a trekking at an altitude of 4000 meters above sea level should not pose dangers, while untrained individuals could suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which could put his health at risk. Thanks to training in a low oxygen environment, acclimatisation can be done without need to travel, therefore significantly reducing the time needed to prepare for the expedition. Furthermore, this also translates to financial savings as well as increased comfort. The HYPOINT chamber can gradually decrease the level of oxygen available according to specific needs to individuals.

Usage of hypoxia can:

Significantly reduce the risk of AMS
(Acute Mountain Sickness)

Reduce the total time of expedition
by doing acclimatisation directly from Poland

Improve endurance and organism’s
performance during expeditions

Contribute to financial savings, which result
from decreased duration of expeditions

Hypoxic training

Both training and sojourning in conditions replicating high altitudes improves organism’s endurance at a sea level as well as in mountains. This provides athletes with a serious advantage over their competition.

Due to adaptations of the cardiovascular and muscular systems and changes in blood composition athletes are able to enhance their endurance and fitness. Scientific research has demonstrated that implementation of hypoxia in one’s training can result in an increase in VO 2 max or threshold power by up to 10%.

Correct implementation of hypoxia in a training programme results in muscle adaptation and changes in mitochondria, which are responsible for production of energy. This results in improvements in both anaerobic and aerobic conditioning, which is a legal way of enhancing organism’s capacity.

Improve organism’s functioning
under oxygen deficit

Increase in VO 2 max or
threshold power

Contribute to increase capacity
during interval training

Enhanced efficiency of

Improved recovery between
interval trainings

Invigorated metabolism and burning
fat due to increased production
of growth hormones


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