fbpx Skip to main content

Activate endurance mode.

Simulating high altitudes for hypoxic training with the hypobaric chamber

Imagine you’re on a mountain expedition, climbing to the apex of Everest (8849 meters). The only way is up and it’s not exactly a walk in the park. Every breath is a precious commodity, as the body adapts to the thinning air as we climb higher.

With each 1,000-meter, oxygen levels become lower, leading to hypoxia – a state where your body enters into oxygen deprivation. This is where your body activates endurance mode, fights for survival, and emerges more capable.


Betweeen 1000-2000 meters

As you climb over 1000 meters, the partial pressure of oxygen (PO₂) decreases due to lower atmospheric pressure. The body compensates by breathing more (hyperventilation) and increasing heart rate. Mild hypoxia triggers adaptations to enhance oxygen utilization.

Over 2000 meters

At 2000 meters, oxygen pressure continues to drop. The kidneys release erythropoietin (EPO), stimulating the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells to transport oxygen to the muscles. Hypoxic training progressively challenges the body’s ability to function in low-oxygen environments, leading to adaptations that enhance aerobic capacity.

Between 3000-4000 meters

At 3000 meters, the body adapts to hypoxia, and the muscles and cardiovascular system adjust for improved oxygen transport. There’s a substantial oxygen deficit and this challenges the body’s performance.

Over 4000 meters

Reaching 4000 meters, your system shifts to anaerobic metabolism (e.g., glycolysis) for energy production to improve altitude tolerance and support survival. Anaerobic metabolism leads to lactic acid buildup, causing fatigue and muscle soreness. You start to feel tired even when resting.

Between 5000-6000 meters

At 5000 meters, oxygen levels are critically low, you enter into severe hypoxia. Physical exercise becomes difficult, you experience critical oxygen scarcity, and your survival mode is activated.

Over 6000 meters

At 6000 meters, there’s a drastic reduction in exercise performance and every step is a struggle. Coordination, reflexes, and fine motor skills decline. Reduced oxygen affects memory, concentration, and decision-making. Symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) emerge – headache, nausea, dizziness.

Between 7000-8000 meters

Over 7000 meters, without hypoxia training, oxygen levels are near fatal. The body is in full survival mode, you have severe fatigue, impaired cognition, and AMS. The body is strained, and the mind is strained. Survival becomes the sole focus. This is where only a small percentage of climbers find the power to keep going. What follows after this is the Apex, the ultimate challenge.

In hypoxic training, you experience an oxygen-depleting environment in the controlled setting of the hypobaric chamber. The chamber simulates high-altitude conditions by lowering the air pressure for gradual acclimatization.

When the body is deprived of oxygen, it triggers adaptive defenses to counter the effects of hypoxia. Training sessions in a hypobaric chamber can help the body adapt to low-oxygen conditions and raise new benchmarks in performance.

Train like you’re on top of the world

Hypoxia tolerance training in the hypobaric chamber offers several benefits for the body during and after sessions.

Increased production of red blood cells

During hypoxia, the body perceives a lack of oxygen. In response, it releases a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO) which stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. These red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, enhancing the oxygen-carrying capacity. This translates to improved endurance and overall performance during exercise.

Improved oxygen utilization

When exposed to less oxygen, the body becomes more efficient at using the oxygen it has available. This is because muscles learn to extract more oxygen from the blood, even under conditions of reduced oxygen. This improved efficiency allows the body to maintain performance for longer durations.

Enhanced mitochondrial function

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, responsible for generating energy (ATP) through cellular respiration. Hypoxia training challenges the mitochondria to adapt and become more efficient. This results in increased ATP production during exercise, allowing the body to push harder for longer.

Altitude acclimatization

Hypoxia training provides a safe and controlled environment to experience low-oxygen conditions similar to high altitudes. This allows athletes, mountain climbers or aerospace professionals to gradually acclimatize their bodies. By learning and recognizing their personal symptoms in a controlled setting, they can better prepare for real-world low-oxygen environments.

Vasodilation and blood flow regulation

When your body experiences hypoxia, it releases nitric oxide. This molecule causes your blood vessels to dilate. The enhanced blood flow ensures better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and muscles, supporting optimal performance.

Aerobic adaptations

During hypoxia training, the body shifts its metabolic focus towards aerobic energy production, relying more on fat for fuel. This is particularly beneficial for endurance athletes as it helps to preserve glycogen stores, the body’s primary source of readily available energy during exercise.

Post-session effects

After a hypoxia training session, the body continues to burn calories at a higher rate due to the increased metabolic demand caused by the low-oxygen environment. Additionally, the hypoxia-induced stress can stimulate muscle repair and growth processes, potentially leading to faster recovery and improved muscle strength.

Cognitive benefits

While research is ongoing, some studies suggest that hypoxic training may enhance brain plasticity, potentially improving memory and cognitive function. Training the brain to perform under challenging conditions may also build mental resilience. Cognitive testing is a standard practice in hypobaric chamber training protocols.

Long-term adaptations

Regular exposure to hypoxia training can lead to lasting adaptations, even when you’re training at sea level. Athletes who consistently incorporate hypoxia training may experience sustained improvements in performance, especially in endurance sports.

We support safe hypobaric training sessions

Consult a medical professional to design a safe and effective hypoxia program.

Customize your protocols

Hypoxia training should be personalized based on fitness level, goals, and health status. Remember that while hypoxia training offers benefits, safety is paramount. Professional supervision and gradual progression are essential for maximizing gains without risking health.

Medical supervision

Hypobaric therapy should only be done under the supervision of a qualified medical professional who can assess suitability for the procedure, monitor progress, and address any potential complications.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, uncontrolled seizures, or severe claustrophobia, may make hypobaric therapy unsuitable. Consult your medical professional for dedicated evaluation and suitability to undergo hypoxic training.