School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

A Novel Application of Altitude Training Masks and High-Intensity Interval Training to Improve Exercise Performance

Poster Number

235

Document Type

Poster

Abstract Category

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Keywords

Altitude Training Masks, HIIT, VO2 Max

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

NTRODUCTION: Altitude training masks (ATM, also known as respiratory fitness masks) have been widely implemented by recreational and professional athletes during high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and other forms of exercise training in an effort improve performance by purportedly inducing a hypoxic physiologic state. However, previous research on high altitude exercise training demonstrates that training at low altitudes elicits a greater training adaptation as participants can achieve higher work rates when compared to high altitude training.

PURPOSE: To examine the effects of ATMs used solely during recovery periods (low intensity intervals) during HIIT.

METHODS: Participants underwent six weeks of HIIT (3 sessions per week) with each exercise bout consisting of eight, 60-second high-intensity intervals interspersed with eight, 90-second low-intensity recovery intervals. Workloads for the high-intensity intervals were individualized to elicit heart rates within 10 bpm of each participant’s maximal heart rate as assessed during a baseline graded exercise test. The low-intensity recovery intervals were prescribed at a fixed workload corresponding to approximately 10% of each participants’ baseline maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2max). Participants were assigned via block randomization to either a control group (CG) or a training mask group (TMG) that only wore the ATM during the low-intensity recovery bouts of the HIIT intervention. Participants performed a graded exercise test to volitional exhaustion at both baseline and following the HIIT intervention as well as a vascular occlusion test to assess the tissue saturation index nadir (TSIN) of the gastrocnemius. Outcomes were V̇O2max, oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold (AT), and TSIN.

RESULTS: Twelve participants (7 women; 25.5±4.5 years; BMI: 23.6±1.5 kg/m2) have completed the study to date. V̇O2max increased significantly in the TMG group (40.5±3.6 to 44.5±5.4 ml/kg/min, p=0.03) but not in the CG. TSIN was significantly greater in the TMG group (-17.8±7.3 to -28.3±7.3% from baseline, p=0.05) with no significant change in the CG. No change in AT was observed in either group.

CONCLUSION: Implementing ATMs only during the low-intensity recovery intervals of HIIT training appears to improve key components of cardiorespiratory function not observed in the standard HIIT training group. These findings demonstrate a novel use of ATMs that has potential to change how ATMs are used by recreational and professional athletes. These results also have implications for the use of ATMs as potential adjunctive modalities for enhancing training effects in rehabilitative settings where improvements in short time periods are desirable.

Funding Source:

GWU SMHS Emerging Scholars in Health Science Pilot Grant, PI: Woolstenhulme

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

1

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

A Novel Application of Altitude Training Masks and High-Intensity Interval Training to Improve Exercise Performance

NTRODUCTION: Altitude training masks (ATM, also known as respiratory fitness masks) have been widely implemented by recreational and professional athletes during high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and other forms of exercise training in an effort improve performance by purportedly inducing a hypoxic physiologic state. However, previous research on high altitude exercise training demonstrates that training at low altitudes elicits a greater training adaptation as participants can achieve higher work rates when compared to high altitude training.

PURPOSE: To examine the effects of ATMs used solely during recovery periods (low intensity intervals) during HIIT.

METHODS: Participants underwent six weeks of HIIT (3 sessions per week) with each exercise bout consisting of eight, 60-second high-intensity intervals interspersed with eight, 90-second low-intensity recovery intervals. Workloads for the high-intensity intervals were individualized to elicit heart rates within 10 bpm of each participant’s maximal heart rate as assessed during a baseline graded exercise test. The low-intensity recovery intervals were prescribed at a fixed workload corresponding to approximately 10% of each participants’ baseline maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2max). Participants were assigned via block randomization to either a control group (CG) or a training mask group (TMG) that only wore the ATM during the low-intensity recovery bouts of the HIIT intervention. Participants performed a graded exercise test to volitional exhaustion at both baseline and following the HIIT intervention as well as a vascular occlusion test to assess the tissue saturation index nadir (TSIN) of the gastrocnemius. Outcomes were V̇O2max, oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold (AT), and TSIN.

RESULTS: Twelve participants (7 women; 25.5±4.5 years; BMI: 23.6±1.5 kg/m2) have completed the study to date. V̇O2max increased significantly in the TMG group (40.5±3.6 to 44.5±5.4 ml/kg/min, p=0.03) but not in the CG. TSIN was significantly greater in the TMG group (-17.8±7.3 to -28.3±7.3% from baseline, p=0.05) with no significant change in the CG. No change in AT was observed in either group.

CONCLUSION: Implementing ATMs only during the low-intensity recovery intervals of HIIT training appears to improve key components of cardiorespiratory function not observed in the standard HIIT training group. These findings demonstrate a novel use of ATMs that has potential to change how ATMs are used by recreational and professional athletes. These results also have implications for the use of ATMs as potential adjunctive modalities for enhancing training effects in rehabilitative settings where improvements in short time periods are desirable.

Funding Source:

GWU SMHS Emerging Scholars in Health Science Pilot Grant, PI: Woolstenhulme