High-intensity exercise in hypoxia: Is increased reliance on anaerobic metabolism important

Frontiers Media
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Journal Article
Frontiers in Physiology, 2016, 7 pp. 1 - 4
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Hypoxic training strategies to optimize physiological exercise responses have been extensively investigated, although often with limited performance benefits over the equivalent normoxic training (Roels et al., 2007). Recently, novel methods including intermittent hypoxic resistance training (IHRT) and repeat sprint training in hypoxia (RSH) have begun to receive research attention. Early results indicate that IHRT can augment muscle hypertrophy and strength compared to normoxic training (Nishimura et al., 2010; Manimmanakorn et al., 2013a,b), while RSH improves fatigue resistance, resulting in an increased capacity for repeated maximal efforts (Galvin et al., 2013; Faiss et al., 2013b). Although performing these high-intensity activities in hypoxia appears to provide some benefits for training adaptations, the mechanisms underpinning these responses are not fully understood. The beneficial responses to high-intensity exercise in hypoxia may result from a greater reliance on anaerobic metabolism, suggesting that increased metabolic stress may drive (or at least contribute to) these adaptations (Faiss et al., 2013b; Scott et al., 2015a). Considering the likely importance of metabolic stress on adaptation to IHRT and RSH strategies, the purpose of this paper is to briefly discuss the potential benefits of high-intensity training in hypoxia with reference to the role of anaerobic processes.
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