Adding heat to the live-high train-low altitude model: A practical insight from professional football

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013, 47 (SUPPL. 1)
Issue Date:
2013-12-01
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Objectives To examine with a parallel group study design the performance and physiological responses to a 14-day off-season 'live high-train low in the heat' training camp in elite football players. Methods Seventeen professional Australian Rules Football players participated in outdoor football-specific skills (32±1°C, 11.5 h) and indoor strength (23±1°C, 9.3 h) sessions and slept (12 nights) and cycled indoors (4.3 h) in either normal air (NORM, n=8) or normobaric hypoxia (14±1 h/day, FiO215.2-14.3%, corresponding to a simulated altitude of 2500-3000 m, hypoxic (HYP), n=9). They completed the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery level 2 (Yo-YoIR2) in temperate conditions (23±1°C, normal air) precamp (Pre) and postcamp (Post). Plasma volume (PV) and haemoglobin mass (Hbmass) were measured at similar times and 4 weeks postcamp (4WPost). Sweat sodium concentration ((Na+)sweat) was measured Pre and Post during a heat-response test (44°C). Results Both groups showed very large improvements in Yo-YoIR2 at Post (+44%; 90% CL 38, 50), with no between-group differences in the changes (-1%; -9, 9). Postcamp, large changes in PV (+5.6%; -1.8, 5.6) and (Na+)sweat(-29%; -37, -19) were observed in both groups, while Hbmass only moderately increased in HYP (+2.6%; 0.5, 4.5). At 4WPost, there was a likely slightly greater increase in Hbmass(+4.6%; 0.0, 9.3) and PV (+6%; -5, 18, unclear) in HYP than in NORM. Conclusions The combination of heat and hypoxic exposure during sleep/training might offer a promising 'conditioning cocktail' in team sports.
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