ABSTRACT: Background. There is increasing popularity among elite athletes to endorse altitude training to enhance performance levels. Altitude training may be used for enhanced performance at sea level, or to acclimatise to a competition at altitude. Enhancement of muscle oxidative capacity, muscle glycolytic capacity, skeletal muscle oxygenation, oxygen transport and storage within the muscle, and hormonal regulation have been reported with altitude training. Aim. The aim of this review is to analyse current knowledge on hypoxic training and its possible relation to enhanced endurance performance. This paper will consider factors including the process of enhanced sea level performance in relation to natural hypoxic exposures to altitude conditions. Methods. A literature search was performed from the years 1968 to 2011 on the electronic databases PUBMED. Key search words included endurance, altitude and performance. Results/Conclusion. This brief review has highlighted the lack of homogeneity in the scientific approach to the evaluation of hypoxic exposure effectiveness in endurance performance. However, relevant performance benefits have been shown in several studies and represent a realistic support in order not to exclude the possibility to implement altitude training in the annual training plan of endurance athletes.
Filingeri, D., Mancuso, E.P., Paoli, A., Bianco, A., Palma, A. (2012). IS HYPOXIA A TRAINING STIMULUS FOR ENDURANCE ATHLETES’ PERFORMANCE? A BRIEF REVIEW. RIVISTA DELLA FACOLTÀ DI SCIENZE MOTORIE DELL'UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI PALERMO, 4(4), 153-162.