International Journal of Exercise Science 10(1): 128-136, 2017 Aerobic exercise at altitude has shown an increase in maximal oxygen uptake. Similar effects have been replicated by way of simulated altitude training, which have influenced various advances in the field of exercise science. Elevation Training Masks© (ETM) claim to stimulate cardiorespiratory fitness improvements similar to training at altitude, however, there is little research to support this claim. The purpose of this study was to research the effect that a hypoxia-inducing mask would have on cardiorespiratory fitness and pulmonary function through the use of a high intensity interval training (HIIT) running program. Seventeen subjects were randomized into either the control group, without the mask, or experimental group, with the mask, and participated in a 6-week HIIT protocol of 4 sessions per week. Each session included a warm up, followed by intervals of running at 80% of their heart rate reserve (HRR) for 90 seconds and followed by 3 minutes of active rest at 50-60% of HRR. A total of 6 intervals were completed per session. Within subjects, there was a significant increase in predicted VO2max (F(1,17)=7.376, P<.05). However, there was no significant difference in predicted VO2max between the control and experimental groups (F(1, 17)=3.669, p= .075). Forced inspiratory vital capacity demonstrated no significant difference within subjects (F(1, 17)= .073, p > .05), or between the two groups (F(1, 17)= 3.724, p= .073). Similar to the VO2max results, forced vital capacity demonstrated a significant increase within subjects (F(1, 17)=6.201, p<.05), but there was no significant difference between the control and experimental groups (F(1,17)=3.562, p= .079). Although the between groups data was not significant, there was a greater increase in the experimental group wearing the ETM compared to the control group not wearing the mask for all 3 variables. Data suggest that HIIT training can be a viable method of improving VO2max and pulmonary function however, training masks such as the ETM may not lead to greater overall improvements.
Biggs, Nicole; England, Benjamin; Turcotte, Nicole; Cook, Melissa R.; and Williams, Alyne L.
"Effects of Simulated Altitude on Maximal Oxygen Uptake and Inspiratory Fitness,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 10
1, Pages 128 - 136.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol10/iss1/13