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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

IHT protocol



Q. How does IHT work for my body to improve my performance?
A. A short explanation is that intermittent mild hypoxia (reduced oxygen air), is a very similar to conventional training and works as a training stimulus. That translates into body's improved ability to deliver and utilise oxygen on the cellular level more efficiently. More detailed information is available [read more].

Q. How much will my haemoglobin increase by?
A. People who state that "hypoxic training is good for my aerobic performance because it increases my red blood cell count" simply do not understand the complexity of the whole picture. The response to hypoxia challenge is evident at different levels - from systemic to cellular. If used correctly IHT can improve both aerobic and anaerobic performance as well as reduce the recovery time.

Q: Is there a point where you can go too high?
A: With conventional altitude training (live high-train high) there are too many side effects when getting too high, which interfere with the training process. However hypoxicator allows athletes to go to 6500 m for short bursts without any reported adverse effects and excellent performance improvement benefits. NOTE: safety precautions and basic recommended training protocols must be followed.

Q. Why don't you do hypoxic training in a continuous manner?
A. Short-term bursts of low and high oxygen air breathing doubles training efficiency. The response to mild hypoxia training stimuli is almost instant. Simply speaking, repetitive "signals" that are sent to the body multiple times during the sessions are more beneficial than a single long-lasting exposure to hypoxia.

Q: How does altitude training affect different people?
A: There is a huge individual variability in responses to the same "altitude".
Hence the importance of individually catered training sessions. GO2Altitude® pioneered Hypoxic Training index (HTi) that is automatically calculated during the session and serves as an objective measure of the received training dosage. Fully automated biofeedback controlled mode was recently introduced in GO2Altitude® professional system to level the individual reaction and optimise training outcome.

Q: What is fully automatic biofeedback controlled IHT?
A: GO2Altitude® pioneered new advanced technology that automatically adjusts training challenge based upon your individual response. Our system analyses your reaction, and if required, changes the simulated altitude delivered to your body. Every second a smart algorithm analyzes your body reaction, aiming to deliver the best training program.

Q: What is the optimum amount of training time needed to have the desired effect and how long does the effect last?
A: Three to four weeks of IHT is sufficient to get the most of it. However the benefits start to fade out within 1-2 weeks. Therefore the course of IHT can be done as part of preparation to an important event OR training can be continued within the season at your own choice in a maintenance mode.

Q. How do I feel the difference? What should I expect from an IHT course?
A. This is what you will notice even after the first few sessions of IHT (15-20 sessions are recommended for a full course):
Your resting heart rate (measured first thing in the morning) will probably go down - typically by 5-10 beats per minute.
Weight lifting: you might find yourself much more comfortable with usual weights in the weight room.
Exercise Till Exhaustion (ETE) time will probably increase substantially (ref. German study).
Time trial: your usual results will probably improve in the range of 1-5% (ref.) depending on your current training status and competition level. Recovery time: this will decrease substantially; you will feel less exhausted after a conventional training session at your normal training load.  Sleep and quality of life are usually improved.

Q. Do you offer tents for sleeping at a simulated altitude?
A. With an altitude tent there is very little control over the delivery of correct exposure and therefore it is hard to avoid over- or under-training. "Live High Train Low" methodology was recently reviewed and criticized for its over-simplified haematological paradigm .
Since the response to hypoxia is almost instant - the same or better training effect is obtained by repeated, short-term bursts of low and high oxygen air breathing. It is important to know the correct dosage to get maximum benefits though. GO2Altitude® supplies complete, fully integrated system with all the required tools to deliver optimal results. Another great benefit is that the IHT does not compromise your night rest. {sleep deprivation in hypoxia room or tent}

Q. I saw a research study that reports no noticeable result in EPO increase from IHT in a small group of young elite runners. Why is that?
A. Due to misconception and misunderstanding of the true nature of hypoxia adaptation resulted in over-focus on the EPO paradigm.
Hence many studies were designed in anticipation of seeing the desired increase in EPO resulting from simulated altitude training.
Lately, the haematological paradigm was questioned. It was demonstrated that performance can be improved without a corresponding increase in the blood's EPO. The actual mechanisms of altitude acclimatization are far more complicated than just an increase EPO or hematocrit. Even with continuing hypoxic training initially high EPO level returns back to normal level. 



Q. Suppose I train twice a day (ride in the morning, workout in the evening), could I maintain this schedule and do IHT after the evening workout just before going to bed?
A. You can do IHT training at any time convenient for you. The only requirement is that you REGARD IHT AS A TRAINING SESSION and do not mix it with your other conventional training. Finish IHT at least 1.5-2 hours before normal training and start IHT after 1-1.5 hours after completing physical training to avoid overtraining. Using IHT in the evening is fine (a bit tough after a good dinner though). You will find that IHT has a marked relaxation effect and might improve the quality of your sleep. You can watch TV or read while your body works hard - or even better - use the session time for complete relaxation.

Q. Can you briefly explain the training protocol?
A. You start the IHT training at a lower altitude (higher oxygen concentration) on day 1 and continue the IHT training at this altitude for a few days. Then you raise the altitude one step higher and continue for a few days at that level. You do this until you reach the highest altitude and continue IHT training at this level for the rest of the program. The pulse oximeter will help you to personalise the protocol, recognising the point at which you should progress to an increased altitude. Standard protocol has also been developed to suit most people. Session duration is 60-90 minutes per day, which can be split into two sessions. A training course normally comprises 3-4 weeks. After that you can continue your IHT in a maintenance mode or repeat the course when preparing to an event.

Q. How long does it take for the system to stabilise at the desired simulated altitude?
A. Stabilisation of oxygen concentration is fully complete in just a few seconds.

Q. How do people react to hypoxic exposure equivalent to 18,000 feet? Is it comfortable to sit and read or is it unpleasant?
A. Typically there is a noticeable increase in heart rate and breathing rate, which is part of the normal physiological reaction to high altitude. As a rule there are no unpleasant sensations - you are free to take the hand-held mask off at any moment if you find that the current challenge is too much for you and simply readjust the setting for lower altitude or for higher targeted arterial oxygen saturation if you are using the fully biofeedback controlled mode (a unique feature of GO2Altitude® hypoxicators.

Q. Does the system have a fail-safe mechanism against dangerously low levels of oxygen?
A. There are three level of safety inherent in our systems: Firstly, the hypoxicator is constructed so that it is unable to produce dangerously low oxygen-level air. Secondly, the pulse oximeter sounds an alarm if the oxygen saturation of the arterial blood flow falls below a preset baseline. Thirdly, the mask is hand-held and therefore will easily fall off to return you back to the sea level.



Q. Who should NOT be using IHT?
A. For an apparently healthy and fit person IHT is considered to be safe if basic training protocol is followed.
The following is a list of conditions that are not compatible with IHT. People with these conditions should NOT use IHT:

  • Acute somatic and viral diseases
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD-II and COPD-III)
  • Individual intolerance of oxygen insufficiency
  • Chronic diseases with symptoms of decompensation or terminal illness
  • People with cancer, epilepsy, pacemakers, heart arrhythmias.



EQUIPMENT (hypoxicators)

Q. How much maintenance is involved? Filter changes?
A. GO2Altitude® is effectively maintenance-free and has very low running costs (basically just the cost of electricity). Embedded oxygen sensor may require a replacement every 2-3 years.

Q. What is the power source?
A. GO2Altitude® Hypoxic Training systems are supplied 115V 50Hz/60Hz or 230V 50Hz.

Q. You mentioned "one common and five individual breathing sets." I don't understand what the five represents, since it is a one-person system. Could you elaborate?
A. These individual breathing sets are needed for each person using the machine during the course. This prevents cross infection between the users in case there are MULTIPLE users of the same machine.

Q. If there is only one machine being sold, how can it serve up to four people at one time?
A. The variety of GO2Altitude® hypoxicator systems allow you to select the model that most suits your needs. The portable hypoxicator is ideal for individual use at home (and can also be used by your family or friends). The two-, three-, or four-person (and larger) systems are great for a club and whole team training. In every case, each user is individually monitored by the system and data is displayed on individual screen and can be stored in the database.

Q. Do I have to use the same mask that someone else has already used? This can hardly be hygienic.
A. No; every person that uses the unit gets their own breathing set. We supply five individual breathing sets for each station so five people can use the station in one day. The four-person unit comes with 20 breathing sets so up to 20 people can use it in one day.



Q. I would like to purchase the hypoxicator. What do I do?
A. E-mail sales@go2altitude.com, phone or FAX us indicating the type of model you are interested in, plus your country of residence. We shall quote you the price (which may differ slightly from country to country). Should you accept the quote, you can pay by credit card on our secure website, through Paypal or by wire transfer.

Q. What else should I buy to get the GO2Altitude® hypoxicator up and running?
A. GO2Altitude® is supplied with everything you need to start your training immediately upon its receipt. Therefore you get the complete turnkey solution for your home simulated altitude training. Unpack the system, carefully read the manual, and start your training immediately. There are no hidden costs.

Q. What is your normal lead time?
A. Our normal lead time is 5-7 days. We usually use international express courier, door-to-door delivery.


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