We were lucky enough to be approached by Rico Rogers of Box Altitude to get a first hand experience of using Altitude tents to improve performance. Rico is a firm believer in using the system to enhance your training/racing or even every day life activities as he says ?Sleeping at altitude is an assured legal way to give your body the extra edge, no matter what sport or activity you participate in. Studies have shown that sleeping at altitude stimulates your body?s natural production of erythropoietin (otherwise known as EPO). Your body will produce new red blood cells, increasing oxygen delivery to your muscles. This will help you with speed, strength, endurance and power.?
I was intrigued as these were possible gains I could make by just sleeping, No extra training or specific efforts other than I would normally do. I was encouraged to sleep in the tent for around 100 hours to make Vo2 max gains. The Claimed percentage is 3-8% over a 3-4 week period.
I decided with 2 weeks until the Mt Baw Baw Classic and 6 weeks until the Grafton to Inverell I could do 2 stints in the tent, the first 2 weeks before Mt Baw Baw Classic coming out a few nights before the race, then have a week out and do another 2 weeks leading into the Grafton to Inverell.
This first review is how I got used to the machine and how it helped with my training leading into the Mt Baw Baw Classic just held.
After setting up the machine which took around 20 minutes, I was ready to see what this altitude training was about, having never tried it before I was curious to see what effects if any I would feel.
The (Hypoxic Sleeper) Machine has 10 different settings ranging from 20%-13.4%.
|Hypoxic Sleeper???? settings||Oxygen Percentage||Altitude in?? Meters|
I personally had no idea about how high or low I needed to sleep or how quick I would feel comfortable so Rico gave me the run down and encouraged me to ease into it by starting night 1 at level 6 2100m,
Night 1 I lasted around 2 hours before it got to me. I was sweating and just couldn?t get comfortable I turned the machine off and slept normally.
After discussing in more detail with Rico, We decided I wasn?t ready to go quite as high as 6 just yet, I tried the following afternoon for a few hours to get used to the machine and settings. The Hypoxic sleeper seems loud at night in the beginning but seems to all but fade away after just a few nights. Rico and his business partner tested lots of machines until they found the quietest and most durable machine.
It took me 3 nights until I could sleep uninterrupted. I turned the machine up no 7 or 2380m. I was sleeping 9hrs a night and doing 1.5hours in the afternoons. Training wise I felt good, I was able train as normal and noticed I could recover quicker between efforts and do back-to-back hard days. One thing was when I did a criterium in the evening I did felt a little flat, wattage was slightly higher than normal, but my heart rate wasn?t as high as normal.
Three nights before the Mt Baw Baw Classic I stopped sleeping at altitude. The race itself I felt great, I could make big efforts and recover really quickly I felt as if I had an extra gear, I was never going to foot it with the pure climbers so I pushed hard to get away before the climb. I had to settle for starting the hill with the Peloton. It?s hard to say if it helped me on the mountain top, I was certainly doing solid wattage despite my efforts leading up to the bottom of the hill.
I will be out of the tent this week and then back in leading into the Grafton and write the final review after the race.
Box Altitude have provided a variety of athletes Altitude tents from AFL players to Gymnasts and many athletes vying for Olympic selection for Rio 2016.
Check out there website and get in contact if you have some goals coming up and need an extra edge with no extra training!
reviewed by Jake Klajnblat