Cheap Hyperoxic Training?

It’s pretty well established that the ideal training model is to live high and train low. That means you’re used to breathing in less air 24hrs a day and you have more red blood cells to make up for it, but you can still do your interval efforts at low altitude and hit the highest possible numbers to create the greatest oxygen uptake/muscular adaptations there. (obviously all in simplistic terms)

I’m fortunate enough to live at 6k feet and am very well adapted to here but I can’t go lower than 5k feet without driving an unreasonable distance. It got me thinking about training with supplemental oxygen for my two hard/inside interval sessions every week. There’s been some training in hyperoxia vs. normoxia studies done, but with inconclusive results. There’s also this study, which unfortunately I can’t find the full text of without spending $40…but seems to do exactly what I’m thinking. Live at moderate altitude and then train in a hyperoxic state and the results in the abstract seem pretty legit…

After 6 weeks of hyperoxic training, exercise parameters were compared with the plateau values obtained during the baseline training period. Total time during maximal cycle testing increased from 19.1 to 19.6 min (p = 0.015), heart rate at 85 percent maximal workload decreased from 168 to 163 bpm (p = 0.047), and endurance time at 85 percent maximal workload increased from 6.2 to 8.2 min (p = 0.012). There was a trend toward improvement of maximal workload. We conclude that hyperoxic training increases work capacity after attainment of “maximal training” at moderate altitude.

Now I’m wondering how I can make myself one of those test subjects but without spending an enormous amount of money. There’s a company called live o2 that has hypoxic and hyperoxic systems, but they’re between 5k and 10k and that’s too much. Upon further research while writing this post I guess this is commonly referred to as EWOT (exercise with oxygen therapy) and there’s a handful of companies that sell similar products but even the cheapest are close to 3k and they mostly seem marketed to old people as an anti-aging miracle.

This is probably going to sound ridiculous, but can’t I buy a scuba diving tank or a medical oxygen tank and get a mask/aerator that is able to mix the oxygen at some certain concentration and use that? I’m probably severely underestimating the amount of oxygen consumption that takes place at threshold+ and how quickly a tank might be depleted. Maybe not.

Or maybe someone knows of a DIY version that doesn’t cost as much as a new bicycle?

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That study is on scihub:


Scihub is theft.

You will very quickly go broke buying safely-breathable hyperoxic gas mixtures.

Small, portable O2 generators intended for, e.g., patients with COPD won’t generate enough volume to sustain exercise.

What I did was redirect the “waste” gas (16 L/min of 60% O2, IIRC) from my Hypoxico altitude tent chamber up my nose with a cannula. It’s cold, dries your nose out, and there is probably some wastage during exhalation (due to reversal of the pressure gradient), but at least at low elevation was sufficient to correct my EIAH and allow me to do VO2max intervals at a 5-15 W higher power.

I’m guessing you could pick up a used Hypoxico system pretty cheaply these days.


Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. Tangentially related, now that I know this, I’m going to do a mini Vo2max block while I’m in Hawaii for vacations….only problem is that it’s a bit too early in the year.

Not the answer I wanted, but appreciate the response.

There’s some hypoxico systems on ebay for around a grand. Not completely out of the realm.

Your work belongs to humanity :slight_smile:

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BS. It only belongs to whomever legally owns it.

We disagree absolutely.

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Apparently. However, I am on the right side of the law.