Does Altitude Training Make You Slower? | Cycling Science Explained

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Scientific research has shown that altitude training can give you a 1-2% benefit in performance.

Researchers say prolonged exposure to altitude increases your red blood cell count, which allows your blood to carry more oxygen.

After the red blood cell count increase has been achieved, you can return to low elevation and achieve that 1-2% performance improvement.

It’s a very logical chain of events to follow, but what is less logical is that, based on research, it seems the odds of altitude training actually making you faster are not good. In fact, some research claims it works less than 50% of the time.

So what does this mean for altitude training? Should you avoid it, or try it? And if you do try it, what can you do to increase your odds of it working?

Tune in to find out, and leave your comments below!


Hypoxic Training Is Beneficial in Elite Athletes - 2020, Millet, Brocherie:
Hypoxic Training Is Not Beneficial in Elite Athletes - 2020, Seibenmann:
Individual variation in response to altitude training - 1998, Chapman:
Reproducibility of Performance Changes to Simulated Live High/Train Low Altitude - 2009, Robertson:


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Gerrit Glomser (Ex-Austrian Pro Cyclist) living in my hood is doing a FULL ALTITUDE SERVICE, you can buy or lease equipment, if someone is interested:

site is german, but think you can look arround with google translater:

TR Workouts inside of this? :rofl:

1 Like

Well it certainly does make my 2023 plans cheaper as I spent an extra (expensive) week at altitude prior to Rebecca’s Private Idaho thinking acclimation would help. That said staying at a friend’s place up at Donner Lake is still a very enjoyable time, even more so now that I’m not counting on it to measurably improve my performance.