Training undertaken at moderately high altitudes to acquire the benefits of altitude acclimatization and to improve performance in endurance activities. It is used especially by athletes accustomed to low altitude conditions who are going to compete at high altitudes. To be effective, the training must take place 1500 m or higher above sea level, and for a period of not less than 3 weeks, with the first week consisting of light exercise. Training effects are usually lost 3–6 weeks after living at sea level. Altitude training is used by many athletes to improve performances in endurance events at low altitudes. Opinion is divided as to its effectiveness, but most physiologists believe that it is of little benefit to sea-level competition. Long-term altitude training, over a period of months, can lead to a loss of body weight and a reduction of muscle mass.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.