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How is Less Oxygen a Good Thing?

A reduction in oxygen intake leads to a state of hypoxia, meaning oxygen in the tissues has dropped below normal levels. Because cells require oxygen to generate the energy that fuels the entire body, this presents a significant physiological challenge to overcome.

Fortunately, proteins called Hypoxia Inducible Factors (HIFs) respond to this stimulus by setting off a number of reactions geared toward enhancing the body’s utilization of available oxygen. This creates the ideal condition to introduce altitude training, which utilizes these reactions in order to facilitate desirable adaptations.

The Benefits

The benefits of altitude training are vast and vary depending on training method, but the following are just a few examples of what can be achieved as a result of the body’s response to hypoxia:

  • Increased aerobic capacity (VO2 Max) 1-5
  • Increased erythropoietin (EPO) production 3, 30, 31
  • Increased lactate threshold 5, 38
  • Increased mitochondrial density and production 35, 36, 37
  • Reduced symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS) 58-64
  • Reduced body weight and body fat percentage 55, 56

The Training Methods

  • Exercising at Altitude

    The Benefits

    The body works to overcome the immense challenge of exercise at altitude - both aerobic and anaerobic - through valuable adaptations that lead to improved performance, fitness, and health.

    In addition, it allows for intensified cardiovascular exercise to be performed with a reduced load on the musculoskeletal system. This is especially useful for minimizing fitness loss after an injury.

    How It’s Performed

    By exercising in an altitude chamber, an exercise cubicle tent, or while wearing a training mask connected to an altitude generator.

  • Sleeping at Altitude

    The Benefits

    Sleeping at altitude triggers an increase in erythropoietin (EPO) production, which enhances the oxygen-carrying capabilities of blood through a subsequent increase in red blood cell production and hemoglobin concentration. This adaptation results in a greater tolerance for the reduced oxygen intake experienced at high altitudes, and facilitates an improvement to aerobic performance through a Live High, Train Low routine.

    How It’s Performed

    By sleeping in an altitude tent connected to an altitude generator, or in a bedroom converted to an altitude chamber.

  • Alternating Altitude

    The Benefits

    Alternating altitude delivers an acute hypoxic stimulus in order to perform altitude training and trigger beneficial reactions while at rest. While this method is most often used in medical treatments, therapies, and breath training, it is also beneficial for mountaineers and athletes, as it will supplement the pre-acclimatization effort of sleeping at altitude and assist in rehabilitating injured athletes who cannot yet exercise.

    How It’s Performed

    By holding a training mask connected to an altitude generator, and then alternating between placing the mask on and off at timed intervals.


The Applications

  • Runners racing on a track

    Athletic Performance

    Altitude training can improve both aerobic and anaerobic performance and fitness, allowing competitive athletes to push past the limits of what is possible under normal training conditions. It also allows traveling athletes and teams to prepare for high altitude competitions without ever leaving home base.

  • Acclimatization

    Acclimatization is the physiological process of adapting to the reduced oxygen intake experienced at high altitudes. Achieving this adaptation prior to departure is beneficial for anyone traveling to high altitude for any reason, as it will mitigate the symptoms of altitude sickness and reduce downtime upon arrival.

  • Man running down gravel road

    Health & Wellness

    Altitude training can be used to boost metabolism and accelerate weight loss, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and simply improve overall health and fitness. It has also shown great potential in the treatment of many health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and spinal cord injures.


Who Uses It

  • United States Olympic Committee
  • UFC
  • Navy SEALs
  • Alpenglow Expeditions
  • Manchester United
  • Miami Heat
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • New York Jets
  • Mayo Clinic

The world's most elite athletes and institutions recognize the immense value that hypoxia has on enhancing performance and health, which is why so many have made it an essential part of their training and research.

Altitude Training with Hypoxico

Performing altitude training by physically traveling to high altitude is logistically impractical and expensive, especially for those living at sea-level or in non-mountainous areas. Fortunately, altitude training can be performed virtually anywhere on Earth with the simulated altitude technology first patented by Hypoxico in 1995. It allows for safe, convenient, and precise altitude control in a way that is impossible to achieve in nature.

Our Training Systems

  • Altitude Generators

    Small, portable appliances for conveniently simulating altitude virtually anywhere. They output hypoxic air up to the equivalent of 21,000ft, which can then be supplied to an altitude tent or training mask.

    Shop Generators
  • Portable Tent

    Altitude Tents

    The Altitude Tent System uses an altitude generator to create a portable altitude chamber for sleeping or exercising. Our tents come in a variety of sizes to accommodate any bed size or space.

    Shop Tents
  • Training Mask

    The Altitude Training Mask System uses an altitude generator to supply hypoxic air directly to a mask, allowing instant simulated transportation to the altitude of your choosing. It's perfect for nearly any home or gym workout.

    Shop The Mask
  • Altitude chamber containing workout equipment

    Altitude Chambers

    From small workout spaces and bedroom conversions, to entire gyms and even swimming pools, we can build an altitude chamber of any size and for any use - up to the simulated equivalent of 30,000ft.

    Learn More


  • Is altitude training safe?

    Altitude training using a Hypoxico system is very safe - much more so than actually traveling to high altitude. This is because your level of oxygen intake can easily be adjusted to maintain a blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) that is ideal for training. However, users with health conditions should always consult their doctor before introducing any new training or therapy method.

  • Is it backed by science?

    Yes. There is decades of research proving the effectiveness of altitude training, and more is being conducted on a regular basis. See here to view a collection of some of these studies.

  • How does altitude training fit into my existing routine?

    Altitude training is meant to supplement standard training, not replace it, so it can and should be incorporated into a normal workout routine. The important thing is to introduce altitude training slowly and at a dose that doesn't negatively impact your sleep and progress. Everyone has a unique reaction to hypoxia, which is something only you can determine.

  • Why not just live at high altitude?

    Remaining at altitude indefinitely is actually a disadvantage because it prevents the ability to reach maximum physical intensity during exercise, an essential aspect of training that is only possible at oxygen-rich sea-level. Peak athletic performance and fitness is best pursued through a combination of both hypoxic and normoxic (normal oxygen levels) exercise, as each have their own unique yet complimentary benefits.

  • Is altitude training allowed in competition?

    Yes. There are no drugs involved in altitude training, only a decrease in oxygen intake. Therefore, it cannot be considered doping and is legal in competition. Altitude training is a vital tool used by the most elite athletes to prepare for some of the world's biggest events, including the Olympics.

  • Is simulated altitude as effective as true altitude?

    Yes. The benefits of altitude training occur as a result of a reduction in oxygen intake, and because Hypoxico systems are able to replicate the oxygen availabilty found at a range of altitudes, it is just as effective for obtaining said benefits.


If you have any questions regarding altitude training and our systems, please don't hesitate to reach out and speak with one of our experts: