ATS BULLETIN - 23/02/2015


Category: Live & Train at High Altitude

Application: Field Sports - AFL, soccer, hockey, league/union

Live High-Train Low and High Hypoxic Training Improves Team-Sport Performance...


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ATS BULLETIN 2015-02-23


Category             - Live and Train at High Altitude

Application         - Field Sports: AFL, soccer, hockey, League / Union


Research Overview


Live High-Train Low and High Hypoxic Training Improves Team-Sport Performance

Publish Date

Accepted January 2015 (ahead of print)


Frank Brocherie, Gregoire Millet, Anna Hauser et al.


University of Lausanne, Switzerland; ASPETAR, Doha, Qatar

Number / Type of Participants

36 males , 25.3 ± 4.6 yrs, Elite field hockey players

Altitude Level

Sea Level; 2,500-3,000m


Executive Summary

Live high, train low (LHTL); and live high, train low + high (LHTLH) were compared to live low train low (LLTL) in highly trained athletes. Endurance performance improved from living at altitude; while superior improvements in repeat sprint performance were observed from training at altitude:

  • LHTLH demonstrated superior repeat sprint performance adaptations - sprint times by increased 2x more than the LHTL group post training. Only the LHTLH group maintained faster sprint times at 3 weeks post training.

  • Both LHTL and LHTLH led to an increased their Yo-Yo Level 2 scores by 45% from pre-testing to 3 weeks post training (indicating a higher aerobic capacity)

Overview Research Design:

Subjects were randomly split into 1 of 3 groups:

1) Live Low, Train Low - LLTL (sea level)

2) Live High, Train Low - LHTL (live at altitude, train at sea level)

3) Live High, Train Low and High - LHTLH (live at attitude, train at sea level and altitude)



Living Altitude

Training Altitude –

Field Training

Training Altitude –

Sprint Training

Live Low,

Train Low

Sea Level

Sea Level

Sea Level

Live High,

Train Low

Simulated altitude of 2,500-3,000m

Sea Level

Sea Level

Live High,

Train Low and High

Simulated altitude of 2,500-3,000m

Sea Level

Simulated altitude of 3,000m


Testing: all groups were tested at sea level:

  1. 1-week prior

  2. 2-3 days post

  3. 22-23 days post

Tests included 8 x 20m repeat sprints every 20sec; and Yo-Yo intermittent recovery (IR) Level 2 test.


Altitude Intervention: both “live high” groups averaged 14.5hrs/day of simulated altitude (SA) exposure for 14 days. The SA was set as outlined: Day 1: 2,500m (FiO2 15%), Days 2-5: 2,800m (FiO2 14.5%), Days 6-14: 3,000m (FiO2 14.0%).


Training Environment: All 3 groups completed field specific training and matches (7-9hrs/week), at sea level. In addition 6 sessions of repeat sprint training comprising of 4 sets of: 5 x 5 sec maximal sprints (1 x sprint every 30sec; 5 min between sets), were completed in the 14-day period.

The LLTL and LHTL groups completed sprint training sessions at sea level; the LHTLH group completed sprint sessions at 3,000m altitude.


N.b. Live High groups completed repeat sprint sessions in a marquee-style simulated altitude. As groups were blinded the inspired O2 was set to simulate sea level (for LHTL), and 3,000m (for LHTLH) during sessions.


Key Outcomes: Altitude Exposure


The two groups assigned to a live high intervention showed improvements in aerobic endurance markers (↑ in HBmass) and endurance performance (Yo-Yo IR Level 2) test:

  • Both groups increased Hbmass levels from pre to post, maintained at 3 weeks post training

  • Both groups improved Yo-Yo L2 IR scores: pre to post: ↑ 20%; pre to 3 weeks post: ↑ 45%


Key Outcomes: Altitude Training


The LHTLH (who completed repeat sprint training at altitude), displayed superior improvements in repeat sprint ability post training:

  • Repeat sprint training at altitude (LHTLH) resulted in 2 X greater improvement in repeat sprint times (faster times) post intervention (compared with LHTL).

  • Only the LHTLH group maintained repeat sprint improvements 3 weeks post training.