Exercise in high mountains, Sport training in the middle reaches - Human physiology. Sport

Exercising in Highlands

The conditions of low atmospheric pressure and hypoxia most profoundly affect the performance of those types of muscular activity that impose high demands on the oxygen transportation system. These are sports that develop endurance, with a long stay in the distance. At the same time, stay at altitude does not have a negative effect on the performance of short anaerobic exercises, since the energy for performing such exercises is formed during anaerobic digestion of phosphogens and muscle glycogen. In addition, the rarefied air helps to reduce the resistance during movement, ie, at the same speed, the external work is less. This helps to increase the effectiveness of sports work in sprinting, speed skating, sprint cycling.

Sports training in the middle mountains

The question arises, can the adaptive changes in the body that occur when staying at a height, contribute to an increase in athletic performance on the plain? The results of most studies are negative.

Carrying out a careful comparison of training effects on the plain and in the mountains is very difficult: it is very difficult to equalize the conditions of training. Portability of loads in the mountains is less than in the plain. There are problems associated with dehydration and loss of appetite. Therefore, the problem remains unresolved.

At the same time, there is obviously a positive, from the point of view of ensuring endurance work, changes that occur at altitude. This is primarily the hypoxic conditions of the functioning of the muscular system, which are considered an indispensable condition, a trigger triggering the chain of adaptive structural and functional changes in muscle arising from training.

There is another very important practical question, namely, how should we prepare for the competitions held in the mid-mountain conditions? There are two solutions to this problem. The first is not to wait for the development of adverse changes in the body, such as dehydration, sleep disorders, associated with a rise in altitude, and participate in competitions on the first day after arrival.

The second solution is the passage of acclimatization, which should last at least 2 weeks. It should be borne in mind that this period is insufficient for full acclimatization, since for it, depending on the height, it takes 4-6 weeks.

Since the first days of life in the mountains work capacity is significantly reduced, training loads during this period should be 60-70% of the usual. In the next 10-14 days the load should be brought to the usual level for this athlete. One of the most important factors in training at altitude is hypoxia, associated with low oxygen content in the inspired air.


It is logical to assume that short periods (1-2 hours per day) of breathing with a gas mixture with a reduced oxygen content will contribute to the development of adaptive changes typical for training at altitude (Method of hypoxic training).

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