Altitude Training in a Bottle

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High Altitude Tour: Spectrum of Performance and Impairment

A Tour of Altitude and Its Effects on the Human Body


1,900 ft (580 m) –Lowest reported altitude-induced v02 max reduction of 7%


5,250 ft (1600 m) - Altitude at which v02 max decreases by 8-11% in un-acclimatized athletes.

  • V02 max decreases by same increment with each successive gain of 3,300 ft.


5,506 ft (1690 m) - Altitude of Beech Mountain, NC, the most popular LHTH altitude training destination in the Eastern U.S.


6,890-8,200 ft (2100-2500 m) - Optimal altitude range for LHTH and LHTL altitude training.

  • Balances acquisition of hematological improvements with performance and recovery decrements.


8,000 ft (2440 m) - Measurable cognitive impairment begins to occur at this altitude.


8,000-9,000 ft (2440-2745 m) - 1 out of 5 people experience AMS symptoms at this altitude


10,000 ft (3050 m) - Cases of high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) begin to occur.  Entering the realm of increased risk of HAPE.

  • Men are approximately 6 times more likely to develop HAPE than women.  There is still no proposed scientific explanation for this.


10,500 ft (3200 m) - Reports of high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) begin at this altitude.

  • Incidences at this elevation are associated with the combination of abrupt ascent and rigorous exercise, the two additional contributing factors.


13,120 ft (4000 m) - This is the proposed optimal altitude for breaking a world record in a 1 hour distance record for cyclists.

  • High altitude can be advantageous to performance in sports where aerodynamic drag is a factor such as cycling and speed-skating.


16,400 ft (5000 m) - Suggested minimum altitude for successful intermittent hypoxic exposure (IHE).

  • IHE uses shorter, more concentrated “doses” of hypoxia to induce athletic performance benefits.


19,000-20,000ft (5795-6100 m) - Point at which physiological deterioration begins to exceed acclimatization.

  • This theory is related to the oxygen’s ability to diffuse from lungs to blood at this altitude.

Take a deep breath as you now have returned to sea-level in your mind.  Ahhhhhhhh

Feel Free to Suggest Any Additions and We Will Add them to the Tour List!