Send to

Choose Destination
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2006 Jun;100(6):1938-45. Epub 2006 Feb 23.

Live high-train low for 24 days increases hemoglobin mass and red cell volume in elite endurance athletes.

Author information

Swiss Federal Institute of Sports, Section for Elite Sport, 2532 Magglingen, Switzerland.


The effect of live high-train low on hemoglobin mass (Hbmass) and red cell volume (RCV) in elite endurance athletes is still controversial. We expected that Hb(mass) and RCV would increase, when using a presumably adequate hypoxic dose. An altitude group (AG) of 10 Swiss national team orienteers (5 men and 5 women) lived at 2,500 m (18 h per day) and trained at 1,800 and 1,000 m above sea level for 24 days. Before and after altitude, Hbmass, RCV (carbon monoxide rebreathing method), blood, iron, and performance parameters were determined. Seven Swiss national team cross-country skiers (3 men and 4 women) served as "sea level" (500-1,600 m) control group (CG) for the changes in Hbmass and RCV. The AG increased Hbmass (805+/-209 vs. 848+/-225 g; P<0.01) and RCV (2,353+/-611 vs. 2,470+/-653 ml; P<0.01), whereas there was no change for the CG (Hbmass: 849+/-197 vs. 858+/-205 g; RCV: 2,373+/-536 vs. 2,387+/-551 ml). Serum erythropoietin (P<0.001), reticulocytes (P<0.001), transferrin (P<0.001), soluble transferrin receptor (P<0.05), and hematocrit (P<0.01) increased, whereas ferritin (P<0.05) decreased in the AG. These changes were associated with an increased maximal oxygen uptake (3,515+/-837 vs. 3,660+/-770 ml/min; P<0.05) and improved 5,000-m running times (1,098+/-104 vs. 1,080+/-98 s; P<0.01) from pre- to postaltitude. Living at 2,500 m and training at lower altitudes for 24 days increases Hbmass and RCV. These changes may contribute to enhance performance of elite endurance athletes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center