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Med Hypotheses. 2010 Mar;74(3):413-5. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.09.051. Epub 2009 Oct 21.

Apnea: a new training method in sport?

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Faculté des Sciences du Sport et de l'Education Physique de Rouen, Centre d'Etudes des Transformations des Activités Physiques et Sportives, Equipe d'Accueil UPRES N degrees 3832, Université de Rouen, France.


The physiological responses to apnea training exhibited by elite breath-hold divers may contribute to improving sports performance. Breath-hold divers have shown reduced blood acidosis, oxidative stress and basal metabolic rate, and increased hematocrit, erythropoietin concentration, hemoglobin mass and lung volumes. We hypothesise that these adaptations contributed to long apnea durations and improve performance. These results suggest that apnea training may be an effective alternative to hypobaric or normobaric hypoxia to increase aerobic and/or anaerobic performance.

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