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Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the effect of altitude conditioning last?
Is there a maintenance schedule to keep the acclimatization effect?
How long does it take to get the altitude effect and improve my performance?
I already train at altitude. How will an Altitude Fitness sleep chamber benefit my training?
What is the optimal sleeping altitude?
How much exposure to altitude is required to get the high altitude effect?
What is the optimal altitude for training?
What about below sea level training?
Studies show that "sleep high and train low" makes a 3-8% difference. Will an Altitude Fitness sleep chamber produce the same effect as those studies?
Why not just live at altitude?
What is EPO?
Why not just take synthetic EPO?
Will sleeping at altitude slow recovery and hurt performance?
What happens to the chamber if there is a power failure?

Q: How long does the effect of altitude conditioning last?

A: After you stop using the chamber hemoglobin levels stay the same for about 2 weeks. You will continue to see the benefits of elevated red blood cell count for approximately 6 weeks after returning to sea level.


Q: Is there a maintenance schedule to keep the acclimatization effect?

A: Once you are fully acclimatized, less exposure to altitude is required to maintain acclimatization. The 2 to 3 nights per week for about 7 hours per night will be enough to keep you acclimatized.

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Q: How long does it take to get the altitude effect and improve my performance?

A: You'll be one step ahead before you know it. When you go to altitude your body reacts almost immediately. Your kidneys begin the production of EPO within 60 to 90 minutes, making the bone marrow produce more red blood cells. In two weeks of consistent use, we have seen a 15% increase in red blood cell mass. Your body responds rapidly every day that you are at altitude for the first 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, you will be approximately 85% acclimatized. Between 3 weeks and 6 weeks, some additional acclimatization occurs bringing you the full effect.


Q: I already train at altitude. How will an Altitude Fitness sleep chamber benefit my training?

A: You probably don't train at 15,000 feet, nor would you want to. It is best to work out at the oxygen rich sea level altitude. Here, with the oxygen rich air, you can work your body and muscles harder than you can at altitude. The altitude fitness sleep chamber produces altitudes up to 15,000 feet, which allows you to condition your blood while you are resting your muscles.

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Q: What is the optimal sleeping altitude?

A: Medical board of advisors recommends 12,000 -15,000 feet above sea level. Studies showed the importance of sleeping as high as possible up to 15,000 feet (but no higher). There is very little gain at altitudes from the 15,000 feet to 18,000 feet window. While the body gets stronger from altitude in the range of 12,000- 15,000 feet, scientific data suggests that above 18,000 feet that fitness decreases.


Q: How much exposure to altitude is required to get the high altitude effect?

A:Research shows that using the altitude fitness sleep chamber for 6-7 days per week at 15,000 feet for 6-8 hours is enough to produce the desired results. Although significant increases in performance have been achieved in using the altitude chamber for 2 hours per day for as little as 10 to 12 days.

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Q: What is the optimal altitude for training?

A: Lower altitudes offer more oxygen in the air to work the muscles harder. Higher quality and harder training requires this oxygen rich lower altitude. Training at the lowest practical altitude is best. Sleeping or resting at "high altitude" conditions your blood to carry more oxygen from the thin air to your body.


Q: What about below sea level training?

A: The lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere is Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level. The additional 282 feet below sea level is probably not enough to create a significant difference in training effect. Data does indicate training at below sea level altitudes would enhance the conditioning of your muscles.

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Q: Studies show that "sleep high and train low" makes a 3-8% difference. Will an Altitude Fitness sleep chamber produce the same effect as those studies?

A: The Altitude Chamber will likely produce a greater effect. Here is why. Most studies on "sleep high and train low" had athletes sleeping below optimal altitude. For example, in the Levine Stray-Gundersen study, athletes slept at 8,500 feet (Deer Valley, UT). While there is nothing optimal about 8,500 feet, it is convenient for the researchers and athletes since there are condos available in ski areas at that elevation. There is limited housing available in the US above 10,000 feet and almost none available above 11,000 feet making research at those altitudes difficult. (With our sleep chamber you can sleep at 15,000 feet while in your own home.) There is a much bigger effect from altitudes above 8,500 feet. Studies show a big difference between athletes acclimatized to 8,500 feet and athletes acclimatized to 15,000 feet. Most studies on "sleep high and train low" did not train athletes low enough. The Levine Stray-Gundersen study for example trained athletes at 4,500 feet above sea level for "training low." It is clear to everyone (including the researchers) that this was not optimal, it was just done for convenience. Getting athletes from 8,500 feet to sea level would have been cumbersome (to say the least). There is approximately 17% less oxygen at 4,500 feet than at sea level. This creates a problem for optimal training. Athletes should train as low as possible for most of their training. The US cycling team has been training athletes in oxygen-enriched environments simulating altitudes below sea level and it works. How long is your event? The researchers tested subjects running a 5k-time trial - about a 14-16 minute event. Many athletes are preparing for longer events such as marathons, cycling races, and triathlons. By sleeping higher than the athletes in the studies and training lower you will get even greater results. That is easy to do with our Altitude Fitness Chambers.


Q: Why not just live at altitude?

A: It's hard to find a place at 15,000 feet to live. (Maybe in a tent on a peak in the Andes.) How much time do you want to spend in a tent out in the elements? Living at altitude creates the benefits of altitude acclimatization, but optimum muscular conditioning competitors should work out at low altitudes. The key is to separate sleeping and training altitudes. With our chambers you sleep at 15,000 feet and get up in the morning and train at a your ambient altitude.

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Q: What is EPO?

A: EPO is erythropoietin - a hormone that makes the bone marrow create more red blood cells. There are two forms of EPO. Natural EPO, which your body produces, is safe and part of a healthy normal physiology. Natural EPO production increases when a person is exposed to altitude. Synthetic or recombinant EPO is a drug used in the treatment of patients with kidney failure, which should be used only under a doctor's care in a therapeutic situation.


Q: Why not just take synthetic EPO?

A: Synthetic EPO is dangerous, expensive and illegal. It requires a doctor's prescription and careful medical supervision. EPO has been banned in all athletic competition. In addition synthetic EPO does not produce all the other beneficial effects of altitude. In short altitude acclimatization is safer, less expensive and more effective. An altitude-trained athlete will outperform an EPO doper every time. And the Altitude Fitness sleep chamber is safe, legal and ethical.

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Q: Will sleeping at altitude slow recovery and hurt performance?

A: No. Studies have shown a much faster heart rate recovery for those who conditioned at altitude. In fact athletes who slept at high altitudes high and trained at low altitudes outperformed all other groups.


Q: How does the Altitude Fitness sleep chamber create altitude?

A: Altitude is reduction of barometric pressure. As you go up in the mountains, there is less barometric pressure hence a reduction of all air components and less air pressure. You probably noticed it on your last ski vacation. In the Altitude Fitness sleep chamber altitude is reached and maintained using two simple manually operated valves and a vacuum pump to create a vacuum on the inside to lower the barometric pressure. Another name for the Altitude Chamber is a Hypobaric chamber.

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Q: What happens to the chamber if there is a power failure?

A: Don't worry. The Altitude Fitness chamber is engineered to have a controlled loss of vacuum and return to the ambient outside air pressure. If the power goes off the vanes in the pump will stop turning, air will slowly bleeds back into the chamber. The door will automatically release from the chamber within minutes.

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