Case Studies: General Fitness and Body Composition

The latest research on simulated altitude training shows benefits that contribute to general fitness, overall health and disease prevention. Some of these benefits include weight loss, lowered body fat percentage, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. View the case studies below to learn more about how hypoxic training can enhance the way you feel in your body.


Effects of systemic hypoxia on human muscular adaptations to resistance exercise training
Group Studied Altitude (%) Altitude (m)
General Population 14.4% 3000 m
  • Hypoxic training improved muscular endurance more than the same training at sea-level  
  • Hypoxic training increased capillary density more than sea-level training
    • Capillary density is important for delivery of blood and oxygen and removal of waste by-products from working tissues.

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Effects of strength training under hypoxic conditions on muscle performance, body composition and haematological variables
Group Studied Altitude (%) Altitude (m)
General Population
13.0% 4000 m
  •  Hypoxic group had greater gains in muscle mass and greater decreases in fat mass
  • Both groups improved their strength performance and muscle perimeters, but the hypoxia group obtained a greater increase in muscle mass (hypoxia: +1.80% vs. normoxia: +0.38%; p<0.05) and decrease in fat mass (hypoxia: -6.83% vs. normoxia: +1.26%; p<0.05) compared to the normoxia group. 
  • For individuals seeking improved health and body composition, hypoxic training can increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass more effectively than normoxic training
  • Additionally, haematocrit values were also higher for the hypoxia group after the detraining period (hypoxia: +2.20% vs. normoxia: -2.22%; p<0.05).

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Effects of five-week resistance training in hypoxia on hormones and muscle strength
Group Studied Altitude (%) Altitude (m)
General Population
16.0% and 12.6% 2133 m and 4000 m
  • Subjects performed moderate-intensity resistance training
  • The hypoxic group showed a greater improvement in isometric strength gains compared to the normoxic group
  • Both hypoxic groups saw an increase in lean body mass, whereas the normoxic group did not see any change

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Group Studied Altitude (%) Altitude (m)
Women, BMI > 30 and Body Fat % > 30% 16.5% & 14.5%
2000m & 3000m
  • Greater improvements in heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol arterial stiffness and weight loss with hypoxic training compared to normoxic training
  • Both hypoxic groups saw a larger reduction rate of fat mass and % body fat vs. the normoxic group

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Effects of low-load resistance training combined with blood flow restriction or hypoxia on muscle function and performance
Group Studied Altitude (%) Altitude (m)
Well-trained netball players
Automatically adjusting to maintain ~80 SPO2 Automatically adjusting to maintain ~80 SPO2
  • Intermittent hypoxic training can result in greater gains in muscle mass compared to similar training performed at sea-level.

  • Resistance training done at altitude was shown to increase the stimulus for muscle growth – similar to the benefits of Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFR) but avoiding the common problems and discomfort associated with BFR-style training

  • Lighter-weight training in hypoxia is an effective method to increase isometric strength, strength-endurance, and cross sectional area of the muscle

  • Isometric strength and strength endurance were shown to increase sport performance (vertical jump, 5 and 10m sprint, 505 agility)

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