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What It’s Like Inside A Hypoxic Chamber

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 15, 2010
  • Updated Nov. 15, 2010 at 9:03 AM UTC
Reporter Iain Hollingshead struggles to breath inside a hypoxic chamber. Photo: The Telgraph

 

Reporter Iain Hollingshead struggles to breath inside a hypoxic chamber. Photo: The Telgraph

One reporter tells what it’s like to train in artifically thinned air.

UK Telegraph reporter Iain Hollingshead got to recently work out inside a hypoxic chamber. The chamber uses a system of specially designed generators to reduce the amount of oxygen in the air, simulating conditions at around 8,500 ft. This lack of oxygen forces the body to work harder than usual, burning 30 per cent more calories and increasing red blood cell count.

“You notice the lack of oxygen the moment the heavy, air-tight door shuts behind you,” recalled Hollingshead. “After 10 minutes I’m exhausted, my lungs aching, my stomach regretting eating sushi for lunch shortly beforehand. I press on, too stubborn to go slower.”

Inside the chamber, Hollingshead completed circuits on a stationary bike at 16mph.

“An hour later, as I struggled to keep my feet in the pedals on the bike, feeling as if I was cycling up Everest in 18th gear, it finally came to an end,” he said. “Although I ached even more than normal, post-workout, I did feel uncharacteristically healthy.”

For More: The Telegraph

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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