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Altitude Training Mask Effectiveness

written by runnergirl training


Altitude training masks are a training tool used to increase the body’s adaptations to a hypoxic environment. There is debate over their effectiveness among opinions of practitioners and the general public.

The physiologic adaptations from wearing an altitude training mask at low altitude shows limited results and they are only realized at normal atmosphere not at high altitude (HPRC, 2015). There is minimal carry over of those training adjustments to sports performance or impacting the quality of sleep while at low altitude.

In a widely cited article by Vogt & Hoppeler (2010) indicates research data for V02max (aerobic maximal capacity) and maximal output of power are not significantly improved at low altitude. However, performance has improvements when at high altitude. Dr. Levine of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas (CBS, 2015) notes that the time duration spent wearing an altitude training mask is minimal and not long enough allow for physiological changes to occur.

In conclusion, research supports training at high altitude is the most effective tool to acclimate when living at low altitude. Training would occur at high altitude on location or by using a hypobaric chamber.


CBS. (2015). High altitude training masks promise competitive edge. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/high-altitude-training-masks-promise-to-enhance-stamina/HPRC. (2015). 

High altitude training masks. Retrieved from http://hprc-online.org/environment/altitude/high-altitude-training-masks 

Vogt, M. Hoppeler, H. (2010). Is hypoxia training good for muscles and exercise performance? Progress in cardiovascular diseases, 6, 525-533.


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