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Effects of Acute High-Intensity Exercise With the Elevation Training Mask or Hypoxicator on Pulmonary Function, Metabolism, and Hormones

Ott, Taylor1,2; Joyce, Michael C.1,3; Hillman, Angela R.1,4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 02, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003175
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Ott, T, Joyce, MC, and Hillman, AR. Effects of acute high-intensity exercise with the elevation training mask or hypoxicator on pulmonary function, metabolism, and hormones. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2019—The elevation training mask (ETM) 2.0 is an increasingly popular hands-free respiratory muscle training modality proposing to mimic altitude; however, the degree to which this occurs has been questioned. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of this modality in comparison with using a hypoxicator (HYP) during acute aerobic exercise. Eight regularly active subjects (age: 25 ± 8 years; height: 166 ± 12 cm; body mass 64 ± 10 kg; and V[Combining Dot Above]O2max: 46 ± 6 ml·kg−1·min−1) completed 3 trials, each including resting metabolic rate measurement, pulmonary function tests, and 13 sprint intervals at 90% V[Combining Dot Above]O2max using either the HYP, ETM, or control. There was no significant difference in metabolism or heart rate between conditions. Fraction of expired air in the first second was greater after exercise (p = 0.02), while oxygen saturation was lower during exercise with the HYP (p < 0.001). Human growth hormone increased with exercise, but no differences were found between conditions; however, a trend was observed for higher growth hormone after exercise in HYP vs. ETM (p = 0.08). Elevation training mask does not seem to change acute pulmonary function, metabolism, heart rate, or oxygen saturation, indicating it likely does not create a hypoxic environment or mimic altitude.

1Department of Athletic Training and Exercise Science, Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania

2College of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, Midwestern University, Glendale, Arizona

3Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

4College of Health Sciences and Professions, School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, Department of Exercise Physiology, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

Address correspondence to Dr. Angela R. Hillman, hillman@ohio.edu.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.