Strength training in a hypoxia tent results in more muscle mass and more fat loss
It will cost you several thousand dollars, but if you are willing to invest this amount of money in a hypoxia tent and a generator, you may make your strength training more effective. According to Spanish scientist Ismael Martinez Guardado, workouts in an oxygen-poor environment lead to more muscle mass and, above all, more fat loss than workouts in a normal environment.
Martinez-Guardado got 32 test subjects, who had not previously done strength training, to do weight training 3 times a week for 7 weeks. The subjects trained with 65-80 percent of the load at which they could just manage 1 rep, rested for 90 seconds between sets, and did 3 sets per exercise. The training routines consisted of bench presses, curls, french presses, rows and squats.
Half of the subjects trained in a standard environment. The other half trained in a CAT-430 tent, where the oxygen content of the air was reduced to 13 percent by a CAT-12 hypoxia generator. Normally, air consists of 20 percent oxygen. Air that consists of 13 percent oxygen can be found in the mountains at an altitude of 4300 meters.
Both the tent and generator were products of Colorado Altitude Training.
During the experiment, all subjects had reduced their caloric intake and consumed about 250 kilocalories less per day than they needed to maintain their weight.
Expressed in grams, the effect of strength training in a hypoxia tent was perhaps not overwhelming. The hypoxia group lost 630 grams of body fat, while the normoxy group gained 270 grams of fat. The hypoxia group gained 760 grams of lean body mass, the normoxy group 520 grams.
But if you look at the relative differences between the two groups, [Table] the picture changes. Then it turns out that strength training in a hypoxia tents leads to more muscle growth and a lot more fat loss.
The figure below is not complete. Click on it for a full version.
Exercising in an oxygen-poor environment had no effect on the increase in muscle strength.
However, the blood of the subjects in the hypoxia group became more viscous. This indicates an increased production of red blood cells. As red blood cells carry oxygen, this may imply that the endurance capacity of the men in this group increased.
"Resistance training under hypoxic conditions could increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass more effectively than training performed in normoxia, but without contributing to greater muscle strength", the researchers summarize their findings.
Biol Sport. 2020 Jun;37(2):121-129.
Higher growth hormone peak makes hypoxia-gym training more effective 29.03.2012
Bodybuilders grow five times faster in hypoxia gym 29.06.2011
Oxygen shortage makes strength training more effective 28.01.2010