Effects of Eight Interval Training Sessions in Hypoxia on Anaerobic, Aerobic, and High Intensity Work Capacity in Endurance Cyclists

Damon Arezzolo, Vernon G Coffey*, Nuala Byrne, Thomas M Doering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This study aimed to determine if eight sessions of supramaximal but steady-state, set duration interval training in hypoxia enhanced measured anaerobic capacity and work performed during high intensity exercise.

Materials and Methods: Eighteen cyclists (V̇O2peak: 57 ± 7 ml·kg−1·min−1) were pair-matched for anaerobic capacity determined by maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAOD) and allocated to a 4-week interval training in hypoxia (IHT; FiO2 = 14.7% ± 0.5%, n = 9) or interval training in normoxia (NORM; FiO2 = 20.6% ± 0.3%, n = 9). Cyclists completed twice weekly interval training (8 × 1 minutes: ∼120% V̇O2peak, 5 minutes recovery: ∼50% V̇O2peak) in addition to their habitual training. Before and after the intervention, a constant work rate supramaximal time to fatigue and a graded exercise test were used to determine changes in anaerobic capacity/supramaximal work performed and aerobic capacity/peak aerobic power output, respectively.

: No interaction or main effects were observed. Using indirect calorimetry, anaerobic capacity was not significantly different in either group pre- to postintervention using MAOD (IHT: 4% ± 15%; NORM: −5% ± 12%) or gross efficiency methods (IHT: 7% ± 14%; NORM: −2% ± 9%), and VO2peak was unchanged (IHT: 1% ± 6%; NORM: 1% ± 4%). However, within-group analysis shows that supramaximal work performed improved with IHT (14% ± 13%; p = 0.02; d = 0.42) but not NORM (1% ± 22%), and peak aerobic power output increased with IHT (5% ± 7%; p = 0.04; d = 0.32) but not NORM (2% ± 4%).

: Steady-state, set duration supramaximal interval training in hypoxia appears to provide a small beneficial effect on work capacity during supramaximal and high intensity exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-377
Number of pages8
JournalHigh Altitude Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Early online date19 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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