Does Altitude effect training?

#1
Hey all,
my first post. I'm deployed to Afghanistan, and im stuck up here in the mountains. About 3500 feet above sea level i think. Anyway ive been lifting weights since ive been here and have seen almost no gains as far as body mass goes. And I also get winded easier while running, but that is due to lower oxygen levels i think. I don't see how oxygen levels would reduce muscle growth though.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
#2
I don't know what affect altitude has on muscle growth, but I know training at altitude will increase your lung capacity.
 
#3
What do you mean increase the lung cap? Does that mean when I get home and run i will be able to run faster/longer? Because as of now im trying to get back up to my normal run time which is waaaay behind. I can usually run 2 miles in slightly over 14 minutes... im at 20 minutes now. huge fall off.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
#4
I don't think it'll make you run faster, but it will improve your endurance. A lot of athletes either train at altitude or sleep in altitude tents. It increases your number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen.
 

MAgnum9987

Do What Thou Wilt
#5
Thank you, you have already done so much for your country just for enlisting.

Well, as you go farther from sea level, the atmosphere decreases in density. So, their will be less oxygen molecules to grab, so you are even more likely to be grabbing the other gases in air, namely nitrogen. The problem is not in your muscles, it is your lungs and heart. Your lungs aren't collecting enough oxygen in the first place, so you'll need a couple weeks to a month and a half to acclimatize, so your lungs get to optimum strength for breathing at the appropriate oxygen levels. Your heart also is getting strained as well, because like everything in your body at altitude, it is getting less oxygen, so It won't work as well pumping blood to the rest of your body. Don't worry bout it though, you will acclimatize, unless you have certain heart or lung diseases.
 

FutureTrackStar

Registered Member
#6
Hey all,
my first post. I'm deployed to Afghanistan, and im stuck up here in the mountains. About 3500 feet above sea level i think. Anyway ive been lifting weights since ive been here and have seen almost no gains as far as body mass goes. And I also get winded easier while running, but that is due to lower oxygen levels i think. I don't see how oxygen levels would reduce muscle growth though.
- The decreased density of air decreases the number of O2 molecules taken in with each breath (as Magnum pointed out). Therefore, with the amount of blood cells you currently have, you will not be able to do any physical activity nearly as efficiently as you normally do at sea level. However... the body will adapt to the stress you put on it. The stress is decreased oxygen. The body will adapt by increasing the number of blood cells in your blood stream. So when you come back to sea level... it will be awesome.

The decreased oxygen is probably what is affecting your lack of muscle growth. I don't know how to explain that too well though... I'm a distance runner. You will most likely have much more endurance when you get back to sea level though (as long as you maintain your level of exercise at altitude).
 

Xeilo

Registered Member
V.I.P.
#7
When I was deployed in Afghanistan I was hit hard as well when I first got there getting used to the altitude, but after a month or so depending on how much cardio you do your body will get used to it, and yes your endurance will get longer faster. For the muscle building I didn't see a difference in it really, wasn't a major issue for me.
 

TheMaster

Registered Member
#8
Altitude is defined based on the context in which it is used (aviation, geometry, geographical survey, sport, and more). As a general definition, altitude is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object. The reference datum also often varies according to the context.

Lack of oxygen during hard exercise slows you down. Dude, you are living high and training low. :nod: