Altitude Training - History

High-altitude training - an increasingly advertised and widespread form of training which may not be as well researched and/or known as other forms of training.
Even before 1968, trainers and top athletes started to think about training for optimal performance at great heights. After all, the 1968 Summer Olympics took place in Mexico City, at an altitude of around 2200m.
While critics warned of major health problems, the opposite happened in disciplines without a high proportion of endurance; one record after another was set.
Also readers who are still too young to really remember have probably already heard of the so-called century jump of the US American Bob Beamon, who jumped at that time unbelievable 8.90m far. It took 23 years for this record to be broken again!

In the endurance areas, these best performances were not achieved, but neither were the feared and announced health problems. As in all extreme endurance competitions, there were athletes who had to be treated by a doctor, but all in all there were no other problems than in high-performance sport.

Since that moment at the latest, trainers and sports scientists in Germany have also begun to explore the possibilities of altitude training. The former GDR was certainly a pioneer with the underground training facility in Berlin Kienbaum. This is what altitude training looked like in Germany since 1979  (alle nachfolgenden Bilder sind von Ralf Roletschek /, Galerie gefunden auf Website von Wikepedia - By © Ralf Roletschek - Fahrradtechnik und Fotografie (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons - Ralf Roletschek /

All in all at the time, but you can already see what it was all about, performance, performance and more performance. Luckily, today we are able to do it all a little bit differently, disputable if we could rather persuade you to train  with submarine-like doors and in underground rooms.
In contrast to the system at that time, most people now go a different way; they do not change the air pressure as in the natural altitude, but rather change the air composition. More about this later on on the scientific subitems.

Meanwhile various possibilities have been developed to enable athletes to train under artificial altitude conditions, there are masks and portable devices that can be carried outside, for example when hiking / running, compact devices that can be used at home with a mask (training e.g. on an ergometer or treadmill) or a tent (training or rest / sleep).

Of course, the industry has also recognized that such devices can be made good money with ambitious endurance athletes, accordingly, various devices are offered here, some providers also rely on a device rental.

Here, too, we want to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the systems in the corresponding sub-items, and of course also the costs.

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