Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sports Training: Hypobaric Chamber Like High Altitude

Yesterday's tennis story in the Wall Street Journal has taken the web by storm. Here come yet more questionable claims about sports training with pressure. But this time, much to our relief, it's a hypo- rather than a hyperbaric chamber in the media spotlight. What's not to like about star athletes and secret egg-shaped pods? Never mind the tennis phenom in question denies using the thing.

Essentially the CVAC pod is a vacuum chamber. The computerized device also employs "a patent-pending methodology that applies rhythm-based changes to pressure, temperature and air." Occupants hope to gain competitive advantage by simulating the lower atmospheric pressure some athletes experience when training at higher altitudes.  

WSJ reporter Hannah Karp plays pretty loose with hypo- and hyper- and references to oxygen. Favorite quote:

In 2006 the World Anti-Doping Agency ruled that such oxygen tents enhance performance and violate "the spirit of sport," but did not add them to the list of banned substances and methods, saying they would wait until further studies were conducted.

Click PLAY to watch the video below. We replicated the collapsing water bottle trick earlier this month, when descending from the High Sierra to the Central Valley of California.

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