Comparisons of Aerobic Capacity Change in National-level Rowers
after 4, 6 and 8-week Altitude Training

Binghong GAO

Professor of Shanghai University of Sports, China


To compare the effects of 4-wk, 6-wk and 8-w altitude training on the aerobic capacity in elite rowers.


37 elite rowers(age: 24.l8±5.67 years) including 8 light-weight women of double-oar sculls, 5 light-weight men of double-oar seulls, 1 heavy-weight men of single scull. 9 light-weight men of single-oar scull, 2 heavy-weight women of single-oar scull and 12 heavy-weight womcn of double-oar scull of China national team, who had got qualification of the 2012 Olympic Games, were selected to this study. I2 rowers joined the 4-wk altitude training group (ATG4) . l7 rowers joined the 6-wk altitude training group (ATG6). 8 rowers joined the S-wk altitude training group (ATG8). The training area is at an elevation of 2300m above sea level. RBC, [Hb] and HCT were measured pre-, duration and post- altitude afier ld rest (Bcckman AC T2). VO2max was determined by incremental intensity test using rowing ergometer 3d pre- and l0d post altitude (Cosmed K4b2). Power and heart rate at 4mM lactate (P4 and HR4) was delennined by six step test on rowing ergometer. Lactate was measured by Biosen EKF. Heart rate was recorded by Sunnto T6C.


(I) [Hb] was all increased significantly after 4wk, 6wk and 8wk altitude training (P<0.05). The average increase amplitude of [Hb] in ATG4, ATG6 and ATG8 were 15.1%, 17.5% and 22.1% respectively. Meanwhile, [llb] of ATG8 need to five weeks for recovery to pre-altitude level and [Hb] of ATG4 only need two weeks.

(2) VO2max and VO2max/kg all improved afier 4wk, 6wk and 8wk altitude training. The average increase amplitude of VO2max in ATG4, ATG6 and ATG8 were 3.61%, 5.84% (P<0.05) and 4.92% (P<0.05)respectively. The average increase amplitude of VO2max/kg were 3.05%, 5.89% (P<0.05) and 3.98% (P<0.05) respectively.

(3) P4 ofATG4, ATG6 and ATG8 increased 2.31% (P>0.05) , 6.77% (P<0.05) and 7.36% (P<0.05) compared with pre-altitude. The curve of lactate-power in ATG8 moved to right much more than ATG4.


4wk, 6wk and 8wk training at 2300m altitude could improve aerobic capacity of elite rowers effectively. From the point of aerobic performance change, it seems that altitude duration of 6 and 8 weeks are much better than 4 weeks.