Altitude training is now gaining a lot of popularity with the benefits it can offer to athletes and sportsmen. Rugby is no exception!
Rugby is a physically demanding sport and players should be prepared physically and mentally. The most important physical activities in rugby are Running, Passing, Catching, Tackling and Kicking. This involves a tremendous amount of fitness from an individual.
In Rugby the most injuries occur during matches rather than during the training sessions (around 57% more likely), however the most risk to get injured during a match for a player occurs during the second half of the game, as the players get more and more tired. In conclusion, you can say, that there are currently around 17 injuries per 1000 hours of playing, which is nearly three times higher than the injury rates in football. Prolonged training at altitude can be benefical at sea level. This is because the additional red blood cells (hemoglobin) are produced; the additional oxygen-carrying capacity can boost performance in prolonged endurance sports.
"A few of the bigger players could lose a bit of fat up here. With altitude training you burn more calories so it's a bonus," says prop Tomas Francis.
Increasingly, simulated altitude plays a major role in returning players and athletes back to their respective disciplines in the shortest possible time. If you are injured you can stay fit, and even progress your fitness levels with the help of hypoxic training which maintains/improves levels with less muscle load. Oxygen delivery to damaged muscles and ligaments is crucial in speeding recovery. Hypoxic training leaves you with an increased oxygen supply to the affected area for several hours following a session.
Long recovery periods may mean missing vital training sessions, or if recovery sessions are too short you risk heading towards over-training. With hypoxic/altitude sessions built into your training programme your system will not become overloaded and you will feel less fatigued and recover more quickly. You can therefore increase your training intensity and improve performance significantly.
Contact us if you want to set up an Altitude Chamber in your club.