Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Hunting > Backpack Hunting


Getting High on VO2Max

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 04-26-2008, 01:13 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northern MT
Posts: 23
Rule of thumb we have always used is train hard in low elevations, and live and rest in higher elevations.

This seems to work for me. The idea is that you get a more thorough workout from a muscular standpoint, and are then forced to recover in a higher altitude environment. This isnt easy for folks that live at MSL.
Reply With Quote

Unread 06-01-2008, 01:12 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 30
Well said, daveyj.

Physical fitness at altitude can be tough to achieve if you don't live at altitude. Professional cycling is one of the most demanding disciplines out there for physical fitness. The champions all have high VO2 max's. Just look at Lance Armstrong's numbers. Bottom line is there is no free lunch. You have to train and develop your ability to transfer O2 from you lungs into your bloodstream. The ultimate endpoint is the delivery of O2 to your muscles. A number of factors come into play here: cardiac output (the more blood that gets pumped through your muscles means more O2 gets delivered) and hematocrit or hemoglobin concentration (the number of "box-cars" you have to carry the O2) are probably the biggest of many other factors.

One technique some professional cyclists use is to sleep in an "altitude tent". They live and train at sea level, but sleep in a tent that partially sucks the air out, to lower the air pressure to the equivalent of a high mountain altitude. While they sleep, the body is stimulated to produce more red blood cells and they increase the number of "box-cars" they have. These are also quite expensive.

All this won't do you much good if you don't have the pump to push them around with though. And you would want to do this under the supervision of a doctor as well. If the hematocrit gets much over 60%, the blood can start turning to sludge, and the risk of heart attack or other organ damage becomes a big issue.

If you have COPD or emphysema, this can be a limiting factor no matter how fit you are. It can cripple you literally. You loose valuable surface area in your lung tissue for oxygen exchange. Thus you don't get the O2 into the blood stream.

Bottom line: if you want to have fitness at altitude, you still need to train. Just train smarter.
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-09-2008, 02:28 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Vegas
Posts: 310
Originally Posted by johngfoster View Post
Well said, daveyj.
Bottom line: if you want to have fitness at altitude, you still need to train. Just train smarter.
Along those lines, one way to train and "cheat" is to do your aerobic training while wearing a snorkel. Maybe I'm just young (read: stupid) enough that it sounds like a good idea but it does restrict your O2 flow and get the heart rate going and somewhat resembles training at high altitude. Watch your heart rate carefully however
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-09-2008, 07:28 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southern WI
Posts: 6
HIIT (high intensity training)

After reading all the benefits of high intensity training (HIIT), I've recently given up my 2 or 3 mile runs. I now run quite fast for 2 minutes (I shoot for 92-96 % heartrate at end of each 2 min.), rest for 1 min, then repeat until I've ran 5 sometimes 6 fast intervals. the whole workout takes less than 20 min (including warmup) & really kicks my rear. I'm trying to get in the best shape possible for a CO backpack hunt in Sept. Does anyone know if this is the right approach or would the longer distances be better for endurance? I did a lot of 3 & 4 mile runs last year & still tired easily at 10,000+ feet. (@ age 46 I'm still refusing to believe my age had anything to do with it!) Any imput would be appreciated.

Reply With Quote
Unread 07-09-2008, 07:41 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,084
A mixture is best. You are not drag racing an elk.

Lung capacity and heart capacity must be matched with muscle capacity. Muscle capacity must the the correct combination of fast twitch and slow twitch fibers.

A varied routine will be the best. Two or three days of endurance and one day of HIT if your body will tolerate it. At your age when I was logging 60+ miles a week with a 20 mile run every weekend I could not tolerate more than one HIT a week and not tear my legs apart. I could turn sub 6 minute miles at that time. I once chased a herd of deer across the Valley Forge National Park. Then the Villanova girls cross country team came flying down the trail and I gave chase but they were just way to fast for me. They were faster than the deer and nearly as good looking.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-09-2008, 08:06 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southern WI
Posts: 6
I do get in at least 1 good leg workout a week, (sqauts, lunges, bench jumps) but that seems to make my legs feel like lead for about 3 days. It doesn't seem to bother when I do the HIIT runs but I can really notice it on slower longer runs. I'll keep mixing it up like you said. As long as it's difficult I should get some benefit from it. Sure wish I had a girls CC team to chase, my only motivators are mean dogs & I'm always on the wrong end of that chase!
Reply With Quote
Unread 08-06-2008, 09:04 AM
ATH ATH is offline
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lizton, IN
Posts: 820
It's not necessary to kill yourself with effort if you are not in shape to try and increase your VO2max through intensity. Most out-of-shapers will get plenty of useful gains in conditioning though an increased volume of easy running.

VO2max is not the most important parameter when hiking around the mountains...and for the out of shape can increase through easy running anyways. It is more important when you will be stressing yourself to your max (ie racing or trying to climb hills at the limit of your ability, a bad thing if you have to do it all day on a hunt). Rather, I'd recommend doing as much of an easier aerobic effort as you can (running, not walking) and getting in some hill work to strengthen your legs.

New runners do this all the time....hitting the intensity before they have the base work to support it. Much more important to get the base work and strength first and that will get you most of what you need for hunting purposes. Through volumes of easier running you will increase the mitochondria in your muscles, so they can use oxygen faster. Your heart will start to strengthen so it can pump blood more efficiently. Your muscles will strengthen and tendons toughen to handle the increased stress. I was decent enough to just miss out qualifying for the olympic trials in the marathon a couple years back so judge for yourself..
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads for: Getting High on VO2Max
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
High Velocity Of High BC jwp475 General Discussion 32 02-22-2012 11:11 PM
Very High ES? Elk Chaser Reloading 5 09-24-2010 01:07 AM
High Pressure Flush System/High Speed Chambering Class Rustystud Gunsmithing 11 12-22-2009 11:26 AM
high BC for 22-250 hillbily Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards 9 11-28-2009 12:12 AM
high or low Gator26 Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 0 08-08-2009 10:57 AM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:26 AM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC