Study Summary: Build more muscle with less oxygen

    Study Summary: Build more muscle with less oxygen

  • 1 Air with 16% oxygen makes muscles grow faster

    A study showed how muscles grew 4 to 6 times faster when air had only 16% oxygen. Normally, air has 21% oxygen. The study was published in 2010 in International journal of sports physiology and performance. See also what does resistance training do to the muscles.

  • 2 14 students showed results after 6 weeks

    7 male students trained biceps and triceps for 6 weeks under normal conditions (normoxia). 7 other students did the same in an oxygen-depleted room (hypoxia). 

  • 3 Trained armed increased by about 8%

    Trained arm increased by about 8% in hypoxia. Untrained arm didn't and trained arm in normoxia increased a little.

  • 4 Maximum strength increased as well

    The arm's maximum strength increased the most in the hypoxia group.


  • 5 Oxygen depletion stimulates hormone release

    Oxygen depletion causes the body to produce more lactic acid. The acid stimulates testes and pituitary to produce more growth hormones and testosterone. 

  • 6 Oxygen depletion stimulates free radicals

    Oxygen depletion increases free radicals and this in turn increases the body's anabolic processes.

  • 7 Another study from 2009 also proves the hypothesis

    In 2009, a study was published in Medicine and science in sports and exercise. This study showed how oxygen shortage also increase muscle mass and strength. 

  • 8 12 men were tested at weight lifting

    The 12 healthy men were aged around 30 and regularly did weight training. During test they did 5 sets of bench presses and 5 sets of leg presses once under normal conditions and once in an oxygen depleted room. 

  • 9 Oxygen depleted room influenced hormone release

    Oxygen depleted room made the subjects produce more lactic acid and growth hormone, but it didn't affect cortisol, IGF-1 and testosterone levels.

  • 10 Oxygen depletion makes weight loss faster

    Oxygen depletion may also lead to faster weight loss. Stimulatory hormones (adrenalin and noradrenalin) force fat cells to release their contents into the blood.

  • 11 'Hypoxia is a potent factor'

    Conclusion: Resistance exercise in acute systemic hypoxia caused greater accumulation of lactate, and greater response in growth hormone, adrenalin, and nor-adrenalin to a bout of resistance exercise.Hypoxia is a potent factor for the enhancements of anabolic hormone response to resistance exercise.

  • 12 Oxygen depletion might cause unconsciousness

    Oxygen depletion might cause a person to lose consciousness. This should be taken into account to avoid dangerous situations during training.