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.
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).
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.
Maximum strength increased as well
The arm’s maximum strength increased the most in the hypoxia group.
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. (See How does it feel like to have high levels of testosterone?)
Oxygen depletion stimulates free radicals
Oxygen depletion increases free radicals and this in turn increases the body’s anabolic processes.
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.
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. (See How to strengthen your core muscles?)
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.
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.
‘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.
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.