My first altitude chamber experience for Kilimanjaro. Read on for more insights 🙂
For years I have been strength training and focused predominantly on increasing my strength and improving my body composition. Basically — look and feel great.
This all lead to me competing as a fitness model competitor both locally and internationally.
And because I am now doing Mt Kilimanjaro in December, I’ve decided to check myself into an altitude training centre here in Melbourne to get started on a training plan for the Roof of Africa.
It was really awesome.
The altitude chamber looks nothing like what you’d see at NASA. However, it is configured with bikes, treadmills, and some random equipment, with the oxygen content of the room reduced down to about 12%.
At any moment in time, you can look at the TV screen and know what the current and target oxygen percentages are for the room — along with a few other cool stats.
The moment I walked into the chamber, I was immediately thrown onto a treadmill and asked to do 10 minutes at a steady pace.
As I was on the machine, I noticed the oxygen concentration on my wearable gadget reduce from 99–100% (normal) down to 80–85%
Below, was the gadget that I wore. You can see in the background that I had already done 12 minutes on the treadmill at 4% gradient.
The idea of training in these conditions is for the body to produce more red blood cells to over-compensate for the reduction in oxygen concentration levels.
At various times and treadmill inclinations, my oxygen concentration levels and heart rate were noted down. This would form the baseline assessment that all other training sessions would be compared to.
After the assessment, a rubber band was attached to me while I was on the treadmill. I was asked to jog for 1 km at a steady pace. I didn’t even last 200 metres!
After a 30 minute assessment in the altitude chamber — which is equivalent to a 60 minute training session in normal ambient conditions — I left the room and was immediately greeted with a fresh breath of oxygen!
Oxygen never tasted so amazing! 🙂
Where To From Here?
So I will be commencing altitude training with Melbourne Altitude Training at 6 weeks out (mid October.)
The goal that we are trying to achieve with my oxygen concentration levels in preparation for Kilimanjaro is 85–90%
For now, I am gearing up for my training trip to Thailand next week. So I’ll be starting altitude training when I return.
Are you looking at climbing Mt Kilimanjaro? Stay in touch! Leave your comments below and let me know 🙂