High-intensity training in normobaric hypoxia enhances exercise performance and aerobic capacity in Thoroughbred horses: A randomized crossover study

Kazutaka Mukai, Hajime Ohmura, Akira Matsui, Hiroko Aida, Toshiyuki Takahashi, James H. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We examined the effects of high-intensity training in normobaric hypoxia on aerobic capacity and exercise performance in horses and the individual response to normoxic and hypoxic training. Eight untrained horses were studied in a randomized, crossover design after training in hypoxia (HYP; 15.0% inspired O2) or normoxia (NOR; 20.9% inspired O2) 3 days/week for 4 weeks separated by a 4-month washout period. Before and after each training period, incremental treadmill exercise tests were performed in normoxia. Each training session consisted of 1 min cantering at 7 m/s and 2 min galloping at the speed determined to elicit maximal oxygen consumption ((Formula presented.) O2max) in normoxia. Hypoxia increased significantly more than NOR in run time to exhaustion (HYP, +28.4%; NOR, +10.4%, p =.001), (Formula presented.) O2max (HYP, +12.1%; NOR, +2.6%, p =.042), cardiac output ((Formula presented.); HYP, +11.3%; NOR, −1.7%, p =.019), and stroke volume (SV) at exhaustion (HYP, +5.4%; NOR, −5.5%, p =.035) after training. No significant correlations were observed between NOR and HYP for individual changes after training in run time (p =.21), (Formula presented.) O2max (p =.99), (Formula presented.) (p =.19), and SV (p =.46) at exhaustion. Arterial O2 saturation during exercise in HYP was positively correlated with the changes in run time (r =.85, p =.0073), (Formula presented.) (r =.72, p =.043) and SV (r =.77, p =.026) of HYP after training, whereas there were no correlations between these parameters in NOR. These results suggest that high-intensity training in normobaric hypoxia improved exercise performance and aerobic capacity of horses to a greater extent than the same training protocol in normoxia, and the severity of hypoxemia during hypoxic exercise might be too stressful for poor responders to hypoxic training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14442
JournalPhysiological Reports
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Keywords

  • aerobic capacity
  • horse
  • hypoxic training
  • performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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