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Do NOT Confuse High-Altitude Training With The O2 Trainer

December 08, 2018 3 min read

For the people who say: “You deprive yourself of oxygen when using the
o2trainer,” I want to clarify that you are mixing up training at high altitude with
training with an o2trainer. They are two completely different things. With high
altitude training, there is less oxygen in the air. No matter what you do, you will never get more oxygen until your body is used to it (takes at least two weeks).
STILL then, when you are working out really hard, your body/brain doesn’t get enough oxygen.

That’s why these days not many people train at high altitude anymore. They simply build a high-altitude home at “sea level.” This way, they can train at sea level and get the most out of their workouts, and then they LIVE in the altitude home for the remainder of the day/night, eat, sleep, etc. This sparks the red blood cell count and puts more oxygen in the body. However, for some people like me, this can “backfire.” When I prepared for my World title fight in the UFC at high altitude (Denver, CO), my body started to produce a lot of lactic acid at sea level, which screwed me mentally since I found this out one day before the fight and it freaked me out. That’s why in the fight you will see me starting to “fight” after 8 minutes or so, that’s where I realized I was “OK.” I have since met three more people who shared the same experience.

When I had Duane Ludwig training with me at sea level, I always saw him shaking his arms, so I asked him, “Are you building up lactic acid in your forearms?” His answer was YES. Later I heard that it’s because you get drained from your fluids “up there” since the air is thinner, so you really need to make sure you drink at least a gallon of water a day. And I knew this was true because before the fight at the weigh ins, I was 197 pounds and needed to be over 200 (two weight classes ONLY at the time, 200 and under, 200 and over). They told me I could fight but not for a title if I wasn’t over 200 pounds. So I took all the water my buddies had and start drinking those, jumped back on the scale and was 203. I made it!

As for “depriving yourself of oxygen,” when you use the o2trainer as directed, that will NEVER happen. You start, for example, with cap 1 (14mm) and ONLY when you feel you can do your workouts with this cap “pretty easily,” you swap it out for cap number 2 (13mm). Same thing here, only when you feel pretty good again, you go to cap number 3 (12mm), etc. Because your lungs get stronger, they will pull the same amount of air through cap 3 as they did through cap 2, so you see, you NEVER deprive yourself of oxygen! Also, with the o2trainer, you can completely empty your lungs (unlike other devices that you can TRAIN with, there’s one but you can’t run or train with it, only use for breathing exercises.) Other devices control air in and air out. I stayed away from air out since then you can‘t completely empty your lungs and that means you will always have “old air” in the lungs plus you don’t work your whole inspiratory system. That’s because when you have air left in your lungs, you can’t inhale with force anymore to fill them since you already have 20 percent of oxygen in there. Think about this, because this is HUGE!

To show you what I mean, do this:
Breathe in and out only one second each and notice how much your diaphragm is moving. Not that much right? Now completely empty your lungs and breathe in. Quite a difference, right? Now you feel your diaphragm (when breathing out) really pushing the air out and making the lungs much smaller, so now, when you breathe in again, you use way more inspiratory muscles! That’s why, once again, I don’t control the “air out.”

Have great Sunday.