European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 119, Issue 9, pp 1959–1970 | Cite as

Physiological adaptations to repeated sprint training in hypoxia induced by voluntary hypoventilation at low lung volume

  • Xavier WooronsEmail author
  • Grégoire P. Millet
  • Patrick Mucci
Original Article



This study investigated the effects of repeated-sprint (RS) training in hypoxia induced by voluntary hypoventilation at low lung volume (RSH-VHL) on physiological adaptations, RS ability (RSA) and anaerobic performance.


Over a 3-week period, eighteen well-trained cyclists completed six RS sessions in cycling either with RSH-VHL or with normal conditions (RSN). Before (Pre) and after (Post) the training period, the subjects performed an RSA test (10 × 6-s all-out cycling sprints) during which oxygen uptake \(\left( {{\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2} } \right)\) and the change in both muscle deoxyhaemoglobin (Δ[HHb]) and total haemoglobin (Δ[THb]) were measured. A 30-s Wingate test was also performed and maximal blood lactate concentration ([La]max) was assessed.


At Post compared to Pre, the mean power output during both the RSA and the Wingate tests was improved in RSH-VHL (846 ± 98 vs 911 ± 117 W and 723 ± 112 vs 768 ± 123 W, p < 0.05) but not in RSN (834 ± 52 vs 852 ± 69 W, p = 0.2; 710 ± 63 vs 713 ± 72 W, p = 0.68). The average \({\dot{{\text{V}}}{{\text{O}}}}_{2}\) recorded during the RSA test was significantly higher in RSH-VHL at Post but did not change in RSN. No change occurred for Δ[THb] whereas Δ[HHb] increased to the same extent in both groups. [Lamax] after the Wingate test was higher in RSH-VHL at Post (13.9 ± 2.8 vs 16.1 ± 3.2 mmol L−1, p < 0.01) and tended to decrease in RSN (p = 0.1).


This study showed that RSH-VHL could bring benefits to both RSA and anaerobic performance through increases in oxygen delivery and glycolytic contribution. On the other hand, no additional effect was observed for the indices of muscle blood volume and O2 extraction.


Hypoventilation Hypoxia Hypoxemia Cycling 



Muscle concentrations of deoxyhaemoglobin


Blood lactate concentration

\([{\rm La}]_{\max}\)

Maximal blood lactate concentration

\(\left[ {{\text{O}}_{{ 2 {}}} {\text{Hb}}} \right]\)

Muscle concentrations of oxyhaemoglobin


Total haemoglobin


Heart rate


Mean power output


Near-infrared spectroscopy

\({\text{O}}_{{ 2 {}}}\)



Peak power output


Amplitude variation between the peak and nadir [HHb]


Amplitude variation between the peak and nadir [THb]


Rating of perceived exertion


Repeated sprint ability


Repeated-sprint exercise


Repeated sprints in hypoxia


Repeated sprints in hypoxia induced by voluntary hypoventilation at low lung volume


Repeated sprints in normoxia

\({\text{SpO}}_{{ 2 {}}}\)

Arterial oxygen saturation


Voluntary hypoventilation at low lung volume


Oxygen uptake

\({\dot{\text{V}}\text{O}}_{2} /{\text{HR}}\)

Oxygen pulse



We sincerely thank all the subjects who participated in this study for their efforts, time and dedication. We are also grateful to Adrien Combes for his assistance.

Author contributions

XW and PM conceived and designed research and conducted the experiments. XW, GM and PM analysed data and interpreted the results of the experiments. XW wrote the manuscript. All authors edited, revised and approved the final version of the manuscript.


The authors declare that they received no funding for this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Univ. Lille, Univ. Artois, Univ. Littoral Côte d’Opale, EA 7369 - URePSSS - Unité de Recherche Pluridisciplinaire Sport Santé SociétéLilleFrance
  2. 2.Institute of Sport Sciences (ISSUL), Faculty of Biology and MedicineLausanneSwitzerland

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