Altitude training can cause a 50% increase in myoglobin in muscles, literally turning them from “white” to “pink” to “red” (Table 1). These cells also increase their mitochondria (the cell’s power house) content, transforming them from fast twitch Type 2B (white, anaerobic) to Type 2A (pink, aerobic) cells. This transformation occurs in 7-12 days, and helps those muscles resist fatigue. More mitochondria also means more fat burning, lactic acid removal and greater CO2 clearance to maintain pH.
Another change created in muscles by (IHE) are huge increases in natural antioxidant enzymes that help cells resist damage and aging. Also, the new capillaries formed after (IHE) become more flexible and generate more nitric oxide enabling them to increase blood flow without increasing blood pressure. Nitric oxide is why Viagra works and why that drug is sometimes used by athletes before competition.
The importance of these muscle changes by (IHE) cannot be overstated. Realize that 45% of your body weight is muscle. Doing (IHE) can increase the oxygen storage and mitochondrial content by over 10% in just a week or two and even more after a few months. The benefits these lead to in overall endurance and stamina, far exceeds that of illegal blood doping drug products. Many sports physiologists don’t realize this. Lance Armstrong could have saved himself if he knew.