Effects of a 4-week training with voluntary hypoventilation carried out at low pulmonary volumes

Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2008 Feb 1;160(2):123-30. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2007.09.010. Epub 2007 Sep 22.


This study investigated the effects of training with voluntary hypoventilation (VH) at low pulmonary volumes. Two groups of moderately trained runners, one using hypoventilation (HYPO, n=7) and one control group (CONT, n=8), were constituted. The training consisted in performing 12 sessions of 55 min within 4 weeks. In each session, HYPO ran 24 min at 70% of maximal O(2) consumption ( [V(02max)) with a breath holding at functional residual capacity whereas CONT breathed normally. A V(02max) and a time to exhaustion test (TE) were performed before (PRE) and after (POST) the training period. There was no change in V(O2max), lactate threshold or TE in both groups at POST vs. PRE. At maximal exercise, blood lactate concentration was lower in CONT after the training period and remained unchanged in HYPO. At 90% of maximal heart rate, in HYPO only, both pH (7.36+/-0.04 vs. 7.33+/-0.06; p<0.05) and bicarbonate concentration (20.4+/-2.9 mmolL(-1) vs. 19.4+/-3.5; p<0.05) were higher at POST vs. PRE. The results of this study demonstrate that VH training did not improve endurance performance but could modify the glycolytic metabolism. The reduced exercise-induced blood acidosis in HYPO could be due to an improvement in muscle buffer capacity. This phenomenon may have a significant positive impact on anaerobic performance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Bicarbonates / blood
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Functional Residual Capacity / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypoventilation / blood*
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Pulmonary Ventilation / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Respiration
  • Time Factors


  • Bicarbonates
  • Lactic Acid