Elite Athlete Development Programme Media Release
Altitude training vital cog in
Ho & Meyer’s Olympic dreams
Durban – As team South Africa long distance swimmers, Chad Ho and
Matthew Meyer enter the final phase of their build up campaigns
to the 2016 Olympic Games which get underway in Rio de Janeiro in
less than a month’s time, the pair continue to place great
emphasis on the inclusion of cardiovascular benefitting simulated
Through their involvement in the KZN Department of Sport and
Recreation backed Elite Athlete Development Programme, 10km open
water competitor and eight time Midmar Mile winner, Ho and 1500m
Freestyle star, Meyer have made full use of Prime Human
Performance Institute’s hypoxic chamber in recent months, the
training technique aiding the in the pair’s conditioning.
“The body responds to stress that it is put under and in order to
achieve optimal adaptation, the training exercise needs to be of
a high enough intensity to create maximal stress,” explains Wayne
Holroyd, Prime HPI physiotherapist.
“Training at altitude causes physiological adaptations in the
cardiovascular system as well as locally within the muscles being
“We see a higher exercise tolerance as a result of the altitude
training, mostly due to improved oxygen transport and lower
lactate production, as well as a quicker recovery after exercise.
“The biggest effect though is a secondary improvement due to the
athlete being able to train harder as a result of the higher
exercise tolerance and improved recovery,” he adds.
While the effectiveness of the technique remains unique to each
individual, Holroyd is confident that all sportsmen and women
across all sporting codes and disciplines can benefit from
“We try to simulate each athlete’s sporting requirements as
closely as possible, something that is easier to do in some
sports than others.
“Despite sprint and endurance athletes having different
cardiovascular requirements though, we have seen that by planning
each of their training programmes differently, both benefit
significantly from simulated altitude training.”
Holroyd explains the variety of benefits Ho and Meyer, amongst
others, enjoy through the hard work they put in in Prime HPI’s
simulated altitude chamber.
“When an athlete starts using the room, there is a period of
about 3 to 4 weeks where the athlete becomes optimally altitude
acclimatised and that period is usually quite intense with 2-3
sessions per week.
“Once they are optimally acclimatised, they then do 1 or 2
sessions a week to maintain the altitude benefits.
The altitude affects a variety of physiological processes in the
body, from uptake of oxygen in the lungs and transport to the
muscles, to the way the oxygen is used inside the muscles, the
by-products that are produced by high intensity exercise in the
muscle (mainly lactate), the clearance of lactate out of the
muscle cells, and the processing of that lactate within the body.
“Everyone will have some degree of adaptation in all of these
areas, although where and how much varies a lot from person to
“Interval training is a very important part of most athletes
training and another benefit of altitude training is that it
enables athletes to hold a much higher output for each of their
intervals, resulting in an enhanced training response.”
Ho’s open water Rio challenge takes place on Tuesday, 16 August
while Meyer will be in preliminary 1500m Freestyle action on
Friday, 12 August with the final taking place the following day.
For more information visit
(click to download
Click HERE to download
Athlete Development Programme Logo Horizontal on black - GIF
Development Programme athlete, Chad Ho's build up to the men's
10km open water swim event of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de
Janeiro has been aided by much time spent in Prime Human
Performance Institute's hypoxic chamber.
Development Programme athlete, Matthew Meyer continues to draw on
the benefits of altitude training as they enter the final phase
of their 2016 Olympic Games preparations ahead of the Rio de
Janeiro event in August.
Conditions of usage of photographs:
All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of
charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The
photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be
cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The
photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and
may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on
any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or
promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements,
commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or
any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at
the details below.
For any further information, or if you
cannot access the images, please contact:
(031) 764 3017