Taking it to the extreme? Train with us.
There’s a big world out there. And, wherever you may be going, when it comes to the best training, there’s only one place to start. Our environmental chamber can recreate any condition in the world, combining altitude, humidity, and temperature.
Our expert team will work with you to develop a bespoke acclimatisation programme to ensure you’re ready for your upcoming event. Plus, even if you’re not training for anything, we can also help improve your fitness capabilities through altitude or heat sessions too.
What is an environmental chamber?
The environmental chamber is a room where conditions can be manipulated to represent a specific climate or altitude. The temperature can be set between -20⁰C and +50⁰C and the humidity can be increased up to 95%, with altitude simulated up to an equivalent of 5500m above sea level.
Perfect for use as part of an acclimatisation program for individuals or groups planning on completing extreme sporting or charity events (e.g. Marathon Des Sables or Mount Everest climbs), the environmental chamber can also be used to improve your fitness capabilities through altitude or heat sessions. Plus, for complete flexibility, the environmental chamber at MIHP is big enough to accommodate individuals or medium-sized groups.
What are the benefits?
Get ahead of the game – by being exposed to the different environments in our chamber before an event, you’re giving your body time to adapt to those conditions, so you feel more comfortable when you get there.
Train together – our chamber is big enough to have multiple bits of equipment in there. So, a full sports team or group of runners or cyclists all preparing for the same event can train together easily.
Flexible set up to suit your requirements – we can adapt the equipment to suit you or your teams’ goals, e.g. Wattbikes, treadmills, running machines or a mixture.
Deliver to your peak – you will be gradually exposed to a change in altitude, so when you get out to an event, you are fully prepared, can deliver to your peak and enjoy the experience to the full.
The right strategy for you – you’ll be advised on individual strategies for hydration, fuelling and cooling, as well as strategies to gain physiological adaptations to enhance your performance in the heat.
Know exactly how you will react – review your likelihood of experiencing altitude sickness before getting to an event or location.
Increase performance – Increase cardiovascular strain while minimising load on joints. Doing the same activity in our chamber in heat or at altitude can help produce greater training adaptations than in normal conditions.
What to expect from your session
Environmental chamber sessions vary depending on the type of environment that is being simulated, as well as the goal of the session. You can combine both altitude and temperature exposure (hot or cold), as well as increased humidity (if appropriate). And, for your complete peace of mind, all sessions are supervised by a member of the MIHP Performance Team.
Hot temperature training (above 35⁰C)
Evidence suggests that training in hot climates can help build up tolerance to heat exposure, increase rate of perspiration, blood plasma volume (which leads to better cardiovascular fitness) and reduce overall core temperature.
An example hot temperature training session could involve 30–45 minutes of moderate-to-intense aerobic exercise with treadmills, Wattbikes or circuit training. Core body temperature will be monitored throughout the session as a way of keeping tabs on the physiological response to the conditions in the chamber. Other monitoring methods, such as thermal sensation, thermal comfort and rate of perceived exhaustion, will also be used at regular intervals. Sweat rate and fluid consumption can also be measured to provide a better all-round insight too.
Based on all the information gathered from the session, you’ll be advised on individual strategies for hydration and cooling, as well as strategies to gain physiological adaptations to enhance your performance in the heat.
Cold temperature training (below 10⁰C)
Typical measures that are monitored during this type of session include thermal sensation, thermal comfort, rate of perceived exhaustion, and heart rate.
Oxygen saturation levels are monitored at regular intervals during any sessions involving increased altitude. Plus, for even more detailed results, the Lake Louise Acute Mountain Sickness Score is also completed at regular intervals too.
What to bring
- It’s a good idea to bring clothing suitable to the environmental conditions, or the aim of the session – e.g. wearing a race suit and helmet is optional for drivers but will provide a more accurate indication of sweat loss and sweat composition
- Energy fuels
- A change of clothes
- Any medication that may be needed due to allergies or exercise (e.g. EpiPen or inhaler).