FFT seeks peak fit­ness

FFT gets a sweat on in or­der to be Pre­mier League fit for the new sea­son

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What is it?

An al­ti­tude cham­ber mim­ics the ef­fects of train­ing thou­sands of me­tres above sea level. Foot­ballers tend to use them when they’re re­cov­er­ing from an in­jury and while they’re try­ing to get fit be­fore or dur­ing pre-sea­son. Do­ing four to six ses­sions per week on a bike, or three to four on a tread­mill, will im­prove fit­ness.

How does it work?

Train­ing at al­ti­tude re­duces the amount of oxy­gen avail­able, mean­ing the heart has to work harder to main­tain oxy­gen sup­ply to the mus­cles. As a re­sult, they have to be­come more ef­fi­cient at us­ing that re­duced sup­ply. It’s pun­ish­ing, but once play­ers have re­turned to sea level, they will be able to per­form at a higher in­ten­sity for longer.

Who uses it?

Al­ti­tude train­ing is en­abling some of the Pre­mier League’s big­gest teams to stay on top of their game. Last term’s lead­ing quar­tet – Manch­ester City, Man United, Spurs and Liv­er­pool – have all in­stalled cham­bers at their train­ing grounds, as have Cham­pi­onship clubs Nor­wich City and West Bromwich Al­bion and League One out­fit Peter­bor­ough United.

Why are they us­ing it?

Foot­ballers train at al­ti­tude to get fit­ter faster. Re­peated sprint abil­ity, a cru­cial com­po­nent of fit­ness for elite ath­letes, can be boosted quicker at al­ti­tude than sea level. Play­ers of­ten do a 15-minute work­out be­fore a train­ing ses­sion – 10 sec­onds flat out fol­lowed by 50 sec­onds rest­ing, re­peated 15 times – to in­crease their per­for­mance out­put.

How much does it cost?

You can book a block of 10 ses­sions for £200 at The Al­ti­tude Cen­tre in Lon­don or Manch­ester, and if you’re re­ally keen a month of un­lim­ited work­outs will set you back £120. Home sys­tems can also be rented for any­where be­tween £400 and £600 a month, al­low­ing you to get match fit in your front room.

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