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