Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Get the latest news, jobs and features in your inbox
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Training: Legal high

The UK’s first hotel with high altitude rooms has opened its doors, hot on the heels of the launch of a hypoxic chamber at the new Third Space in London. Is altitude training heading for the mainstream? Kath Hudson reports

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 1
The Altitude Centre has seen a growing interest in altitude training
The Altitude Centre has seen a growing interest in altitude training
Hypoxic environments reduce the hunger-inducing hormone, ghrelin, making individuals less likely to overeat

Endurance athletes like Mo Farah have been using altitude training for decades, spending weeks at a time training at 2,400m, before heading off to compete, pumped up with a heap of extra red blood cells.

Now fitness enthusiasts with a decent amount of disposable income have the opportunity to train like a professional, as the options for getting an altitude hit have increased.

The body adapts to there being less oxygen in the air in a number of ways: increasing the number of red blood cells and levels of haemoglobin and altering muscle metabolism. This forces the body to work harder, meaning users get the benefits of a 45-minute workout in around 15 minutes.

With reduced oxygen, the body becomes much more effective at using what oxygen it has available, and so on returning to normal altitude levels the body is able to access to higher levels of oxygen.

“The benefits of training at altitude are beyond doubt – performance athletes have been doing it for years,” says Colin Waggett, CEO of Third Space. “It increases the number of red blood cells and the number of small blood vessels, making the body more efficient at delivering oxygen to the muscles, and improving the body’s ability to buffer lactic acid.”

Delivering results in less time is one of the benefits of altitude training, which made the hypoxic chamber an ideal fit for Third Space’s city-based club, where it joined a line-up of cutting edge features, including a sprint track and hot yoga studio.

Oxygen levels in the chamber are 15 per cent lower than outside, and members have the option to exercise in the chamber on a ski simulator, treadmills, bikes, a rower or a Woodway treadmill.

Waggett says take-up has been high among the club’s time-pressured, fitness-savvy members and that hypoxic chambers will be considered at future sites. This is the second Third Space club to offer one, the first being in Soho. “We like to include features which people don’t necessarily find elsewhere, but which have real practical use, and are founded in robust sports science or consumer insight,” he says.

Turnkey solution
Third Space is not the only health and fitness operator to be offering altitude training. Virgin Active has two chambers at its Walbrook Collection Club in Cannon Street, which were installed by hypoxic specialists, The Altitude Centre. The company runs a facility in central London, as well as offering an installation and set-up service, an accredited course for coaches and the rental of portable oxygen chambers to the home market.

According to Sam Rees, manager at The Altitude Centre, interest and participation is growing year on year, as more people want to train like sport and fitness professionals.

The facility was opened in 2012, by Richard Pullan, who experienced altitude training in New Zealand. Initially aimed at elite athletes, the centre has worked with many big name clients, including Alistair Brownlee, England Football, UK Athletics and England Rugby, however, now it’s broadening its reach.

According to Rees, there are now three clear markets beyond elite athletes. “Ambitious amateur athletes, such as runners, cyclists and triathletes, who want to improve their times and are happy to invest in this. Then, people who are planning mountain expeditions to the likes of Mount Kilimanjaro or Everest base camp. And, thirdly, those with no particular sporting goal, but who want to stay fit and healthy and like the fact that you can get better results out of a 30-minute class.”

A single session in the pod costs £29, but most people buy in blocks, or take out an unlimited use membership. Rees says, in general, the best way to gain the full benefit is to have two HIIT sessions a week and one session in the altitude pod. To see if there’s potential to engage people who don’t like working out, they’re currently conducting research to see if people can lose weight simply by sitting in the centre and using the mask and also if there are variations in weight loss between training at altitude and sea level.

Sleep at altitude
Research into altitude training is also high on the agenda at Loughborough University’s new Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel. Launched on 1 November, this is the first hotel in the UK to have 20 specially designed altitude bedrooms, featuring a unique system from Sporting Edge, which means that every room can be controlled independently to go from sea level up to 5,000m, which is the same altitude as Everest base camp.

“For altitude training to go mainstream will probably require a larger body of research into the exposure and potential performance gains,” says Emma Boynton, sales and marketing manager of Imago Venues. “But one of the great things about the hotel is the potential to conduct robust research and make altitude training a far more accessible and cost-effective tool for athletes to utilise as part of their training programme.”

Part of a new student village complex, Loughborough University believes the hotel will be a strong asset. “To have a hotel designed specifically for elite athletes that provides an optimum environment for their training, gives our offer something truly unique and cements our position as a world-leading sporting hub,” says Boynton.

Standard and accessible rooms start at £100 and altitude rooms from around £135. Interest has been keen from around the globe, including from national governing bodies, youth sport organisations, para-athlete teams, performance directors, strength and conditioning coaches and semi-professional sports teams all looking for a performance edge, as well as the corporate market for sporting events, the defence sector and weekend warriors preparing for charity runs, triathlons, mountain ascents or extreme heat conditions.

Working out return on investment for health clubs who are tempted to launch a hypoxic chamber is difficult because it varies depending on the size you want to go for, and there are still unknowns about the optimal way to use altitude training. However, as more operators start to take the plunge and more research becomes available, it will soon become apparent whether or not this is set to become a mainstream trend.

Colin Waggett, Third Space
"We like to include features in our clubs which people don’t necessarily find elsewhere, but which have real practical use, and are founded in robust sports science or consumer insight"
Sam Rees, The Altitude Centre
"There are clear markets for altitude training beyond elite athletes, such as ambitious amateur athletes and those planning mountain expeditions"
Emma Boynton, Imago Venues
"For altitude training to go mainstream will probably require a larger body of research into the exposure and potential performance gain"
One of the groups showing an interest in altitude training is people who are planning mountain expeditions, for instance to Mount Kilimanjaro or Everest
One of the groups showing an interest in altitude training is people who are planning mountain expeditions, for instance to Mount Kilimanjaro or Everest
Mo Farah has benefitted from altitude training / shutterstock
Mo Farah has benefitted from altitude training / shutterstock
Alistair Brownlee has benefitted from altitude training / shutterstock
Alistair Brownlee has benefitted from altitude training / shutterstock
Third Space’s hypoxic chamber
Third Space’s hypoxic chamber
Loughborough University’s hotel featuring altitude bedrooms
Loughborough University’s hotel featuring altitude bedrooms
The Altitude Centre
The Altitude Centre
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/760111_702409.jpg
The UK's first hotel with high altitude rooms has opened its doors and Third Space has launched a hypoxic chamber. Is altitude training heading for the mainstream?
People
If you want to work with a PT and do some elite-level training, our facilities allow for that, but if you just want to go in and train on your own, you’ll get a good return for your time and energy
People
This isn’t about gender. I got the role because I’m absolutely the best person for the job - Sophie Lawler
People
HCM people

Rich Hutson

CEO of CHi Fitness and Co-founder of Fire Fitness
The business wasn’t getting the numbers needed, so I raised the prices by 25 per cent. It worked and we didn’t skip a beat
Features
feature
The London Boutique Studio Report showed the EMS market grew in value by 281 per cent in the last five years, meaning the potential for prospective studio owners is huge
Features
Social responsibility
A year after the launch of its first outdoor gym made from melted down, confiscated knives, Steel Warriors has won the support of the Co-op, which has pledged to fund the roll-out of a further 20 calisthenics gyms, as Kath Hudson reports
Features
Body scanning
Will the body image debate define the future of fit-tech? Becca Douglas looks at the evidence
Features
Fitness foresight
We know trends like wearables, HIIT training and functional fitness are hot, but what’s coming down the track? Liz Terry looks further ahead for the latest edition of HCM’s Fitness Foresight
Features
feature
‘TRX® for Yoga’ education fuses suspension training and yoga, says Julian Woolley
Features
Ask the experts
The UK health and fitness industry has doubled in size since 2000. Will growth continue, or even gather pace? And what does this mean for the European health and fitness market? How big could it grow and what factors will have an impact? HCM asks those who have the most up to date research
Features
fitness-kit.net
Lauren Heath-Jones rounds up the latest product launches in health and fitness
Features
Latest News
Enhanced designs have been submitted for a £42m swimming pool and waterpark complex in Derby. ...
Latest News
Arvinda Gohil has been appointed CEO of Central YMCA. Gohil joins the health and wellbeing ...
Latest News
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has launched a review into the NHS Health ...
Latest News
ukactive has begun a search for two additional members to join its board of directors. ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness franchise Spenga has opened two new locations as it looks to ramp up ...
Latest News
Fitness franchise Fit Body Boot Camp has revealed that it has more than 200 new ...
Latest News
DW Fitness First has launched its new Kit & Collect service, aimed at increasing secondary ...
Latest News
Teenagers' 'incessant' use of social media is radically reducing the time they spend sleeping and ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass tops 2,000 fitness facilities on its platform
Gympass has reinforced its leading position in the corporate fitness market, topping 2,000 fitness facilities available on its platform across the UK.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Matrix strengthens Porsche partnership with new installs at performance centre
Porsche recognises that the most important component of any vehicle is the driver.
Opinion
promotion
As an industry, we still underestimate the power of a truly varied fitness regime - and the growing appetite for it, especially among emerging customer segments.
Opinion: Collaboration vs aggregation - what’s the difference?
Video Gallery
Harlands Group Overview
Harlands Group
An overview of the Harlands Group, the membership management experts. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: EXF Fitness
EXF offer so much more than modular systems and pick and mix installations, they don’t ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
At Matrix Fitness, our goal is to make innovative commercial fitness equipment that stands out ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Fitness equipment
Dyaco International: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions Ltd: Flooring
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
05-06 Sep 2019
TagusPark, Oeiras, Portugal
Diary dates
21-22 Sep 2019
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates

features

Training: Legal high

The UK’s first hotel with high altitude rooms has opened its doors, hot on the heels of the launch of a hypoxic chamber at the new Third Space in London. Is altitude training heading for the mainstream? Kath Hudson reports

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 1
The Altitude Centre has seen a growing interest in altitude training
The Altitude Centre has seen a growing interest in altitude training
Hypoxic environments reduce the hunger-inducing hormone, ghrelin, making individuals less likely to overeat

Endurance athletes like Mo Farah have been using altitude training for decades, spending weeks at a time training at 2,400m, before heading off to compete, pumped up with a heap of extra red blood cells.

Now fitness enthusiasts with a decent amount of disposable income have the opportunity to train like a professional, as the options for getting an altitude hit have increased.

The body adapts to there being less oxygen in the air in a number of ways: increasing the number of red blood cells and levels of haemoglobin and altering muscle metabolism. This forces the body to work harder, meaning users get the benefits of a 45-minute workout in around 15 minutes.

With reduced oxygen, the body becomes much more effective at using what oxygen it has available, and so on returning to normal altitude levels the body is able to access to higher levels of oxygen.

“The benefits of training at altitude are beyond doubt – performance athletes have been doing it for years,” says Colin Waggett, CEO of Third Space. “It increases the number of red blood cells and the number of small blood vessels, making the body more efficient at delivering oxygen to the muscles, and improving the body’s ability to buffer lactic acid.”

Delivering results in less time is one of the benefits of altitude training, which made the hypoxic chamber an ideal fit for Third Space’s city-based club, where it joined a line-up of cutting edge features, including a sprint track and hot yoga studio.

Oxygen levels in the chamber are 15 per cent lower than outside, and members have the option to exercise in the chamber on a ski simulator, treadmills, bikes, a rower or a Woodway treadmill.

Waggett says take-up has been high among the club’s time-pressured, fitness-savvy members and that hypoxic chambers will be considered at future sites. This is the second Third Space club to offer one, the first being in Soho. “We like to include features which people don’t necessarily find elsewhere, but which have real practical use, and are founded in robust sports science or consumer insight,” he says.

Turnkey solution
Third Space is not the only health and fitness operator to be offering altitude training. Virgin Active has two chambers at its Walbrook Collection Club in Cannon Street, which were installed by hypoxic specialists, The Altitude Centre. The company runs a facility in central London, as well as offering an installation and set-up service, an accredited course for coaches and the rental of portable oxygen chambers to the home market.

According to Sam Rees, manager at The Altitude Centre, interest and participation is growing year on year, as more people want to train like sport and fitness professionals.

The facility was opened in 2012, by Richard Pullan, who experienced altitude training in New Zealand. Initially aimed at elite athletes, the centre has worked with many big name clients, including Alistair Brownlee, England Football, UK Athletics and England Rugby, however, now it’s broadening its reach.

According to Rees, there are now three clear markets beyond elite athletes. “Ambitious amateur athletes, such as runners, cyclists and triathletes, who want to improve their times and are happy to invest in this. Then, people who are planning mountain expeditions to the likes of Mount Kilimanjaro or Everest base camp. And, thirdly, those with no particular sporting goal, but who want to stay fit and healthy and like the fact that you can get better results out of a 30-minute class.”

A single session in the pod costs £29, but most people buy in blocks, or take out an unlimited use membership. Rees says, in general, the best way to gain the full benefit is to have two HIIT sessions a week and one session in the altitude pod. To see if there’s potential to engage people who don’t like working out, they’re currently conducting research to see if people can lose weight simply by sitting in the centre and using the mask and also if there are variations in weight loss between training at altitude and sea level.

Sleep at altitude
Research into altitude training is also high on the agenda at Loughborough University’s new Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel. Launched on 1 November, this is the first hotel in the UK to have 20 specially designed altitude bedrooms, featuring a unique system from Sporting Edge, which means that every room can be controlled independently to go from sea level up to 5,000m, which is the same altitude as Everest base camp.

“For altitude training to go mainstream will probably require a larger body of research into the exposure and potential performance gains,” says Emma Boynton, sales and marketing manager of Imago Venues. “But one of the great things about the hotel is the potential to conduct robust research and make altitude training a far more accessible and cost-effective tool for athletes to utilise as part of their training programme.”

Part of a new student village complex, Loughborough University believes the hotel will be a strong asset. “To have a hotel designed specifically for elite athletes that provides an optimum environment for their training, gives our offer something truly unique and cements our position as a world-leading sporting hub,” says Boynton.

Standard and accessible rooms start at £100 and altitude rooms from around £135. Interest has been keen from around the globe, including from national governing bodies, youth sport organisations, para-athlete teams, performance directors, strength and conditioning coaches and semi-professional sports teams all looking for a performance edge, as well as the corporate market for sporting events, the defence sector and weekend warriors preparing for charity runs, triathlons, mountain ascents or extreme heat conditions.

Working out return on investment for health clubs who are tempted to launch a hypoxic chamber is difficult because it varies depending on the size you want to go for, and there are still unknowns about the optimal way to use altitude training. However, as more operators start to take the plunge and more research becomes available, it will soon become apparent whether or not this is set to become a mainstream trend.

Colin Waggett, Third Space
"We like to include features in our clubs which people don’t necessarily find elsewhere, but which have real practical use, and are founded in robust sports science or consumer insight"
Sam Rees, The Altitude Centre
"There are clear markets for altitude training beyond elite athletes, such as ambitious amateur athletes and those planning mountain expeditions"
Emma Boynton, Imago Venues
"For altitude training to go mainstream will probably require a larger body of research into the exposure and potential performance gain"
One of the groups showing an interest in altitude training is people who are planning mountain expeditions, for instance to Mount Kilimanjaro or Everest
One of the groups showing an interest in altitude training is people who are planning mountain expeditions, for instance to Mount Kilimanjaro or Everest
Mo Farah has benefitted from altitude training / shutterstock
Mo Farah has benefitted from altitude training / shutterstock
Alistair Brownlee has benefitted from altitude training / shutterstock
Alistair Brownlee has benefitted from altitude training / shutterstock
Third Space’s hypoxic chamber
Third Space’s hypoxic chamber
Loughborough University’s hotel featuring altitude bedrooms
Loughborough University’s hotel featuring altitude bedrooms
The Altitude Centre
The Altitude Centre
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/760111_702409.jpg
The UK's first hotel with high altitude rooms has opened its doors and Third Space has launched a hypoxic chamber. Is altitude training heading for the mainstream?
Latest News
Enhanced designs have been submitted for a £42m swimming pool and waterpark complex in Derby. ...
Latest News
Arvinda Gohil has been appointed CEO of Central YMCA. Gohil joins the health and wellbeing ...
Latest News
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has launched a review into the NHS Health ...
Latest News
ukactive has begun a search for two additional members to join its board of directors. ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness franchise Spenga has opened two new locations as it looks to ramp up ...
Latest News
Fitness franchise Fit Body Boot Camp has revealed that it has more than 200 new ...
Latest News
DW Fitness First has launched its new Kit & Collect service, aimed at increasing secondary ...
Latest News
Teenagers' 'incessant' use of social media is radically reducing the time they spend sleeping and ...
Latest News
Wattbike has secured a deal to supply more than 30 Bupa Health Clinic sites across ...
Latest News
Fitness franchise YourZone45 has concluded a second round of funding, as it prepares to expand ...
Latest News
Leisure trust Active Nation has expanded its portfolio of budget gyms with the acquisition of ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass tops 2,000 fitness facilities on its platform
Gympass has reinforced its leading position in the corporate fitness market, topping 2,000 fitness facilities available on its platform across the UK.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Matrix strengthens Porsche partnership with new installs at performance centre
Porsche recognises that the most important component of any vehicle is the driver.
Opinion
promotion
As an industry, we still underestimate the power of a truly varied fitness regime - and the growing appetite for it, especially among emerging customer segments.
Opinion: Collaboration vs aggregation - what’s the difference?
Video Gallery
Harlands Group Overview
Harlands Group
An overview of the Harlands Group, the membership management experts. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: EXF Fitness
EXF offer so much more than modular systems and pick and mix installations, they don’t ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
At Matrix Fitness, our goal is to make innovative commercial fitness equipment that stands out ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Fitness equipment
Dyaco International: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions Ltd: Flooring
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
05-06 Sep 2019
TagusPark, Oeiras, Portugal
Diary dates
21-22 Sep 2019
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills
Les Mills