Hypoventilation training, pioneered by Emil Zátopek, is a training method by which one first inhale, then exhale normally, then hold his breathe.

Wikipedia notes that hypoventilation training delays acidosis and thus delay on onset of fatigue, allowing one to improve performance during strenuous exertions of short to moderate durations.

However, what are the disadvantages or side-effects of hypoventilation training (besides physically demanding)?

Specifically, is engaging in long-term hypoventilation training hazardous to health?

1 Answer 1


No hypoventilation training is not dangerous for health if you do not try to hold your breath for as long as possible. This method must not be confused with an apnea competition! The exhalation and the breath holdings must be well measured while running, cycling or swimming. Actually, the main side effects that can occur in some individuals are headaches.

However, hypoventilation training is not recommended in some people at risk. In particular individuals with moderate to severe arterial hypertension or who have, or have had, coronary issues.

The method is not risky either over a long term period if you don't train more than twice or three (at the most) times a week with hypoventilation.

You should read the book "hypoventilation training, push your limits" (author: Xavier Woorons). You will find interesting information about this training method. You cand find it (and other details) on this website: http://www.hypoventilation-training.com

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