MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Being immediately combat effective once you step off the plane on deployment is a top priority, but spending time to acclimatize may not be possible. Aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Semper Fit trainers have a solution through Hypoxico High Altitude Training.
“If your body is already used to training, running, biking and hiking at that altitude, then you are not going to have the one to two week recovery period when you arrive,” said Greg Canby, a Semper Fit personal trainer.
Throughout every Semper Fit fitness center aboard MCB Camp Lejeune, Hypoxico systems are in place to train and condition patrons for altitudes ranging from 6,000 to 21,000 feet above sea level.
“It has all the benefits without all the travel,” said Canby.
Normal oxygen levels in the air at sea level are 21 percent, but due to pressure at high altitude, the percentage drops. High altitude training creates the situation of lower oxygen levels, but in a safe environment.
To ensure safety, all patrons who use the Hypoxico machines are supervised by certified Semper Fit trainers and have their heart rates and blood oxygen levels monitored at all times during training.
One benefit of the high altitude training is increased red blood cell count, which at sea level helps transport more oxygen and blood flow to muscles during regular physical training.
“Even if you’re not going to deploy, it’s just good training,” said Canby. “People come to me and to other fitness centers all the time to help take time off their physical fitness test and combat fitness test. I’ve seen individuals take 30 seconds off their three mile run time.”
The training is easily accessible, but is an underutilized asset said, Capt. Blair Faulk, artillery officer for Battery I, 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment.
“I have done the intro session and five full sessions with Hypoxico,” said Faulk. “The training is short but extremely challenging, and I have seen the benefits, it now takes much longer for my cardiovascular system to fail than my muscles.”
Although the machine is stationary, it can be moved to accommodate many different workouts as it only weighs around 50 pounds.
“You can bike, run, elliptical, row. You can do just about anything,” said Canby. “I even helped a master sergeant who was in a bad motorcycle accident and injured his lower leg preventing most exercises from the waist down. We did all abdomen and upper body workouts, and he would use the Hypoxico machine while exercising.”
Hypoxico training is available to any service member or family who has access to Semper Fit fitness centers.
Fitness centers provide equipment for a full body workout, but only Hypoxico High Altitude Training provides a workout at 21,000 feet without a 12-hour flight.
Patrons interested in Hypoxico training can visit any Semper Fit fitness center. Participants must fill out a health questionnaire, sign a waiver and take a 20 minute initial assessment to ensure their body is able to withstand a full training session.
For more information on Hypoxico High Altitude Training, call 451-0470.