The ALTITUDE Project

Field study succesfully completed!
Now we are processing data and will soon start with analysis and publication. Keep posted!

The ALTITUDE Project is an international collaborative research project on the impact of different strategies of altitude training on performance, technique and health in elite swimmers. The project is open to sports and scientific international and national organizations from all countries willing to contribute by recruiting and funding volunteer athletes, coaches or scientists.


  • To determine the effectiveness of altitude training for swimmers using the two most commonly used strategies, Hi-Hi (living and training at moderate altitude) vs. Hi-Lo (living at moderate high altitude but training at lower altitude), in comparison with an excellent training camp at sea level
  • To show the physiological mechanisms involved in altitude training, including acclimatization to moderate altitude, training adaptations and how these might work together
  • To find out whether training at altitude affects swimming technique
  • To uncover any negative impact on athletes’ health and performance
  • To identify markers of individual response and adaptation to training at altitude

A total of 62 elite swimmers and their coaches from various countries have confirmed their participation in the study. Elite swimmer is defined as a male or female swimming athlete, typically but not exclusively 18 years of age or older, who has recently competed or foresees to compete internationally representing his/her country. Swimmers who do not meet this criteria may also be eligible according to their competitive records

An international project
Athletes, coaches, and scientific and medical staff from the countries involved, including the USA, Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Scotland, Finland, and Spain, among others, will take part in the study based on previous agreements with their respective national swimming federations, clubs, and Olympic committees. An internationally renowned scientific and medical staff will collaborate in designing, monitoring, and assessing a high-profile scientific research study while a performance-oriented training plan is implemented in agreement with individual or national team coaches

Where will the study take place?
Participation starts at home with one week of lead-in training and finishes also at home with pre-planned time-trial tests. Preliminary and final testing, as well as the sea-level training camp, will take place in Barcelona, at the High Performance Training Centers CAR Sant Cugat and Club Natació Sabadell. The two altitude training camps will be based at the High Altitude Training Center CAR Sierra Nevada (2,230 m) Granada, Spain
All centers offer high-quality accommodation, nutrition, training facilities¾50 m pool and dry-land training sets¾ and sports medicine and sports science services

When will the study take place and for how long?
The study abroad is planned for the period October 1st to November 23th, 2011. There will be some staggering between groups during the testing week; thus, the total duration of the study in Spain will be around 30 days. Dates were selected taking into consideration the 2012 season, looking towards qualification and preparation for the London 2012 Olympics, in a preparatory period free of international competitions and thus suitable for a good training camp, whether at altitude or at sea level

For more information please send an email to Prof. Ferran A. Rodríguez:

Download the following documents by clicking the link:
ALTITUDE project – an outline _30082011_
Letter of intent

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4 Responses to The ALTITUDE Project

  1. Pingback: A new swimming snorkel for breath-by-breath VO2 measurements | INEFC-Barcelona Sport Sciences Research Group

  2. Pingback: Elite swimmers from seven countries in the ALTITUDE Project | INEFC-Barcelona Sport Sciences Research Group

  3. Pingback: CN Sabadell collaborates with the ALTITUDE Project | INEFC-Barcelona Sport Sciences Research Group

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