Health | Fitness

The Undervalued Health Benefits of Hypoxic Training

Why you should challenge yourself to breathing exercises during your next training session.

Sean Kernan
6 min readMar 1, 2024

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Man swimming in water.
Pexels Images via Kindel Media

I’ve rarely seen hypoxic training spoken or written about in fitness content, and it’s surprising. The technique was highly effective while I swam Division 1 at George Washington University. It’s used constantly by top tier athletes and bestows meaningful health benefits.

For the uninformed, hypoxia is a state of insufficient oxygen to maintain homeostasis. That might sound scary — and it can be in a medical setting. But in training, it’s entirely safe and used all over the world. It isn’t a coincidence that the Olympic Training Center is located more than a mile above sea level.

But so what, right? Few of us are training for the Olympics. Why would we embrace this type of training, and willingly endure it?

Before we start, please consult a healthcare professional if you have asthma, high blood pressure, or any pre-existing heart or lung conditions. I can advise you as a swimming coach and ACE certified personal trainer, but I cannot advise you of the correct actions with pre-existing medical conditions. Nothing matters more than safety.

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Sean Kernan

Writer and writing instructor. Always on the hunt for a good story. That guy from Quora. Writing out of Tampa, Florida.