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# High Altitude Workout Room

A simulated high altitude workout room
 (0) [vote for, against]

Since there is less air/oxygen at higher altitudes, your body has to work with less oxygen. Many atheletes train at high altitude. Why not create a gym where there is an artifical high altitude enviorment? The room could have decompression/compression rooms to enter/leave the room. It would only take as long as an unpressurized plane to climb or descend to enter or leave the room, maybe ten or twenty minutes.
 — js_530, Mar 13 2004

Hypoxic Room http://hypoxico.com/6.html
this has been baked for several years, also for sleeping [FarmerJohn, Oct 21 2004]

So...., you plan on pressurizing a gym room to help people train eh?? It would be very inefficient and dangerous because everyone leaves the gym at differnt times unless you just got married in san francisco and are wearing matching tees. It would take forever to pressurize the room to the correct pressure. At sea level it is 1 atm, but at the height of a plane, heck thats about 8 atms. If there was a leak in the room there would be a rapid decompression and everyone will either die or have serious lung injuries. Lung injuries will occur because of the oxgen molecules. When they are compressed the particles are smaller, and in a rapid decompression they will expand in a split second, causing blood vessles in the lung to burst.
 — morbiddesire, Mar 14 2004

 [morbiddesire] has displayed an obvious misunderstanding of the idea and of physics.

I vote +, just to make it neutral.

 [morbiddesire], um, no. I tried, but I can't find a single correct statement in your anno. Sea level is 1 atm by definition. 18,000 feet is ~1/2 atm. 30,000 feet is less. Pressure goes down as you go up, and up as you go down (kinda like the guy on the other end of the see-saw.) Air molecules under pressure don't get smaller, they just get closer together. When you're in a plane, the pressure is higher than what's outside, but it's generally equivalent to ~6000 to ~8000 feet for passenger comfort. (above 10,000 feet cabin altitude, you start to have trouble breathing for extended periods of time.) Even if you were to go into space and pressurize the plane to 1 atm, you're only talking about a maximum pressure differential of 14.7 psi. You can forget the urban legend stories about a person being sucked through a pinhole. It just doesn't work like that.

 The idea here is to de-pressurize a large room to make it feel like you're at a higher altitude. Once some of the air is sucked out (maybe a 3 psi reduction from ambient), patrons could enter and exit through airlocks.

 By de-pressurizing the room, your body gets less oxygen. While a long time spent at altitude will trigger an increased production of hemoglobin and an increase in the gas transfer efficiency of the lungs, an hour or two a day while you're actually in the gym will have little or no benefit. If you want to get the benefit of high-altitude training, you have to breathe the rarified air full-time.

Great idea, (+), but not quite medically feasible (-), but also (+) to balance the (-) from [morbiddesire], so you get an overall (+) from me.
 — Freefall, Mar 14 2004

There’s really no need to reduce the overall pressure. All you have to do is to reduce the oxygen partial pressure by displacing some of the air with straight nitrogen. You could even do this at home using a mask, a mixing valve, and a nitrogen tank. (And, too late, I look at Farmer John's link, which describes the same thing.)
 — ldischler, Mar 14 2004

The hypoxic room is small, and probally expensive. I am thinking of a gym that had alot of workout equipment, but also had living areas. The user wouldn't have to maintain it, unlike the hypoxic room. If there were about one hundred people in the gym, there could be computers, TV's, phones, cooking utilities, etc. It might cost 50 dollars/day.
 — js_530, Mar 14 2004

 Rather than displacing some of the air with nitrogen, you could use a less expensive and more common substance. Perhaps a carbon/oxygen compound for example. Upon entry to the exercise center, patrons could be issued with individual carbon dioxide/monoxide emitting devices. The patrons could, at their own leisure, start the emission of the carbon compound gases with, say, a small flame.

Additionally, these devices could be easily made small enough so that patrons could take a supply with them and, thus, expose themselves to the oxygen-reduced atmosphere on a more constant basis, further increasing the benefits of the program.
 — berk2500, Mar 15 2004

So are we talking about an overpopulated Gold's Gym (or equivalent) with poor ventilation? I think it's been done--with noxious odors to discourage taking deep breaths, too.
 — RooneDitoff, Mar 15 2004

Yepper. To anyone who desires any form of blood doping, may I suggest you learn from the 1968 Mexican olympics and take a hike ... a third of the world's population lives at elevations over 500 meters above sea level, and nearly everyone who may want to boost their red cell count is within easy reach of those elevations.
 — dpsyplc, Mar 15 2004

 //Rather than displacing some of the air with nitrogen, you could use a less expensive and more common substance. Perhaps a carbon/oxygen compound for example. Upon entry to the exercise center, patrons could be issued with individual carbon dioxide/monoxide emitting devices. The patrons could, at their own leisure, start the emission of the carbon compound gases with, say, a small flame.

 Additionally, these devices could be easily made small enough so that patrons could take a supply with them and, thus, expose themselves to the oxygen-reduced atmosphere on a more constant basis, further increasing the benefits of the program. //

 If these devices are going to be used outside the gym, they should be sold in many places to make it easier for people to get a hold of them. If you could get them into convenience stores, that would help. Also, you should have these devices work in various levels so people could tailor their dosage.

Are you going to advertise these devices? If so, I have a suggestion. You might want to get rugged, manly looking individuals to tout the health benefits of these devices so that everyone can see how healthy they are.
 — GenYus, Mar 15 2004

 Like those Bowflex commercials? Nitrogen wouldn't be that hard to generate. Most of the air is made out of nitrogen, and you wouldn't need lab quality. The handheld unit would reduce the size of a gym, except the unit might get in the way when you try to exercise.

 The gym could be smaller, and wouldn't be anything more than an airtight room with a higher concentration of nitrogen. The gym could also be purified, to allow people who suffer from allergies to workout. There could be nitrogen refueling stations for after leaving the gym, or if you were running low. Nitrogen replacement tanks could be sold at convience stores and vitamin stores.

If it used nitrogen, pressurized liquid nitrogen refills could be used. If it used CO2, dry ice could be used.
 — js_530, Mar 15 2004

[morbiddesire], Geez. Take a science class already.
 — zigness, Mar 16 2004

 Yes it seems massively simpler just to reduce the oxygen levels in a normal room. Which is suprisingly not hard. You could burn part of the oxygen out of the air with natural gas, pass that through a CO2 scrubber, and a particulate/hydrocarbon filter and you have oxygen-reduced air.

 Air could also pass through some solid chemical pack that eats up oxygen. Also simple.

 You could breathe it full time by having a system like this in your house.

Using liquid or gaseous nitrogen under pressure is not practical, the average house room has too many cubic metres of volume for that to be practical.
 — venomx, Mar 17 2004

 //Alternately, you could draw off a small portion of your blood on a regular basis, use a centrifuge to isolate the haemoglobin, which you can then re-inject to your bloodstream. Baked.//

But you wouldn't get the lung capacity from high altitude training, you'd just get more efficiency of transfering oxygen into the blood.
 — js_530, Mar 18 2004

 There have been atheletic rebreaters for years, in various forms. It's like a scuba mouthpiece, but it simply forces you to partially rebreath your own exhalations, and is adjustable. It simulates high altitude breathing. Then you don't have to outfit the whole gym and force everyone to be at the same "altitude", and it's portable.

If it's any consolation, a recent study (I don't have on hand) indicated that many gyms already have diminished oxygen levels... for free!
 — musicator, Mar 19 2004

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