Sport: Exercise: Equipment
Altitude Simulation Rooms   (+6, -2)  [vote for, against]
Simulate hiking up a mountain more accurately by decompressing the room.

With this system, placed in a health club or gym, you could simulate hiking or backpacking up a mountian more accurately by being able to control the air pressure in the room, thereby adding the element of thinner air to your training. The room would incorporate some specialized training equipment for such an activity, such as weighted backpacks, rough-terrain treadmills, or watermelancholy's Vertical Rock-Climbing Treadmill. There would be multiple rooms for members to modify their own settings or even program it to lower over a period of time. Ideally, there would also be a safety device that would prevent rapid compression or decompression.
-- BinaryCookies, Jul 27 2002

Altitude training...
low pressure training room from the fourth paragragh [FarmerJohn, Jul 27 2002]

fboosman's link
you know you spend too much time at the HB when... you start posting people's links for them [yamahito, Jul 30 2002] (Who'd have figured?)
[reensure, Jul 30 2002]

Brilliant idea [and not just because you mentioned me]. Ideally, one wouldn't spend the entireity of their gym session here, though-- it's more of a test of stamina.
-- watermelancholy, Jul 27 2002

-- reensure, Jul 27 2002

Or, you could just go walk up a mountain anyway.
-- [ sctld ], Jul 27 2002

[ sctld ], the system would be used in areas where there was little or no mountainous land to practice on, and where the user would need to practice or train for a trip or competion in another area.
-- BinaryCookies, Jul 27 2002

If they were that dedicated to mountainering, surely they would choose a place to live thats at the most two hours drive away from a mountain. People who like mountaineering tend to live near mountains. I find it hard to believe that people who live on salt flats have a taste for high altitudes.
-- [ sctld ], Jul 27 2002

[sctld], believe it or don't, mountaneers may have real lives outside of mountaneering-- some of which may require them to live in urban areas. And again: besides the fact that for those on treadmills, this is closer to the real thing, it _is_ a good test of stamina for anyone.
-- watermelancholy, Jul 27 2002

Look, you can champion it all you want. I just don't think its a particulalry useful or safe idea. No amoutn of ra-ra-ing is going to change my mind. I haven't fishboned it, but i'm not going to croissant it either. Just leave it at that.
-- [ sctld ], Jul 27 2002

If nothing will change your mind, perhaps you'd like to donate those eyes and ears to a worthy cause?
-- watermelancholy, Jul 27 2002

Why? Just because i didn't like your buddy's idea is no need to suggest that i don't deserve two senses.
-- [ sctld ], Jul 27 2002

welcome back, sctld..

I think this is a fine idea, as it would be considerably easier and less time demanding than a full day's mountain climb, as well as being much easier to fit into a working day's schedule. (Ignore sctld, he likes to be a little grumpy every now and again - but at least he hasn't boned ya)!
-- yamahito, Jul 27 2002

I'm not grumpy, i'm blatent. And you can't tell me that //perhaps you'd like to donate those eyes and ears to a worthy cause// wasn't testy.
-- [ sctld ], Jul 27 2002

No, but I knew you weren't likely to need consoling, you thicked skinned old halfbaker, you.
-- yamahito, Jul 27 2002

Aw, shucks. All in good humor, sctld.
-- watermelancholy, Jul 27 2002

Well you know, i've been writing a Jewish Sitcom and i've gotten pretty immersed in character.
-- [ sctld ], Jul 27 2002

Quite baked for the last few years (see link). Other rooms/tents use a deficit of oxygen at sea level pressure.
-- FarmerJohn, Jul 27 2002

[FarmerJohn], your link isn't far off, but this system would be more for backpackers or hikers and its intention would be more geared toward being able to train in a more accurate environment.
-- BinaryCookies, Jul 27 2002

As much as I hate to agree with grumpy old scuttled, I must admit I have a hard time imagining that such a device would be used by the target consumer. It seems to me that anyone likely to need training at high altitute climbing would be much better off actually climbing high altitudes. I don't see the advantage of simulating these conditions.

Bi-cook, re your suggestion that this would be useful in non-mountainous areas, my observation is similar to scuttled's, in that, given the choice between going to the local simulator or traveling to an actual mountainous area, I believe the enthusiast would choose the latter.

No fishbones, though. Heart in the right place.
-- waugsqueke, Jul 29 2002

I dunno. People use artificial walls to simulate rock faces; might they not use artificial altitude to simulate real altitude? Not for the experience itself, but to train for, say, an extreme competition, or to acclimatize for a holiday. You might not want to drive two hours each way after work to the real thing, but would be OK with going to a simulator.
-- angel, Jul 29 2002

But using the simulator would require proper training in itself, in order to reduce the risk of getting the bends. And who says they have to go after work? There's the weekends and holidays as well.
-- [ sctld ], Jul 29 2002

OK, assume I've planned a holiday in Peru. I'm going to be doing a lot of walking at high altitude and I need to get acclimatized. Do I spend a couple of hours a day at a simulator, or do I go to Peru?
-- angel, Jul 29 2002

I reccomend that you start by taking a walk in the Grampian mountains, since they're just on your doorstep. I would guess that thats where you got a taste for mountaineering. then, maybe a weekend away in the Borders, walking the Southern Uplands.
-- [ sctld ], Jul 29 2002

The biggest issue with altitude doesn't usually come with the effort of walking. It comes with the effect of ever increasing altitude over the period of a number of days. You don't need to be specially fit to walk at high altitude (well, any more fit than you would to walk lower altitude hills). In fact fitness plays almost no part in alleviating the real danger of altitude, Acute Mountain Sickness. And there is *no* way of training yourself to avoid AMS other than slow acclimatisation. So you just have to have the flexibility to change your plans when you walk at altitude if you begin to feel the symptoms (which about one in three trekkers will).

This idea would be of use if instead of running around in this depressurised room, you just spent a day in it then flew straight to a high altitude.

If fitness is all you are concerned about, the best excercise you can do is to go walking on whatever hill is nearest you. Whether it's 500m high or 5000m it will make no difference to your experience at altitude.
-- namaste, Jul 29 2002

//Grampian mountains ... just on your doorstep//
It's a bloody big doorstep. Aberdeen's about 300 miles from me. If I happened to live in, say, Cambridge, which is another 200 or so, what would you suggest then?
-- angel, Jul 29 2002

Hm. I thought you lived in Aberdeen. Well, if you ive in Cambridge, there's the Chiltern Hills, just outside Luton and Hemel Hempstead.
-- [ sctld ], Jul 29 2002

[namaste], the problem is not just the altitude, but the thinner air that comes with it, making breathing more labored. I know I've trained for a backpacking trip up in the mountains of Colorado and had a dip in performance because of the thinner air that I (living in flat Texas) has not been accustomed to.
-- BinaryCookies, Jul 29 2002

You don't need low pressure, just low oxygen content. See the story on Nike's sealed house in Portland for marathon runners:

"Of course, it's logistically tricky to live high and train low - unless Nike makes you a special mock-altitude house. Which is exactly what happened. Molecular filters inside the house remove oxygen, creating the thin air found at 12,000 feet."
-- fboosman, Jul 30 2002

fboosman, the link button ain't just there for decoration...
-- yamahito, Jul 30 2002

I don't know about climbers, but persons with a serious history of sinus problems might very well pay to enter a high-altitude simulator, as high altitude sometimes allows unblockage and flow. I have half-considered renting a small airplane and pilot for that very purpose.
-- fatboyfatboy, Jul 31 2002

Hm. I didn't even _know_ one could rent pilots. Are they cheaper than maids?
-- watermelancholy, Jul 31 2002

random, halfbakery