Giant's Carl Decker stands in the door of his oxygen-deprivation tent at his home in Bend, Oregon. Such tents are used by some endurance athletes to simulate sleeping at a higher altitude, where the air is thinner. The body adapts by producing more oxygen-carrying red blood cells and hemoglobin, which improves the athlete’s ability to perform during workouts or competitions, because more oxygen is available to the working muscles. One of Carl's friends loaned him the thing years ago and hasn't asked for it back yet. Decker activates it occasionally to simulate the effect of living at altitude, which has long been believed to be an advantage for endurance athletes. Does it work? Well, Carl still uses it occasionally, so he must think so.
Photo: JK/Mountain Bike Action
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