Friday, October 31, 2014


When my swimming “comeback” started last December, I declared pro right out of the gates.  Since then, what started as a joke has since become kind of a thing.  I landed my first sponsor!  That makes me a legit PRO now, right?

What?!  A 40 year old guy training again after twenty years out of the water just landed a professional endorsement?

...but it's still newsworthy, right?  Come on TYR, you know you wanna sponsor me too.

I have been using a new product called the VO2MAXimizer. It seems to fit right in with my training, as the science behind it shows the potential to work toward the same goal regarding energy metabolism within the muscle.

I am working on a few posts for the near future explaining “The Viking Training Method” and the scientific rationale behind it. I will probably be a little more active on the blog this fall since I am back in the water more and exploring a new way to get faster.  I plan to go into some detail that will tie directly into what the VO2MAXimizer claims to do for athletes. It is designed to essentially mimic high altitude training for those of us who have no access to those places up there where the air is rare.

My training trip up Mt. Everest was fun and all but I thought I was done with that whole walking to morning practice uphill in the snow thing when I moved away from Alaska.

“The studies concluded that athletes who were exposed to IHT, (Intermittent Hypoxic Training,) were able to perform at a much higher work rate for longer periods of time.  Also, blood samples demonstrated that the athletes benefited from significantly higher levels of red blood cells, hemoglobin, as well as a greater mitochondrial density than the control groups.  These studies helped to explain the claims by elite coaches and athletes that the "Live High/ Train Low" life style was necessary to compete at a world class level.  

It has been conclusively demonstrated that IHT makes more oxygen available to an athlete's muscles.  Additionally, IHT allows athletes to better convert the oxygen into ATP(chemical name for energy). And so "Hypoxic Altitude Training" was born and has been continuously employed by elite athletes ever since.”

I wanted to give this product a try because I had heard other athletes talk about it.  My philosophy of minimal training and my insane work schedule threatened to leave me with no time dedicated to improving VO2 max, so if I can substitute for that by using this breather while I type on the computer at work… well, I thought it was worth a shot. Beyond increasing VO2 Max, I am curious about the talk of hematocrit and mitochondrial density, two stats that the training method I have chosen focuses on specifically.

More from their site:

“By reducing blood oxygen saturation levels to low but safe levels, the human body responds by releasing EPO, which causes the body to produce more red blood cells, and hemoglobin. Studies have shown that in just three weeks, athletes who've been exposed to IHT experience approximately a 20% increase in red blood cells as well as increase mitochondrial density. Our beta users have been able to demonstrate the same IHT results by training with the VO2MAXimizer (over 20% increase in Hematocrit).”

I know that there is some back and forth in the swimming and scientific sports communities about the value of altitude training, but I really feel that this device has given me a boost. Considering the cost and inconvenience of attending an altitude training camp, having access to this machine whenever I want is more than worth the money.  Plus, it is not that I don’t want to do the work at altitude… it’s that I would never in a million years have time to travel for training.  I am trying to find ways to squeeze the work into my schedule and the VO2MAXimizer allows me to do that.  I am seeing results right now that don't make sense considering just how low-volume my training is right now.

Plus, I am pretty sure my wife would rather I not enclose our bed with one of those Oxygen tents.
That would pretty much kill sexy time.

I have agreed to help the owner of the company to advertise and sell the VO2MAXimizer if I feel it is worth promoting, and I do. Currently it is only available by referral, so if you visit the website and arrange to purchase one, please go to and let them know the Viking sent you by selecting SwimViking from the drop down menu.

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