Sports Medicine

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 1651–1660 | Cite as

Effects of Repeated-Sprint Training in Hypoxia on Sea-Level Performance: A Meta-Analysis

  • Franck BrocherieEmail author
  • Olivier Girard
  • Raphaël Faiss
  • Grégoire P. Millet
Systematic Review



Repeated-sprint training in hypoxia (RSH) is a recent intervention regarding which numerous studies have reported effects on sea-level physical performance outcomes that are debated. No previous study has performed a meta-analysis of the effects of RSH.


We systematically reviewed the literature and meta-analyzed the effects of RSH versus repeated-sprint training in normoxia (RSN) on key components of sea-level physical performance, i.e., best and mean (all sprint) performance during repeated-sprint exercise and aerobic capacity (i.e., maximal oxygen uptake [\(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2\hbox{max} }\)]).


The PubMed/MEDLINE, SportDiscus®, ProQuest, and Web of Science online databases were searched for original articles—published up to July 2016—assessing changes in physical performance following RSH and RSN. The meta-analysis was conducted to determine the standardized mean difference (SMD) between the effects of RSH and RSN on sea-level performance outcomes.


After systematic review, nine controlled studies were selected, including a total of 202 individuals (mean age 22.6 ± 6.1 years; 180 males). After data pooling, mean performance during repeated sprints (SMD = 0.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] −0.02 to 0.93; P = 0.05) was further enhanced with RSH when compared with RSN. Although non-significant, additional benefits were also observed for best repeated-sprint performance (SMD = 0.31, 95% CI −0.03 to 0.89; P = 0.30) and \(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2\hbox{max} }\) (SMD = 0.18, 95% CI −0.25 to 0.61; P = 0.41).


Based on current scientific literature, RSH induces greater improvement for mean repeated-sprint performance during sea-level repeated sprinting than RSN. The additional benefit observed for best repeated-sprint performance and \(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2\hbox{max} }\) for RSH versus RSN was not significantly different.


Standardize Mean Difference Sprint Time Repeated Sprinting Intermittent Hypoxic Training Moderate Beneficial Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.

Conflict of interest

Franck Brocherie, Olivier Girard, Raphaël Faiss, and Grégoire P. Millet declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ISSUL, Institute of Sports SciencesUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Laboratory Sport, Expertise and Performance (EA 7370), Research DepartmentFrench Institute of Sport (INSEP)ParisFrance
  3. 3.Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine HospitalAthlete Health and Performance Research CentreDohaQatar

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