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Landis section of "Bigger, Stronger, Faster"

Jan 10, 2010
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Did anyone else see this movie and find the part featuring Floyd Landis to be a bit misleading? The director of the movie used Landis' case to make the argument that there's little difference between altitute training and EPO doping. He made little mention of the fact that Landis was busted for his unusual T/E ratio. A guy who also watched the movie asked me, "So did they take his title away because he slept in an altitude tank?" Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this.
 
Although it is true that both methods aim to increase hematocrit, altitude training can only raise it 0.5-1% while blood doping with EPO or transfusion can raise hematocrit by up to 10%. Also one method is illegal. :D

Anyway, I do think the documentary guy didn't make a very good distinction between the two methods.
 
altitude training

altitude training does NOT raise the hematocrit level (Hct). It is living in a lower pressure environment that does increases your Hct (altitude or hypobaric tent/room for example).

If you spend 6 weeks at, say, 3500m a.s.l. and you have 45% Hct upon arrival, you probably can expect to reach 50% at the end of your stay, unless of course you train too hard.

With EPO you could possibly increase your Hct from 45% to 60% or more within a matter of days. ( please correct me if I am somewhat off on the time scale in the latter case).
 

Oncearunner8

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Dec 10, 2009
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mustachestaff said:
Did anyone else see this movie and find the part featuring Floyd Landis to be a bit misleading? The director of the movie used Landis' case to make the argument that there's little difference between altitute training and EPO doping. He made little mention of the fact that Landis was busted for his unusual T/E ratio. A guy who also watched the movie asked me, "So did they take his title away because he slept in an altitude tank?" Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this.

first i ever heard of a an altitude tank?????? I have however heard about a altitude tent on the top of a sky scraper in lower manhattan with a whiskey mist. Thanks Logical Cranium!
 
Oct 27, 2009
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Le breton said:
altitude training does NOT raise the hematocrit level (Hct). It is living in a lower pressure environment that does increases your Hct (altitude or hypobaric tent/room for example).

If you spend 6 weeks at, say, 3500m a.s.l. and you have 45% Hct upon arrival, you probably can expect to reach 50% at the end of your stay, unless of course you train too hard.

With EPO you could possibly increase your Hct from 45% to 60% or more within a matter of days. ( please correct me if I am somewhat off on the time scale in the latter case).

I don't doubt you math percentages at all, however, my understanding is you go to the mountains or altitude chamber for an extended period and train hard. The real benefit is when you return to less altitude and you can breathe easier with a boost in blood cells. Sort of lighting the candle on both ends. At high altitude you create more blood cells. At low altitude the body doesn't need to create surplus cells because its easier to breathe.
Keep in mind, i'm no phlebotomist!
 
Aug 12, 2009
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You've got it the wrong way round. Altitude training does not increase your performances at lower altitudes. The smart cookies train no higher than 1500 and when they rest they go to a higher altitude. Could put down the articles to back it but I am too lazy. Train at medium altitudes and rest above 2000m. That allows you to perform better in the mountains when the big races come round.
 
Oct 27, 2009
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Le breton said:
altitude training does NOT raise the hematocrit level (Hct). It is living in a lower pressure environment that does increases your Hct (altitude or hypobaric tent/room for example).

If you spend 6 weeks at, say, 3500m a.s.l. and you have 45% Hct upon arrival, you probably can expect to reach 50% at the end of your stay, unless of course you train too hard.

With EPO you could possibly increase your Hct from 45% to 60% or more within a matter of days. ( please correct me if I am somewhat off on the time scale in the latter case).

Galic Ho said:
You've got it the wrong way round. Altitude training does not increase your performances at lower altitudes. The smart cookies train no higher than 1500 and when they rest they go to a higher altitude. Could put down the articles to back it but I am too lazy. Train at medium altitudes and rest above 2000m. That allows you to perform better in the mountains when the big races come round.

Who's got it wrong, me? If so that would explain my lack of comprehension and losing in life, dammiiiiit
 
Mar 13, 2009
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You'll find many studies on altitude training and many with conflicting results and conclusions. Some indeed report that living and training at altitude increase sea level performance. Some that it decreases it.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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karlboss said:
You'll find many studies on altitude training and many with conflicting results and conclusions. Some indeed report that living and training at altitude increase sea level performance. Some that it decreases it.

But Galic Ho is always right! Didn't he tell you?
 
53 x 11 said:
But Galic Ho is always right! Didn't he tell you?

I think he was actually trying to say it right, the ideal is "live high, train low". Beyond that anything more than 2 weeks at altitude, even racing always made me feel like Superman when I got back to sea level, lasted about 3 weeks and then slowly faded.
If you have ever experienced it then it is easy to imagine what EPO can do for you.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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karlboss said:
You'll find many studies on altitude training and many with conflicting results and conclusions. Some indeed report that living and training at altitude increase sea level performance. Some that it decreases it.
not to mention that induced hypoxia is a well known masking technique used with epo microdosing.

the % responders though increases with the proper individually tailored procedure. it takes time and proper supervision/analysis/testing to find one.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Hugh Januss said:
I think he was actually trying to say it right, the ideal is "live high, train low". Beyond that anything more than 2 weeks at altitude, even racing always made me feel like Superman when I got back to sea level, lasted about 3 weeks and then slowly faded.
If you have ever experienced it then it is easy to imagine what EPO can do for you.

In climbing I climb high, sleep low. Otherwise I get a nasty headache and a throat so dry I could use it as a toaster.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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I'm trying to tell you, live high/train low may be "ideal" today, the research is no where near comprehensive, and many papers incorrectly evaluate Vo2 max as the measure of performance. IMHO different forms of altitude training and sleeping protocols are probably good for different training cycles. Results vary greatly from individual to individual, sometimes depending on ethnicity, (marry an incan).
 
Berzin said:
Altitude training isn't why "Roid Floyd" got busted, so I don't know why this is part of the discussion.

By the way, the guy who made the film-his brother, the one who moved to California-unfortunately committed suicide a while ago.

That would be the wrestler wannabe brother?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Galic Ho said:
You've got it the wrong way round. Altitude training does not increase your performances at lower altitudes. The smart cookies train no higher than 1500 and when they rest they go to a higher altitude. Could put down the articles to back it but I am too lazy. Train at medium altitudes and rest above 2000m. That allows you to perform better in the mountains when the big races come round.

What island off the coast of Spain did Lance and the boys train on?
It had great riding around the coast, and they would spend the nights, sleeping above 5000 feet altitude? All the benefits of a tent w/o any of the hassles.

Galic Ho is correct. Train low, try to recover at high elevation (= low oxygen saturation), to try to trigger greater O2 carrying capacity.
 
Jan 10, 2010
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Berzin said:
Altitude training isn't why "Roid Floyd" got busted, so I don't know why this is part of the discussion.

This was the point of the post...The movie doesn't make it clear what Floyd was actually busted for. Instead, it mentions Floyd's training to make the argument that EPO doping is not much different than altitude training.
 
disgraceful F. L.

mustachestaff said:
This was the point of the post...The movie doesn't make it clear what Floyd was actually busted for. Instead, it mentions Floyd's training to make the argument that EPO doping is not much different than altitude training.

At least now you have learned that such an argument is a load of crap.
A similarly inane argument, equating altitude tents with EPO injections, has been used in particular by a number of unavowed dopers or their cronies in attempts to smear racers who were seeking to raise their Hct without resorting to EPO injections. Two smart TdF winners(totalling 12 victories between them) have used that inane line of attack, with 100% certified bad faith, against the likes of Bassons and other defenders of a clean cycling world. Of course they knew perfectly well that such an argument would work among gullible and ignorant cycling fans.

I am sad to say that one of those two famous cyclists is a Breton like myself.

As for Floyd Landis , it is hard to think of another cyclist having done as much damage to pro cycling as he.
 
mustachestaff said:
This was the point of the post...The movie doesn't make it clear what Floyd was actually busted for. Instead, it mentions Floyd's training to make the argument that EPO doping is not much different than altitude training.

Well, layman like most of us would agree that both methods raise hematocrit levels, but doing it with EPO has different and potentially harmful side effects due to the manipulation of the endocrine system.

That's the point the movie missed.
 
Berzin said:
Well, layman like most of us would agree that both methods raise hematocrit levels, but doing it with EPO has different and potentially harmful side effects due to the manipulation of the endocrine system.

That's the point the movie missed.

And also that EPO will raise HcT by a LOT more than altitude training can, on the order of around 10% more.