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The CVAC Pod-the fitness pod

Mar 16, 2009
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The CVAC Pod is fancier than the hyperbaric chambers you've probably heard about; it stimulates high altitude training to compress muscles using a vacuum pump and computer-controlled valves. Unlike other contraptions, CVAC say the conditions in its pod can be adapted for various training purposes.

In terms of helping the body absorb oxygen, the pod is claimed to be twice as effective as blood doping. Better yet, it's infinitely more legal. The World Anti Doping Agency has not banned these types of oxygen tents and pods even though it says they violate "the spirit of sport." Further testing is being done to determine whether devices like CVAC's pod will continue to be approved for use.

 
May 26, 2010
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krebs303 said:
The CVAC Pod is fancier than the hyperbaric chambers you've probably heard about; it stimulates high altitude training to compress muscles using a vacuum pump and computer-controlled valves. Unlike other contraptions, CVAC say the conditions in its pod can be adapted for various training purposes.

In terms of helping the body absorb oxygen, the pod is claimed to be twice as effective as blood doping. Better yet, it's infinitely more legal. The World Anti Doping Agency has not banned these types of oxygen tents and pods even though it says they violate "the spirit of sport." Further testing is being done to determine whether devices like CVAC's pod will continue to be approved for use.

I once acame across an advert for a product that Scarponi was advertising that gave altitude training in 20 minutes and saying that Oxygen tents were a waste of an athletes time, this product gave full effects in 20 minutes. Went looking for it recently and couldn't find it. Basically is was an oxygen cylinder and mask. The advert also pointed out it was not illegal.
 
Or is it just Novak's cadence?

If it works it's kind of sad to see people able to buy performance gains in this manner. Of course people spend money to achieve better performance in a variety of areas, I just don't like to see that gap widening, is it possible to draw a line somewhere? This seems much more than an "incremental/marginal" gain.
 
Here are some relevant studies:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19364183

This study reported an increase of about 9% in arterial blood saturation after seven weeks, though this was at 4570 m. The greatest effects appear to be at high altitudes, higher than those at which GTs are generally raced (even the recently-concluded US Pro challenge did not race at elevations anywhere near that high, and much was made about how the elevations were greater than the Euros had ever experienced).

Arterial blood saturation refers to the proportion of oxygen-binding sites on the hemoglobin molecule which are filled. So it is a way of increasing oxygen transport that does not involve increasing red blood cells, but rather in effect increasing the efficiency of the red cells naturally present. However, that 9% increase might not necessarily result in an equivalent increase of oxygen delivered to the tissues; it depends on the efficiency of unloading the oxygen. Assuming it did, though, it would be equivalent to increasing hematocrit from 45 to 49. That would probably be better than blood doping in the passport era.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18091011

This study reported a 16% improvement in TT ability. It was not clear to me from reading the abstract whether this was time; the values decreased, consistent with it being time, but only gave two places, whereas time is usually given in minutes and seconds. Also, this performance increase was accompanied by only about a 3% increase in arterial saturation, which should not be nearly enough to account for that big an increase in TT performance.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19461532

Another study by the same group found no performance benefit, but the hypobaric treatment was only for 1 week and I believe did not involve the pulsing changes in pressure used in the CVAC. This same group has also studied the effect of blood doping on performance.
 
Sep 8, 2011
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Is the CVAC pod a hypobaric or hyperbaric chamber?

I've read the Wall Street Journal article about this device and it sounds like the CVAC pod is an all-in-one contraption that provides the benefits of both hypobaric and hyperbaric chambers.

Do any of you know which category this device falls under? Also, if this device is supposed to be twice as effective as blood doping, couldn't WADA look at the effect that this device has on the athlete's hematocrit %?
 
Aug 6, 2009
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Supposedly this contraption costs US $75,000.

For all that coin I'm sure teams would want to make sure that it is more effective than blood doping.

Since this is beyond the range of the average Joe, how does one gain access to it if one were to use it for a few sessions? Via a gym?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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There's some fickness going on here...

a hyperbaric chamber that is said to simulate high altitude
hypo == small, hyper == large

That would mean a high pressure chamber, and that would not simulate being at high altitude.
 

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