The Hyperbaric Chamber


A Hyperbaric chamber is a land-based sealable pressure vessel with a hatch
large enough for people to enter and exit, and an air compressor to raise the
internal air pressure.

It's taken me a while, but with the World Cup and Tour de France out the way, the time has come to build RobbyRicc's Hyperbaric Chamber. You may have heard various athletes refer to their training quarters as "The House of Pain", "The Torture Chamber", The Laboratory", "The Sweat Shop", "The Man Cave". I needed a name which represented a high performance centre as a breeding ground of excellence and pushing the limits of human endurance. And something where there was a constant form of pressure.
Luckily Natalie allowed me the use of the pram store room to build the Chamber. Don't ask me how, but we have 5 prams. I blame the peddlers of baby-gear for confusing the wife into thinking more is better. I digress.

Thankfully my brother, Marco aka Mucky, is an architect. He's the guy I'd call if there was ever a body that had to be buried. After a cup of coffee and a quick design, we headed off to Builders Warehouse (where the real men hang out) and bought the items we needed for the HC's shelving.

Pine boards 3 x 2.4m x 380 (backshelves)
Pine boards 3 x 2.4m x 530 (main shelves)
SA Pine 3 x (32 x 32) x 2.4m (back shelving borders)
SA Pine 3 x (32 x 32) x 3m (main shelving borders)
SA Pine 3 x (32 x 69) x 3m (posts/struts)

Mucky doing calculations for the pieces of wood that Builders Warehouse would need to cut to size.

Here's what BW charged. R2k on the nose. Not bad. If I had bought the wobbly standalone shelves that would have set me back about an extra grand. If I had someone do the shelves for me (that wasn't related), that would have been about double.

Every man worth his salt should get a jigsaw. Those things are the bomb.
Obligatory builder's crack.
I don't measure. My artistic side makes me just want to go with the flow. Thankfully Mucky is a perfectionist.
And voila! Not bad. I am really pleased with the result.


Also, for those technically savvy out there, I figured out my FTP (Functional Threshold Pace). In a nutshell you smash yourself to bits for 20 minutes on the turbo trainer and take note of the average watts you push out. 5% off that and *hey presto* you get your FTP. Mine worked out to 266 watts which is the same as an above average junior school cheerleader on a sugar high.

There is much work to be done!

Getting ready to roll,

RobbyRicc

8 comments:

  1. Robby

    266W is not too bad! That's pretty close to my last test which may just have crept over 270. I think that would put us on the high school netball team. Prob goal defense rather than goal attack though.

    The really important stat is power to weight threshold - divide your FTP by your weight in kg.

    Some massive prop forward could no doubt mash a monster gear, but that doesn't mean he'll go faster than a lightie..

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  2. Just checked my last test a couple months back was 260 :(

    Might qualify me for the Chess Club..

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  3. I am so HAPPY that you understand FTP. You will have to share all your secrets with me as I am still a bit clueless. I did read a great site http://www.flammerouge.je/content/3_factsheets/constant/functhresh.htm and have started doing the 2 x 20min at 85%FTP. Apparently that's all that is required to kick butt come race day. We'll see about that. I'll let you know how I get on with Watts. Bear in mind that all my tests on done on a turbo trainer as I don't yet have the gonads to buy a PowerTap/SRAM - so I think one of our tests aren't perfect as - all things constant - you'd kick my butt with one leg.

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  4. I am so HAPPY that you understand FTP. You will have to share all your secrets with me as I am still a bit clueless. I did read a great site http://www.flammerouge.je/content/3_factsheets/constant/functhresh.htm and have started doing the 2 x 20min at 85%FTP. Apparently that's all that is required to kick butt come race day. We'll see about that. I'll let you know how I get on with Watts. Bear in mind that all my tests on done on a turbo trainer as I don't yet have the gonads to buy a PowerTap/SRAM - so I think one of our tests aren't perfect as - all things constant - you'd kick my butt with one leg.

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  5. The flammerouge site is great - I've learned a load from that on various topics. Just talking to Steve Small and he mentioned your bike which is in the pic. Mate you need a decent TT bike - you won't believe the difference - reckon there's plenty of minutes right there..

    And if you pimp it up with aero helmet and race wheels then you'll be truly golden. The money aspect is a downside though!

    All things considered I'd go for the power meter before the wheels - which is what I've done myself. I don't have wheels yet but reckon that's be sorted in the next couple months..

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  6. Uh, not sure if I understand this "man project" but is this similar to the Nike House, where the air pressure suppose to simulate what it would be like say several thousand feet above sea level? If I'm right? then come to Atlanta, GA I think We're 4,000 ft above sea level. Why go through the trouble? well it's more fun with a hammer and a crow bar....

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  7. Training at high altitude is like cheating (so they tell me) when you race at lower altitudes. Nike house? Haven't heard of that before. I'll have to look it up. Ta!

    Love the idea of Atlanta, GA, at altitide. I may have to schedule a training camp there and take advantage!

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  8. Found it:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike_Oregon_Project

    Sound very interesting. The HC is far more hardcore. Too toughen myself up, I close the windows, turn up the heating and listen to Cats the Musical. At full volume.

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