ASICS Sports Complex TOKYO BAY
training at one of the world's largest urban low-oxygen training facilities
Since opening to the public in November 2019, the ASICS Sports Complex TOKYO BAY (hereafter referred to as “the ASC”) has become the premier training facility for professional, elite, and amateur athletes alike.
Based in Tokyo, the ASC covers nearly 5,000 square meters (approximately 54,000 square feet) and occupies the second and third floors of the D Tower Toyosu multiplex building. One of the world’s largest low-oxygen urban training facilities, the ASC is a behemoth in size and scale compared to fitness facilities commonly found in central Tokyo.
We recently had the opportunity to tour the ASC and experience its wide range of facilities. Keep reading to learn how the ASC can optimize your training and increase efficiency in attaining peak performance!
- Highlights: Specialized sports training facility featuring low oxygen concentration (akin to high altitude training) with multiple workout areas, two 50m track lanes, two pools, recovery pools (hot and cold), and sauna. Sports science lab for various sought-after athlete analyses also available.
- Closest Train Stations: Shijomae station or Shin-Toyosu station (Yurikamome Monorail; 3-min walk), Toyosu station (Yurakucho Line; 15-min walk)
- English-speaking staff available
the sports lab
The ASICS Sports Complex Lab serves as the ultimate center for those seeking to understand their performance and optimize training. From lactate threshold testing to running form and power analysis, the Lab offers a variety of reasonably-priced assessments for all levels of athletes.
Lab testing is generally only available for members; please inquire directly for details.
It should be noted that the entire process from consultation to analysis and feedback are conducted in Japanese. ASC members can schedule periodic analyses to plan precise training regimens that maximize his or her abilities and capacity.
The Lab also serves as a branch of the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS). This means that academic sports science research experiments related to training under low-oxygen conditions are conducted at the ASC.
what is hypoxic training?
If you’ve ever trained at high altitude, you’re familiar with hypoxic training. Research shows that when we train under conditions with low oxygen concentration, human performance can improve by way of adaptation to reduced oxygen. Compared to training under normal oxygen concentration levels, hypoxic training can effectively improve cardiorespiratory function and efficiently develop the stamina and endurance key to athlete performance.
In recent years, specialized facilities like the ASC have successfully reproduce the low-oxygen conditions specific to high-altitude training. Effectively speaking, the ASC is an altitude chamber at sea level. In the past, such facilities have been limited to top athletes but as health-conscious trends grow, hypoxic training has gained attention and traction among the wider population.
The ASC is a cutting-edge training facility, and the studio offers a unique space for yoga and studio programs. Upon walking in, the cavernous size of the room almost swallows you whole. Looking at the row of mirrors, I couldn’t help but notice how small we appeared!
Within the studio, images up to 5 meters (16.4 feet) high and 15 meters (49.2 feet) wide can be projected on the wall. Combined with a lighting control system, the visual and audio content management system brings to life an immersive training environment. It’s truly one-of-a-kind; the visuals and ambient music are captivating.
Depending on the day, the studio is also set at high altitude with reduced oxygen levels. Studio classes are free for all members and range from yoga, pilates, and stretching, to boxing and functional training.
training room 1
There are two training rooms at the ASC. Training Room 1 is more compact and reminiscent of a window-less chain gym branch somewhere in central Tokyo. On the other hand, Training Room 2 accounts for nearly half of the ASC’s square footage.
Both are set ‘at altitude’ with Training Room 1 reproducing the reduced oxygen levels found at an elevation of about 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) and Training Room 2 at 2,000 meters (6,562 feet).
From top athletes to the weekend warriors, the variety of training areas at the ASC offers a unique experience for the fitness-conscious. While both training rooms are available for all members, Training Room 1 in particular will appeal to more seasoned athletes with specific training schedules and performance goals.
Specialized equipment, including high-incline treadmills favored by mountaineering enthusiasts and Wattbikes popular among cyclists and triathletes. Functional training machines that will equip the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics round out the high-end array
training room 2
After a tour of the facilities, we met with an English-speaking staff member for a mandatory assessment before commencing our workout. Prospective members are required to participate in a trial session, which includes a tour of the facilities and the fitness assessment. For safe and effective training, members are encouraged to confirm their SpO2 (saturation of percutaneous oxygen or more simply, a measure of oxygen saturation level) prior to each workout.
Prior to the assessment, we confirmed our blood contained normal oxygen levels (generally speaking, about 95% or higher) using a pulse oximeter, which measures oxygen saturation or SpO2. We then entered Training Room 2, which reproduces the reduced oxygen conditions found at about 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) in altitude, and hopped on a treadmill.
Each treadmill in Training Room 2 is equipped with a real-time pulse oximeter, making it easy to check one’s SpO2 levels before, during, and after a workout. Upon finishing our 3 minute treadmill walk, we measured our SpO2 again to assess our physical response to hypoxic training. Although we passed the assessment, our bilingual staff member carefully explained a range of recommended workout routines depending on the results of the SpO2 levels.
Training Room 2 is a huge space with specific areas to cover all facets of training. The altitude is kept at 2,000 meters and oxygen concentration levels approximately 20 to 25% less than sea level.
On one side, an ample free weights corner should satisfy most athletes lifting heavy or light. In addition, a dizzying array of strength training machines are readily available to develop nearly every muscle in your body.
Neat rows of treadmills, stationary bikes, and two Stair Masters take up the central part of Training Room 2. Cardio equipment are separated by plastic barriers as a protective measure against COVID-19. At the ASC, masks covering the face and nose are required at all times and should only be slid down when absolutely necessary.
On the far end of Training Room 2, a multipurpose area covered in artificial turf provides ample space for stretching and training – physically distanced. From TRX bands and kettle bells to hurdles and cones, Swiss balls, and ankle weights, the ASC provides an immense array of training tools key to circuit, agility, and functional training. Less commonly found machines, such as Concept 2 ergs, curved treadmills, and vibration plates, are also available.
Overlooking the monorail tracks is a 50 meter two-lane running track, constructed from the same rubber surface used at the National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
the pools (1x50m, 1x25m)
The ASC features two pools – a 50 meter four-lane pool and a 25 meter three-lane pool. Both pools feature adjustable oxygen concentration levels. At the time of our visit, the 50 meter pool was at an altitude of approximately 2,000 meters (about 6,560 feet) and the 25 meter pool at sea level.
For swimmers, the ASC offers one of the best aquatic facilities in the Tokyo area. A variety of swimming classes, including Masters swim, are also available for members.
other points of interest
The ASC is a truly remarkable facility and no stone is left unturned. Each locker room features top of the line saunas and recovery baths (hot and cold) – towels and toiletries are provided free of charge for members.
At the Conditioning Room, the oxygen levels can be set higher than the norm. Breathing in extra oxygen can aid in recovery after training in reduced oxygen environments. Members also have access to treatment beds, accupuncture, and massage services for post-training rehabilitation at an additional charge.
Staff are stationed strategically by the door at Training Room 2, opposite the entrance to Training Room 1, and at the front desk as you exit the elevator. They were approachable without being pushy and able to support in both Japanese and English (however, not all staff are bilingual).
There is no doubt that the ASC is a completely unrivalled training facility in nearly every aspect. Referring to the ASC as a ‘gym’ would be a disservice – it’s a truly well-rounded sports complex. The sheer amount of space and resources made available to members is nothing short of impressive. Throughout our time at the ASC, it was evident that the facility is immaculately maintained and developed with the athlete in mind.
While the intake procedures with measuring SpO2 and the like were a bit of a drag, our time at the ASC was highly educational as we learned about hypoxic training, maximizing training efficiency, and optimizing our workouts. It was a privilege to train at a world-class facility and we’re excited to introduce the same opportunity to a group of sports-minded people this coming spring!
High Altitude Training Experience at the ASICS Sports Complex