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Cold water immersion

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by eastNYgoon138, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. eastNYgoon138

    eastNYgoon138 Green Belt

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    I've been using extreme cold water immersion for recovery after my workouts. I take the short drive to the mountains and jump into a stream and soak for 10-15 minutes. It greatly reduces DOMS, sometimes comletely eliminating them even after hard deadlft sessions
    Apparently there isnt much research behind the concept. I understand it reduces imflamation by contricting blood vessels which also flushes out lactic acid but other than this I dontknow much
    I just want to hear others experiences with it and if anyone has concrete knowledge of the process the body goes through. Can't find many good articles about it so anyone, please crack an egg of knowledge all over me...



    Some links
    Ice Water Bath After Exercise - Does an Ice Water Bath After Exercise Speed Recovery
    Ice Baths for Recovery- Fact or Medieval Torture? - Bruce's Posterous
     
  2. Keosawa

    Keosawa Black Belt

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    I don't know much about the process, so I can't give you much information. You probably know as much as I do on the subject. I will say, however, that I have used this with good results in the past, and there seems to be a common misconception that for cold-water baths, the colder, the better. That doesn't seem to be the case: cold-water baths are just as effective, if not more effective, than ice baths. Why is that? I don't know, per se. As you said, cold-water therapy as a subset of cryotherapy is effective in reducing DOMS by contracting blood vessels, cutting inflammation and swelling off at the pass, and restricting lactic acid build-up.

    But it should be noted that not everyone buys that the goal even should be to avoid DOMS: Sports & Fitness Science: Ice and cold water after resistance exercise: are you sure it's a good idea?

    I haven't read any of the studies this article is citing, but the message is simple: strength athletes train to get stronger. To get stronger, you need to overload the work capactiy of your muscles and your CNS, right? You need to force adaptation, and part of that adaptation process involves your body's natural recovery process: this includes a period of delayed onset muscle soreness. Is it therefore counter-productive to try and circumnavigate that part of the process? Do you hinder gains by engaging in cold-water therapy?

    I don't have the answers to these questions. I think it speaks to, as you pointed out, the fact that little is actually known about how effective this process is.
     
  3. KILL KILL

    KILL KILL Gold Belt

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    It's funny because I was actually thinking about beginning ice baths after hard workouts.
     
  4. eastNYgoon138

    eastNYgoon138 Green Belt

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    I've read this article before and it made me think twice about what I was doing. I used cold water immersion during the 3 months it took me to bring my deadlift from 405 - 500. Obviously these were noobie gains but it didnt seem to effect me negatively. Even if it did have a negative impact it was negligable and the DOMS kiling effect was worth it. Instead of being hunched over for 4 days I as mildly sore for 1
     
  5. MAAddict**

    MAAddict** ☭Soviet Comrade☭

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    S&C coach Rafael Alejarra had Wanderlei Silva do a two minute ice bath after his circuit training. According to him, the ice bath helps to reduce muscle pain and speed up recovery.
     
  6. Cdn_Fight_Fan

    Cdn_Fight_Fan Green Belt

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    I've done an icebath after my last two fights (amateur boxing) and I feel a lot better the next day. Before if I fought on saturday I wouldn't get back to training til tuesday or wednesday. Last two times after the icebath I've been back and feeling good on monday.
     
  7. KILL KILL

    KILL KILL Gold Belt

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    It doesn't circumnavigate anything, it just speeds up the recovery process. It's like taking vitamin C and D for a cold. Sure your immune system will take care of it in time, but why not have a little something to speed it up?
     
  8. KILL KILL

    KILL KILL Gold Belt

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    that sounds good. Contrast showers alone make me feel refreshed after a hard workout alone. An ice bath would do wonders
     
  9. VoodooPlata

    VoodooPlata Brown Belt

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    I do ice baths daily november-february. It's called "living near the coast in winter", don't try it.
     
  10. ManilaIce

    ManilaIce Orange Belt

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    [​IMG]

    JDS approves
     
  11. Keosawa

    Keosawa Black Belt

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    Wouldn't "speeding up the process" constitute a shortened DOMS stint, not the altogether avoidance of DOMS? My limited knowledge of exercise-induced muscle damage is that cryotherapy doesn't necessary "speed up" the process but, rather, eliminates or greatly diminishes certain parts of the process, namely inflammation. That's really what I meant.

    I came into this thread not pretending to have the answer, since little conclusive research on the subject actually exists, so it's curious to see that others feel cryotherapy for post-workout recovery is an exact science.
     
  12. PCP

    PCP Guest

    Here are my thoughts: I think cryotherapy is better for reducing excess pain rather than as something to do after every workout. Inflammation is associated with hypertrophy; attempting to limit this response with cryotherapy or NSAIDs after every hard workout probably isn't the best idea for someone trying to gain maximum strength.
     
  13. Miiiiiiighty

    Miiiiiiighty Silver Belt

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    I myself have read a few ( contradictory ? ) article on that topic , because I wanted to try it when I'm training hard ...

    So what would the ideal temperature for the ice bath ..???
     
  14. eastNYgoon138

    eastNYgoon138 Green Belt

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    It looks like 15 deg C is the ideal temp. Any colder doesnt have more of an effect on DOMS
     
  15. VoodooPlata

    VoodooPlata Brown Belt

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    15 C isn't that cold, after all... very manageable.
     
  16. Dirty Holt

    Dirty Holt Black Belt Professional Fighter

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    Triathletes at the OTC are very into this. They are in there every day. The idea is that it will stop lactic acid dead in its tracks. This is beneficial for someone doing repeated daily training consisiting of muscular endurance and stregnth endurance, where the lactic acid process in the body gets put into hyperspace with every workout. In my experience ( I do ice bath probably 2x per week) it helps in those cases such as wrestling practice or higher rep work in my lifting, and does very little after lifting for power or explosion.
     

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