T Nation

Cold Weather Lifting


I'm stuck lifting in my open air garage on a self-made squat rack. There's about 6" of snow outside and it's currently 10 degrees and it'll get colder. I sweep the snow out of the rack and get lifting, but I am pretty worried about hurting myself by lifting in the cold.

I currently keep my bar inside and take it out only to lift. But besides a good warmup what can I do? Should I come inside between sets or just stay moving outside? It takes a few sets to get my body temp up too so should I do calistinics as warmups in the house or should I warm up like it's the middle of summer?

I normally lift in shorts, a sweater and cons. I tend to feel alright except for my fingers and toes. Should I throw on some heavy clothes and boots and sweat my butt off?



Jog in place in between sets..or get a propane heater.


Lifting in the cold didn't do Rocky any harm.

I have the opposite problem lifting in 100oF + temperatures in an open garage. Whilst I use a fan and drink plenty cold water it's still hard going, if anyone has any good suggestions about combatting the heat please lets hear them.


What about some under armour clothes?


yeah, under armour cold gear is the best thing for you


A thermos of hot water to sip between sets

A small space heater to hold your hands near between sets


An ice pack (wrapped in a thin cloth) placed on the back of your neck between sets can greatly help.


x2 on the ice pack.

When I workout in my garage gym I get both extremes depending on the time of season.

For the summer:

I installed an overhead fan and run four other fans criss-crossing the space. I use and ice pack like Iron Dwarf suggests and drink lots of cool water. I have seen my body weight change as much as three pounds after a hot summer workout. So plenty of water means more than what your thirst dictates.

For the winter:

I went ahead and finished the garage walls and insulated them as well as the ceiling. I workout in the evening so I go out and turn on a couple space heaters as soon as I get home so they can run for an hour or two before I go out. I bring in the bars as well so they are warmed up and dont freeze to my skin. I try not to wear cotton or anything that absorbs sweat. No matter how cold it is I still sweat like crazy and wet clothes drive me nuts.


I train in an unheated garage during winter, where temperatures often hit freezing. My tip is to dress like your going hill walking. Avoid cotton sportswear. Get a decent base layer (one that's long enough to cover the lower back while squatting, etc), that wicks moisture away from the body, then a fleece or two, which performs the same function, as well as a hat.

Tracksuit bottoms are usually sufficient for the lower half
I find this sufficient to have a good workout undistracted by the chills. However, it also depends on the workout. During a recent phase I was resting three minutes between low-rep sets, and this meant popping on another fleece jacket between sets and doing some mobility work.

For some reason I train well in such conditions. During summer months (well, a few days in Scotland!) the garage turns into the Sahara. This means training in my underpants only. What a sight!!!


Stay moving and quit being a pussy. Put some pants on if it gets too cold; usually that's common sense.