T Nation

Ice Baths for Body Builders?


#1

I am curious as to how common it is for bodybuilders to utilize ice baths for soreness? Apparently athletes use them to get rid of the lactic acid. When they get out of the bath the fresh blood supply flows back into the muscles.

At my place of work the walk from the car to the place I do business is about a half mile with stairs. It would be great to not have ultra sore legs after a brutal leg workout. I think it would be worth ten minutes of ice cold torture to avoid 4 days of walking in pain!

What are your thoughts and experiences?


#2

Firstly, I haven't used an ice bath before, so the best reference I have is contrast showers which I use occasionally.

I can't say definitely if they help with soreness. However, I do feel great afterwards, and find that they help a lot with the shitty feeling I get when overreaching.

In terms of soreness, the best thing I have ever tried is 10-20g leucine during and after training (followed by standard PWO shake).


#3

athletes have been using ice baths for years and they can certainly be beneficial to bodybuilding. However to correct your post the use is not to get rid of lactic acid that is a misconception. But, they are used prevent inflammation. I would also suggest the use of contrast showers (hot water to coldwater 1-2 minutes each a few times) the reason is that while the cold water prevent inflammation the hot water sends blood rushing back and aids in the removel of waste products from the blood to help facilitate recovery.


#4

I BLAST MY LEGS WITH COLD WATER IN THE SHOWER IVE FOUND THIS TO BE VERY EFFECTIVE AT REDUCING SORENESS THE FOLLOWING DAY I REALLY CANT BE BOTHERED WITH ALL THE HASSLE OF ICE BATHS


#5

We use ice baths after every training session.....you warm up in a hot pool or occasionaly sauna, then jump in the ice baths, then go back to the warm pool or sauna. Have to say it does help you feel fresh and recharged.


#6

i think i will try this cold bath then hot bath technique..I don't mind the rest of my body being super sore, but I never liked my legs being hard to walk on. I can take it, but if i can avoid it, even better!


#7

Chill. The. Fuck. Out.


#8

Sounds like a pretty cool thing to utilize post work out. However, I love the soreness the day after a workout as weird as that sounds lol.


#9

It's just caps lock, he isn't actually shouting...


#10

I've never tried using ice baths after a leg workout, but when I used to compete in triathlons I would use ice baths after long runs and on the days leading up to a race. My legs always felt fresh and great the next day.
I think I'll have to try one on leg day soon.


#11

I'm aware. That was my way of calling him a douchebag because anyone who types in all caps lock is a douchebag. Case closed.


#12


I don't know if ice baths help with soreness but they definitely make me feel better.


#13

Yeah same here. I'm sorta known in my circle of friends as a masochist that loves to torture himself.


#14

are contrast showers actually effective in helping recovery?


#15

It seems to me a good addition to that question would be, How much contrast does there need to be?

Here, the gym shower water is probably 72 degrees in the summer, as well as most of the spring and fall. It does not seem to me that contrast showers are effective in that condition.

I have a vague impression of usefulness in winter months where the water temperature may drop to the high 60s.

Obviously, it might be quite a different story in parts of the country where tap water might be in the 50s, but I have no experience in that. ???


#16

I live in Southern Arizona and currently, contrast showers are totally ineffective since the water does not actually get cold. Sucks ass.


#17

do you guys not have access to ice baths? or a plunge pool?


#18

I've used both a ten minute plunge and contrast showers of one minute cold three minutes hot and I feel they both are positive for recovery. I can't really tell which is better, but the long plunge can make me cold the rest of the day, so I kind of like the contrast better. It certainly wakes up your CNS, thats for sure.


#19

Contrast baths with epsom salts make me feel good as hell after a brutal workout.


#20

For the past few years, they've worked for me - on a serious leg day I actually look forward to the contrast shower afterwards to get rid of the lactic acid.

Cycle hot/cold/hot/cold directed on the legs, lower back, spine, etc. for as long as I can stand it...

I also found doing some light cardio or a few rounds of squash afterwards really helps reduce the soreness after a ME leg workout. I know it sounds crazy but it works.

Question: In terms of convenience & cost where the hell do you find a large enough tub & enough ice to make ice baths practical at a commercial gym?