T Nation

Ice Baths?


Anyone here ever have an ice bath and how did you feel afterwards? Always thought of taking an ice bath more for the mental clarity its supposed to bring. So just wondering if anyone here has tried it and is it safe, what did you think of it ext.


I've had a few after football. The protocol at the Victorian Institute of Sport was 30 seconds in the ice followed by 2m30 in the spa. 6 dudes just rotate positions. It's like a merry go round. That was a bath up to the neck too. Not like the one's you see where guys just put the legs in and stop before the ice hits the balls.

I do find that it makes the bumps and bruises feel okay but a problem they found at the VIS was that people would rather just do that than the traditional recovery like getting on the bike, swimming or stretching.

As far as mental clarity goes... The only thing I was thinking was how fucking cold it was.


would you say it was a good or bad experience, do you prefer it over traditional methods basically?


Worth a try. I prefer it mixed with traditional methods. I'll have an ice bath after a game and then do a bit of active recovery the day after. It seems to work well. Give it a go.


When I'm getting ready for a tournament or fight, I go for a dip in a glacier water stream almost every day. We'll do some interval running for about 45 minutes to an hour, then go in the water immediately afterwards and try to stay in there as long as we can stand it. About 2 minutes is the longest I can stand it before I feel like my heart is going to stop and my junk is going to disappear. We go in all the way, head under water, buck-naked.

I only do this during the last month of training leading up to the fight. I wouldn't do it year-round, just during times of high-stress on the body. It's supposed to build up your heart and willpower. I definitely feel better AFTER getting out of the water, lol! It's like everything is colourful and new, and when I get home the food tastes better and I sleep like a baby. They call them "spirit baths" in my mother's community.



Check it out:

He seems to think they work.


I sometimes have a cold bath withsome ice blocks in it. It's f0cking cold but probably not as cold as an ice bath.

I feel it helpls.

The body feels a certain 'warmth' afterwards after being in the cold.

I stay in the cold for about 10minutes.



Man, these things suck but they work! I have never had anything reduce my soreness like an ice bath. I don't think you need one all the time though, just during those times when you really killed yourself and no you are going to be exceptionally sore for a few days.

As for the mental clarity thing, I don't know about that. Never had that effect on me.


Just to echo some of the comments above...

Ice baths are awesome for recovery. After the ice bath, get into a hot tub to get the blood flowing again. When I was at Athlete's Performance Pensacola last week, we did them at the end of every day. I have also done them at home using a regular bathtub. That is a little harder, since unless you are a midget, you will have trouble submerging all of your body.

At API they varied between 2 rounds of 3 minutes each in the cold plunge and then hot tub, to 5 minutes of each.

you can also do the contrast shower thing, but I definitely liked the effect of the cold plunge better. Gets rid of all kinds of soreness and makes your joints feel better.


Ok this Friday I'm going to do a really hard leg workout and I'm going to take 3 days to rest, stretch/cardio.

I think this will be a good time to try this Ice bath I'm curious about-I have several actual bruises also from bit of rugby this week as well as bit of moshing at concert-.

I don't know of any places I can use to do full submerge like you guys are talking about-unless you know local chains that do this- So prob have to use my tub which is kind of big but I might not get fully submerged. Yet once I'm done I can walk over to the hot tube also though.

Definitely looks interesting I'm bit more confident now that a lot of you who have done it said it was positive, and right now I'm bit beat up and following my massive leg workout Friday this should be pretty good.


My tub is rather small, so what I do is sit up with my legs fully extended and soak that way, followed by sliding down so my upper body is submerged, alternating every 5 minutes or so, keeping it even(10 each, or whatever).

If you have the dough($100 or so), go to a farm supply store(Farm and Fleet or Southern States type place, or google online) and get a plastic stock tank. Farmers use em as feed or water troughs, so you can get one big enough to sit in, fill with ice and water and enjoy. If you have a hot tub as well, all the better.


We used to have them all the time after really hard track workouts. Great for preventing injury and for soreness and recovery.


one thing to say. every day in between two-a-days i took an ice bath lol