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ice cold showers after a workout?

Anyone here take ice cold showers right away after there workout?

I read somewhere on here a couple of weeks ago that Ian King believed in taking ice cold showers as soon as possible after a workout. I don’t remember why? But if King said it, I’m doing it. Been doing it for a week now and man what a rush. But does anyone kow why he recomends this or does anyone know anything about this?


one problem…

makes my ‘main muscle’ smaller


Cold baths (10-15C) for 10-15 minutes are even better.

I’ve been thinking about doing this aswell and I believe Ian king, as you say, recommends you cool down as quickly as possible after a workout.

The reason, I gather, is to increase metabolic/muscle recovery by improving the rate and amount of removal of waste products from the muscle more quickly (and of course reducing any inflammation). It is similar to icing an injury because a workout is, after all, a mildly (hopefully) damaging activity.

I know the England rugby team (who, by the way, won the World Cup in November) all have ice baths after every game to increase recovery, ice any knocks and allow them to train again within shorter period of time. (I’m not sure but this maybe common amongst full contact athletes).

I think he says that cold showers speed the recovery process and help prevent overtraining in the long run.

It’s the contrast that counts. Hot for 30-60 seconds and cold for 30-60 seconds repeated several times.

Ice/Cold Baths are effective for contact athletes such as football or rugby players partially because their bodies take so much abuse during a game. They could have numerous bruises, contusions, mild strains and sprains. Sitting in a tub of cold water would be more effective than trying to find every sore spot on the body and then figure out how to hold an ice bag there for 20 min.

I don’t think Ian was talking about hot and cold contrast… I remember Ian said that the idea was to decrease body temperature as soon as possible after a workout. He said this was desireable, except for the goal of fat loss.

In winter, I just go home from the gym without changing from my gym clothes, shorts and a t-shirt. I turn the vent to “cold” and the fan on high, which after the workout, I can endure pretty well.

I’d say it could help reduce muscle soreness. Such as the crytotherapy you learn about in Staley’s book.

It scares me that you’d do something without understanding it, just because a great strength coach mentioned it (my anti-dogma statement of the day:).

Hot/Cold contrast is for lactic acid flushing, where as cold showers (or as mentioned baths) are for inflammation. It will delay metabolite clearance due to vasoconstriction, but also arrest any subsequent production. I covered a couple of scientific abstracts on this topic in the ACSM article this past summer.


cold baths are heaven after a rugby game…except my damn team doesn’t let us wash after home games…

Well alot of elite athletes have used simple ice baths after training for years to allow quicker recovery. Alan Johnson 110m hurdler for instance would sit in an ice bath after every workout. Paula Radcliffe uses this method after hard training and races.

The latest development is whole body cryotherapy, where the athlete is exposed to supercooled air at temperatures of -120degreesC for 3-4mins.
This has the following benefits: active peripheral hyperemia (increased bloodflow) of the whole body lasting for over two hours which results in better metabolism and fast elimination of harmful products of metabolism particularly in myoskeletal system, which determines a faster healing of injuries and decreased inflammation.

The England and Scotland Rugby teams have used the Spala resort in Poland after training sessions. ‘The players spend around 2? minutes at a time in the freezing cold, the purpose of which is so that their blood travels from their extremities to their vital organs. Following each cold session, they will take part in a post-cryo work out, letting their blood travel back around their whole body, minus the lactic acid that would have built up in their muscles following training and exercise had they not been in the cold chamber. Their recovery time is much less, meaning they can take part in more training activities, more often during their stay.’

I have actually used an ice bath after running a half marathon and the effect was amazing. I had virtually no DOMS the next day whereas after the preceding half marathon i was sore for about 4 days after!

Contrast showers blow.

That is all.

don’t know if they’re bullshit but I use contrast showers and I find them beneficial for recovery

Cold baths are an ancient and effective method for increased health and wellness. Highly respected esp in Northern Europe and China. Plus, it shows guts!
Don’t obsess about small details and just take a cold shower after working out and whenever you can.
Trust me, step into a cold shower after waking up and you’ll never need coffee again.
I had a shitty day at school last THursday: was tired all day, didn’t sleep enough, didn’t eat right in the am and early pm, I tried to get some quick energy with coffee and some cookies before lifting BUT it didn’t work AND the weight room had closed early and I couldn’t lift…you get the point. So I’m in the locker room, about to pass out: I’m tired, sleepy and pissed off, not looking forward to my long commute home, when I thought “why not take a cold shower?”

I did and it was AWESOME! It increased my energy, woke me up and put me in a great mood, I was ecstatic!

So, shower away!

I know the top level aussie rule guys here in australia use something similar to allow for quicker recovery from the weekend’s game. They sit in a sauna for a few minutes and then run out and jump in the cold ocean, which is about 50m from the sauna.

Run a search on regenerationlab.com for cryotherapy or ice baths

They will help inflammation but will also increase epinephrine and stress hormones, which are already elevated after a workout. So, you get a positive and a negative but I still think the positives are worth it. Another alternative would be to start off each morning with a cold shower or an ice bath to get the metabolic stimulation and mood going.


-120 degrees celsius for several minutes? I’d imagine that could cause frost bite and cause hypothermia to quickly set in.

creed, is the logic really cold induced hyperemia? On the contrary, the cold will cause vasoconstriction which is how it works as an antiinflammatory.

pauln78, I thought Aussie rules players were considered wimps in Australia. That’s the most bizarre temperature contrast I’ve evr heard of… it’s almost like they’re trying to prove toughness than anything.:slight_smile: