T Nation

sauna

when is the sauna a good compliment to weight-training? after a good workout the sauna is a great recuperation technique. was wondering if the high temperatures would cause thermogenesis to the point that muscle would be wasted and decaying instead of nourished. after the gym, it’s recommended that body temperature remain at a specific homeostatic condition, would the sauna hamper my results in the long-run? anyone please… thanks in advance!

One soviet method of recovery was 3 min heat and 10 min cold cycled
I would say that the sauna is a bad idea within 15 min if your core temp is elevated. The body is tring to cool down and the sauna prevents it . There is some literature about those problems but don’t remember where it was produced. The warnings came out in the 80’s and since their popularity has drastically faded, I would guess the benifits are not there.

I would also stay out of the sauna right after a workout. Core body temp is already elevated and you really don’t want to get it too hot. I prefer using a sauna or steam room on off days, mixed with a little light swimming. Make sure to drink a ton of water before, during and after significant heat exposure. Honestly, I can’t say that I have had significant experience with sauna, but I do enjoy going in once in a while.

The sauna could cause muscle catabolism due to the fact that the body burns a lot of calories when sweating. One often overlooked benefit of the sauna is it’s use as a ripping agent…i’m not talking about water weight lost but by elevating the body temp for 20 minutes or so and sweating profusely and elevating the heart rate it’s been proven (can’t recall the exact #'s) to burn quite a few calories. I’ve always noticed I am able to stay quite a bit leaner when using a sauna regularly but I always make sure I drink plenty of water before, during and after to avoid dehydration. As far as using the sauna as a restorative aid it has many benefits and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Check out Dr. Paul Hatfield’s books. I am not such, but in one of the (POWER, I think) he discussed using a sauna to assist in increasing levels of Hgh.
Best O’Luck