T Nation

Training in Cold Weather?

I live in North Dakota, and the winters these past few years have become nuts. I used to lift in a heated basement, but I’ve moved to a location with no basement, just a garage. I’ve installed some insulation, and plan to wear some decent sweats and use a space heater, but I’m curious if anyone else has some tips on training in the cold.

Different warm-up protocols, considerations, stretching, etc.

Wear layers and take them off as you warm up. Extend your your warm up with some calisthenics or light complexes to bring up your body temp. If you don’t already use knee and elbow sleeves to help warm up your joints. Wear some kind of hat or beanie. The bars will probably be cold so you might want to wear gloves – yeah, it’s pussy, but it’s only to get you through the winter. Batting gloves or receiver’s gloves work well. Or you could bring out a hair dryer and try to heat up the bar between lifts. Personally, I’d go with the gloves.

Hope this helps. Winters can be brutal.

Having trained on days where it is -30C many times last winter I’d just like to echo what malone said… something to warm up the joints prior to any lifting and wearing layers.

Also, look into shorts and knee/elbow sleeves from rehband, they will help keep your joints warm without having to wear a hoody/sweats. I just bought a pair, the cold weather is starting to hit us.

I train in my garage as well. On really cold snaps, I’ll make sure to turn the space heater on well before I go out and I’ll also keep the bar in the house.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
The bars will probably be cold so you might want to wear gloves – yeah, it’s pussy, but it’s only to get you through the winter. Batting gloves or receiver’s gloves work well. Or you could bring out a hair dryer and try to heat up the bar between lifts. Personally, I’d go with the gloves.
.[/quote]

Theres actually a couple of ways around it…

  1. Bring your bar and/or weights in the house the night before and don’t bring it out until after warming up.
  2. Use straps or pipe insulator (depending on how concerned about your grip you are)
  3. If you live in a fairly wooded area and can get away with it, have a small camp fire in your yard! It will work better than a hair dryer or a heat lamp. Just dig a hole in the snow until you reach bare ground, fill the hole halfway with wood, light it, and put your bar next to it.

This being said though, frost bite is a nasty little bitch, so I would keep hand warmers in my pocket at the vary least. Anything colder than -15 degrees F I wouldn’t hessitate to wear gloves.

Btw, that joint sleeve idea was a good one, I think Ill use that this year.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I live in North Dakota, and the winters these past few years have become nuts. I used to lift in a heated basement, but I’ve moved to a location with no basement, just a garage. I’ve installed some insulation, and plan to wear some decent sweats and use a space heater, but I’m curious if anyone else has some tips on training in the cold.

Different warm-up protocols, considerations, stretching, etc.[/quote]

As others have said, it is important to wear layers. I have always worn layers when doing any sort of squat or deadlift workout. People joke that I’m all bundled up, since I train in a commercial gym, but the one time in college I did a leg workout in shorts and t-shirt, I tore my quad.