T Nation

Working Out In the Cold


Autumn will soon be upon us. I have enjoyed doing my workouts in the Summer heat; however, I was wondering: are we more prone to injury when we lift weights outside when it's cold. I ask this because I am considering attempting to continue to do my workouts in my backyard through the Winter. Any educated opinions on this?


Interesting thread idea.

From my running experience, I know (read several times) that the lungs can cope with temperatures as low as -5° Celsius. Below that, it gets tricky. For a lifter it is even more difficult, as we make lots of small breaks during training whereas the runner's cardiovascular system is working nonstop. Lots of supersets are the key here, I suppose.

You could also sip occasionally some hot beverage, which you brought in a thermos flask outside.

Some more thoughts:
A free-mounted radiator would be nice in a garage gym.

Sweating in the cold can lead to a chill pretty quick for some guys. A towel is probably a must for quick-sweaters, as is a cap.

If working out with a training buddy, one should pay attention to have both guys work out at the same time, to avoid the aforementioned cooling.


only if you wait 3 months until it snows then decide to lift snow for 3 hours. Then you may be prone to a back injury.


CT wrote a bench press article called "8 Weeks to a Record Bench" where he says:

I have also noticed that I have had better lifts when lifting in the cold. Who am I kidding? I live in Texas. Texas isn't exactly known for cold weather.


You can keep working out all winter. Here in Idaho it can get pretty cold and I have ran sprints in temps as cold as 10 below. Last winter some high school Football players worked out with me pretty much all winter.

They ran sprints with a volume of about 8-10 20 to 40 yard sprints in the worst weather possible. This Football season it has really paid off. Team is 2-0 and has outscored the opposition 85-0. So not only can you workout in the winter but you can thrive.

One thing you have to watch is for ice. Get a good ice melter and spread it over the area where you are running. We had a shoveled off 'track' just out in the dirt that we kept ice melt or salt spread on.

Once in a while we run the sprints right through the snow. When the snow is 3-4 feet deep you can really get a workout in about 10 yards. Those under armour shirts and pants seem to work well.

Any type of layered workout clothes work to keep you warm. Make sure you wear gloves and keep your ears covered. When working out your head will get 'hot' and your ears will feel warm but if you don't keep them covered they will get frost bite. Anyway I have worked out many years in the winter and have had good results.



And I live in California, albeit Northern Cali. Usually the temperature will be in the 40s, occasionally 30s in the Winter. Nonetheless, I was curious if one was more prone to injury in that case. I guess the answer I am hearing is "NO".