Final Thoughts on Ice Baths


Be like Bolt? Maybe. The dirty truth on Ice Baths that they are not magic and perhaps they are used 5% of the time at most. Why not focus on 95% of the days? I spoke on regeneration a few times and ice baths are always brought up. Cold Water Immersion (CWI) is a better choice of words but I don’t like the use of the modality in general. I use it 3-5 times a year with some athletes after injury and suggest it for unreal competition issues like triple overtime by point guards trying to get ready for game 3 in the finals. Good sport begins when good health ends. Does CWI interfere with the natural adaptation process? Does cold help injuries heal?

In the blog I suggested earlier, Dr. Nassis brought up the classic Chukyo study and I feel that it was a good reference but we must be careful on comparing what interventions and what training stresses we are dealing with. The Chukyo workout was a 30 minute spin, and forearm gripper squeezes….no wonder the adaptation was blunted! Ice is to prevent wildfire workouts not the birthday candle on the cake of a one year old.

What about Cryosaunas? Overrated or Overlooked? I don’t know but how much better are they compared to other options. Compared to nothing something is better, but we need measured impact and best practices. Earlier researched talked about thyroid and other mechanisms but I believe that the HRV research sort of hints so some rebooting process, especially if you are in pain. Someone asked if doing ice baths during training is a sign of overtraining to too much. Sometimes you need to overreach at high levels, or circumstances of having a world class coaching at limited durations and squeezing three days in. Icebaths work but the application is very limited and only when you truly need them. Otherwise I think they are poor options during training, especially randomly during the GPP.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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