Saturday, July 5, 2014

The More You Know

Pro Tip*

Is your coach putting you through an inferno of hell squat program or is going full Ivan Abadjiev and breaking you down to the point where you can't move? If so, you may want need an ice bath.

There's a couple of schools of thought regarding ice baths. Some studies say it helps recovery, others say it doesn't.

Me, I like them. 20-25 mins in the tub leaves me feeling less shitty. Of course, the legs will still be aching from hellish squats and all that but it does feel pretty good. Once you get over the feeling of your toes burning in the first few minutes of course.

One of the things I like to do is take a couple of good sized tupperware containers — you can find some cheap ones at IKEA — fill them with water and throw them in the freezer. Once they're a frozen block, run the sides under some warm water to release the ice from the container and throw it in the tub. A block should last around 20 mins in the tub, keeping the water a somewhat consistent temperature. It's a nice option to going out and buying $3-4 bags of ice that seem to melt way too fast to keep a steady water temperature. It's cheap and cheerful, just like me, except for the cheerful part.

If shrinkage scares you, stop being such a pansy and just do it. According to something I read on the internet — I realize how vague that sentence is but stay with me here — the chinese believe that icing your nutsack helps to increase testosterone production. I tend to believe everything I read on the internet, and uh....have you seen Lu's erectors? Fuck yeah, give me an ice pack to sit on!

Another fringe benefit of ice baths, besides the supposed T production, is the idea of fat burning through thermogenesis.

Thermogenesis is the process of heat production in mammals. Cold thermogenesis is heat production stimulated by exposure to cold temperatures. Simplified, when your body is cold, it has to burn a lot of fat and calories in order to stay at 98.6° F (37.0°C) If you can get your body cold enough, it will burn fat faster than exercise and diet alone. I'm all about passivity in trying to achieve a six pack. Sit in water = six pack? Is there even a question I'm going to try it??

This is an interesting article about fat loss through cold water exposure:

If you're so inclined, you can do some more research on the benefits of ice baths. I'm just here to give ya a time and money saving tip if you do decide to sit in a tub of really, really ice cold ice water.

Personally, I love ice baths. I haven't been doing them as frequently as I like, but I'm going to make an effort to have one at least once a week, maybe twice a week if I can fit it in. You may get really shivery afterwards and not be able to feel your feet and you'll be thinking "what in the fuck have I done?!".... but that'll go away, I promise.

*Of course, by"pro tip" I mean the exact opposite. This is really for the majority of peeps who don't have access to a real metal ice tub and endless bags of ice like paid, sponsored athletes.

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