Been a long while since I wrote in this blog. My apologies. I have been very busy running my gym and training clients. That said, there is a popular practice of dunking yourself into an ice bath to help recover after a workout. I read a study on the topic and it’s a great example of what Cold Water Immersion (CWI) is good for and what it might not be good for.
16 males all in their late teens and twenties were put through a 7 week exercise program. 3 sessions a week. After the workout, half of them would do CWI in 10 degree Celsius water. The other half would do passive recovery in 23 degree water. They were then tested for strength – leg press and bench press, countermovement jump, squat jump and ballistic push-up. They were also measured for muscular hypertrophy using X-ray.
The results? Similar strength increases in both groups. The group that did CWI had less mTOR signaling and other markers of hypertrophy.
Conclusion: CWI is good to recover for endurance and strength but will blunt the body’s ability to cause hypertrophy. Means if you’re trying to build muscle, Cold Water Immersion will slow that down!
So use this cool of CWI how you see fit. It’s important to understand the effects that might have on muscular growth however.
Here’s the study