Monday, September 12, 2011

Hot and Cold: a recovery story

     Greetings again folks! Another steamy pile of rambling coming your way! We here at the Frosh Blog (by that I mean "I") are always looking for new and interesting topics to write about. If you feel something is being missed feel free to throw down in the comments section and I will get to it as soon as I can. Speaking of which...

     ... Andrew posted a question a while back about post-WOD stretching and recovering. I've come across a few articles and research papers and made some startling discoveries (well, to me anyway).

     First, DOMS. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. The fact may be that there is little that we can do to prevent it from happening. Studies show that dynamic and static stretching do little to prevent it. However, there is some relief out there (though not completely).

     There was a study done with participants either doing nothing after a workout but resting. Another group of participants took a warm bath (think hot tub temp). A third group spent time in an ice bath (around 40 degree water). And, a final group participated in Contrast Water Therapy (spending 1 minutes in a hot bath and up to 1 minute in an ice bath... repeating 3-5 times). The result of recovery was opposite of how I have them listed. CWT participants recovered the best of the four, followed by just the ice bath participants. Both the hot bath and the "no recovery group" had little aid to their recovery.

     Again, all of these test groups did experience some DOMS 24-72 hours after an intense workout, so there's no escaping that.

     You don't have to draw two baths, or spend hard earned dollars on ice. CWT can be accomplished simply by spending 2-3 minutes in water in the shower and hot as you can stand and immideately standing under cold water for up to 60 second. Ice baths? Just simply draw a bath with nothing but cold water. spend up to 60 second in the bath and 1-2 minutes out wrapped up in a towel (repeat 3 times).

     What happens is, when you're in your ice bath the blood vessels constrict and flush out waste products like lactic acid, and at the same time reducing swelling and tissue breakdown. Now, when we just into our hot tub, the blood flow is increased speeding up circulation and speeding up the healing process.

     That's what I have for you. Some GREAT tools for jump starting recovery. Couple that with stand-alone sessions of stretching a mobilization and you'll be ready for anything. Post thoughts or additional questions to comments. Finally: get hot, then immediately get cold... and do burpees!

P.S. Anyone that did the 150 Burpees for time challenge post times below. You will see mine in the "Yesterday's Training" section

Columbia Cross Fit from Columbia CrossFit on Vimeo.

3,2,1 GO!

Yesterday's Training:

Front Squat 7 x 2 (with increasing load)
155 - 165 - 170 - 175 (x1, hit safety bar on 2nd rep) - 180 - 185 (fail) - 185 (PR)

Push Press 155lbs x 3 x 3

Dips 4 x 7
Weighted Situps 100lbs x 3 x 12

Day 151 Burpee Challenge / 11354 Burpees Completed
Yesterday's 150 for time - 9:45
For yesterday I planned on doing 50 - 50 - 25 - 25. Actually it turned out to be 60 - 50 - 40. I sprinted to get 15 in about the last minute before crumpling up on the floor... good stuff


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