but wont the really hot sauna and then really cold shower mess up your body?
kool i will i'll see if i scream
I would hit the sauna after training if I had the time.
Of the studies that have looked at the effects of ice baths, cold water immersion and contrast water therapy on exercise recovery and muscle soreness, most offer inconclusive or contradictory findings.
One study from the July 2008 issue of the International Journal of Sports Medicine found cold water immersion and contrast water therapy may help recovery from short maximal efforts, or during events like stage races where athletes repeat high-intensity efforts on successive days. In this study, researchers had cyclists complete a week of intense daily training routines. After each workout, they used one of four different recovery methods and took nine days off between each week of workouts.
The four recovery methods included:
1. Immersion in a 15 degree C (59 degree F) pool for 14 minutes;
2. Immersion in 38 degree C (100.4 degree F) water for 14 minutes;
3. Alternating between cool and hot water every minute for 14 minutes;
4. 14 minutes of complete rest.
They reported that the cyclists performed better in the sprint and time trial after cool water immersion and contrast water therapy, but their performance declined with both hot water baths and complete rest.
Another study published in the 2007 British Journal of Sports Medicine found that ice-water immersion offered no real benefit and, in fact, may increase post-exercise muscle soreness after heavy weight training. In this study the researchers compared 1-min immersions in either an ice bath (5 degrees Celsius) or a tepid bath (24 degrees Celsius) following an intense workout.
They found that the athletes who used the ice baths reported no difference in physical pain measurements such as swelling or tenderness. The athletes did, however, report more leg pain the following day, when going from a sitting to a standing position than those who had the tepid water bath treatment. According to the researchers, "Ice-water immersion offers no benefit for pain, swelling, isometric strength and function, and in fact may make more athletes sore the next day."
In 2007, a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at the effect of contrast water therapy on delayed onset muscle soreness after intense leg press exercise. They found a smaller reduction, and faster restoration, of strength and power in athletes using contrast water therapy than those using passive recovery.
Real World Recommendations
It's clear that more research is needed before a real conclusion can be made, but so far the information that is available indicates the following:
* Cold water immersion after a hard workout won't hurt and may, in fact, help recovery.
* Alternating Cold water and warm water baths (contract water therapy) may also help athletes recover.
* Ice baths are not necessary; cold water baths (24 degrees Celsius) are as good and perhaps better, than ice baths.
* Active recovery may be as good as cold water immersion for exercise recovery.
* Passive recovery is not an effective way to recover.
* Hot baths after hard exercise may decrease recovery time.
Cold Water Therapy - How to Do It
Cold Water Immersion
If you are going to try cool or cold water immersion after exercise, don't overdo it. Ten minutes immersed in 15 degree Celsius water should be enough time to get the benefit and avoid the risks. Because cold can make muscles tense and stiff, it's a good idea to fully warm up about 30 to 60 minutes later with a warm shower or a hot drink.
Contrast Water Therapy (Hot-Cold Bath)
If you prefer alternating hot and cold baths, the most common method includes one minute in a cold tub (10-15 degrees Celsius) and two minutes a hot tub (about 37-40 degrees Celsius), repeated about 3 times.
Whether the science supports the ice bath theory or not, many athletes swear that an ice bath after intense training helps them recover faster, prevent injury and just feel better.
Vaile, J.; Halson, S.; Gill, N.; Dawson, B., Effect of Hydrotherapy on Recovery from Fatigue. Int'l J. Sports Medicine, July 2008.
Kylie Louise Sellwood, et al. Ice-water immersion and delayed-onset muscle soreness: a randomized controlled trial Br. J. Sports Med., Jun 2007.
Vaile JM, Gill ND, Blazevich AJ. The effect of contrast water therapy on symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):697-702.
sauna's are the best. they dehydrate you, and after a hard workout, they take water from your blood. if that's after a heavy deadlift or squat day, you have essentially super saturated your blood with Test.
after the sauna, you better start getting that water back into you though.
great chest workout today and the sauna finished me off then cold shower at home and felt fanstastic but should i do it all the time?
from : TESTOSTERONE NATION
Intra-workout sauna to make you bigger and leaner!
Back in the 60s Larry Scott (the first ever Mr.Olympia) use to claim that short stints in the sauna taken during a workout could increase growth hormone production. When I first read about that claim I did find it a bit unscientific and kinda dismissed it as just another ''theory'' that some old-timers had in the past. So I put that sauna theory in some remote part of my brain right next to fond memories of the good ole Cybergenic stack!
However after doing some research on recovery methods used by european athletes I came across a lot of information that brought Scott's theory in the ''hey, there might be something there'' portion of my brain.
Turns out that not only do sauna at 80-120 degrees really do increase growth hormone production (by around 150%) but some studies actually found it to also increase testosterone and noradrenaline levels. Taken together these changes can help you stimulate more fat loss as well as muscle gain (Lammintausta et al. 1976, Kukkonen et al. 1989 and 1988).
One study (Jezova et al. 1994) also found something interesting when it comes to cortisol levels. During the first 15 minutes of sauna exposure, cortisol levels in the body decreased. After the 15 minutes mark, they started to increase.
Interestingly, these findings support Scott's recommendations of going in the sauna for 5-7 minutes a few times during your workout. 5-7 minutes bouts will help you elevate growth hormone, testosterone and noradrenaline levels while also lowering cortisol production! This would obviously put your body in a slightly more anabolic state as well as facilitate fat loss.
If you are lucky enough to be training in a gym where there is a sauna available you can use Scott's protocol by going in the sauna 2-3 times during your workout. I personally use the method by going in the sauna between my exercises for a muscle group.
NOW think for a second. how would heat do this? obviously the answer is it doesn't. that would imply that people in arizona/florida are naturally stronger than the rest of the US. more fluid joints, sure, especially since you must consider why so many people retire there. here's another scenario : i can't just move to florida and go up 5-10% in my bench overnight because of a much higher temperature.
but it does make sense when you adjust for dehydration - the concentration of free T and GH would be much higher. when you add in the water lost from dehydration, the numbers would be normal again. obviously though, a higher concentration of T or GH would make them bind to receptors much easier.
make sure you hydrate yourself after, as dehydration will play a negative role in muscle in the long term, but by all means, take advantage of the sauna.
sauna vs steam room... which one is better for ya?
i say the sauna the steam room just feels blah
sauna for saturating T and GH levels, steamroom for recovery. IMO, based on what works for me.
steamroom seems to get the heat to penetrate deeper into my muscles, which increases blood flow, hence recovery. the sauna just doesn't hit me the same.
however, that's ME, not YOU.