Working out in below "average" temperatures

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    Working out in below "average" temperatures


    Hey everyone,

    Wanted to bring this topic for discussion while I do some research here on my own and see if there are any studies to back this up.

    I saw a little documentary and some videos reporting that the "best" way to lose weight is to exercise in lower temperatures, stuff like 70 degree weather or below, as the body's thermodynamics kick in and more calories are burnt to warm you up and therefore making your caloric expense rise. The background / what this theory is supported on is a NASA guy that claims has done this for a while, after some observation.

    It has Michael Phelps as the main point of example; his 12k+ daily calorie intake is then analyzed by these and their claim, which states that the workout that Phelps does on a daily basis and the hours he spends swimming is a factor for how he is able to consume that many calories and not gain weight, but that the majority of it comes from being in the water all day, at temperatures like 76 degrees, which forces his body to burn more calories.

    Anyways, although my first thought was "well, this is the biggest bullsh!t I've ever heard", I figured I would bring it up for discussion and see if anyone has had any research with this. I find running in the cold weather an absolute b!tch, but if in fact this was the case, hell I would easily go for runs outside more often.
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    I highly doubt this to be true.

    My current gym is in the 30's if I go at night, and 40's if I go during the day. I am leaning out quite a bit, but I attribute that to other factors such as my training, my caloric intake, and such. I always lean out on deployment.
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    Yes, cold temperatures do have a thermic effect on the body but it will be a negligeable effect for body recomp purposes.

    You can drink cold water at 17 oz or more per serving and ellicit a thermic effect too...
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    Re: Working out in below "average" temperatures


    It is pretty well established that heat accumulation is a limiting factor in exercise capacity

    Pre-cooling and sports performance: a meta-analytical review.

    Abstract

    Pre-cooling is used by many athletes for the purpose of reducing body temperature prior to exercise and, consequently, decreasing heat stress and improving performance. Although there are a considerable number of studies showing beneficial effects of pre-cooling, definite conclusions on the effectiveness of pre-cooling on performance cannot yet be drawn. Moreover, detailed analyses of the specific conditions under which pre-cooling may be most promising are, so far, missing. Therefore, we conducted a literature search and located 27 peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials, which addressed the effects of pre-cooling on performance. These studies were analysed with regard to performance effects and several test circumstances (environmental temperature, test protocol, cooling method, aerobic capacity of the subjects). Eighteen studies were performed in a hot (>26°C) environment and eight in a moderate. The cooling protocols were water application (n = 12), cooling packs (n = 3), cold drinks (n = 2), cooling vest (n = 6) and a cooled room (n = 4). The following different performance tests were used: short-term, high-intensity sprints (n = 2), intermittent sprints (n = 6), time trials (n = 10), open-end tests (n = 7) and graded exercise tests (n = 2). If possible, subjects were grouped into different aerobic capacity levels according to their maximal oxygen consumption (VO(2max)): medium 55-65 mL/kg/min (n = 11) and high >65 mL/kg/min (n = 6). For all studies the relative changes of performance due to pre-cooling compared with a control condition, as well as effect sizes (Hedges' g) were calculated. Mean values were weighted according to the number of subjects in each study. Pre-cooling had a larger effect on performance in hot (+6.6%, g = 0.62) than in moderate temperatures (+1.4%, g = 0.004). The largest performance enhancements were found for endurance tests like open-end tests (+8.6%, g = 0.52), graded exercise tests (+6.0%, g = 0.44) and time trials (+4.2%, g = 0.44). A similar effect was observed for intermittent sprints (+3.3%, g = 0.43), whereas performance changes were smaller during short-term, high-intensity sprints (-0.5%, g = 0.03). The most promising cooling methods were cold drinks (+15.0%, g = 1.68), cooling packs (+5.6%, g = 0.70) and a cooled room (+10.7%, g = 0.49), whereas a cooling vest (+4.8%, g = 0.31) and water application (+1.2%, g = 0.21) showed only small effects. With respect to aerobic capacity, the best results were found in the subjects with the highest VO(2max) (high +7.7%, g = 0.65; medium +3.8%, g = 0.27). There were four studies analysing endurance-trained athletes under time-trial conditions, which, in a practical sense, seem to be most relevant. Those studies found an average effect on performance of 3.7% (g = 0.48). In summary, pre-cooling can effectively enhance endurance performance, particularly in hot environments, whereas sprint exercise is barely affected. In particular, well trained athletes may benefit in a typical competition setting with practical and relevant effects. With respect to feasibility, cold drinks, cooling packs and cooling vests can be regarded as best-practice methods.

    PMID: 22642829
    The effect of a cold beverage during an exercise session combining both strength and energy systems development training on core temperature and markers of performance.

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND:

    Although studies have investigated the effects of hydration on performance measures, few studies have investigated how the temperature of the ingested liquid affects performance and core temperature during an exercise session. The hypothesis of the present study was that cold water would improve thermoregulation and performance as measured by bench repetitions to fatigue, broad jump for force and power and total time to exhaustion for cardiovascular fitness

    METHODS:

    Forty-five, physically fit, adult males (30.28 ± 5.4 yr, 1.77 ± 7.8 m, 83.46 ± 11.5 kg; 13.7 ± 4.8 %BF; 49.8 ± 6.3 ml/kg/min V02) completed two 60-minute exercise sessions. Subjects consumed either COLD (4°C) or room temperature (RT) water (22°C) in randomized order. Core temperature was measured every 15 minutes throughout each trial using a digestible thermometer. Three performance tests were performed upon completion of the exercise session: bench press to fatigue, standing broad jump, and bicycle time to exhaustion

    RESULTS:

    Although both groups significantly increased their core temperature (p<0.001) over the course of the exercise session and presented a significant decline in hydration status (p<0.001), participants in the COLD water trial had a significantly (p=0.024) smaller rise in core temperature (0.83&#176 over the duration of the trial in comparison to RT (1.13&#176. The participants in the COLD water trial were able to delay their increase in core body temperature for at least 30 minutes, whereas participants in the RT trial increased body temperature from baseline after 15 minutes. There was no significant difference between the COLD or the RT trials in broad jump and TTE performance tests. Bench press showed a small, albeit significant (p=0.046), decrease in performance when drinking COLD CONCLUSION: Drinking cold water can significantly mediate and delay the increase in core body temperature during an exercise session in a moderate climate with euhydrated subjects. The ingestion of COLD improved performance for 49% and 51% of the participants in the broad jump and TTE performance tests respectively, but did not reach statistical significance. Moreover, although minimal, subjects experienced a decrease in performance on the bench press during the COLD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopyCat View Post
    I highly doubt this to be true.

    My current gym is in the 30's if I go at night, and 40's if I go during the day. I am leaning out quite a bit, but I attribute that to other factors such as my training, my caloric intake, and such. I always lean out on deployment.
    Yes, training and caloric intake will determine how significantly you lean out. Period.

    Training in cool temps will ellicit a slight thermic effect (which I interpreted as the topic) but not to any extent you will see noticeable, stand alone results.

    Otherwise we would see people simply taking cold showers 4-5 times per week to strip fat.

    As a slightly different angle illustrated in JudoJosh's posted study pointed out though, introducing a cooling effect during training in a hot environment can prevent the body from over heating, allowing for longer sessions which can be conducive to more calories burned in the long term, assuming you are utilizing endurance training over sprints and other high intensity methods. According to the study, weight training and HIIT variations will not benefit: "In summary, pre-cooling can effectively enhance endurance performance, particularly in hot environments, whereas sprint exercise is barely affected."

    You only have to exercise in the middle of August vs. December to know cooler temps make it easier but it is nice to see it on paper. They study doesn't really discuss the effect on metabolism cold weather has but in following its vein, assuming your training protocol includes endurance work and is the same season to season, you won't see any magical winter results over and above summer results though.

    At best, you will perform 3.7% better. Translate that to calories burned. Assume 300 cals on average in an endurance cardio session. At 3.7%, you will burn 11 extra calories per session. Maybe you do cardio three times per week, you're looking at a whopping 33 extra calories. To burn a pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. You would have to do your endurance training in cold weather for 106 weeks, more than two years, to see an extra pound of fat burned over and above your routine. Negligable results for body recomp purposes.
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    As an addendum, it may be better to interpret time. For every 30 minutes of endurance training you do in the summer, the cooler winter temps let you run for 3.7% longer. You will be running for an extra 1 minute per 30 minutes. How many calories you burn is determined by your own variables. Still extrememly negligable though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopyCat View Post
    I highly doubt this to be true.

    My current gym is in the 30's if I go at night, and 40's if I go during the day. I am leaning out quite a bit, but I attribute that to other factors such as my training, my caloric intake, and such. I always lean out on deployment.
    "I thought the desert was always hot!" Lol, I hate when ppl say that.

    I leaned out on my last one just because it was 140 degrees which pretty much makes you not want to eat because you are miserable...
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