Cryo-solutions To Augment Post Session Growth. Good or Bad?

Q: Does cryotherapy, things like cold packs, cold showers, ice baths and jumping into the sea when it’s 12C or below interfere with muscle hypertrophy?

A: Possibly. And here’s why:

Cryotherapeutic techniques can be beneficial if you sprain your ankle or tear a muscle, reducing the body’s tendency to overcompensate inflammatory responses in case of injury. Ice baths, cold showers, compresses may be exhilarating, reduce post-training pain, but probably achieve this at a price.

You may be able to shed some weight and toughen yourself up through the hormetic (reminder: topic for another blog) effect of these activities. But, there is also the real possibility of interfering and suppressing the actions of intrinsic precursor catabolic processes necessary to stimulate subsequent anabolic, muscle building outcomes that these processes depend heavily on to initiate.

Have a look at this ink from Live Science for some back up for this statement. It discusses the negative effects of ice baths after resistance & strength training.  You are going to need to tread carefully, think about what’s happening when you’re bombing, blitzing and blasting your way through a workout. Consider the hows, whys and wherefores of the body’s adaptation to stress and damage and then weigh the advantages vs the disadvantages of using anti-inflammatory measures to get in their way, whether it be by using supplements (anti-oxidants, VitC & E), anti-inflammatories (aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylex, etc.) or cryotherapies.

You’re gonna have to pay your pain and inflammation dues in order to avoid singing the hypertrophy blues.

Let us just call it the cost of doing business in the world of muscle. And leave it at that.


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