Andrew Stemler and Philip Rolling are fitness geeks enraptured by the cold. They were super excited when Tim Ferriss cited numerous reasons why you should use coldness in your struggles for weight loss and health in his new book the Four Hour Body
- Short-term cold exposure (30 minutes) in humans leads to fatty acid release to provide fuel for heat production through shivering. This same shivering could be sufficient to recruit “GLUT-4” to the surface of muscle cells, contributing to increased lean muscle gain.
- Cold exposure (with shivering) may increase adiponectin levels and glucose uptake by muscle tissue, and the goodness may outlast the shivering
- In the absence of shivering, it is still possible to capitalise on “fat-burning fat” through the stimulation of BAT thermogenesis
- Cold water improves immunity (maybe it increases the levels of circulating norepinephrine)
- Cold showers could help depression
Wow, all this for just turning the central heating down/off?
Tim, based on the works of our good friend Ray Cronise, recommends the following protocol.
- Place an ice pack on the back of the neck or upper trapezius area for 20–30 minutes
- Consume 500 milliliters of ice water on an empty stomach when waking
- Take 5–10-minute cold shower before breakfast and/or before bed
- If you can tolerate more, take 20-minute baths that induce shivering
So where does this leave us?
It leaves us on the verge of a whole range of exciting discoveries, and a whole lot of experiments and trials. Some of us have heard that the cold stimulates testosterone, helps recovery from physical training and has a role in first aid training.
The results for Crossfit London UK is that some of us are on the Thermogenics trail: this means it’s experimental and you don’t have to do it. We will be jumping in and out of ice baths, running barefoot and stuff. You don’t have to! Sit back and laugh at us.
Some of you will have enjoyed our first post on the subject last week under the title “Thermal Loading”
More to come…