I just wrapped up my Las Vegas Retreat from my home yesterday with a great group of guys. It was a lot of fun, with plenty of training, meals, jokes, massages, and sauna.
Every day after training, we jumped in the sauna for about 20 minutes or so. After months of being deprived of sauna use from local gyms because of COVID, it was great to be able to enjoy it and share it with friends.
On the final training day, we upped the ante and made it a hot/cold contrast therapy session by adding the ice bath into the mix. Most of the guys had never done this before, so it was a funny adventure for them all. We started with 10 minutes of sauna, then alternated between 2-5 minutes of ice bath, and went back and forth for 3 rounds in the ice bath.
I went up first. Getting in the ice bath was pretty brutal, as I made some rookie mistakes of getting my whole body in, and just leaving my neck out. I focused on my breathing, but still after 2 minutes I was done. I had a hard time just getting out of the bath, and waddled my way into the sauna to a group of guys laughing.
Leave your hands and feet
Sure enough, others followed and had similar challenges. It wasn’t until the final member of the group, who had experience with ice baths, imparted some sage wisdom – leave your hands and feet out of the bath.
Sure enough, on my second round I followed that advice, and it made things a whole lot easier. The first 60 seconds were still a struggle, but once you get through that, your body adjusts and you can stay in there for a while. It surprised me how much of a difference it made. I then experimented with just bringing in my wrists in, and just a few inches make a world of difference. I know, that’s what she said, lol!
On the final round, I went the extra step of completely submerging, head and all, for about 10 seconds. What a rush! It’s like getting a jolt if iced lightning through your body. It was the first time using contrast therapy in my home, and while it was a lot of fun, as we were teasing each other the whole time, I’m not sure how therapeutic it actually was.
I really enjoy my 20-30 minute sauna sessions, and definitely feel the improvements in recovery from it. My next time around, I’m going to do a 10-15 minute ice bath by itself.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?
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