I want to share with you an amazing recent discovery of engaging in a devoted session of cold exposure, followed immediately by an aerobic jog to rewarm, followed by explosive all-out sprints.
Here’s what I’ve experienced after carefully testing this process a couple dozen times to date:
My rewarming jog feels effortless, with a heart rate some 10 beats below a normal run at the same pace. Then, buoyed by the scientifically-validated 200-300% norepinephrine boost that lasts for an hour after cold exposure, I can blast a fantastic sprint workout with less stress, less inflammation, better focus, more explosiveness, and faster recovery. Importantly, I’m fully warmed up from a minimum 30-minute rewarming job and primed with extensive preparatory drills and wind sprints before launching into all-out sprints.
I’m calling this strategy the “The Unfrozen Caveman Runner”, as demonstrated in this soon-to-be-viral video. Old-time Saturday Night Live fans may recognize the ode to the hilarious recurring sketch called Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, featuring the late Phil Hartman as Keyrock, a prehistoric caveman discovered frozen in ice who was thawed out, went to law school, and became an unbeatable trial lawyer.
In any case, thanks to Ben Greenfield and other trendsetters, I’ve developed an increasing passion for cold therapy in recent years. After starting with cold showers, dealing with the hassles of a livestock tank, and frequent ice bag purchases at the local mini-mart, I eventually reached the highest level of sophistication with my practice: the chest freezer. This 15 cubic foot beauty is by far the most affordable and convenient option for 24/7 home access to temperature therapy. Who wants to drive to the Cryotherapy clinic and pay 45-plus bucks a pop when you can get a chest freezer in your back yard? By the way, Ben has an entire article here on how to create your own ice bath at home: “The Ultimate Guide To DIY Cold Thermogenesis: The Cold Tub Secrets Of Some Of The Top Biohackers On The Planet & How To Make Your Own Cold Tub Setup”.
Of course, getting heat therapy going at home is also awesome, and I’ll bet that someday you’ll become very interested in being like me and pairing your chest freezer with a surprisingly affordable home-use sauna. These are easy to assemble and enjoy in even a small backyard, home, or garage space. Surprisingly, my guests are invariably more interested in trying my sauna than the cold tub – go figure. I can at least talk most into some super-relaxing contrast therapy.
My chest freezer runs on a timer for just a few hours a day, maintaining a water temperature of 34°F-38°F (1.1°C-3.3°C). Each morning without fail, I plunge into the tub, submerge my head for about 20 seconds, then commence 20 cycles of deep, diaphragmatic breaths. This is a meditative experience for me, as I am compelled to focus only on my breath cycles in order to withstand the cold water without a panic reaction and early exit. At first, the 20 breaths took about three minutes, but now I slow things down, spontaneously hold an occasional inhale or exhale for a longer period, and my duration in the tub is typically 5-6 minutes. Here is a video where I do a demo, communicate some scientific benefits, and provide step-by-step logistics to get going.