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ice baths for recovery

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  • ice baths for recovery

    Ive been following the provided training schedule by the seal/swcc website and with that training sometimes near 4 times a day has taken a toll on my recovery and body, I just thought ice baths might be a good supplement to my training to help in recovery, what do ya guys think? if anyone has any advice in optimal recovery strategies pls let me know. thanks

  • #2
    I think if you are continuing to make progress in training you are recovering just fine.

    If you are not, you may need some program adjustment.

    Honestly there is no special recovery tool, no secret technique, no “one weird trick” that’s going to give you “more recovery”. Objective recovery is measured in training outcomes and if that’s going fine then your recovery is fine and you don’t need to “do” anything to help facilitate it, other than optimize what we know actually works: sleeping and eating. There is no data suggesting that ice baths improve performance and thereby do not improve recovery. They do provide a strong placebo effect and may temporarily reduce inflammation causing pain. They’re actually great after a football game or if you are extremely sore in that they may help you feel less sore. Honestly if there is anything you should do to help yourself feel better it should involve heat. Hot tubs, massage, sauna etc are easy ways. They won’t “give” you more recovery or improve performance if you are healthy, but they may help you feel better and relaxed. Nothing wrong with a cold plunge though if that’s what you prefer.


    • #3
      thank you very much for the feedback i'l definently look into those options, but just one last thing, if training in atleast some capacity all 7 days of the week is too much then should i just reduce training to six times or go a little less intense with most of my workouts and opt for volume over intensity? i'm just trying not to get caught in overtraining or breaking myself down too much as i understand that would be a pretty big problem when/if i finally arrive at buds, thanks.


      • #4
        Originally posted by David579 View Post
        thank you very much for the feedback i'l definently look into those options, but just one last thing, if training in atleast some capacity all 7 days of the week is too much then should i just reduce training to six times or go a little less intense with most of my workouts and opt for volume over intensity? i'm just trying not to get caught in overtraining or breaking myself down too much as i understand that would be a pretty big problem when/if i finally arrive at buds, thanks.
        I think it’s important to define what “too much” actually is and go from there. So I pose the question: how are you defining “too much” in this context for yourself?

        If your training program is allowing you to make progress is the areas you need it to, then I suggest not changing anything until it needs to be changed. Unless you’re needing a mental break and change of pace, rearrangement of your sessions to accommodate your schedule, or you experience consistent drops in training progress or even regression, I wouldn’t change anything.
        Last edited by tfranc; 07-17-2018, 09:54 AM.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ts1234
          There are a lot of vague statements concerning the training regimen. Everyone is different and can manage different states of muscular stress. As tfranc stated above, ice reduces the negative side effects of inflammation such as soreness and pain. Recovery is a complicated system of events that includes anerobic respiration and its accompanying byproducts, primarily llactic acid build up. As result, the given information is difficult to provide a valid conclusion.

          T. Silver
          But even so, there is zero data to suggest that taking ice baths increase or help maintain performance, especially long term, which when looking objectively at recovery from training stress means that ice baths do not increase or “give someone more recovery”. There is even an argument to be made that chronic soreness is indicative of a lack of adaptation to training stress and can be a symptom of poor sleep/diet or inconsistent training stress, or outright overtraining in endurance sport (though this is harder to accomplish than most believe). This is why ice baths come in handy after a football game or some kind of athletic test - because the stress is inconsistent with what your body should be used to experiencing in terms of type and progressive overload, thereby making you sore as hell. The ice baths provide physical relief from said soreness

          Not trying to argue with you, just having a discussion about fitness n stuff.
          Last edited by tfranc; 07-19-2018, 08:09 PM.


          • #6
            Recent studies have come forward saying how the best time to use ice baths would be when repeated peak performance is needed. For example in BUDS when everyday is hard day or in sports during the playoffs. The studies showed that when used during training there was significantly less muscle hypertrophy in the group that took ice baths. They said this was due to ice baths inhibiting some parts of the bodies natural inflammatory response. If I were you only since you are in training, try to let the body heal itself which will make you stronger. Only ice bath if you are feeling extremely sore or have an injury.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ts1234

              Based on my understanding of the literature, muscle soreness comes from a complex set of interaction, generalized as:
              1. Aerobic and anaerobic stress
              2. Lactic acid build up
              3. Stress of muscle.

              Using this simple model, pain and pain recovery is a complex set of principles that can be derived from working out.

              And i agree with you T. Franc, less pain and soreness means that one has acclimated to the particular stress load.

              This is generally understood as building endurance and muscle. I think ice baths help to dampen nerve impulses. But for recovery; just time and patiences.

              keyboard warrior: T. Silver signing out
              Have you checked out the new literature on pain science? Interesting stuff. If you haven’t: The medical mechanical model of pain is essentially defunct and has been replaced by the updated bio psychosocial model that suggests pain is an output from the brain rather than an input. Very interesting to think about that in the context of ice baths. It seems the recorded results of ice bathing show tremendous placebo effect with those who really believe in it.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ts1234
                I think pain is a complicated series of events. Here, based on the available information, the bio-psychosocial model is interpreted as making a large assumption on pain. My interpretation of the statement is that: "Irrespective of external impetus and trauma, the brain associates pain internally." From my perspective, the way I perceive pain is that some external stressor initiates a sequence of events that revolves around neuro-communication, and ultimately leads to pain. Without some external source of trauma, i.e.,bullet penetration, incision, blunt force trauma, the sequence of communication doesn't exist. Therefore, the pain output doesn't occur until the source of trauma.

                lets assume T.france has a history of pain in his left ankle, lower back, left hamstring issues, and indicators of right knee stress. These discomforting outputs can't exist without T.franc's history of action.

                T. Silver
                Right. I think In proper context we can look at pain as a kind of page-holder to remember to be sensitive to an area of the body put in place by the brain, no doubt as an evolutionary survival mechanism. What value that has, however, is unreliable.

                This is because the truth is that movement does not cause pain. The data clearly shows that pain is not a reliable indicator of injury. An example is sedentary populations experiencing accute pain, while active individuals with multiple disc herniations experience little to none. How we define “injury” is a grey area as well.

                I think it is safe to say though that pain is not caused by movement, but by load mismanagement within said movement.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ts1234
                  Based on a “manual tuning” of the seal community, I postulate that BUDS and its correlative classes is primarily a physical fitness testing the resilience and relative fitness of an individual. Pain management should be considered as a result marker,
                  demonstrating the capacity of a prospective seal’s body in managing the rigors and demands typified by the missions they perform. T
                  he sequence of pain is a consequence of taxation derived from the stresses of special missions. Based on the "black box", the elements of injury is one half of the pain cascade; where the senses leads to signaling and is understood as pain.
                  When the body exhibits signs of deterioration, the localized site sends a signal cascade that results in a pain output. In extreme cases, deterioration leads to severe injuries.

                  In simple mathematics relative to pain, one could define it as

                  External Input + Body Response to Input = Pain
                  If I were to really identify the mechanisms of pain, this would require a lot of resources and time to really explain the mechanisms of injury. This topic would require considerable emphasis on muscle development and strength building. Given resources constraints, this simple explanation should suffice.

                  Taurus Star

                  taurus star - keyboard warrior

                  pain management should be considered as a result marker.

                  Right, I think the marker of if someone managed their pain well enough is whether they made it through the program or not. What sort of markers would you put in place to determine/rate pain management?

                  That’s not necessarily true though, as pain is not a reliable indicator of injury (if we define injury as bodily trauma that prevents someone from participating in sport or physical activity) and I wouldn’t use pain to guide management in training unless it messes with compliance. Pathology and/or structural damage should be the determining factor for whether someone should continue physical activity or not. Lots of grey areas and case by case basis here.

                  As far as signaling goes, yes I think pain interpretation is based in social learning, and leveraging that for an operator overseas is essential, unconscious, and has been influenced by their life experience up to that point.

                  The mechanisms of all injuries can all be categorized under load mismanagement through a range of motion, I think. Movement does not cause pain or injury, but if the load (stress) placed upon the body through that particular range of motion is too great (not appropriate), injury may occur.

                  I do agree completely with you about building strength to reduce incidence of injury and promote overall health. It’s what physical therapy is, really.
                  Last edited by tfranc; 01-02-2019, 09:27 PM.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ts1234

                    I think pain, in itself, is a result of how physically prepared an individual is for the SO program. This can be interpreted as how effective a fitness program is tailored to a candidate's success in the BUD's program. Here, scientific inquiry can investigate the degree of bodily trauma to success ratio. Individual's that suffer reduced degrees of significant trauma is postulated to having better preparation for the exercise regimens attributed to this program. As such, I would conclude that reduced of total aerobic stress shares a direct relationship to effective training programs. How this relates to your question is: "One can conclude the degree of physical distress is positively correlated with failure rate." We can interpret this statement as how prepared a candidate is for BUD's completion.

                    I think one of the issues is that a lot of candidates are information deficient in the program. I think the best way to express it is, "it may not look as bad, but once knee deep in *; then one realizes the inherent difficulties." At its most basic form, this is perception versus reality. Individuals can perceive/believe/think whatever it is they want to believe. Yet, at the end of the day, how one perceives themselves and how one performs demonstrates the difference between reality and ideologue. You can either perform these tests and pass or fail:

                    1. run within the allotted time frame,
                    2. complete the required push ups,
                    3. perform the required chin-ups,
                    4. carry a heavy duty log,
                    5. swim in frigid waters,
                    6. complete hell-week,

                    I believe a well-known general once said that "preparation is the difference between victory and defeat".

                    Pain, in the form of physical injury, is a reliable indicator in the controlled settings of BUDS. From the standpoint of training, a physical injury can manifest pain, unless there's been nerve death. My assessment of BUD's is that it is designed to push these candidates to their limits. As such, distress versus injury is the gray area that we are discussing. The question thus becomes how does one differentiate between injury and anaerobic distress?

                    The last discourse is much more complicated to discuss, as injury is really easy and difficult to express.
                    Do you mean pain during injury, or pain in general? You’re saying the level of pain an individual experiences at BUD/S correlates to their success at BUD/S. I’m not sure we can say that simply because each person’s pain threshold is different. The same pain stimuli may be manageable for one person, while being completely off the charts for another. Social learning, coping mechanisms (see: big 4) all have a bearing on pain experience. Even time of day.

                    I agree with your answer. Another way to say that might be “people quit BUD/S because it’s hard as hell.”

                    I agree with you too about candidates misleading themselves about the BUD/S experience by watching things like the BUD/S class 234 documentary. Preparedness is key, I agree there too, but how do you prepare completely for something you’ve never experienced before in a sustainable manner? You can’t really. You can only look at data and cherry pick the best roads to the most important outcomes. That’s why when people aren’t willing to do the PTG, I’m dumbfounded.

                    Right, if we are using that broad definition of injury, I think we can say that most of the time pain and injury exist together for candidates who get injured at BUD/S. No one broke their leg without pain symptoms.

                    Im not sure nerve death being the sole mechanism of action for lack of perceived pain in injury is accurate or comports with the biopsychosocial model of pain.

                    It’s a very interesting point you bring up regarding injury and it’s relation to pain and quitting. Typically, injury is defined as bodily trauma that prevents participation in sport or other activity. But is cumulative bodily trauma, over the course of hell week let’s say, that isn’t indicative of a traditional injury actually preventing the candidate from participating when they quit? I don’t think so. I don’t think it is. I think it’s pain experience that forces us to consider the choice of quitting. Pain doesn’t make us quit. Quitting is always a choice.

                    Suffice it to say, I do see what you’re getting at: that pain and quitting have a corollative relationship, and I completely agree. I just don’t think we can say it’s causative.
                    Last edited by tfranc; 01-13-2019, 08:47 AM.