I have played with CT(Cold Thermogenesis) for a few years now and had great benefit in overall health,vitality,and recovery. Like any journey it has had its share of pitfalls and failures. I have played with ice packs,ice vests,cold showers,cold weather workouts,ice baths,cold water swims,and even swimming in frozen pools and lakes. After all that, I realized there is actually an easy and effective progression to cold adaptation and all the benefits that come along with it. Since I have some experience with CT,when I experienced a Cryo Chamber I knew right away that its mostly marketing and another quick fix for most people that don't want to put in the effort and time to truly experience benefit from CT. Cryo chambers have there place for a certain type of individual but all the claims that are made are only true of prolonged cold exposure of more than the 3 minutes that you get using cryo chambers. If you are new to cold exposure and not at all adapted then it can be a great tool in getting you started. The issue is that once you start to adapt and its no longer cold to you for just the 3 minutes you get,then its not anywhere near as effective as cold water exposure for 10-30 minutes.Especially when you look at the ridiculous cost involved. I see them as a gimmick for a wealthy type of client that likes the convenience of not getting wet and only needing a few minutes to get it in. All I felt was a bit refreshed after.
That being said lets look at some of the commonly known benefits of CT.
-Lowers Body Fat
-Helps With Immune Function
-Strengthen Adrenal Function
-Increase Hormone Levels
-Tight And Healthy Skin
-General Faster Recovery For Training
Now lets see the reason and the mechanisms at work that make these benefits happen. I will go over what I think are the big 3. This is just skimming what is happening but I want to keep this understandable for myself and you.
THE BIG 3
-BAT(Brown Adipose Tissue)OR BROWN FAT
BAT(Brown Adipose Tissue)
WAT(White Adipose Tissue) is used to store excess calories we consume but BAT actually burns WAT to produce heat. When fully activated brown fat activates 300 times more heat than any tissue in the body. Your body is trying to maintain its ideal 96.6 to 101 degrees fahrenheit. So when you are exposed to cold you activate BAT. The beautiful thing is that you usually need to burn through blood glucose and glycogen stores in the liver and muscles before you can utilize fat for energy,but BAT activation directly burns WAT for fuel. BAT in adults is mainly found in the collarbone and upper chest and back area. You can actually raise the level of BAT in your body with cold exposure,proper exercise,and even certain foods,but CT is the most effective way I have found. Also glucose uptake has been observed to increase 12X in BAT by cold exposure.
Adiponectin is a protein hormone that is involved in regulating glucose levels and fatty acid breakdown. It is secreted by adipose tissue(Fat) during cold exposure. When the hormone is released it breaks down fat and shuttles glucose into the muscles which in turn lowers blood sugar. Hence the reason CT can help reverse diabetes. Low adiponectin levels go hand in hand with quite a few health issues. The big ones being obesity and diabetes.
-Fat Burning And Weight Loss
-Improves Heart Disease And Metabolic Disorders
Irisin is a hormone released by muscle tissue during higher intensity CT and after high intensity workouts. The key with Irisin seems to be the fact that when its released it lowers Myostatin.
Myostatin is a signaling protein that binds to muscle tissue inhibiting division and growth. NOT GOOD FOR MUSCLE BUILDING!
-So Irisin lowers Myostatin allowing increased muscle growth.
This explains to me why when I incorporate a lot of CT into my routine,I drop body fat and keep muscle while holding on to strength gains. Another huge benefit to Irisin release is thats its associated with longevity due to the fact that studies have shown its linked to increasing DNA Telomere length which itself is widely associated with a longer lifespan.
CT=Increases Irisin=Lower Myostatin=Allows Increased Muscle Growth
You will not get these hormones released in a cryo chamber in 3 minutes. That is why I think they are bogus. Again they have there place with someone who has money burning a hole in there pocket and is just starting out with CT and isn't ready for the cold water yet. If that's your case then use them a few days a week for a month and then move on to better methods.
WIM HOF METHOD
Wim Hof is known as THE ICE MAN. You can google and see all the crazy stuff he's done and world records,etc. To me the amazing this is the control he has over his autonomic nervous system which was before thought impossible. He has great control over his body and breathing. So I have had questions answered via email via my own journey and also have gone through his 10 week coarse. I recommend it because its actually fun and you will learn a lot about yourself via breath holds,breath work,and cold exposure. So I use my own variation of his method in my 90 day health reset to use all 12 weeks to get adapted and to feel the full benefits of CT.
-Face dunks in ice water 20 seconds at a time for 5-10 rounds daily
-End showers 30 seconds cold
-Start and end showers 30 seconds cold
-Add time in cold to beginning and end of showers
-Only cold showers for 5 minutes
-10 minute cold showers
-Cold plunges or baths at 60-65 degrees fahrenheit for 10-20 minutes
-Ice baths at 50-55 degrees fahrenheit for 10-20 minutes
No need to go further than 50 degrees. If the ice bath becomes easy to you then you can simply add time.
You must progress slowly if you are new to this. If you have heart disease,high blood,or any other chronic ailment please consult your physician first!
WHY ITS IMPORTANT
For myself CT has been huge in my recovery and general immune function. When I incorporate it regularly into my routine,I never get sick and I always feel energetic,recovered,and rejuvenated. The last thing I will go over briefly are a couple of tips for fat loss and dropping body fat while putting or just maintaining muscle and strength gains.
Best personal results are when I do cold swims at 55 degrees fahrenheit or ice baths at least that cold,3-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes. I am in a fasted state and take 500-1000mg of bitter melon extract 30 minutes before my session. This is a bit more advanced so I am just throwing this in as a possible future goal if you are not there yet. Usually a 4 week cycle is enough for me and then I only use cold showers and take a small break for a month or so. I actually just finished a 4 week cycle and this time added a systemic enzyme at my activation dose with the bitter melon and had even better results. I can't make any scientific claim and have no proof via lab work but I know my body and it was simply more effective. The best and only systemic enzyme I use is RESTOREZYME. It is a Mike Mahler product. Click on the link for more info. Great product and he is a solid guy that stands behind his supplements. His whole product line is amazing and I have had great benefit from them all. Especially take a look at his testosterone booster. Great for strength phases!
KEEPING MUSCLE MASS AND DROP FAT
1. Strength train/HIIT
2. Post workout meal including lots of carbohydrates
3. Use CT to direct nutrients away from fat and into muscle & BAT
4. Equals low blood glucose levels & Insulin sensitivity
POST WORKOUT CARB FEED
ENHANCED MUSCLE GROWTH