Home Blog Random Monday: Ice Baths for Recovery, Throwing Like a Girl, and Cute Puppies

Random Monday: Ice Baths for Recovery, Throwing Like a Girl, and Cute Puppies

Written on November 1, 2010 at 7:39 am, by Eric Cressey

It’s been a while since I did a random thoughts blog; actually, it was October 6 – which is also known as the “Pre-Puppy Era” in the Cressey household.  As such, we have a lot to get to, so let’s not waste any time.

1. It’s been interesting to watch the Giants – a team without a true superstar (aside from Lincecum, who’s only thrown one game) – take control of the World Series.  However, the most interesting part of the World Series for me was when former president George W. Bush came out and threw an absolutely effortless SEED to Nolan Ryan for the first pitch of Game 4.

It was a nice change of pace from what we often see with ceremonial first pitch appearances, as I wrote about previous in Why President Obama Throws Like a Girl.  You almost have to wonder if him busting out the cheddar during election week was a calculated attempt to win some Republican votes!

Also, please refrain from political fighting in the comments section, kids; this is a bipartisan blog.  I will, however, encourage everyone to please get out and vote tomorrow, regardless of your candidates of choice.

2. I am still waiting for someone to convince me that cold water immersion post-training does anything for athletes other than cause serious shrinkage and irritate them.  It seems like it becomes more and more of “the rage” with each passing day, but I still haven’t seen anything in the scientific literature supporting the efficacy of ice baths for recovery.  This piece came out just recently: Post exercise ice water immersion: Is it a form of active recovery?

We do not advocate cold water immersion for our athletes right now because I feel that there isn’t any evidence to suggest that it has any favorable effects, and for such an annoying experience, you need to be getting considerable benefit in order to be using it regularly.  Moreover, I have seen a TON of pitchers who absolutely despise icing their arms after throwing outings, saying that it interferes with their arm bouncing back and gives them stiffness and difficulty warming up in the subsequent throwing outing.  There is going to need to be some definitive evidence supporting cold water immersion before I even consider experimenting with it in any of our athletes.

That said, what has your experience been with cold water immersion and ice baths for recovery?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

3. Agents paying college football players to sign with them is a very corrupt and unacceptable practice, but the most scary part of this article for me is that three of the 23 players in question were DEAD before they hit 30.  Does anyone else find that a 13% mortality rate among this guy’s potential clients kind of odd?  My guess would be that they weren’t the most ethical guys in question and probably were involved in some sketchy stuff on the side, but it is still pretty wild that the author of this article just tosses it in there as a quick closing sentence like it’s nothing worthy of consideration.

4. We are kicking on all cylinders with our professional baseball training crew.  As of right now, we have 44 guys from all over the country committed to getting after it this winter.  It’s shaping up to be a fun time and great atmosphere – especially when you factor in our high school and college baseball guys.

5. Speaking of Cressey Performance, we’ve got Nick Tumminello coming in this morning to do an in-service for our staff.  Nick’s a smart dude who teaches all over the world (he’s headed to China right after us), and we’re really lucky to have him.  In this dynamic industry, if you aren’t getting better, you’re falling behind – so be sure to seek out opportunities to watch industry leaders present whenever you can.  For more information on Nick, check out www.NickTumminello.com.  Here’s a little taste of some of Nick’s stuff:

6. Last, but not least, cute puppy pictures.

Asleep in my slipper:

Asleep in my wife’s gym bag:

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10 Responses to “Random Monday: Ice Baths for Recovery, Throwing Like a Girl, and Cute Puppies”

  1. Yael Grauer Says:

    This isn’t about ice baths per se, but about icing injuries and how it may not be as useful as we once thought.

  2. Dave Says:

    We use them regularly post match and heavy on feet training sessions in our senior rugby squad. Mainly as, unlike baseball, our players through thier exertion exercise quite high levels of lactate accumilation, in addition to other high levels of substances such as creatine kinase from all the contact (our players expereince physiologcial responses similar to people who have been in car crashes). Although the scientific data regarding these measures is somewhat mixed, there is fairly strong evidence regarding its use for reducing markers of muscle damage in high intensity collision sports. This correlates also with what we have from the data we have collected from our squad. Also I think based on our anacdoetal evidence, there our other potential markers it could improve which have not been looked at the in literature.

  3. Dave Says:

    Apologies for the grammar, I am rushing to write this in between sessions!

  4. Stacey Says:

    I haven’t read the SI article but I listen to sports radio all day at work and, NEVER EVER, did I hear anything about the mortality rate of those who took the bait. Not once. Yea, I think this news is scary but the fact nobody else does, besides you, I find scariest of all.

    But keep the cute puppy pics coming. I live for this stuff.

  5. don Says:

    I recently read some resaearch that said a couple of sesconds of cold, in the shower, fires up the immune system. But does that mean better recovery?? who knows

  6. Jimmy Lamour Says:

    I have not seen a big difference when I played football or with my athletes with ice water baths. I did however see a big difference in recovery when we used contrasts baths. The foam roller and mobility work has also helped my athletes recover tremendously. Would love to hear what has worked for everyone else when it comes to recovery? Thanks.

  7. Callie Durbrow Says:

    I haven’t personally seen a lot of difference with the ice baths – every man to himself, though. It can’t hurt, right?

  8. Eric Says:

    I have used both cold plunge and contrast showers in the past. I feel like they help, but it may be more psychological than anything. I have read that it may help shift from a sympathetic to parasympathetic post training, which would help recovery. However, I have not seen any science backing this claim.

  9. J.B. Says:

    Much like Dave above I used them all the time when I was playing and coaching rugby. Territorials, Nationals, all-american trials, and Senior Selections are all tournament format 2-3 games in a weekend, and I found that ice baths and contrast baths reduced my perceived soreness and made me feel more ready to play the next day.. and the next day. Same held true with my athletes.
    I would say that there is a specificity to rugby that I can’t explain. The combination of prolonged bouts of anaerobic activity and contact is unique to the sport. Even the BJJ athletes and fighters I know don’t get as banged up.

  10. Murds Says:

    Eric, I like how your puppy likes your UCONN slippers! GO HUSKIES!!

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