Contrast shower

  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    Mar 19, 2009 5:40 PM GMT
    Love them or hate them?

    My trainer has me doing contrast showers after our dead lifting and squatting days. They seem to work for me and I recover much faster than not doing them.

    My gym has a communal shower with 8 shower heads in full view of the rest of the locker room, it must be funny to watch me wincing in agony when I turn the cold water on 3 different times. Not to mention the dreaded "shrinkage" ;-)

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    Mar 20, 2009 5:09 AM GMT
    Wow, I've never heard of contrast showers till now. I usually don't have problems with recovery. I might be sore after an intense workout out, but it goes away by the next day. I just make sure I'm hydrated and I keep the sore area warm to help stimulate blood circulation.
  • ROYCE13

    Posts: 315

    Mar 20, 2009 5:20 AM GMT
    never heard of them, please explain, and why. I do not have a problem after dead lift and squats, but interested in knowing what you are talking about
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    Mar 20, 2009 9:20 AM GMT
    I think they are wonderful as part of physical therapy for specific problem areas. I've not done whole-body showers, but imagine the effects would be similarly soothing. I broke both fingers on one of my hands and after the cast/splint was removed (5 weeks post fracture) and I started some rehab, contrast baths were the only things that made the pain manageable. I would go back and forth between two 1-gallon buckets: 180 seconds in the ice water and 90 seconds in the hot water.

    I echo your experience that it seemed to make recovery time faster. Once I started doing them, I was able to do the assigned ligament stretches and dexterity exercises three times a day. It was the by far the most helpful thing the therapist taught me.

    I always wondered how much of the benefit was due to vasoconstriction/vasodilation, and how much was due to simple distraction of the pain nerves.
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    Mar 20, 2009 10:30 AM GMT
    As an ex-trainer, I always get a chuckle out of this recent addition to mainstream training regimens. I saw it surface in NYC and LA about ... God has it been 15 years now? (ugh) It surfaced, then disappeared, but it's making a comeback.

    It's naturopathy gone awry; good for little more than a shock to the system. Consult a physician before doing this, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weakened immune system).

    Some trainers will tell you it's a great way to help increase endocrine and circulatory system strength, among others, but it's really nothing more than a way to take up time - easily taking 10 minutes out of the typical 1-hour personal training session. In other words, some trainers will actually have you do this in the middle of your workout routine, while others will consider it part of your workout, cutting your workout short by up to 10 minutes.

    The last time I checked, this wasn't part of the training provided by the American Council on Exercise. It has become common for rags like Men's Health to do write-ups on naturopathic "medicine," so there's no doubt most trainers are getting into it based solely on what they're reading straight off the magazine racks.

    In reality, it works only if you believe it does. If you use a trainer, and your trainer breaks up your workout by making you jump in the shower, you're obviously wasting your money. I'd tell that trainer to drop the subject and keep me on the floor. I'm not paying him to take a shower (unless he wants to shower with me). If he tells you to do this after your workout, don't bother. He doesn't know what he's talking about.

    Contrast showers ARE great when performing yoga, or doing some extended stretching routines ... something best done in the privacy of your own home, on your own time.
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    Mar 20, 2009 1:04 PM GMT
    Sorry I´m not normal picky, but you practice yoga you don´t perform (I know Big T... sorry)

    I have done body parts in hot hot water and then ice water. I´ve also done the sauna, ice pool thing (no more!). I was told that the benefit came from the new blood flow which the hot after the cold provoked....

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    Mar 20, 2009 1:21 PM GMT
    Lostboy saidSorry I´m not normal picky, but you practice yoga you don´t perform (I know Big T... sorry)

    I have done body parts in hot hot water and then ice water. I´ve also done the sauna, ice pool thing (no more!). I was told that the benefit came from the new blood flow which the hot after the cold provoked....



    You're right; you practice yoga. That's not being picky at all.

    Everyone should do their own research on the alleged benefits of contrasting, both good and bad. I'm not saying it's necessarily bad for you, but the benefits are arguably not good enough to warrant adding it to your workout routine. It's a mixed bag, with no proven results that I'm aware of. No doubt that there are physiological changes, but are they good for you, and do they create any long-term benefits to growth and strength? Doubtful. There is a definite placebo effect here. I've seen it take root in both men and women, but quickly taper off.

    Bottom line: talk to your doctor about this. Don't talk to a PhD or personal trainer (especially a personal trainer - may God help you). Talk to an MD.
  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    Mar 20, 2009 2:43 PM GMT
    Not adding this to the middle of my workout, just at the end, and only when I have worked my lower back a little harder than I normally would. It works for me.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Mar 20, 2009 5:50 PM GMT
    DuggerPDX saidLove them or hate them?

    My trainer has me doing contrast showers after our dead lifting and squatting days. They seem to work for me and I recover much faster than not doing them.

    My gym has a communal shower with 8 shower heads in full view of the rest of the locker room, it must be funny to watch me wincing in agony when I turn the cold water on 3 different times. Not to mention the dreaded "shrinkage" ;-)



    I think your trainer just gets his kicks this way-does he watch you, and shower when you do??icon_lol.gif
  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    Mar 20, 2009 6:37 PM GMT
    MikemikeMike said
    DuggerPDX saidLove them or hate them?

    My trainer has me doing contrast showers after our dead lifting and squatting days. They seem to work for me and I recover much faster than not doing them.

    My gym has a communal shower with 8 shower heads in full view of the rest of the locker room, it must be funny to watch me wincing in agony when I turn the cold water on 3 different times. Not to mention the dreaded "shrinkage" ;-)



    I think your trainer just gets his kicks this way-does he watch you, and shower when you do??icon_lol.gif


    Hmm, he's straight, but that late 20's kind of straight, I've gone to gay bars and danced without my shirt kind of guy. Not that he isn't in prime condition and has a rocking body, but I keep my eyes on his face... ;-)
  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    Mar 20, 2009 6:46 PM GMT
    This is funny:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FSBC6jOidQ
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    Mar 20, 2009 8:37 PM GMT
    I'd tell that trainer to drop the subject and keep me on the floor. I'm not paying him to take a shower (unless he wants to shower with me). If he tells you to do this after your workout, don't bother. He doesn't know what he's talking about.

    Contrast showers ARE great when performing yoga, or doing some extended stretching routines ... something best done in the privacy of your own home, on your own time.[/quote]

    I just have to say, if a personal trainer told me to stop doing my work out and get into the shower I would be looking for the shower cam LOL.icon_razz.gif

    Seriously though I have never heard of this before and I'd have to do some research to see if I really think it works or not. I can understand the premise behind it but I'm still iffy about if it actually does anything, but hey, you don't know until you try, right??
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    Mar 20, 2009 8:42 PM GMT
    ACE has nothing about it in any of their training material.

    My biggest concern is the actual "shock" part and its effects on people with any sort of cardiovascular problem.
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    Mar 20, 2009 9:24 PM GMT
    DuggerPDX saidLove them or hate them?

    My trainer has me doing contrast showers after our dead lifting and squatting days. They seem to work for me and I recover much faster than not doing them.

    My gym has a communal shower with 8 shower heads in full view of the rest of the locker room, it must be funny to watch me wincing in agony when I turn the cold water on 3 different times. Not to mention the dreaded "shrinkage" ;-)



    Now why are you blaming the cold water for the lack thereof icon_lol.gificon_eek.gif
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    Mar 20, 2009 9:25 PM GMT
    Ok just joking
  • Tennis_Tom

    Posts: 59

    Mar 22, 2009 7:15 PM GMT
    DuggerPDX saidThis is funny:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FSBC6jOidQ


    Lol! the end of that is hilarious icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 22, 2009 7:19 PM GMT
    I've never heard of "contrast showers", but I guess it's the same as using the steamroom and cold-water-bath together.
  • gymhead_anony...

    Posts: 207

    Mar 22, 2009 7:21 PM GMT
    never heard of contrast showers either. but speaking of showers, i just recently got comfortable showering naked in the shower. its nice to have that inhibition in front of other guys - mostly cute guys for that matter of a fact.