Contrast showers and other recovery methods

I was searching the archives for info. about contrast showers.


It didn’t really answer anything!

I was looking at CFTS lasat night and read abit on it.

The temp for hot was arond 44 degrees C and cold was 12-16 degrees C (from memory). Is it likely that hot is hot enough for the person to tolerate and cold is just cold?

What other methods for recovery can be used at home or cheaply?


Darren A

how often can contrast showers be used? when do you reach a point of diminishing returns?


I don’t have any specific protocols (Clemson, like Tony the Tiger, is the man with secret formulas). I simply have the hot as hot as I can bare it and the cold as cold as the water supply is (usually very cold!). It works just fine.

I do agree that some rotation of methods is necesary but this could be as simple as ice bath/ contrast shower after speed & hot baths/ sauna/ steamroom after tempo. All cost efficient methods.

Every time i hear about contrast showers, i worry about the immune system ramifications for doing them. It reminds me primarily of the ice baths that i do. Although i haven’t gotten sick from doing them, I know some people who claim to have gotten sick from getting that cold. Does that time of cold have any immune system stress? If so, when is the point when one should consider other methods of recovery be used, for fear of immune system shock?

i to like use cold baths (slowly warm it up like z100 does), after every game. run cold water then add in as many ice cubes as we have in the freezer.

question, 2 or 3 times a week, ill do an easy warm up and 30-45 minutes of stretching. would it be counter productive to have a cold tub after these sessions?

Epsolm Salt baths.

RE: Immune effects
Charlie pointed out that contrast showers can actually make you more resistant to catching cold because the body adapts to sudden changes in temperature.

I have recently found that cold/hot/cold works for my athletes. 5 cold in shower, followed by 10 min soak in tub, then 5min cold again in shower. It helps if you have at least two showers in the house!

Originally posted by nightmare4d
i to like use cold baths (slowly warm it up like z100 does),

How do you slowly warm it up, with or without the tap? :sing:

by Flash
RE Immune effects
Charlie pointed out that contrast showers can actually make you more resistant to catching cold because the body adapts to sudden changes in temperature.

Back in my martial arts days I read a story about a fellow, who as a boy was always getting sick. His mother would clothe him with more and more layers of clothes to keep him warm. His father, who travelled all the time was rarely home, but one day, the father simply got annoyed with the boy always being sick, so he took the boy up into the mountains, stripped him naked and threw him into freezing cold glacier water, and made him wear only one layer of clothing from then on. The boy never got sick again.

“I was in the pool! I was in the pool!”
-George Kastanza from Seinfeld-

I was toying with the idea of pulling out my current bath and separating shower and bath, so I could have a hot bath and cold shower.

I find stretching to be okay. It either has to easy static type or an ROM type static.

Great Thread on Recovery:

Words of Wisdom from Clemson (Senior Member+)
“First Ice Baths are not ice cold. The temperature should be under 60 degrees and warmer then 52 degrees for optimal response…”

“speed days should have cold…on tempo days I like to use heat again…”

:clap: :clap:

I do have a question. Clemson mentions no more than 20-25 minutes gap between end of session & bath. But which takes preference - the warm-down or the bath? Recovery drink & light stretch before the bath…what are forum members doing?

Hey there Wullie RE - Epsom Salt baths.
do you know of anywhere that sells this stuff cost effectively ?
I’m still using the radox stuff .


You may want to try Boots. My local Boots, used to sell 3-5kg bags ( cannot remember the exact weight) for about £5. Your Boots may still sell it.

If not, then try various chemists, probably the larger ones. I found a chemist in Perth (Davidsons) that sells similar size bags for £5 or so.

Haven’t bought in lately, as my training has been on hold a little due to my injury.

Cheers Wullie - I’ll check em out
Boots used to have loadsa good stuff , but they’re cutting back on loadsa lines now - specially in the shaving dept :frowning:
but I won’t go into that lol

Not meaning to interrupt the flow of conversation, but i tried doing contrast showers last week and it worked very well.

:clap: thanks for the reccomendation

Originally posted by Clemson
the key is to aim on the back of the skull.

yes, this is the most important part of the contrast shower.

Originally posted by OorWullie
Epsolm Salt baths.

Is that the stuff that says on the box “alleviates constipation.”

How much should I use per bath?

Senior Member+ Clemson states:

“…they may be surprised to hear the amount Lewis has found people need to notice relief: 2 pounds for an average bath of 35 to 40 gallons of water. That’s half of one of those milk-carton-size jugs.”