Contrats bath Question

I was hoping for some commnets on the following post training protocols:

The S&C coach of a Soccer team I know use the following contrast bath protocol post training …

Post Training Protocols
Warm Shower - clean and wash …

  1. 20 secs Ice cold bath
  2. Warm shower for 20 secs
  3. 20 secs Ice cold bath
  4. Warm shower for 20 secs
  5. 20 secs Ice cold bath
  6. Warm shower for 20 secs

** I’m not sure this is the best approach **
(Now I guess it’s better to do something than nothing)

More Data:
Training is varied - but mostly after circuit-type training.
I would class the training as high intensity as the weight-training is only a once weekly session and the players would not be too familar with weights etc.


I tried to debate the benefits of the contrast baths method and suggested he use longer 15-18 mins cold baths rather than contrast baths.

Also he encourages his players to go to shoulder height in the water and to duck down under the water. proposes that the best window for such Thermotherapy is either 3-4 hours post low intensity training or 45 - 80 minutes post Higher intensity training.
I would consider these periods very good as they allow the body to readjust postraining and allow the nutrition (and critically IMO the stretching) modules to take place beofre cold treatment.

In CFTS the reccomendations for constrast showers are:
3 minutes Hot
30 secs cold

Other reccomenatdions vary from 5:1 to 3:1 but should always finish on cold.

What are everyones views on the constrast approach outlined above?

  • I have a concern for using so much cold water around the heart so soon after training.
    Any cold-baths I peronsally use I would never consider using cold temperatures above waist height within 40-60 minutes of end of training.

And even post-high-intensity upper-body weight-training I would never use cold above waist height - is this fear misplaced?

Can i just add to the questions, what would the different benefits be between cold only (i.e. 20min cold bath) and contrast baths (i.e. 1min cold 2min hot for 20 mins) and would they both be used after high intensity sessions with hot/salt baths after tempo type sessions.