No Guru: Cold Thermogenesis, Therapy, Exercise Recovery, or Just Exercise?

Before I get started, just a quick plug about my book. I’m not sure the exact sales so far, but it’s somewhere around 5,000, and a good portion of that is to new folks, which was the whole point for me. My promotion for “buy a copy and give away 5 for free” is still running. Could end any time I want, but I don’t want yet. Instead, for this weekend, I’ve lowered the price from 4 bucks to 3, for the PDF version. Details for those interested. You can still give away 5 for free.

That was pretty tame, eh? It’s even less duress than NPR fund drives.

I had a number of avenues to consider for moving forward in terms of keeping the good, but moving forward; keeping it real, always real. Gurus need not apply. I’m no better at this than anyone who gives it an honest shot. My experiences and observations, no more profound than yours. My authority, only my own. So, no, as I explain in the first few seconds of my video from me to you whilst in 57F water: there’s no aura of any ancient pathway; and as I close, there’s no Factor of anything. It’s seven minutes or so, if you can stand the cold.

As I mentioned, I spoke on the phone with Ray Cronise for a long time yesterday afternoon. Here’s his TedMed talk.

He rang me up to encourage me to keep blogging about nutritional density, as I’d sent him some links. But, he didn’t want to go too much into it. Why? Because he wanted to not introduce bias in me, and he wanted me to keep challenging him as he continues his research into not only CT, but diet as well.

Oh, noes! It’s like Honest Science(TM)!

Be well. We’ll talk more about the human mind and social structures tomorrow. That post is already mapped out.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Ben on May 18, 2012 at 13:39

    I have a question. Does immersing yourself in cold water make you crazy horny too? Between cold water, proper eating, exercise and a lot of sunshine, I don’t really know what to do. I might need a second girlfriend. And a third.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 18, 2012 at 14:15

      Ben, haven’t noticed a lot of difference from the quotidian “teenage wood”

      • Kate Ground on May 18, 2012 at 17:12

        Innocent question. Doesn ‘t your wankie shrivel up?

      • garymar on May 18, 2012 at 21:51

        Like a frightened turtle!

      • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 07:56

        Here goes, lowest common denominator, again. :)

        I never pay attention, truthfully. Things return to normal soon enough.

      • Ben on May 19, 2012 at 13:36

        There is a joke about Angry Dick in there somewhere, I’m sure.

    • rob on May 18, 2012 at 14:17

      You should masturbate frequently.

      • Richard Nikoley on May 18, 2012 at 14:28

        Now rob, that’s downright irresponsible and you ought to be ashamed. We have sound vision to consider.

      • Ben on May 19, 2012 at 02:54

        I tried that, but it doesn’t help much. Masturbation is no real alternative to sex, alas.. (satisfaction-wise)

    • Jay Jay on May 18, 2012 at 20:20

      The conventional wisdom when I was growing up was that cold showers had a libido minimizing effect.

      I still avoid them on that principle alone. But I could be wrong!

      • Ben on May 19, 2012 at 02:57

        I’ve heard that too, many times, but my experience always was that a (icy) cold shower defeats acute boners, but chronically increase my libido. Wild swimming in the local lakes is the worst, especially when the water is still arctic from winter.

  2. Jarick on May 18, 2012 at 13:41

    Honesty? Crazy. Feel like we’re finally moving forward here.

  3. Sam on May 18, 2012 at 13:45

    Shit, nutritional density? What do you want to bet that the X-Factor is eating liver?

    That would be enough to make me believe in God (’cause I might be persuaded he’s that big of an a****le.)

    Talk about a conflict:

    The good news is, your package from US Wellness is here.

    The bad news is, it’s full of LIVER.

    God said HA!


  4. MAS on May 18, 2012 at 14:22

    At the 5 minute mark you started to talk about cold hands and feet. Have you found CT has helped reverse that condition?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 18, 2012 at 14:32


      I blogged it earlier in my putting it all together post. From the very first session 6 weeks ago, which was 26m at I think 50deg, I have not had a single instance of either since.

      This was one reason I had trepidation when I got to 175 a couple of years ago. I felt bad, including those symptoms. So I’m giving it another run.

      • MAS on May 18, 2012 at 14:39

        That’s awesome. I stopped doing CT 6 months ago, because I thought my hands were getting cold from it. But qitting hasn’t helped. You’ve inspired me to start up again. Puget Sound water temperature is 50.1 F. :)

      • Richard Nikoley on May 18, 2012 at 14:52


        It’s probably about that temp year round.

        I haven’t seen it, or Seattle since March of ’84, the last time I left a certain someone I drove up to see every chance over the previous six months… a month before graduating OSU and going off to discover the world.

        ….but I did at least have dinner in the Space Needle once.

  5. marie on May 18, 2012 at 14:25

    Nice video, you’re on a roll with these lately!
    But is it me or is the Cold treatment bringing out your inner Canadian, eh? ;-)

    • Richard Nikoley on May 18, 2012 at 14:35

      No, marie. I’m going all the way back to my inner Skandinavian.

      Fuck the Canadians, as we say around here all the time and just because you’re here and we like trying to make a bad sport out of you because we pretend not to like you and your kinda cool but you’re Candian and something must be done and well, and….

      • marie on May 18, 2012 at 15:11

        Oh, I see….then we must work on your pronunciation of “eh”, är det inte så?
        gallier2 can help. Pretty soon we’ll have you appreciating centralized institutions, nation-wide communal consciousness, directorates and of course, your favorite, syndicates….Yup, fucking Canadians will be pushed right out of your mind – though I don’t know, since sitting in 57 degree water didn’t accomplish that, geez!

      • Kate Ground on May 18, 2012 at 17:21

        Ja, min smenge Yule hat. Ja, the frozen fjord kommer att göra dig frisk

      • marie on May 18, 2012 at 17:57

        Ja, apparently it makes him Very healthy, just look at his dirty thoughts, for shame! Hmmm….maybe they answer your ‘innocent question’ , eh? ;-)

      • marie on May 18, 2012 at 18:58

        Meanwhile Kate, this is dedicated to you (for christmas non-haters far and wide) :
        My work’s done here :-)

      • Kate Ground on May 18, 2012 at 20:48

        Lol. Ja

    • Jay Jay on May 18, 2012 at 20:24

      Feh. Back bacon eating penny haters!

      • marie on May 18, 2012 at 21:14

        Ha. Just what you’d expect from a green-back lover!

  6. Seth on May 18, 2012 at 14:27

    Great vid, and lookin’ fit. First demonstration that’s made me even remotely curious about CT, though I’m probably still a ways off. Not a lot of opportunities for it in NYC, though I am headed to the ocean this weekend and that shit is bound to be chilly.

  7. Sam on May 18, 2012 at 14:42

    I think you should do another video at 50 degrees, and yet another at 40.

    And instead of the AuraCam, we need a waterproof ShrinkageCam.

    Better put that one behind the paywall, tho. ;-)

  8. Jscott on May 18, 2012 at 14:51

    Resonated with the mention of doing something difficult. I have yet to start the baths, but have often used cold showers purely for psychological reasons. There is something about setting a simple goal that is also difficult and either pass or fail. It might be corny, but knowing that I set the shower timer and got in until the expired time gives me momentum. I HATE doing it. Just like in Smith’s book flinch, my mind comes up with a myriad of excuses.

    Sometimes I listen. Sometimes I talk to the running shower. It is an awareness tool for me. Am I REALLY putting forth some effort or just coasting by today? I do not like the answer to be coasting.

    I do, however, keep my hotel rooms at 60-64 degrees.

    The tap water in most places I have gone is around the 55 degree F. mark. A week from tomorrow I will be starting as I have my baseline metrics in place and I think my weight loss is consistent enough to show any spikes. Correlation blah blah…

    I broke my foot back in June. I put on quite a bit of fat. 57lbs to be exact. Twenty came off easily in 4 weeks. Adding the baths will come at a good time. I also am having some shoulder issues and scar tissue/inflammation from the foot (broke in 6 places). So, hey, we will see.

    -What metrics are you using?

    • Kim C. on May 18, 2012 at 18:24

      JS – I do daily cold showers for the same reasons. I love the way it feels on the other side … I feel like more of a badass. It pyschs me up for the day. Opens up the eyes widen than the strongest expresso.

      I’ve been doing the baths for a couple of months and it helped me bust through a plateau, losing nearly 10 pounds. 55 is the temp I started with (it’s since warmed to 60).

      • Jscott on May 19, 2012 at 13:54

        Nice Kim. Thanks for the response.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 08:47


      What do you mean by metrics, exactly?

      • Jscott on May 19, 2012 at 13:51

        What measurements are you tracking? mood, sleep, bodyfat, weight, blood markers?

      • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 14:18

        Principally, weight and a pic taken in the same way every week or two, shitless.

        I haven’t blogged about this, but I stopped my 120mg dose of Armour Thyroid a few months back, while still having periodic cold hands & feet. Zero worsening of those styptoms and those are the only common symptoms of hypo I’ve ever had. And since I began in the cold about 6 weeks ago, zero symptoms. However, that is also confounded by the warming spring temps, so I won’t know for absolute sure until next winter.

        But after my 12 weeks I plan to get a thyroid panel. Before, when not on meds and loosing my initial weight I had elevated TSH but normal levels of T3 and T4.

      • Jscott on May 19, 2012 at 15:51

        Oh ho! Interesting.

        I will update after a month with mine. I am interested in seeing how icebaths influence deep/rem sleep. I have my base numbers so we will see. The double blind will be difficult.

        Also interested in the psychological area. I am tracking productivity and some mood stuff but there are a ton of variables that will require longer study (weather for one).

        Seth Roberts threw a bit about cold showers here:

      • Lisa on May 19, 2012 at 20:27

        fwiw, I used two baselines: unmedicated TSH and blood glucose level.
        TSH dropped to 5.1, still high but a year earlier it was at 18+
        Fasting blood glucose went from 130 the year before, down to the mid 90’s just by eating clean paleo (90% ?) for a year, then after 4 weeks of very cold (Pacific Northwest) 10-15 minute showers and a weekly dunk in the stock tank, fasting blood glucose was consistently 80 or less. I would say those two markers showed some significant improvements.

        I did not lose any weight, nor appetite, and the first few weeks had a strange rash that started on my shins, traveled up my legs and eventually halfway up my back along my spinal column. It was very odd, and itchy.

      • Richard Nikoley on May 20, 2012 at 00:51


        Let me suggest an explanation for your last para to consider.

        I have noted increased exfoliation since starting this. Now, I have not used soap, shampoo in 2 years, and certainly nothing like “moisturizers” (the latter, never in my life). But dead skin cells and flakes of colonies of same are leaving my skin like a bunch of whores at a Baptist convention.

        I have no idea whether that’s actually a funny reference or not.

      • Kate Ground on May 20, 2012 at 11:27

        Ew, and no, well, may e a little. I’ve known a few “whores” hide at a Baptist convention….

      • Richard Nikoley on May 20, 2012 at 12:03

        Kate, search my blog for no soap, no shampoo. It’s the post that launched this blog from about 40k visits per month to over 100k some years ago when a couple of high traffic sites picked up on it.

      • Kate Ground on May 20, 2012 at 12:20

        I just typed a long comment about no soap, grease balls, and living in Stinky Texas…it was lost…anyway, I’ll look up your post.

      • Kate Ground on May 20, 2012 at 13:01

        Read a lot of the comments. My DD and SIL tried no soap for awhile. My SIL still does, I think, but my DDis acne prone so found something neutral to wash with. She started using coconut oil on her skin, as I did, and her skin cleared up. She is also doing oil pulling on her teeth. I started that but haven’t noticed anything yet. My sweetie often smells like an “old goat”. He’s allergic to anti-persperants and stuff. It kinda turns me on, but….when its really strong after a 12 hour shift, he uses lemon juice on his pits. Works great .

        I’m on vacation, going play around a bit…maybe no soap…didn’t bring any, strict Paleo and dips in the Pacific. What the hell.

      • Pauline on May 21, 2012 at 11:11

        This could be folliculitis – infection of hair follicles on skin. I once got this from swimming pool but can happen sometimes with showers or baths. My remedy is using olive oil on skin before showers or baths – happens especially if you shave your legs. Bacteria naturally liveson our skin but is activated by right environment.

      • Pauline on May 21, 2012 at 13:01

        The above is in response to Lisa’s last paragraph.

  9. Lauren Grosz on May 18, 2012 at 15:38

    Really like the notion of calling it cold exercise. It does have the same allure as a good hard workout. Have been doing cold baths for the last 3 weeks. I’ve always been a terrible insomniac, but now I fall asleep without any trouble.

  10. Adam on May 18, 2012 at 16:35

    Excellent post and video. I am really enjoying my CT and the results. Thanks for the reality again.

    No more need for a guru – I defended him before because it worked. Now, excuse me, but fuck him for being such an idiot and quadruple fuck him for thinking he could get away with it. What a waste of momentum and energy…

    Btw my pet theory on all the BS –

    1.The epic biohack – run of the mill skin surgery after losing all that weight. A biohack is a nice cover story.
    2. The LC cruise – too convenient, too obvious, too much media after, a very convenient way to skip out on revealing factor x so he can have has $40 webinar, too many too’s…….
    3. The picture – his ego must be the size of Texas to assume no one would question it.
    4. Factor X – LOL….

    I agree with a previous commenter on the last thread – he seems to be manic or delusional…

    Thanks again – keep on keeping on.

  11. Griff on May 18, 2012 at 20:01

    Apparently very low temperatures can be used in workout recovery. Looks interesting and I would be willing to try it if made me look even remotely like Daniel Craig. DailyMail article here

    • mark on May 22, 2012 at 06:04

      All the MMA fighters CT after a workout. It helps inflamation – I’m not sold on anything else about it.

  12. BabyGirl on May 18, 2012 at 20:06

    That pile of wood by your head is making me nervous.

  13. Jay Jay on May 18, 2012 at 20:36

    I never watch videos, but that damn sparkle on the top of the water caught my eye.

    I’m glad watched it, though. Very good job!

    But I will never see you in the same way again. I didn’t envision you having that Californian accent. And I thought you would be more gruff.

  14. Ted Walther on May 19, 2012 at 00:59

    If anyone is within an hour drive of Vancouver, Canada, I will get them a 400 gallon tank for cold therapy for $250, delivered. $215 if you pick it up.

    The local feed shop (Buckerfields) sells a 150 gallon Rubbermaid tank like in Richards video for $280, not including delivery.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 08:22

      Great offer, Ted.

      I’d found a 150 online for about 150 bucks US, but before shipping. That one was 200, and it fit in the back of my X5, so even steven I figure.

      • Ted Walther on May 19, 2012 at 09:54

        Thanks Richard. Inspired by your video, I went out and got one myself yesterday. Youtube video to follow in a day or two. 400 gallon totes are fun.

  15. Nigel Kinbrum on May 19, 2012 at 01:01

    When I feel cold, I eat. And eat. And eat. Then I eat some more.
    Do you not get a huge increase in hunger/appetite after getting out of that tub?

  16. z on May 19, 2012 at 02:45

    For those who have come close to pneumonia before is there any risk with CTO

  17. z on May 19, 2012 at 02:47

    I meant CT

  18. Barry Bliss on May 19, 2012 at 05:54

    I listened to an interview with Wim Hof yesterday.
    Humble, honest, to the point, all those things describe Wim.
    He’s the real deal.

  19. Kate Ground on May 19, 2012 at 06:47

    Off to the land of fruits and nut cakes, otherwise known as California. Gonna give this CT a try. Richard, you look pretty comfortable in that tub…looks refreshing, actually. My kids are strict Paleo and hopefully I can lose some of this weight I’ve gained recently. Richard, you are right on about calorie count. Ya gotta burn off the bacon fat. If you can’t, don’t eat so much. If CT helps me get back down where I was, it’s worth a try. Plus I’ll be chasing around a 2 year old. will report my findings, fake pictures and all

    • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 08:34

      Yep, Kate, it’s not rocket science (Sorry Ray :). Seriously, all you really need to do is spend a total of a couple of hours per week probably in under 70 degree water while not increasing food intake.

      • Kate Ground on May 19, 2012 at 12:41

        Another desire is to see if it helps my menopausal symptoms of hot and cold flashes. I try controlling them mentally, and gettin better at it. A cold flash has me literally shivering. Don’t handle them well. Will see.

      • Kate Ground on May 20, 2012 at 11:31

        Took a tepid shower this morning…to the point I was shivering. It felt very refreshing. After the 12 hour drive yesterday, I felt pretty shitty this morning. The shower really helped..

      • mark on May 22, 2012 at 06:06

        Did you feel your body heat up afterwards? That’s the cool part.

  20. Steven Sashen on May 19, 2012 at 09:08

    I started spending about 25 min in 45-degree water 3x/week. Haven’t noticed a thing from it :-(

    • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 09:16

      What are you trying to achieve, Steven? Weight loss, better sleep, better mood, simple exhilaration?

      I know that for me, back when I used to do 12-15 minutes in 40-45, 2-3 times per week after workouts I really didn’t notice anything I could pin my hat on. But now, with water at 55-60, and more like 25-30, nearly every day (rare when I don’t) —and for fun, yesterday, I did about 40 minutes—I’m seeing a lot of interesting things I’ll be blogging about over time.

      • Steven Sashen on May 19, 2012 at 09:55

        Some fat loss would be nice (I’ve got about 7 pounds of fat to go in order to be under 10%BF). Sleeping better would be AWESOME.

        Being able to pick winning lottery numbers would be the best ;-)

      • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 10:25

        I’ve heard anecdotal reports that CT does not work as uniformly under 15% BF for weight loss.

        Also, I wonder if 45 is too cold for that long and is counter productive. How about try 55-60 for longer, like 30 minutes every day for a week or two and see if you detect any changes.

      • Steven Sashen on May 19, 2012 at 13:54

        I’ll give it a whirl (easier to do once Boulder Creek heats up 5-10 degrees more ;-) )

      • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 14:19

        You could put a big pot of soup on, bring it to a boil,….

    • Monte on May 19, 2012 at 09:17

      Takes time. I didn’t notice anything for 30 days of prolonged exposure (hours per day). Then like a switch…

  21. Andy on May 19, 2012 at 10:10

    Been taking cold showers cause it feels good. Cool thing is that the cold doesn’t affect me at the initial immersion any more. It’s almost as I can harden my skin at will.

  22. Glenn Whitney on May 19, 2012 at 10:11

    Hi Richard,
    I probably missed a reference, but have you discussed Lewis Gordon Pugh:

    Specifically “anticipatory thermo genesis.”


    • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 10:28

      Glenn, I believe something along these lines was mentioned in comments back in my 1st Kruse post on CT, but good puck finding it as there’s nearly 1,000 comments. You might try your browser search.

      • Glenn Whitney on May 20, 2012 at 01:09

        Lewis does open water swims at around 33 degrees farenheit, in just a normal swim suit. Worth checking out.

  23. VW on May 19, 2012 at 10:55

    You mention the cold tub as a stressor, a tool, which is what I’ve seen Robb Wolf call it too. Got me to thinking.

    I see IF as a stessor and I see HIIT as a stressor. When I overdo those two, which I can easily do if I’m not careful, my blood pressure typically stays around 128/85 or so….. right there within a few points either way.

    If I don’t overdo it, or I simply don’t fast and only do HIIT every 10 days or so, by blood pressure is around the 110/70 mark, again within a few points either way.

    So we have all of these tools, and people like me tend to sometimes get all into stuff and not proceed wisely.

    I don’t know. Just thinking, and maybe this is little more than a reminder for myself. We have to use all of these tools wisely. Not too little, not too much.

    Guys like me probably need this drilled into their heads, assuming I’m correct.

    • rob on May 19, 2012 at 13:01

      Sounds like “all things in moderation.” If you get run over by a truck tomorrow, what good would moderation have done you? I wouldn’t want to go to my grave having lived in moderation.

      Go ahead and HIIT until your legs fall off or your heart explodes if you enjoy that sort of thing (I avoid acronyms like the plague myself).

    • Woodwose on May 20, 2012 at 08:52

      Besides being another tool, I think the tools (meditation/mental excercise, paleo/clean eating, HIIT, resistance training, nutrient timing, IF and CT) have synergistic effects with each other (Health Correlator have some interesting bloggs about excercise and nutrient timing to build muscle and lose fat at the same time!). I feel when i get each tool in balance the results far suprasses those when i just concentrate on one aspect.

      I have been doing CT for 5 weeks now and have lost about 6 punds. Most of it fat since my strenght has not declined, most of wich seems to come from inside the abdominal wall. I also notice that I am alot less sore after working out. Strangely my IBS has also improved, something paleo eating with its emphasis on excessive fat intake and raw vegetables has not been very helpfull at.

  24. Anna K. on May 19, 2012 at 11:42

    Richard, are you cold and shivering when you get out?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 11:44

      Anna K

      Not really, initially. This begins later as the body tries to warn up. It’s pretty mild and can be really enjoyable.

  25. Anna K. on May 19, 2012 at 11:49

    Do you stay in the tub until you start shivering or you stay longer and shiver a bit in the tub?

    I don’t like shivering after CT :) But I’m getting used to it.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 19, 2012 at 12:00

      Depends. Quivers and shivers happen at different time, probably owing to a lot of factors. I I haven’t already gotten out for some other reason, like I want to read my emails or something, I’ll always get out when the really big deep shakes come on.

  26. Russ Ruhland on May 20, 2012 at 01:32

    This might have been said, but no way in hell anyone sought to freeze their ass off to improve their health in days long ago

    • Richard Nikoley on May 20, 2012 at 01:53


      Of course not. Quite the opposite.

      Can you work out the distinctions? I’m not trying to beat you up, just wondering if you can work out why CT, like exercise, might be a beneficial stressor.

      • Joseph on May 20, 2012 at 18:52

        My great-grandfathers would have laughed at the idea of “working out” at a gym: to them “work” was something you did in the fields, and the results you wanted were not a hard body (that just came with the territory, naturally).

  27. Dear Mark: Leptin Resets, Cold Thermogenesis, and Safe Starches? | Mark's Daily Apple on May 21, 2012 at 08:00

    […] from it. Another place to look for inspiration is Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal, who’s been experimenting with cold water exposure for a few years now. Check out Richard’s post from a few weeks’ back where Cronise […]

  28. Kate Ground on May 20, 2012 at 18:24

    The McVegan?

  29. Hilary on May 21, 2012 at 10:20

    Am I too late? When I click the link I still see the $2.99 price (what a deal! :) ) but when I add to cart it’s $7.99

    What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

    • Richard Nikoley on May 21, 2012 at 10:38


      I think it was to run through Sunday, but it should be that the link is not supposed to work.

      Let me see what I can do. I’ll be in touch.

  30. Otzi on May 21, 2012 at 12:15

    I have been doing the cold baths since last fall. I started out like Ray Cronise says, mild cold, then found Jack Kruse and went to 55 degrees.

    My goal was fat loss, skin tightening, muscle recovery after exercise, and grwoing brown adipose tissue (which is what got me started in the first place).

    Ray’s method got the fat loss started, Jack’s method didn’t add to it at all. Then I stumbled across Wim Hof and really turned up the heat on cold. 35 degree icewater for up to 45 minutes, walking/jogging barefoot in the snow for 15-20 minutes, spending time outdoors in temps ranging from -20 and warmer wearing only shorts and crocs for a long time (stopping just short of frostbite).

    The Wim Hof method is BY FAR the best method. I was able to lose my last 10 lbs and tighten the skin over my abs. Muscle recovery after a hard workout like weighted squats/heavy lifting is magnified immensely with water under 40 degrees as compared to 50 degrees.

    I would challenge anyone following any method of cold water therapy to add enough ice to get your water down into the 30’s. The vasoconstriction is so fast that I do not shiver at all until after I warm up. Your skin tightens so fast and is so taut it will boggle your mind. Muscle recovery is immediate–if you do 30 minutes at 35 deg, when you get out you will barely be able to stand, 15 minutes later it feels like you had a massage and 5 tylenol w/codeine.

    • Anna K. on May 21, 2012 at 12:34

      Otzi, I may have to try it because 50-55 degrees didn’t do it for me in terms of muscle recovery after a hard workout. My muscles were still very sore after 2 days of 30 min in 55 water.

      How long does it take you to warm up after?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 21, 2012 at 12:36

      Very interesting Otzi

      I have keloid scars on my back from when a college love used to dig her fingernails into my back during, well, you know. They did not manifest for some years, but now they are red & puffy. No grains helps a lot. I once did sonme sessions getting them poked with needles, injected with steroids, which helped a bit.

      Now, this is the biggest manifestation with going in cold, even 50ish or 60ish water so tightens your skin that those scars can bug me for hours later. I can live with it. My point if that you are so right about how the skin reacts. Have you noticed above average exfoliation?

      As to going extreme, I want for people to be able to do this without going to great length, like buying a lot of ice, etc. I’m actually looking forward to next winter to see what my tub does outside when the temps dip to the 30s.

      We’ll see.

  31. Otzi on May 21, 2012 at 13:27

    I’m fortunate my well water is 35-45 degrees depending on the season, it’s just started warming up now and is at 38 degrees. I would be leery of spending money to acheive this at home, but many gyms have really cold water for just this purpose. I think Kruse and Cronise are being careful with their recommendations because they don’t want to kill anyone. Wim Hof can’t be so conservative because he makes bank by jumping through a hole in the ice!

    I don’t know about above average exfoliation or scars, but it definitely does a number on your skin. When you try it for the first time, pay particular attention to the skin on your knees. They turn to leather! Same as loose belly skin. Also pay attention to your ‘jewels’. Your scrotum will have zero elasticity as it attempts to hide your balls somewhere warm. Nothing like what you experience at 50 degrees. You start to get there at 40 degrees.

    The only pain I experience is in my ankles for about 2-3 minutes. I think because there is no covering there. I try to keep my hands in as much as possible, and splash my face periodically.

    I usually warm up pretty fast, especially if I go do something right away or go for a brisk walk. But the shivers go away same as with 55 degree water. I do a super-cold bath about once a week. When I first started I was doing it every night for about a month with 35 deg water, even added ice to make it 32 degrees. I backed off because the endorphine rush seemed to be getting the better of me, I would actually shake with excitement as the tub was filling! I lost 5 lbs of pure fat that month and 5 more since, and I didn’t have that much to lose to begin with.

    I never feel hypothermic in any way or in any danger while doing this in really cold water, in fact, I would say the danger of hypothermia is worse soaking in a 60 degree tub because you won’t experience vaso-constriction and your core will cool quicker. 35 deg water slams those vessels shut fast. They call it the ‘mammalian dive reflex’.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 21, 2012 at 13:31

      Yea, I’ve speculated about that, and a post to two back on this subject I related how 60 deg feels colder faster than 50 deg. It’s got to be related to the defense your body mounts.

  32. Michael Pope on May 21, 2012 at 13:44

    For those experiencing dry skin with long soaks if you are using a municipal water source it could be chlorine. Try a carbon block filter to remove it. I’m very sensitive to chlorine from years of swimming and the filter made a huge difference in the dryness of my skin.

    • Pauline on May 21, 2012 at 15:21

      Agree with chlorine. UK water is very harsh on my skin. I even lightly oil my face / body before cold shower as the water is very drying. Somehow the olive oil soaks right in and acts as a barrier yet doesn’t wash off either. Cold water rinsing has made my hair look much thicker an shinier.

      • marie on May 21, 2012 at 15:33

        Pauline, I do something similar, I use coconut oil during cold shower to ease the dryness/tightness and it’s supposed to have good properties for the skin…and o.k., I like the aroma of coconut :-)

      • Pauline on May 22, 2012 at 00:51

        I love both coconut and olive oil. I think those were two great discoveries for my skin. Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E and K and in iron. So like to use both. My daughter told me coconut oil is great conditioner for your hair if left on overnight.

  33. golooraam on May 21, 2012 at 15:13

    Hi Richard – great post and a cool video

    has anyone on here used a cryo sauna? I’ve done about 8 sessions and really enjoy them.

  34. marie on May 21, 2012 at 15:19

    Richard, about a week after your started this, I asked whether your ring feels tighter on your finger. It seemed too soon to tell then. How about now?
    I had noticed that effect (had to move rings) when I tried CT during the late fall-winter 2 years ago, naturally keeping with the declining temperatures at that time of year. Still don’t know/can’t tell if hands were “swollen” (i.e. a vascular effect) or if I had developed a bit more of a subcutaneous fat layer, especially where there was least to begin with, even though I had lost weight overall. Any observations?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 21, 2012 at 16:54

      Don’t recall. Have not worn rings on my fingers in many years,

      • marie on May 21, 2012 at 17:48

        Oh, not into wedding rings then :-) Well it’s frustrating, none of my friends have done this so I have no one to compare to.
        If ANYONE has noticed such an effect, please let me know?

      • LeonRover on May 22, 2012 at 16:15

        I like to wear belles on my toes – particularly belles du jour.

        (And I shall have music wherever I go.)

      • marie on May 22, 2012 at 16:30

        But Nursery rhymes and adventurous parisian housewives in the same comment, that’s just not right. This is a respectable comment section, I’ll have you know.

      • Richard Nikoley on May 22, 2012 at 16:58

        “This is a respectable comment section, I’ll have you know.”

        Please, no. Respectable to whom? See, that ambiguity is a huge problem.

      • marie on May 22, 2012 at 18:52

        Oh now, what a dilemma you present : to woo or not to woo?
        Heck, the woo it is :
        for you own good, you’ve really go to get over this inability to handle ambiguity
        “Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity” -Sigmund Freud

  35. Anna K. on May 21, 2012 at 17:54

    To Marie, actually I’m having the opposite effect, the ring is more lose then it’s used to be. I’ve lost some weight and no subcutaneous fat layer developed.

    • marie on May 21, 2012 at 19:44

      Thank you very much Anna K. that’s interesting. That weighs towards the “my fingers swelled” idea . My wrists/hands/fingers were always very small even when I was overweight (get watch-bands in children’s department) and when I lost the last weight I wanted with cold baths, it stood out as odd that the ring size Increased by 1/4. By mid-summer (some 5 months after the end of cold baths) it was back to normal.

      • Pauline on May 22, 2012 at 00:11

        Could this be due to improved circulation in hands n feet? Another possibility is food intolerance /sensitivity of some sort. My hands swell if I have dairy or wheat, for me it’s a direct inflammatory reaction which cools down if I especially eliminate wheat.

      • marie on May 22, 2012 at 02:54

        Thanks Pauline. Yes, it could be, or vasodilation as a reaction to the regular extreme constriction, or…. I was kind of hoping for the subcutaneous fat I guess, it smooths out those first wrinkles :-) Fancied I could see this in my face at the time -but again, improved circulation and skin tightening effect would look similar.
        Not wheat for me, cut it out long time ago, even instinctively avoided it as a child.

  36. Pauline on May 22, 2012 at 00:34

    I have swelling of fingers even on small doses of wheat. For me it’s also linked to auto-immune problems ie my body over-reacts to wheat and there is swelling in wrists / fingers. This changes remarkably quickly when I cut out food I am sensitive too. First culprit wheat then dairy and some others. Wheat in any form for me causes pleasant mood an then very irritable. Very marked mood changes if I have enough of a ‘cheat’ in one day. One of my biggest health improvements overall was adding protein and fat into my diet. Teeth became very strong dentist says they are strongly fixed in gum and bone. Irritable bowel cleared and connected to that my skin sensitivities. . I think skin / intestines have strong interconnection. I had bad urticaria/ hives an eczema all reactions to food which i discovered through doing my own version of elimination/paleo diet. Skin all clear now. I take yoghurt occasionally and sauerkraut for probiotic effect. Paleo has been a great healing tool on so many levels and I am continually learning more as I read. It really is an evolving process of educating myself about how foods and young body/brain interact.

  37. Asbjørn on June 10, 2012 at 09:39

    Cryotherapy for the French soccer team:

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