Working out is only a portion of the battle on the road to a healthy lifestyle. Today’s experienced personal trainers guide their clients through nutrition basics, warm-up routines, the workouts themselves, and almost as crucial, provide them the best recovery methods available. At Basic Training, we have the latest technologies of cryotherapy devices to facilitate pain-free recovery, meaning your clients will be ready for their next session before you are.
What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is simply the act of lowering the temperature of your body in a spot where you’re feeling pain. Cold therapy has been a remedy for pain and inflammation for millennia. You might even practice this without thinking about it when you grab a bag of frozen carrots to relieve a burn or stick a steak on your face to try to prevent a black eye. Cold therapy has also been used to relieve headaches, alleviate pain caused by arthritis, and ease swelling from a variety of sources.
Cold therapy as treatment
You might be familiar with the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevation) to manage the discomfort that can come from soft-tissue injuries. The same principle can be used post-workout. When your clients work out a muscle, they are working towards hypertrophy, which is the enlargement of that muscle. Hypertrophy occurs when the fibers of a muscle are damaged, say from lifting a dumbbell to exhaustion. These muscle fibers are rebuilt stronger than before. The hypertrophy healing process brings in an overabundance of fluid and cytokines, which are what trigger rapid inflammation and pain. Muscle growth then is in effect a soft-tissue injury, albeit a short-term and intentional one.
Just because it is intentional doesn’t mean your client needs to live with the pain and discomfort. Cold therapy can be used to manage this inflammation, and to decrease the accompanying pain. Just a few minutes of targeted cold therapy can bring numerous benefits to your clients post-workout.
Benefits of cold therapy for workout recovery
- Pain relief. Cold therapy numbs the nerve endings in fatigued muscles, dulling the pain that comes from recovery for up to 90 minutes. When the pain does return, it is spread over a longer period of time at a much more manageable level.
- Reduces inflammation. Cold therapy slows blood flow to the treated area, reducing cellular metabolism and staving off the influx of fluid that leaves you feeling swollen after an arduous workout.
- Faster healing. After cold therapy is administered, higher-oxygenated blood rushes to the affected site, more efficiently than it would have been immediately post-workout. The shock of the cold therapy also triggers your body to release endorphins, which promote faster healing in addition to feelings of well-being and relaxation.
- Minimizes next-day soreness. Cold therapy decreases the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Because the healing process is spread over a longer period of time, your client won’t experience as harsh of a wakeup call the next morning from sore muscles when they’ve reached a new personal record with you.
Cold Therapy Tools at Basic Training PFC
There are a variety of tools on the market for cold therapy. We have acquired the best ones you can use with any of your clients, regardless of age or fitness level.
- Cryosphere. The cryosphere is our clients’ favorite cold therapy tool. What is the cryosphere? It is a handheld device with a soft silicone base and a steel ball that almost searches out a client’s pain points. The cold and pressure combine to increase blood and lymphatic flow, a roller massage that heals and soothes. Easy to use but very effective, the cryosphere should be in every trainer’s bag of tricks for recovery.
- Cryosleeves. Made for all extremities, the cryosleeve is a compression sleeve that can slide over shins, knees, elbows, or biceps. For up to an hour, the cryosleeve will soothe joints and muscles that need a cool down. It also benefits clients that are afflicted with repetitive motion injuries, like tennis elbow, shin splints, or carpal tunnel. Cryosleeves help your clients achieve maximum relief after your training session.
- Cold stone massage therapy roller. Smaller than the cryosphere, the cold stone massage roller can get into those hard to reach nooks, focusing directly on the muscles that need extra therapy, from the best angle possible. Back and shoulder knots, stubborn deep aches, and hip flexors can all be helped by a few deep strokes with the cold stone roller.
None of these devices use ice-to-skin methods, so there is no risk of frostbite or neurological desensitization like there can be with home ice remedies. There’s also no drip from melting ice to deal with. We only source proven, state of the art technology for the best cold therapy recovery systems.
Cold Therapy as a Personal Training Value Proposition
As competition for clients gets more intense, the modern personal trainer is responsible for more than just a client’s exercise routines. Expert personal trainers help their clients establish personal goals, manage timelines, give nutrition guidance, and offer recovery techniques to keep their charges in the best physical state possible. A personal trainer that focuses only on workouts will fall behind. In the same vein, just as important as a comprehensive slate of benches, treadmills, and barbells, a complete gym also provides recovery tools for post-workout success. As cold therapy becomes an expectation rather than the exception, Basic Training can give you the tools you need to give your clients the recovery they need.