"Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

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manofsteel1385
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Post by manofsteel1385 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:19 am

KPj wrote: Shortly after I asked me physio his opinion. He just said, "if your muscles are cold, you're dead". haha

KPj
Hilarious. As I was reading before I got to this point I was thinking if our muscles actually "warmed up" what the temperature change from cool or not warm to warm was.

Well I kinda warm up while doing deep squats...well I lie 4 reps with the bar for isnt really a warmup right? Just figuring out how i need to adjust my shorts so I don't hurt my boys haha

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Post by Jungledoc » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:43 pm

I'm sure that there is an increase in temperature in the muscle from rested to active state, a little bit from friction, a bit from increased circulation. However, the circulation is under autonomic control, and will increase as needed. There's no need to "get the blood flowing" before heavy exercise. I think that the value of warmup is a bit of limbering of the connective tissues, and "greasing the groove" for a particular exercise, that is, rehearsing a movement pattern. I can think of no equivalent value to "cooling down." Your body will cool off just fine with no particular help from you, and will suffer no adverse effects if it occurs passively rather than while you are doing light exercise.

Recommended cool-down procedure:
1. Fall to floor of gym.
2. Pant heavily until you are no longer short of breath.
3. When you have recovered adequately to stand up, go home.

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Post by frogbyte » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:32 pm

You seem completely against it, but where do you draw the line? I kind of like ending on a cool-down/pump set when going heavy, similar to pyramid sets. The question is not do you "suffer no adverse effects". The question is does it help with a physiological response to make your training better. I'm suspicious that it may.

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Post by Anon » Sat May 15, 2010 5:45 pm

The initial blog post is pretty equivocal. He only looks at one study on DOMS to support his premise, when the prevention of DOMS is not really the primary purpose of an active cool-down...

Active cool-downs are used post high intensity cardiovascular exercise to maintain blood flow to the working musculature. It is utilised in order to oxidise lactate (not lactic acid...), remove H ions and restore phosphocreatine stores to decrease the duration of the oxygen debt, subsequently returning the body back to a resting state as quickly as possible.

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Post by stuward » Mon May 17, 2010 9:24 am

Good point Anon, I think the "cooldown" your talking about is more like catching your breath after an intense effort, more like walking around the room after your deadlift attempt. What Frogbyte is talking about is a volume set at the end of heavy sets. This has a completely different purpose relating to hypertrophy and is really not a cooldown.

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Post by Jungledoc » Wed May 19, 2010 6:58 am

Anon wrote:The initial blog post is pretty equivocal. He only looks at one study on DOMS to support his premise, when the prevention of DOMS is not really the primary purpose of an active cool-down...

Active cool-downs are used post high intensity cardiovascular exercise to maintain blood flow to the working musculature. It is utilised in order to oxidise lactate (not lactic acid...), remove H ions and restore phosphocreatine stores to decrease the duration of the oxygen debt, subsequently returning the body back to a resting state as quickly as possible.
So without light exercise after high intensity cardio, blood flow to the working musculature will stop? Completely? Like all the usual autoregulatory mechanisms will be deactivated? And that lactate will NOT be oxidized? And that H ions will stay a long time, and that phosphocreatine will not be restored, and that the duration of the oxygen debt will be GREATER? And that the body will return to a resting state more SLOWLY then if you do something wild and crazy, like quit exercising?

How does that work?

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Re: "Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

Post by huwwaters » Tue May 31, 2011 7:50 am

I thought the whole idea behind a "cool-down", from what I've read here and there over the years was a means of active recovery.

For example, if you've had an intense anaerobic exercise session, some gentle cardio - anything that gets your blood moving - would help move metabolites out of your muscles a bit quicker. Such gentle cardio can even be walking. If you took a 5 min walk to the gym, your walk home would count as a "cool-down".

As for the whole heart attack if you don't cool down, I believed it was a perceived risk for those with a lot of muscle bulk. In a pumped state, a lot of your blood is filling your muscles, leaving less for your heart to pump. This is purely anecdotal.

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Re: "Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

Post by stuward » Tue May 31, 2011 8:03 am

http://www.brianmac.co.uk/warmup.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
An appropriate cool down will:

aid in the dissipation of waste products - including lactic acid
reduce the potential for DOMS
reduce the chances of dizziness or fainting caused by the pooling of venous blood at the extremities
reduce the level of adrenaline in the blood
allows the heart rate to return to its resting rate
You may notice that after you sprint or otherwise work realy hard, you will instinctively walk and pant heavily around for a few minutes until you catch your breath. This is a cooldown and provides the benefits listed above. In my opinion, any more than that is irrelevant and unnecessary. If you're not working hard enough to initiate panting, no cooldown is needed.

Note: Although the quote I gave above mentions DOMS, this is debatable. "Law RYW and Herbert RD(2007) Warm-up reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness but cool-down does not: a randomised controlled trial. The Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 53: 91–95."
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Re: "Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

Post by Jungledoc » Tue May 31, 2011 6:18 pm

Well, as mentioned by Kenny in the original post of this thread two years ago, there is really no science behind various teachings regarding cool-down. Unless something has been published since then.

I agree, Stu, that whatever we do naturally is all that is needed. Therefore, we don't really need to tell people to do anything special.

I have never done anything other than change clothes and walk home, or walk out to the car. If that counts as cool-down, what is the non-cool-down that people are worried about?
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: "Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

Post by Stefan 93 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:44 am

It's not important. Lifters have seen those sprinters walking after their running and thought they could do something similar...
It's probably just important to reduce heart rate and breathing speed to normal with something that is not lying down nor sitting after doing some cardio.

What do you think about warm-ups? We're not "dead" so muscles are already worm...
Maybe we need just to move our joints in full ROM so they get lubricated with something that everybody mentions?
I apologize to everyone I've enraged. I'll try to correct myself.

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Re: "Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

Post by stuward » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:21 am

Stefan 93 wrote:...

What do you think about warm-ups? We're not "dead" so muscles are already worm...
Maybe we need just to move our joints in full ROM so they get lubricated with something that everybody mentions?
There are definite benefits to warming up. It prevents injuries and allows you to use more force than you would otherwise. How you warm up is a individual thing with some people requiring more warmup than others. This has been debated ad infinitum in these forums.
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Re: "Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

Post by CorlessJohnJ » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:07 pm

huwwaters wrote:I thought the whole idea behind a "cool-down", from what I've read here and there over the years was a means of active recovery.

For example, if you've had an intense anaerobic exercise session, some gentle cardio - anything that gets your blood moving - would help move metabolites out of your muscles a bit quicker. Such gentle cardio can even be walking. If you took a 5 min walk to the gym, your walk home would count as a "cool-down".

As for the whole heart attack if you don't cool down, I believed it was a perceived risk for those with a lot of muscle bulk. In a pumped state, a lot of your blood is filling your muscles, leaving less for your heart to pump. This is purely anecdotal.
The heart always has the same amount of blood to pump its just that blood is used differently when a muscle needs it. To work a muscle needs oxygen and the blood brings that to the muscles. The blood doesn't stop and hang out conversating with the muscles its still returing and continuing the oxygen exchange in the lungs. I remember reading correct me if im wrong that the pump in the muscles isn't completely blood its...blood plasma?

Got me thinking I will research this later.

Homeostasis and the body is a wonderful thing. We sweat to bring our body temperature down back to normal. We breath heavy because our body (muscles) needed the oxygen. I think after doing some of my studies for school I believe that cool downs are not needed the body does it naturally. I would say that if some people that have heart attacks or issues after a workout that was a condition previously undetected. Always always consult with a dr.
"Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door"

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Re: "Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

Post by jlmoss » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:44 pm

All I know is... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8RcDb_wZfQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Ol'boy didn't cool down and look what happened. lol

Or... maybe he did cool down, just against his will.

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