"Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

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Kenny Croxdale
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"Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:46 pm

Here's something interesting.

"Is the Exercise Cool-Down Really Necessary?"
http://ram-running.blogspot.com/2009/10 ... ssary.html

"Dr Hirofumi Tanaka (exercise physiologist at the University of Texas)...there is pretty much no science behind the cool-down advice."

"The cool-down, Dr. Tanaka said, "is an understudied topic."

"Everyone thinks it's an established fact," it."

"It's not even clear what a cool-down is supposed to be."

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Post by Jungledoc » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:37 pm

It has never made sense to me. What people do as a "cool-down" doesn't cool them down, it slows the cooling. I have seen lists of the "benefits" of the cool-down, and non of them are logical or reasonable. Things like "prepares you for the next work-out" without any explanation of how in the world this is possible.

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:13 pm

I usually just stretch at the end of my workout.

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Post by KPj » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:25 am

When I was doing my gym intructor course they basically told me that if you don't cool down, you might die.

...................... Cue scary laugh.....

I'm not even joking. Something to do with your blood pressure or pulse dropping too quickly causing your heart to skip a beat or something. It was way back in May so i've forgotten now exactly what the theory was.

We were all being asked 'how' we cool down, and everyone on the course were adamant, "I always cool down, ALWAYS." bla bla bla bla. I said I never got out of breath enough to warrant a cool down.

In reality my cool down is this - walk to locker, put everything in bag, take said bag, and walk out the gym. I imagine music from Saturday Night Fever playing as I leave the gym. Research shows that walking with a John Travolta style spring in your step cools you down safer than just walking. It decreases your chances of dying by 1.32455 %.

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Post by Proper Knob » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:01 am

My cooldown consists of me getting on my bike and cycling home, weather permitting of course.

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:59 am

Jungledoc wrote:It has never made sense to me. What people do as a "cool-down" doesn't cool them down, it slows the cooling. I have seen lists of the "benefits" of the cool-down, and non of them are logical or reasonable. Things like "prepares you for the next work-out" without any explanation of how in the world this is possible.
Jungledoc,

This topic brings up a question that I have for you in regard to resistance training. Anyone else may chime in here.

It's not a "Cool Down" method but what I would consider more of a "Taking out the trash" method.

Ian King (Austrilian Strength Coach) once commented the he liked to have his athletes finish off with a pump set, a high set of reps (15 plus rep) in an exercise. It stiumlated blood flow to the muscles, which improved your recover time.

King viewed flushing blood into the muscle to as a means of export "metabolites." I term it as, "Taking out the garbage".

David Barr "Anabolic Pump Training" addressed (to some extent) that same issue. As Barr puts it, "blood flow...to clear them (metabolites) away."[http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_arti ... p_training

I started ending my workout with a higher rep/blood pumping movement and "feel" (meaning it could be just in my head) that it did help with my recovery.

Your/others thoughts on it?

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:07 pm

KPj wrote: I imagine music from Saturday Night Fever playing as I leave the gym. Research shows that walking with a John Travolta style spring in your
KPj,

So, you are coming OUT OF THE CLOSET as a Disco Junky! Finally.

Well, you've now given me the courage to do that same.

I love Disco (no $h1t). I am a Dsico Junky, too.

I grew up with that stuff. However, I am NOT going back to platform shoes, bell bottom pants or all polyester leisure suits.

Kenny Croxdale..."ain't going nowhere some body help me, yea!"

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Post by frogbyte » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:56 pm

I've been doing that pump thing for a while now - only 1 set though, not 2. There was a different article about "active recovery" that caused me to start doing it. I'm not 100% certain that it's improving my low-rep training, but I do like it.

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Post by KPj » Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:46 am

haha - yes i'm a bit of a disco junkie. With a few Whiskies in me, I basically become John Travolta.... Not a pretty sight. Speaking of which, I'm invited to a 50th in Feb and, apparently the 'theme' is Disco. Can't wait :grin:

On the 'taking out the garbage' thing - When I trained at my local PL club, I remember one of the first times I was in. I got in after everyone finished Deadlifting (could never get in early enough due to work, which is why I never kept going). I was DL'ing myself, worked up to my heaviest set and the guy that runs the club just came up and said "drop the weight down to 80 (KG) now, and do about 15 reps, nothing too difficult, just to flush out your system and make you less sore tomorrow".

Well, I was in agony for about 4 days after that. I had never done that many reps on Deadlift. Ha! So much for increased recovery. All it gave me was a John Wayne walk for the best part of a week!

Obviously this is an exception, though. At that time my general conditioning was terrible, too. So it was a shock to the system. The set didn't feel all that difficult, but the pain really shocked me. The times that i've done it after that - and I still do it quite a lot just now - It's deffinitly felt good. I find it very difficult to properly gauge how effective these things are but it does 'feel' good.

Also, I like doing 'blood work'. Say, my shoulders aching. If I go into the gym and do some high rep easy sets of external rotations, rows, push ups, etc just taking the set to the point where you BEGIN to feel fatigue, then stopping. Very light. I feel great when I do that.

I also like the light sets to play around with technique. With the beginners training with me just now, I often get them to do some 'technique work' after their heaviest/last set, and I feel it helps give them a chance to feel out the movement properly, without the risk 'ruining' a working set.

So, in short - I believe there's value in it. It's difficult to gauge exactly how much but I deffinitly think there's something in it.

KPj

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Post by manofsteel1385 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:42 pm

A cool down in my opinion is a way to burn more calories while supposedly recovering and or catching your breath before your done.

I do the cool down while doing cardio cause the machines tell me to
otherwise id get off and stop using it no big deal to me i dont think i need a cool down. thats just me though.

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Post by NightFaLL » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:46 pm

I literally finish my last set, walk straight over to my shake/stuff, pick it up, tell my buddies I'll see em tomorrow and walk to my car. ~1 min of walking, heh.

I've never had any issues, ever. :O

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Post by Nevage » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:54 pm

I never cool down either, I stretch a bit between sets when my muscles feel like they're gonna explode but thats about it.

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Post by Jungledoc » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:02 pm

So what do people think, that if you don't go through a ritual your muscles stay hot until the next workout? And that that is a bad thing? These same people tell you to warm up to increase the muscle temperature, but if you didn't cool down last time do you need to warm up this time? Or if you do, will your muscles get hotter and hotter through the months?

I don't usually have any energy for anything else by the time I get done with my work sets of everything.

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Post by ApolytonGP » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:27 pm

I don't think you need to do any cooldown. I do find that foam rolling and then stretching are very comfortable and that it is a nice break from the high intensity curcuit burn.

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Post by KPj » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:12 am

Jungledoc wrote:These same people tell you to warm up to increase the muscle temperature, but if you didn't cool down last time do you need to warm up this time?
:lol: That's similar logic to the whole 'never stretch a muscle cold' thing. Another useless bit of info i've been 'taught'. My tutor told me your muscles will snap if you stretch them cold. I thought, "ya know, out of all the physio's i've seen, not one of them has put me on a bike to 'warm me up' before doing the treatment - you would think these guys would know better".

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

KPj

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