040219 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 3

040219 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 3

Resistance training places high internal and external load demands on the human body. It must be physically prepared to meet and exceed these artificially designed stresses. To successfully adapt, conditions within the body must be favorable. Temperature variations, however, can sometimes overpower the metabolic responses of the organism

We function best at core temperatures between 96-102 degrees, and exposures to extremes can result in substantial decreases in physical efficiency (USAF 141). Keeping our core in the suggested efficient range can be relatively easy if a few precautions are taken at the outset. Cold temperatures work against your power production in the weight room, unless you are prepared to address the temperature dilemma. Overcoming the cold is possible, but it takes effort and planning.

.Clearly, then, in order to maximize gains in a cold environment, some pre training changes must take place. Knowledge of how and where heat is lost will serve as a beginning point.

The skin and tissues of the body strive to remain at a constant temperature despite the fluctuations of the external temperatures. Regulation is by the circulating blood removing heat from the working cells. This excess energy is transported to the surface of the skin where it is exposed to the environment.

Heat loss occurs in five ways:

  • conduction,
  • convection,
  • evaporation,
  • radiation and
  • respiration

We will concern ourselves only with the conduction, evaporation and respiration of body heat while in the cold weight room. Obviously, respiration will play a role in heat loss if we are breathing heavily during our squats and dead lifts.

Conduction is heat loss through touching body parts on colder surfaces (remember warmth rapidly transfers to the colder area).

Each time you grip the bar, body heat is lost through your hands to the cold bar and every time you lay on the bench you lose body heat as it transfers a portion to the bench.

Evaporation is a form of heat loss that is familiar to all athletes. Internal body heat results in the sweat response, the sweat evaporates and thus heat is removed.

Author: ActivelyFitSeniors

Danny M. O’Dell, M. A., CSCS*D is the co-owner of The Explosivelyfit Strength Training Gym, located in Nine Mile Falls, WA. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has a Master's Degree in Human Services and is a strength and conditioning coach in a local School District along with being a regular contributor to the Washington State Coaches Association magazine.