110219 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 4

110219 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 4

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

Sweating is a good thing, but if the clothing becomes wet the insulating factor of the clothing decreases by about 90%. This is not good if you are trying to stay warm during sets.

You should remember to drink fluids regularly as dehydration adversely affects the ability to regulate body heat and it increases the risk of frostbite. Avoid alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine as they have a tendency to dehydrate the body. Dehydration brings fatigue.

According to Katch, et al. (505), radiation of heat accounts for approximately 65% of the total heat loss. Heat is lost rapidly from an uncovered head. The head, neck, hands, armpits, groin and feet all lose heat due to the close proximity of the blood vessels to the surface of the skin. The head being about “8% of the total body surface can lose as much as 30-40%” of the total heat loss.” This is a substantial amount of heat loss, and if we are to continue to exercise in an effective manner, it must be stopped. Clothing is one line of defense against the cold. Clothing, however, derives its insulation from the dead air that surrounds each fiber, so adding more layers of clothing adds more dead air space around your body. The clothing keeps the dead air close to the skin and prevents it from circulating away. “The thicker the zone of trapped air next to the skin, the more effective the insulation.” (Katch, 505)

References Cited for Resistance Training in Cold Weather:

Arnheim, Daniel D. Modern Principles of Athletic Training. Mirror/Mosby. 1989: 303-4.

Houston, Charles, S., M.D. Merck Manual of Medical Information. Simon and Schuster. 1997:1345-7.

Katch, F.I, V.L. Katch, and W.D. McArdle. Exercise Physiology. Lippincott. 1996 (4th ed.): 351, 502-3, 505-21.

Michele, Lyle, J. The Sports Medicine Bible. Harper Collins.


Schneipp, Jason, Terry S. Campbell, Kasey L. Lincoln Powell, and Danny M. Pincivero. “The Effects of Cold-water Immersion on Power Output and Heart rate on Elite Cyclists.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 16 (Nov. 2002): 561

Search and Rescue Survival Training. Department of the Air Force, USAF. 1985. (Currently in use at the Survival School)