180219 Resistance Training in Cold Weather
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
clothing next to the skin must also be effective in transporting moisture
(wicking action) away from the body’s surface to the next insulating material
layer for evaporation.” Polypropylene, a synthetic that insulates and
dries quickly, can be very effective in this capacity.
Good workout clothing should “match the weather” and it should
“provide a semitropical micro climate for the body and prevent
chilling.” (Arnheim, 304)
The covering should be of a synthetic fabric such as polyester, which is
lightweight, dries easily and retains its insulating properties even when wet.
The fabric should also breathe, i.e., if you sweat, it should allow the water
vapors to escape and not be trapped next to your skin. “If the water vapor
cannot evaporate through the clothing it will condense, freeze and reduce the
insulation value of the clothing and cause the body temperature to go
down.” (USAF, 142)
As a side note, the old woods saying of “cotton kills” is accurate in
the weight room as well. When cotton gets wet it loses all of its insulating
qualities and remains wet for a long time. Once a piece of clothing becomes
wet, especially cotton, heat is transferred outwardly at 25 times its normal
rate. (USAF, 143) Wet clothing “actually facilitates heat loss from the
body because water conducts heat much faster than air.” (Katch, 505)
Take care to layer your workout clothing. This gives you a chance to regulate the heat by removing some but not all as you warm up during the session. It’s even better to have a button or zipper at the top to allow for a stove pipe effect. A stovepipe effect means you open the top part and allow the air to circulate from the bottom of the garment to escape out the unbuttoned or unzipped top portion.
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)