Whole-Body Cryotherapy: Just Add Ice & Shiver!

I knew cyclists was using ice baths as a form of recovery to help reduce inflammation. I first saw Nicolas Roche immersed in a kids pool full of ice. It was after a notoriously hot stage in the Tour and Roche was sitting in back of a team van shivering. When asked why he was doing this he shook and said, "That's what everyone does to speed up recovery."

The two images are from FDJ and shows how far into the cycling world whole-body cyrotherapy is going. I've done some research and it's practiced by elite and recreational athletes.

Here's what I found out.

Developed in 1978, cyrotherapy chambers, that's the body size cyclindrcal tube, the ambient temperature is lowered to minus 110 C. The chambers were intended to treat certain medical conditions.

Athletes adopted these cold chambers to bring subzero temperatures to help them recover from strenuous workouts more quickly. It's not regulated, at least not in the US or Europe so the numbers of athletes using the ice box is unknown.

Before entering the cryochamber, users must be wearing shorts, remove all jewelry (cold metal on skin is nasty), and don gloves, a face mask, a wooly headband and dry socks. You don't want your feet to freeze. The athlete stays in the ice box for no more than 2 or 3 minutes stamping their feet and waving their arms to keep up circulation.

Now, if the FDJ team is already using it how many more pro cycling teams are having ...the big chill?

If you see this FDJ truck parked at a race,
they're probably turning a rider into a popsicle.