ᎣᏏᏲ. ᏙᎯᏧ? Hey, welcome back!
I’ve been doing the same workout now for 10 days or so. Yesterday I tried something a little different. I have a huge man-crush on Dr. Andrew Huberman so as I watched one of his podcasts with Dr. Craig Heller I learned about the power of cooling during workouts. You can watch the podcast here. You can also find the individual topics, that were covered, listed here.
I took notes during the podcast but I’m going to simplify it. The basics are you get hot and your body wants you to stop until your body cools down. The studies Dr. Heller did show that cooling after each set (about five minutes of the video) improved performance tripling the amount done in a workout over a month and eliminating soreness. The “trick” is that the palms should be warm to the touch but not hot and should not be cold. If the palms are cold then vasoconstriction is occurring and the heat exchange won’t happen. This is highly interesting to me because I want to improve my fitness level fast. That means I’m going to be working out nearly every day for about 2 hours. I don’t want to be sore the next day and I want to look forward to workouts. I’m not focusing on weight just fitness level.
My hands sweat immensely when I start working out. I was carrying a towel when I walk. I also came up with some terrycloth gloves to separate my fingers and wick the moisture from my hand. One time I walked with the 50-pound weight vest on and had some cooling gel packs that I put a washcloth around so they wouldn’t get too cold on my hands. Those gel packs ran out of cooling about the end of the first half-mile. So I knew I’d have to do something else like maybe put a front pack on with a much larger ice pack in it so I could cool my hands better as I walked. In any case, sweaty hands are super annoying to me.
When I started my workout I did the strength exercises without cooling. I just did them. I rested briefly between each set. When I started the elliptical I did things differently. I wore the 50-pound weight vest, but I limited the time I’m on the elliptical to 3 minutes. I push pretty hard – it’s not a sprint – my level of exertion is pretty high and I’m able to carry on a conversation. While I’m on the elliptical I have the ceiling fan on and the fan that is on the elliptical. I put my hands over the fan on the elliptical to keep them cool. When that’s done then for 3 mins I rest. In later sets, I’ll stand and put my hands over the fan on the elliptical. In earlier sets, I just make sure my hands are dry. My fingers are spread and open towards the ceiling fan. This means that my 30 min elliptical workout takes 60 minutes, but instead of being dead at the end of the last workout, I feel really good. When I get to weights I lift the weight and do a set. Then I spend less time with the fan on the elliptical, but enough to keep things cooled a bit more. My rest time is about 1.5 minutes between sets. However, between workouts, my rest time is 3 mins with the drying and cooling of the palms. As well, during the 3-minute break, I may watch a video on my phone. I’ll hold the phone so only the tips of four fingers are holding the phone and my palms are still able to cool.
What I found out was that I normally hit a wall after 6 minutes of elliptical with a weight vest. It was a major struggle for me. I’d have to slow or stop around the 1-minute mark. Keeping my hands cool allowed me to push pretty hard and not get fatigued. Even after the workout, I wasn’t tired. I was hot and sweaty, but not tired. Today, my muscles are slightly sore, but not so much that working out has been a hindrance. I did some minor stretching and all of the pain was gone.
What I am considering is building a foam cooler with a fan and some ice packs. I could put my hands through holes in the cooler lid or I’ve considered using two foam coolers where both have ice packs, but one the fan blows into then a tube connects the two and then two tubes come out the second one. I can sit down and put my hands in the tubes and cool them off. As well, I might just make a front pack that I wear with an insulated ice pack and a location I can place my hand that is padded so cold comes through but not so much it chills my hand to the touch. We’ll see.
Since I am tracking reps, sets, and times I’ll be interested in how I progress over the next 6 weeks.
Until next time. Dodadagohvi. ᏙᏓᏓᎪᎲᎢ.