Move over ice baths, cryotherapy is the revolutionary new form of athletic recovery that is sweeping the nation. Essentially, you stand in a deep-freezing chamber for several minutes to reduce muscle inflammation and increase blood flow. It’s the same concept of an ice bath, but it’s quicker, you don’t have to get wet and there are way more benefits.
So is cryotherapy here to stay? I sat down with Mycal “Coach Derz” Anders and he seems to thinks so! Coach Derz has an extensive athletic background having played collegiate football for Texas A&M - Commerce as well as in the Air Force. He also served as an officer in the Marines. With a Master’s of Science in Exercise and Wellness and a Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Human Performance, Mycal definitely knows what he is talking about. Today, Coach Derz owns and operates Crossfit PHX in Phoenix, Arizona and even runs a Cryotherapy service out of the gym.
Due to the injuries during his athletic career recovery is a “can’t miss” priority for him. Having used ice baths and other forms of recovery, he can see the difference that Cryotherapy makes. He has been using Cryotherapy for 8 months now, 5 days a week. “The fact that I am able to get in dry and come out dry in three minutes while receiving the same anti-inflammatory response and increased blood flow I would from a frigid ice bath that takes 20-30 minutes, it’s a no-brainer.”
We’ve seen well-known athletes like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Cristiano Ronaldo use Cryotherapy but is it a good technique for people who are not professional athletes as well? We asked Coach Derz who he recommends Cryotherapy to and his answer might surprise you. “Anyone who doesn’t have a heart condition. We have had high-performance Crossfitters, NFL/MLB athletes, recreational lifters, housewives, business owners, people from all walks of life and fitness levels.”
Aside from the recovery benefits, there are also some benefits that are not as known. According to Mycal, “There has been evidence shown to increase collagen production in the body which keeps the skin elastic and supple. It has also shown positive effects for people with anxiety disorders and individuals suffering from depression.” He even said that some people come in the morning and use it as an alternative to their morning cup of coffee! Nothing will wake you up quite like -220 degrees!
Well, you've heard from the expert! Cryotherapy is here to stay. And hey, next time you run out of cold brew, try an even colder alternative!