Since it can be quite confusing when one is presented with conflicting advice, I felt it necessary to rehash the issue of icing. It’s no secret that we coaches at Intrepid are advocates of icing both for recovery purposes and to knock down inflammation post-injury. This stance dates back to Sean’s post Ice, Ice Baby or my ode to the ice bath, Polar Plunge.
One of our athletes approached me since we frequently quote Kelly Starrett (aka K-Star) and in fact link to his site, Mobility WOD. His question was with regard to icing, since K-Star had a change of heart and is now very much against the idea! Kelly was one of the people I quoted back when I wrote about ice baths, so I had to check out his post.
In his post, K-Star references a couple of studies that influenced his decision and says that he has gone anti-ice with his clients post-surgery and post-injury for the last year. He goes on to recommend revising the well-known RICE recommendation to instead be MCE (movement, compression, elevation). This taken alone can be pretty convincing to jump ship when it comes to icing.
However, another site we reference (and link to in the sidebar), 70’s Big, also tackled this icing debate. Justin was a little skeptical of the case presented by K-Star and felt he may have drawn an incorrect conclusion from the studies. Justin stressed that the benefit of icing is going to depend upon the specifics and will vary from person-to-person. In his next post, he then detailed exactly when would be the best times to ice and how to get the most out of it.
While I would strongly recommend you check out the posts yourself to come to your own informed decision, I can say that our advice at Intrepid falls along the lines of what Justin at 70’s Big suggests. That is, icing is beneficial for acute, soft tissue injuries and the contrast method (ice baths) can aid with systemic inflammation. Any other conclusions would need more substantial research that just isn’t present yet.
Hang Power Cleans 3×3
60 yd Bear Crawl
then 3 rounds of
100m Farmer’s Carry