Warm down/cool down

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Warm down/cool down

Postby Corsa » Wed May 26, 2010 10:08 am

Is there any evidence to support a cool down/warm down?

The discussion on stretching made me think about this.
Once upon a time some people would tell you that a warm down was needed to remove lactic acid because lactic acid was bad and made your legs sore the next day. We know now this is BS and lactic acid or lactate is not the cause of sore legs the next day, that’s just muscle damage. Anyway lactic acid has actually left the muscles within an hour of exercise.
Some people tell us we need to bring the heart rate down gradually and this is why a warm down is needed. But why do we need to bring it down gradually?

My personal view is warm down or cool down is a waste of time I could be using for training that will return real gains. IE If I have a limited window of time to train I want to get the most return from that time not waste it on some exercise that has no benefit.

So, does anyone know of any studies on warm down/cool down?
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by BNA » Wed May 26, 2010 10:24 am

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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby sogood » Wed May 26, 2010 10:24 am

Warm up gives the body time to respond to the demands being placed upon it ie. Increasing the HR, cardiac output, dilate up the blood vessels and be in a position to supply the needs of the muscles and many other organs systems. Poorly supplied muscles won't work very well. Obviously not really relevant for a ride that starts gently, but for those who need to push hard at the starting gate eg. TT, this obviously is critical.

Warm down, well, the cooling wind on a gentle ride feels good. Otherwise those pro riders often just crash straight into their team bus after coming close to dying for their mountain top finish. But they have their masseurs waiting and we don't. Consider gentle exercise to be a message. ;)
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Sweeper59 » Wed May 26, 2010 10:48 am

I'm a Level 2 (football) coach, and have worked with players of all ages, but mainly senior (Premier league) and youths up to state level. I believe that providing time for a proper warm up and cool down is essential in sports where muscle and ligament damage is likley. Football involves stretching and twisting of the body, often beyond it's limits, and often at speed and under excessive pressure. The body needs proper preparation before football matches to minimise injury, and proper cool down and injury treatment after matches.
However, cycling does not put the same strain on the body as other sports, such as football. Your muscles aren't stretched to their limits, nor are they twisted, pounded etc, and most cyclists could probably ignore the warm up/cool down periods with little chance of damage to muscles. On the other hand, I wouldn't recommend finishing your ride with a 'full-on' sprint, then hopping straight off your bike.
Having said that, I normally stretch before and after a ride, mainly out of habit. As a minimum, I would recommend the last kilometre of any ride be done at no more than half pace, and allow the acids to be flushed away from your bigger muscles.
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Corsa » Wed May 26, 2010 11:27 am

Firstly I'm asking about post event/training cool down or warm down as some call it NOT pre event warm UP.

Sweeper59 wrote: I wouldn't recommend finishing your ride with a 'full-on' sprint, then hopping straight off your bike.

Why? The whole reason I ask is because of statements like that with nothing to back it up.
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Wayfarer » Wed May 26, 2010 2:03 pm

Common sense and circulatory anatomy should be back up enough. nobody will write a journal article on common knowledge. when your legs are moving, the contraction of muscles is what pushes the blood back up to your heart; if your legs are suddenly stopped, blood pooling occurs, because the muscles arent moving to push blood upwards back to the heart. and since blood is still getting pushed downward into the legs to continue the exercise (since the heart hasnt been told to slow the blood flow) you can end up with fat feet, or painful steps. And it can cause dizziness and even fainting. (been there, done that).
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Although it's become apparent that cooling down wont reduce DOMS, not cooling down can increase your chances of getting cramps through lactate build up. If you're gunning it like a big man all the way home, you'll have a build up of acid, where as warming down will disperse of it more easily and quickly, allowing you to return to resting state (1MET), and your body wont have to struggle to keep up with the demands of high lactate levels while at rest.

A side effect of high lactate levels is an increase in the acidity of the muscle cells, along with disruptions of other metabolites. The same metabolic pathways that permit the breakdown of glucose to energy perform poorly in this acidic environment. On the surface, it seems counterproductive that a working muscle would produce something that would slow its capacity for more work. In reality, this is a natural defense mechanism for the body; it prevents permanent damage during extreme exertion by slowing the key systems needed to maintain muscle contraction. Once the body slows down, oxygen becomes available and lactate reverts back to pyruvate, allowing continued aerobic metabolism and energy for the body’s recovery from the strenuous event.

by Stephen Roth, Ph.D.
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby trailgumby » Wed May 26, 2010 9:46 pm

Corsa wrote:Why? The whole reason I ask is because of statements like that with nothing to back it up.


While he hasn't provided studies, he has provided his credentials. So please don't be so abrupt. You do want people to help you, don't you? You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar. ;)

And seeing you're probably as skilled at using Google to find stuff as I am, I'm also going to politely ignore your request and provide my experience, which is not to be found via Google. :D

I used to take the same view as you, but now that I'm older I find that I recover less well than I used to and this has changed my mindset. While I want to train hard, I also want to recover quickly and well so that I can gain best value from the next training session, and continue my upward progression instead of gradually burying myself. I'm losing very little by sacrificing a few minutes from the end of a hard workout, and I'm gaining a lot more by reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and improving recovery. I have found that a warm-down does appear to reduce DOMS for me - I'm aware this contradicts the previoius poster. I have more energy in the hours after the workout finishes, and the next workout feels less taxing for the same amount of actual work. Immediate post-ride nutritional strategy contributes here too.

Just backing off a little and getting the heart rate down around the 70% of peak and on down to 60% while keeping the legs moving for the last kilometre or two, followed by hamstring, calf, quads and hip flexors stretches when I reach the destination goes a long way to enabling me to back up sooner with another hard ride. It also stops me tightening up, and losing performance and increasing risk of injury from lack of flexibility. Not that I'm "performing" at the moment.
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby hartleymartin » Sat May 29, 2010 7:00 pm

Warm up: Cup of tea before a ride.
Cool down: Iced tea after ride.

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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby vitualis » Sat May 29, 2010 10:03 pm

Wayfarer wrote:Common sense and circulatory anatomy should be back up enough. nobody will write a journal article on common knowledge. when your legs are moving, the contraction of muscles is what pushes the blood back up to your heart; if your legs are suddenly stopped, blood pooling occurs, because the muscles arent moving to push blood upwards back to the heart. and since blood is still getting pushed downward into the legs to continue the exercise (since the heart hasnt been told to slow the blood flow) you can end up with fat feet, or painful steps. And it can cause dizziness and even fainting. (been there, done that).
Image


That is a massive simplification. You are not going to get leg oedema from suddenly stopping exercise. This should be a common experience for any one who has ever had to run up a set of steps and then stopped. Your leg muscle pumps is important in preventing oedema but this is something that happens over hours not seconds or minutes.

Dizziness and fainting would be due to general peripheral vasodilation to the arterioles to your skeletal muscles (i.e., decrease in peripheral resistance) from the exercise but with a sudden drop in cardiac output from a reduced heart rate (on cessation of exercise). Usually, this only occurs as people get a bit older or are on certain medications where the autonomic nervous system doesn't work quite quickly enough. Normally, the autonomic nervous system is tightly regulated to immediately increase the resistance of the peripheral vessels to prevent the drop in blood pressure. This is what stops you from getting dizzy when you stand up; the response occurs within a fraction of a second.

Although it's become apparent that cooling down wont reduce DOMS, not cooling down can increase your chances of getting cramps through lactate build up. If you're gunning it like a big man all the way home, you'll have a build up of acid, where as warming down will disperse of it more easily and quickly, allowing you to return to resting state (1MET), and your body wont have to struggle to keep up with the demands of high lactate levels while at rest.

A side effect of high lactate levels is an increase in the acidity of the muscle cells, along with disruptions of other metabolites. The same metabolic pathways that permit the breakdown of glucose to energy perform poorly in this acidic environment. On the surface, it seems counterproductive that a working muscle would produce something that would slow its capacity for more work. In reality, this is a natural defense mechanism for the body; it prevents permanent damage during extreme exertion by slowing the key systems needed to maintain muscle contraction. Once the body slows down, oxygen becomes available and lactate reverts back to pyruvate, allowing continued aerobic metabolism and energy for the body’s recovery from the strenuous event.

by Stephen Roth, Ph.D.


You really need to update yourself on the science. This erroneous belief has been debunked for a while; lactate is not the cause for muscle fatigue in physiological situations.

http://physiologyonline.physiology.org/ ... ll/17/1/17

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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Wayfarer » Sun May 30, 2010 2:16 am

Oedema is a long term problem. Blood pooling is a temporary problem. If you didnt know this was caused by suddenly stopping exercise, I dont know what to say to you.

Cool story bro, and mechanisms aside, warm down is going to do the same thing it did before the authors wrote it (reduce cramps, and let your body recover better).
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun May 30, 2010 12:53 pm

Corsa wrote:Is there any evidence to support a cool down/warm down?

For endurance cycling performance, the evidence of active recovery being beneficial for reduced DOMS is anecdotal.

There is some evidence that it may enhance the rate of lactate removal but as has been pointed out, that takes care of itself anyway, whether or not one does active recovery, unless the expected time between exercise bouts is short (e.g. at track racing competitions).

There is no evidence to suggest it is detrimental and since many use it as a way of "winding down" as much mentally as physically, it is usually considered to be a reasonable thing to do and prescribe as a recovery aid.

Usually 5-10-min of easy pedaling is all that's required.

Corsa wrote:So, does anyone know of any studies on warm down/cool down?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8778550
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8803508
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14767255
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16937953
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Parrott » Sun May 30, 2010 2:18 pm

Wayfarer wrote:Oedema is a long term problem. Blood pooling is a temporary problem. If you didnt know this was caused by suddenly stopping exercise, I dont know what to say to you.

Cool story bro, and mechanisms aside, warm down is going to do the same thing it did before the authors wrote it (reduce cramps, and let your body recover better).



Not wanting to get into an argument or take sides here, just thought I'd point out Vitualis has a medical degree :)
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Wayfarer » Sun May 30, 2010 2:42 pm

Parrott wrote:Not wanting to get into an argument or take sides here, just thought I'd point out Vitualis has a medical degree :)

And I have a goldfish. Well, it's actually my sisters, but still, so does this guy http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/collapse.html
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Parrott » Sun May 30, 2010 3:02 pm

Sorry, I thought a prerequisite of a medical degree was a thorough knowledge of pathphysiology and A & P :oops:
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby vitualis » Sun May 30, 2010 3:40 pm

Anyway, Wayfarer clearly believes he "knows best" in this and other threads...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2 ... ger_effect

WF, that article you linked to basically states exactly what I did. I just don't like the term "pooling of blood" in the legs because that isn't really what happens and the mechanism of the calf muscles on the volume of venous return is entirely overstated in your description. As per the article, the reason you get post exercise postural hypotension is generally because of a pathological state (be it hypovolaemia/dehydration or hyponatraemia).

As for your last post about "fat feet" and "painful steps", this is definitely not due "pooling of blood" in this situation.

The thing is Wayfarer, to be able to explain things by "common sense", you need to have knowledge of the underlying anatomy and physiology which you clearly don't. You can be entirely misled cherry picking quotes out of the literature because all you are doing is engaging in confirmation bias. You already have an opinion on something and then go searching for things that agrees with that viewpoint while ignoring all the contrary evidence.

As for lactate it was assumed that lactate was an important cause of muscle fatigue for a long time which is why you will find plenty of older literature on this. However, when this hypothesis was actually tested by experiments, it soon because obvious that lactate was only correlated with muscle fatigue but does not cause it. If anything, this demonstrates the reason why "expert opinion" is considered poor quality evidence compared to results from experiments. "Common sense" is basically just conjecture from the known knowledge base and can be very unreliable.

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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Wayfarer » Sun May 30, 2010 6:15 pm

Be honest; when the maths teacher in high school was explaining a question and said "there's 50% chance of a child being a boy, and 50% chance of it being a girl" were you that one kid who jumped up and said 'fool, there's a 2% chance of being a homaphrodite'?

The experiments may show how certain things actually happen, (eg, inorganic phosphates as opposed to lactate), which wasn't known about ten years ago; If my knowledge is outdated, please accept my humble apologies, but none of the modern research changes the way or fact that we should warm down.
vitualis wrote:As per the article, the reason you get post exercise postural hypotension is generally because of a pathological state (be it hypovolaemia/dehydration or hyponatraemia).

As for your last post about "fat feet" and "painful steps", this is definitely not due "pooling of blood" in this situation.

Those three things are kinda caused by exercise, but if you think not, what causes fat feet and painful steps then? Nature called today while i was on a 6k run, and i'd like to know why i had stabbing pains when i started running again, which stopped after about 10 seconds. Happened to the guy i was with too (no pun intended).

Instead of being essentially a cyber bully, next time, why not PM me and kindly say 'i disagree with this, because I've seen more modern research, which shows the biochemistry behind what you descrribe is actually different, in this manner'? That'd help me, and these threads. Then I'd go and remove the excess stuff, and leave the skin and bone of what i'm meaning to say, and leave it as is, for you to nail him with the physiology when he rebutts the idea. Unlike some of us, I'm actually trying to help a man out. :)

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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby vitualis » Sun May 30, 2010 8:44 pm

I'm not here to help you save face or stroke your ego. One thing that I personally view very dimly is inaccurate health advice in the public domain due to the potential for harm. IMHO, if you don't really know then don't post. Frankly, even if you did know you would avoid giving specific health advice to a person over the net.

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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby sogood » Sun May 30, 2010 9:05 pm

Wayfarer wrote:Oedema is a long term problem. Blood pooling is a temporary problem. If you didnt know this was caused by suddenly stopping exercise, I dont know what to say to you.

Yes, blood pooling is temporary... to the point of being inconsequential under this type of circumstance ie. Not a problem. Suddenly stopping exercise does not mean the body has gone into rigor mortis! Pls, some of these arguments are getting a bit surreal to some of us with relevant professional experience.

Fact is, muscle pump isn't the only mechanism for venous return.
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Wayfarer » Sun May 30, 2010 11:24 pm

'do your warm downs to avoid the problem i get when i piss, and let your body go back to resting' is hardly specific advice; instead he got a valid response which satisfies his needs. if i must go into the physiology behind every i post, i'd be chasing a fly with a cannon, and confuse him with big words he doesnt want (or need) to know. Sogood I know this, but it is noty worth getting into any more detail to address the simple question.
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Ant. » Mon May 31, 2010 1:30 am

Another classic by Wayfarer.

I have to ask: how far along in your physiology degree are you?
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Wayfarer » Mon May 31, 2010 4:45 pm

bout this far
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby lethoso » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:19 pm

this thread :roll:

Anyway, to add my 2c, I finish every commute home with a balls out sprint up the hill I live on, no cooldown, no ill effects. How's that for anecdotal evidence 8)
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:36 am

meh, i smoke 10 boxes a day. no ill effects. we should go catch a movie sometime :wink: i'm lookin at chu lethoso!
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby icoz » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:13 am

Having played league at a high lvl the last 10 years and since starting cycling the last 5 weeeks ive found the best thing after a hard ride is an ice bath. Simple but effective. Clears most of the lactic for me and keeps me feeling refreshed for the rest of the day. 30sec in a bath of water temp 15-19'c then 3 minutes in a nice warm shower does it for me. Not everyones cup of tea but old habbits die hard.
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby sogood » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:12 am

icoz wrote:since starting cycling the last 5 weeeks ive found the best thing after a hard ride is an ice bath. Simple but effective. Clears most of the lactic for me...

Yep, that sure is a cool down! :mrgreen:

However, the statement on "clears most of the lactic..." lack basis. The ice treatment is more to do with reducing the inflammation than anything to do with "lactic", however you define the term "lactic".
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Re: Warm down/cool down

Postby novice » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:05 pm

I spend 10 minutes on a osillating vibrating platform after each ride.
We bought this machine a couple of years ago.
I find it helps relax the muscles in the legs and I am able to get about with no stiffness after my rides.
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