Three-time Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead likes to “freeze his ass off.” On June 15, 2022, Bumstead gave a behind-the-scenes look at his rest day to his 1.86 million YouTube subscribers. It involves waking up extremely early and plunging himself into an ice-cold bath that’s approximately 40 degrees. He’s dabbled with 35-degree water but felt even that was a touch too cold for his Canadian muscles.
Back in the good ol’ days, Bumstead would fill up a tub with water and literal ice. Nowadays, the champion bodybuilder has a tub that stays on all day to keep water at his desired 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Check out Bumstead’s ice bath rest day in the video below:
You can learn more about the Cold Plunge Bumstead uses by reading BarBend’s The Plunge Cold Plunge review.
Bumstead doesn’t take three ice baths per week to reduce muscle recovery. He primarily does it to help with inflammation and get a quick dopamine hit in the morning. Dousing himself in cold temperatures does have positive effects. According to Medical Hypotheses, “due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect.” (1)
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While Bumstead is staying stationary in his ice bath, there are even benefits to moving in cold water. For example, cold water swimming has been shown to have positive effects on the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, the immune system, and the psyche. (2)
It’s really good for overall systemic inflammation.
The cold water also helps Bumstead feel refreshed and energized in the morning when coffee alone doesn’t do the trick. He’ll stay in the water for approximately 8-10 minutes before hopping out and making breakfast. We’ll see if his ice baths help with his inflammation and revitalization all the way to a fourth consecutive Classic Physique Olympia title when he steps on the stage in Las Vegas, NV, from Dec. 16-18, 2022.
Shevchuk N. A. (2008). Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression. Medical hypotheses, 70(5), 995–1001. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2007.04.052
- Knechtle, B., Waśkiewicz, Z., Sousa, C. V., Hill, L., & Nikolaidis, P. T. (2020). Cold Water Swimming-Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(23), 8984. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238984
Featured image: Chris Bumstead on YouTube