The CrossFit Games has found its Official Cold Therapy Partner: Ice Barrel. On May 16, 2023, CrossFit announced the deal with Ice Barrel which includes “more than 200 Ice Barrels for athlete use throughout the CrossFit Games season.” More specifically, Ice Barrel will have its signature cold therapy solutions available at all Open, Semifinal, and Final events in the USA for athletes and spectators to use.
Read: BarBend’s 2023 Review of the Ice Barrel
VP of Global Partnerships for CrossFit Robert Vartan stated, “This partnership will allow CrossFit athletes the opportunity to enhance their recovery and performance on the biggest stage.” Ice Barrel says it provides benefits such as:
- Better recovery and performance
- Improved mood and brain health
- Better activation of the immune, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems
The cold therapy company will award Ice Barrels to 16 contest winners during the first two weeks of the 2023 CrossFit Semifinals, spanning May 18 through June 4, 2023. Below, you’ll find more insight into the benefits of Ice Barrel and why it is the go-to recovery choice for many elite CrossFit athletes.
“Our team could not be more excited to be partnering with CrossFit to bring cold therapy to the CrossFit Games,” Founder and CEO of Ice Barrel Wyatt Ewing says. “As a CrossFit athlete myself, I know how much these workouts, along with taking ice baths, have meant to me, and I am thrilled we can bring these awesome communities together in a more official capacity.”
Benefits of Ice Barrel
The CrossFit athletes competing in the Teams division in 2023 should be overjoyed about the Ice Barrel partnership with CrossFit.
The Teams division will compete across six tests during the 2023 Semifinals, recovery will be at the forefront of their minds.
Improved Muscle Soreness & Perception of Fatigue
A 2017 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research meta-analysis found that cold water immersion was “beneficial for recovery of perceptions of fatigue, following team sport” after 72 hours. Compared to ice massage, total cold water immersion, like Ice Barrel provides, is more effective for “recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage.” (1)(2)
Sports Medicine determined from a meta-analysis in March 2023 that cold water immersion “was superior to other recovery methods for recovering from muscle soreness.” This did not inhibit its impact on the recovery of muscular power and flexibility. Cold water immersion is similar in impact to active recovery (e.g., stretching, walking, yoga) for reducing inflammation or cellular stress following resistance training. (3)(4)
Onward to the CrossFit Semifinals
The first of the 2023 CrossFit Semifinals kick off on May 18 and 19 — the North America East Semifinal in Orlando, FL, and the Africa Semifinal in Johannesburg, South Africa — respectively. Individual athletes will compete in seven workouts; Teams will be tested through six workouts. The 2023 CrossFit Games occurs in Madison, WI, on Aug. 1-6, 2023.
CrossFit employees and trainers will receive exclusive Ice Barrel offerings, the specifics of which will be revealed in the coming months. Ice Barrel will offer exclusive deals to CrossFit athletes, attendees, and live stream viewers during the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Additional details will be announced during the Semifinals and at icebarrel.com/crossfit.
- Higgins, T. R., Greene, D. A., & Baker, M. K. (2017). Effects of Cold Water Immersion and Contrast Water Therapy for Recovery From Team Sport: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 31(5), 1443–1460. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001559
- Fakhro, M. A., AlAmeen, F., & Fayad, R. (2022). Comparison of total cold-water immersion’s effects to ice massage on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage. Journal of experimental orthopaedics, 9(1), 59. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40634-022-00497-5
- Moore, E., Fuller, J. T., Bellenger, C. R., Saunders, S., Halson, S. L., Broatch, J. R., & Buckley, J. D. (2023). Effects of Cold-Water Immersion Compared with Other Recovery Modalities on Athletic Performance Following Acute Strenuous Exercise in Physically Active Participants: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Meta-Regression. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 53(3), 687–705. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-022-01800-1
- Peake, J. M., Roberts, L. A., Figueiredo, V. C., Egner, I., Krog, S., Aas, S. N., Suzuki, K., Markworth, J. F., Coombes, J. S., & Raastad, T. (2017). The effects of cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation and cell stress responses in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. The Journal of Physiology, 595(3), 695-711. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP272881