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Temperature and microtears... (key to easier gains?)

Temperature and microtears... (key to easier gains?)

Hey guys, I remember people talking about using heat and cold whatnot - especially
something about microtears. I tried to find the post but couldn’t come across it.

So my question is…. How does temperature affect microtears? I know it’s easier
to stretch with heat BUT with cold temperatures (after workouts) - does cold
temperature slow the healing process of microtears?…

… which would help with gains in the long run. I’m just curious because something
about temperature was mentioned in regard to microtears before.

I know we have alot of scientists here so I hope I can get a great answer. Thanks!

I’ve never come across this before. Cold would help with gains? If that’s the case I’ve been doing all wrong :)

Veteran scientists, any truth in this?

I don’t know about temperature affecting microtears except that damage is more likely from shock loading if the tissue is cooler since there is greater stiffness. That doesn’t really apply in PE exercises though.

Cold will reduce inflammation and swelling, but it will also slow down repair rates. Modern therapy (sometimes in stark contrast to traditional wisdom) is that cold should only be applied to injuries involving major trauma or blood loss, but heat should be applied to encourage healing rate of minor strains. Hopefully all your PE will be ‘managed damage’ and so benefit from gentle heat. Sunshine Kid is an authority in this area and may wish to qualify the above.

If, on the other hand you are talking about extensibility of tissues with regard to plastic deformation, then heat is definately the way to go for stretching. Optionally you might want to cool the tissue for a minute at the end of the stretch in order to get the temperature back below the ‘deformation temperature window’. It is my current belief that although this may secure some very quick gains in the untrained individual, it does not actually cause tissue growth in the sense of micro tears and cell division.

Putting Punctuated PE to the test.

Is this the thread you wanted? I am not 100% sure, but it is 7 AM my way and I have been up all night again.


“You see, I don’t want to do good things, I want to do great things.” ~Alexander Joseph Luthor

I know Lewd Ferrigno personally.

Originally Posted by Shiver
Cold will reduce inflammation and swelling, but it will also slow down repair rates. Modern therapy (sometimes in stark contrast to traditional wisdom) is that cold should only be applied to injuries involving major trauma or blood loss, but heat should be applied to encourage healing rate of minor strains. Hopefully all your PE will be ‘managed damage’ and so benefit from gentle heat. Sunshine Kid is an authority in this area and may wish to qualify the above.

THAT’S IT!! “Cold will slow down repair rates” so shouldn’t it slow down the healing of the microtears
especially if you apply a cold icepack after a good heated stretching work out? Or how about a ADS
with an icepack attached? Wouldn’t slowing down the healing process result in EASIER GAINS? I
don’t know if it’s some crazy theory but I would love somebody to chime in and help out.

Originally Posted by twatteaser
Putting Punctuated PE to the test.

Is this the thread you wanted? I am not 100% sure, but it is 7 AM my way and I have been up all night again.

Hi TT, I really appreciate your help but that thread doesn’t have anything to do with
temperature and gains :) Drink some coffee

Originally Posted by LonerJ
THAT’S IT!! “Cold will slow down repair rates” so shouldn’t it slow down the healing of the microtears
especially if you apply a cold icepack after a good heated stretching work out? Or how about a ADS
with an icepack attached? Wouldn’t slowing down the healing process result in EASIER GAINS? I
don’t know if it’s some crazy theory but I would love somebody to chime in and help out.

It’s got to repair sometime though as repair (or remodelling) is growth. I think you might be mixing it up with some of the ideas we discussed regarding fibrosis (not too desirable for PE). I can’t speak for the others in those discussions, but my working theory for now is as follows:

1. Induce minor trauma only. (Enough but not more than).

2. Elevate temperature (IR pad preferred, IR lamp as a poor cousin). Improves oxygen and nutrient delivery.

3. Reduce (but not eliminate) inflammation to inhibit the chain of events that follows (lymph fluid > fibrins > fibroblasts). This is where the controvesy begins. Personally I use Bromelain (pineapple extract) to reduce inflammation as it allows me to use heat as well. The idea being that it can still repair, but over the following weeks (when temporary collagen laid down is replaced with permanent Type I collagen), the response is subdued. By slowing the collagen deposition down, it would give you a chance (next day) to take up where you left off without tissues getting too tough.

4. Don’t take days off. Many will disagree with me here, but I think days of is allowing time for the body to advance it’s long term repairs. Equally important I would say to keep trauma mild enough that you don’t need any days off. If you’re really stuck for time then I’d at least give everthing a good stretch when you go for a pee.

Of course microtears HAVE TO BE REPAIRED IN order for growth. But wouldn’t
slowing the repairs down (so that it doesn’t heal back to its normal state - esp.
for hard gainers), and continuously adding force whilst leaving some time to
heal MAXIMIZE gains? That is the question.

I read some posts about using hot wraps then ice packs to maximize gains
but I’m not sure if this is to manipulate the blood flow or if it has anything
to do with microtears.

The thing to bear in mind when picturing this is that repair is a multistage process, and those processes overlap each other. Immediate responses are edema (oedema) to the trauma site, which might last 2 or 3 days. Second you get short term healing, which can happen at the same time as the first process but can be 2-3 weeks depending on level of trauma. Finally you get the full fix which is pretty much how everything stays (unless you are counting in multiples of months, in which case things may normalise, or ‘deconditioning’ as it is widely known around here).

There have been suggestions that you may be able to slow down repair by cold, calorific restriction, vitamin restriction (vit-c), constant exercise or supplements. Personally I think it would be better to allow repair, but in a moderate way, not to restrict nutrition or exercise more than to a level that the body can deal with.

I currently believe that heat has a role in deformation that should not be confused with growth.
I also currently believe that excessive exercise will hinder gains, and that there is an optimal rate for each individual, beyond which may be detrimental to long term gains.

I may be wrong on one or both counts. My only goal is to find the truth. I’d like to think that someone would give me the answers, but I’m not waiting for that, I’m my own ‘lab wabbit’.

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