CrossFit Games Competitions are almost here. Athletes should arrive well rested and hopefully injury free. CrossFit Games competitions are very intense. Athletes will have to complete several WODs a day, possible for three days in a row. There will not be time for complete recovery between WODs. The athletes at the CrossFit Competitions will have access to ice water baths and massage therapists. There have been a number of articles on the effectiveness of ice baths and massage. Some have said they work. Other have said they don’t help. What should an athlete do between WODs? A new study (January 2013) looked at massage and cold-water baths on performance and perceptions of fatigue. The research subjects were basketball players: 8 men and 8 women. There is not much research on CrossFit athletes yet. The study athletes got either massage, cold water immersion or nothing after competition. 24 hours later they were tested for counter movement jumping and sprinting and were asked about sensations of fatigue.
Study Results: 24 Hours Later.
- Athletes felt better if they had a massage or ice water bath than if they had nothing done.
- Women especially felt less tired after ice water baths than after massages
- Men and women felt less tired if they had an ice bath or a massage than if they didn’t
- Jumping performance was better after ice baths
- No differences in sprinting ability were seen
- Final conclusion: Ice baths were more effective than massage. Getting a massage still helps athletes feel less tired.
For CrossFit Geeks: Here is a link to the Study
Delextrat A, Calleja-González J, Hippocrate A, & Clarke ND (2013). Effects of sports massage and intermittent cold-water immersion on recovery from matches by basketball players. Journal of sports sciences, 31 (1), 11-9 PMID: 22935028