When summer rolls around and the nice weather hits, you’ll probably be spending more time outside. But when you are inside, chances are good that it’s going to be several degrees warmer than normal – especially when you’re at the gym. And it’s well-known that a hard workout in the heat is much more demanding than the same workout in a nicely air-conditioned building.
For bodybuilders, there has always been one big question: How does heat affect recovery?
Scientists examined this question by getting male and female athletes to do two 30-minute exercise sessions seven days apart, each followed by a one-hour passive recovery session of sitting. During this recovery session, the researchers put one group of people in a room heated to 22 degrees Celsius and put the other in another room heated to 33 degrees Celsius.
Researchers found that the athletes who recovered in the cooler room recovered faster and better than those athletes who were in hotter conditions.
So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Heat affects your performance before, during and after a hard workout. To have the best workout, avoid overheating before you get there. Ideally, your gym should be air-conditioned, but it if isn’t, make sure you take a cool shower after your workout just to help bring down your core temperature. This will help flush out lactic acid and promote circulation. And be sure to stay as cool as you can for the rest of the day; this will help speed your recovery and launch you into the anabolic phase of recovery: growth.
Source: Duffield R, King M, Skein M. Recovery of voluntary and evoked muscle performance following intermittent-sprint exercise in the heat. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2009 Jun;4(2):254-68.