Why Does Chris Bumstead Take Multiple Ice Baths Per Week?: ‘It’s Really Good For Overall Systematic Inflammation’

Ice Baths

Chris Bumstead has been taking ice baths at a consistent rate for a long time now.

Chris Bumstead has turned into one of the most popular bodybuilders in the sport today, not only from his Mr. Olympia wins, but also his transparency with topics such as steroid usage and whether or not others should be taking the substances, the bodybuilding lifestyle, and overall health. When he says something, there is a good chance that many are listening. On social media, Bumstead has shown that he has been an advocate of ice baths. In this post, we will detail why Chris Bumstead takes ice baths, how often and how ice baths help Bumstead with inflammation. 

Bumstead is the reigning four-time Classic Physique Mr. Olympia champion, and coming for his fifth consecutive win this year at the 2023 Olympia. As we cruise through the summer months, Bumstead is continuing with his training throughout these early stages of prep and will likely be the favorite to bring home his fifth consecutive title. Classic Physique is a growing division that is gaining popularity, and with Bumstead at the top of the charts it is only going to become more popular. Recently, Bumstead shared how often he likes to get in an ice bath and why.

READ MORE: 3 Reasons Bodybuilders Should Take Cold Showers

Chris Bumstead Recovery

Now, when it comes to his training, Chris Bumstead does not mess around. He is known for moving some heavy weights at some decently high volume, which undoubtedly breaks down those muscle fibers to an extreme degree. That is why he puts a high emphasis on recovery.

For recovery, Chris Bumstead takes his supplements such as the protein powders and creatine, but that is not all he does. And before you crack a joke about anabolic steroids, that is not the route we are going, but instead we are discussing his preference for ice baths.

During his training, Bumstead has always been a fan of ice baths but used to have to fill up a tub and throw buckets of ice into it. Now, he has a tub specifically meant for ice baths that keeps the temperature that he is looking for. Bumstead shared that he likes to keep the tub around 40 degrees — anything less is too much.

“This is 40 degree water in here. Quite chilly. I did 35 once but it was too much. I get in here and I can’t feel my feet but it goes away.”

Chris Bumstead Classic Physique

Benefits of Ice Baths

Now, it may not be the most pleasant thing to do, jumping in an ice bath, actual cryotherapy chamber, or even a cold shower has a lot of benefits. Some of the benefits include the aid in reduced blood flow to the inflamed areas, and help in reduced inflammation, and less inflammation will result in less soreness.

To back up the pro-ice bath argument with some actual facts, an article from 2019 had suggested that ‘cold‐water immersion during recovery from resistance‐type exercise lowers the capacity of the muscle to take up and/or direct dietary protein‐derived amino acids towards de novo myofibrillar protein accretion. In addition, cold‐water immersion during recovery from resistance‐type exercise lowers myofibrillar protein synthesis rates during prolonged resistance‐type exercise training.’

So, to put it in simpler terms, cold therapy could help with the generation of new protein in your muscles after resistance training, making it an ideal post workout recovery technique to adopt.

Why Does Chris Bumstead Prefer Ice Baths?

So, with all that being said, why does Chris Bumstead enjoy ice baths? Well, he does not take ice baths for the reasons that you may think. This is a common trend for athletes looking to help their muscles recover. This is not the case for the bodybuilder. Bumstead shared that he does it to help with inflammation and get a dopamine hit in the morning.

“I don’t really use this for muscle recovery as much as I do for inflammation for my auto immune. It’s really good for overall systemic inflammation. It’s also really good in the morning to increase dopamine to help you wake up and be alive. If I wake up and am exhausted in the morning, you can have a cup of coffee and be awake but if you get in cold ass water, you’re like stimulated. Your brain is focused and you feel way better throughout the day.”

Bumstead explains how he likes to get in the tub for a short amount of time, usually 8-10 minutes, to wake himself up in the morning. He then follows it up with a cool shower because taking a hot one all reduce all of the effects. 

“I sit in there for like 8-10 minutes when I do this. I usually get in lower for like five minutes then just my legs for a total of eight minutes. It feels better on my legs and they’re so beat up. Now, I go take a shower. Try not to take a hot shower because that contrast will make you even more tired, even though it feels really f***ing good. So I try to take a medium to cold shower and let my body warm up naturally.”

This is a trend that athletes have been doing for years and Chris Bumstead has taken on for different reasons. Whatever he is doing, it seems to be working as Bumstead has built one of the best physiques in the world. Come November, it is likely that Bumstead will continue to share his best package on the Olympia stage.

Ice Barrel Cold Plunge

Ice Barrel is a cold therapy training tool that offers an easy way to bring ice baths to your routine that can help you recover like never before.

Chris Bumstead uses ice baths, and you can do the same thing with one product that the Generation Iron team recommends for all of your ice bath needs, Ice Barrel. Ice Barrel is 42 inches high and 31 inches wide, making it easy to transport yet big enough for you to stay in an upright position, instead of being reclined, so you can fully experience the natural response of forced cold exposure. The design also allows you to choose how much you wish to submerge yourself, whether that’s up to your neck and shoulders or even dunking completely in the cold water.

Ice Barrel products are made from impact and puncture resistant materials, so they are extremely durable yet lightweight, but each one is still backed by a lifetime warranty. Another thing worth mentioning is the Ice Barrel is made from linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), which is a non-toxic, BPA-free, medical-grade material. The barrels are also non-porous, so it won’t absorb oils, toxins or other contaminants.

Chris Bumstead Ice Bath Wrap Up

Overall, Chris Bumstead is someone in the fitness industry that many people look up to and take advice from, as he is very transparent with everything and gives his honest opinion no matter the topic. When it comes to his recovery, this is a priority, and he uses ice baths to do so.

Ice baths bring a lot of benefits to the table, and we can recommend Ice Barrel to take your ice baths in.

Will you be giving it a try?

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Dylan Wolf
I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.