Is ice for recovery all it's cracked up to be...?
Katelyn Sander

Is ice for recovery all it's cracked up to be...?

Living Well

… not according to some Japanese mice struggling with painful DOMS…

But first, on the topic of DOMS – I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for the Clubs to open so I can teach a crazy, high power IN PERSON spin class and then struggle through some deadlifts with as many bumper plates as I can find…

Oh, that will make my body sore and I cannot wait. I hope you feel the same way. Because we also cannot wait to see YOU!

And so – in preparation for all that muscle soreness, what can we do to help? Ice? It turns out – for Japanese mice anyhow – ice might not be such a good idea.

A recent study from the Journal of Applied Physiology, stated that applying ice after a tough workout might not help healing and repair. In fact, it might slow the whole process down. 

A group of healthy male mice were put through the equivalent of a heavy leg workout. Their muscles were eccentrically loaded and then – for half the mice – tiny ice packs were applied to the trained muscles.

The researchers compared molecular changes in muscle fibers between the iced and non-iced group over the course of 14 days. Specifically, they looked at inflammation, recovery, and muscle building to determine if icing might have an impact on these variables.

The findings? In the mice who weren’t treated with ice packs, within 3 days, their tissues had responded with waves of proinflammatory cells which encouraged swelling and subsequently muscle growth. By the end of week two, these mice had completed the entire growth and recovery cycle. For the mice who had been iced, it took 7 days to see the initial positive adaptation (swelling and subsequent growth) and by day 14, they still hadn’t fully recovered.

Yes, our legs are larger and different compared to mice limbs. Still, this is not the first study to demonstrate that icing after a tough workout may not be the right approach. Yes, intense workouts create swelling and pain in the muscles and connective tissue. Yes, ice is very effective at reducing swelling and concurrent discomfort. But just because it feels good, it might not be good. Sometimes the body does know how to optimally heal itself and should be left to its own devices. Sometimes.

What does it mean for us? 

Keep reading and exploring. Keep being curious and questioning. The body – of mice and men – is complicated. And each one of us is different.

To that end, why don’t you try an experiment on yourself: The next time to you complete a gnarly workout, apply ice to those sore, puffy spots. And then the time after that? Leave the ice in your water bottle. Decide which scenario proffered the better results.

And when the Clubs reopen, we’ll have ice at the Sport Medicine Clinic and loads more behind the bar. 

Today’s Inspiration

“If you’re skating on thin ice, you might as well dance.” – Anita Shreve

Today’s Live Workouts

Happy Monday! Ready to get moving to start your week off right? We’ve got TWO classes on the schedule for today!


Join Robert S today for a Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
Password: 991724


Join Robert Y today for our new Yoga Fusion workout! A combination of hatha, ashtanga, and kudalini yoga techniques. This class will engage your muscles, open your joints, calm your mind, and lift your spirits. (All levels)

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 5:15pm (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 899 4248 0739
Password: 624126


Click here to view our weekly schedule.

If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.

Today’s Trainer Moves

And if you do get injured? Instead of icing (or not!) modify your workout to only tax the muscles that are well intact. That’s what Lori did in this creative core workout inspired by a broken foot!

For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, you can connect directly with Lori here.

Event Recap

Urban Squash Toronto

A couple of weeks ago, Urban Squash Toronto hosted their 10th Anniversary Fundraiser & Concert. We are thrilled to announce that the event raised over $130,000, a new UST record for their annual fundraiser. Thank you to everyone who attended, donated, and supported the event! We look forward to the next 10 years of supporting this phenomenal organization and event!

PATH Campaign

As we continue to prepare for our reopening, we’re in the process of determining how we will market and promote the Clubs.

Thanks to our longstanding relationship with Pattison, we’ve been granted some complimentary time to promote the Clubs in the PATH as a run-up to our reopening. If you’ve travelled through the PATH in the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed some of our newest posters, featuring some of our amazing Members.

A similar campaign will be launched as we get closer to reopening the Clubs.

Today’s Bite

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Butter Beans and Tarragon

Gently crushing the cucumbers for this salad releases their aroma and creates nooks and crannies for soaking up the dressing. They still retain plenty of crunch, a great contrast to the rich, creamy butter beans. Don’t skip the tarragon here; its fragrance and delicate anise flavour give the dish a refreshing pop.


  • 1 lb Persian cucumbers, halved crosswise
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar (sub rice vinegar or cherry vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon


  • Working with one cucumber half at a time, use the side of a large knife to lightly crush the cucumber. Repeat with remaining cucumber halves. Tear crushed cucumbers into chunks.
  • Whisk together oil, vinegar, shallot, and mustard in a serving bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in crushed cucumbers, butter beans, and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.


Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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