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I work out for 1 hour daily in the morning. My trainer told me to stay warm i.e. keep the muscles warm, throughout the day (or at least most of the time) because it helps muscle gain.

That is, he wanted to say that after doing exercise, instead of wearing half shirts, I have to wear full shirts or jackets to avoid direct contact with cold air so that my muscles will stay warmer, which will support me gaining muscle.

When I asked for clarification about it, he told me that his trainers used to advise him like that. So, is it really useful and does it make any difference, or is this just another myth?

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A possibly related article: startingstrength.com/index.php/site/article/… –  Kate Dec 10 '12 at 17:50
    
One tip - If you ever ask a trainer something and they respond with "That's how I was trained", run away. Fast. That means they have blindly accepted what the person before them did, right or wrong, and have done no personal research or education. –  JohnP Sep 7 '13 at 15:51
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2 Answers

The answer to this question depends on whether you believe you should allow or prevent inflammation during recovery. This article explains both sides of the issue.

Your trainer probably believes that some level of inflammation, extra blood flow, etc. is beneficial to recovery, and that a jacket can significantly affect that.

Inflammation begins after you do a heavy set of lifts. Your muscles are stressed during the workout, and this triggers inflammation as part of the recovery process. Regardless of how you feel at this stage, your lifting performance will be reduced.

Some people believe that this inflammation is necessary for proper recovery and adaptation. However, that review article argues that the science is not settled. Should you use ibuprofen to help yourself deal with inflammation and get back to the gym a bit sooner? Or does that hurt your strength gains by interfering with the natural recovery process? The author's conclusion is:

if anti-inflammatory interventions delay healing or blunt gains, they don’t do it by very damn much. Conversely, if they aid return to function or actually promote gains, again, it’s not by very damn much.

It seems to me that if the effects of doing something as drastic as using anti-inflammatory drugs or ice are so inconsistent or insignificant to your training, then the effects of wearing or not wearing a jacket will be much less important.

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thanks for your answer, but its really too complicated information to understand :) –  Shirish Herwade Dec 11 '12 at 11:50
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Can you add some information from the article here (feel free to quote relevant parts and use the link as a reference) to prevent link rot? –  Matt Chan Dec 11 '12 at 13:28
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There are varying ranges of educational levels for trainers. They could be non-high school graduates that sat for one of the 4-6 hour personal training courses to those having a Bachelor's in Exercise Science with a Master's of Exercise Physiology. Some of the time trainers will not know the reasoning behind a method (keeping the muscles warm in this case); and rather that it is a widely accepted norm.

That being said, keeping muscles warm post heavy lifting is a viable technique for most lifters. The article that Kate posted addresses everything you would need to know about your original question. Keeping your muscles warm and doing some light stretching will also help you keep the same (if not improve) muscle flexibility.

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thanks for the answer –  Shirish Herwade Dec 11 '12 at 11:52
    
@Grohlier; I work in a relatively cold environment; could that explain why my biceps' size seem to fluctuate? –  Kneel-Before-ZOD Feb 27 at 22:58
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