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I'm doing this challenge where u do 50 squats the first day and 100 the second and 150 the third n so on for 30 days. I'm used to squatting so its really not a big deal for me. I have this habit of squatting in the bathroom and then head straight for a cold shower. Now I'm having thigh n Butt cramps and it also affects my walking. So I want to know if the cramps are from the shower because I highly doubt its from my squatting challenge since, as I said before, I'm used to squatting.

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    1500 squats on day 30? Really? Did I do the math right? Is that humanly possible? – Matthew James Briggs Aug 9 '15 at 6:08
  • Looked it up, current record 4,656 in one hour, Attila Horvat. – Matthew James Briggs Aug 9 '15 at 6:28
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    @MatthewJamesBriggs - But was that after 30 consecutive days of squatting? – Alec Aug 9 '15 at 10:41
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often those "challenges" don't progress at a realistic pace, and it sounds like there may not be the appropriate rest days involved.

You may be used to squatting, but bear in mind that DOMS takes 24 hrs to kick in, and 48 hrs to then go away (on average), without rest days, that's loads of workouts on top of your DOMS.

Regarding cold showers, have you tried hot before cold, they both have their benefits, hot relaxes muscles most importantly, so going hot as a start feels really good after a workout, cold after that to get the blood flowing and close the pores etc.

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The soreness you're experiencing is probably just Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

Regarding the cold water, the studies I've read (1,2) are mixed.

Just coming from a pure medical prospective, "cold water" is defined as water temperature below 68F-77F (20C-25C). There are four phases:

  • Cold shock response
  • Cold incapacitation
  • Hypothermia
  • Circumrescue collapse

The bottom three you don't really need to worry about as they result (basically) from full immersion, loss of muscle control, hypothermia, and eventually from damage from a rescue itself. So just looking at cold shock response. From Medicine for Moutaineering, 6th Edition:

Sudden immersion into cold water stimulates one or more large inspiratory gasps, which is usually followed by hyperventilation and also may be associated with a substantial increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Individuals with cardiac disease may experience cardiac arrest or ventricular fibrillation. If the head is submerged, the gasp reflex could result in aspiration of water and immediate drowning.

Subsequent hyperventilation usually diminishes within seconds to minutes but could be exaggerated and prolonged by emotional stress and panic. Uncontrolled hyperventilation makes coordinating breathing with swimming strokes very difficult, which could lead to drowning. Theoretically, cold shock can occur in water warmer than 68 ° F (20 ° C), although these effects are more life threatening at temperatures below 59 ° F (15 ° C) and worsen as water temperature decreases.

So while some people do hop into very cold water and enjoy it, other people really do die doing so. The text I'm referencing is looking at field cases of people falling or jumping into cold bodies of water quickly, so the applicability of this to a normal household setting with a "cold" water shower is debateable. Regardless:

The best way to minimize cold shock is to enter cold water in a slow and controlled manner and to keep the head from being submersed. Individuals should focus on getting through the first minute, suppressing panic, and consciously getting breathing under control.

So maybe don't just stand there and let the cold water blast you on full. Ease into it.

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Yes, it is probably a combination of muscle soreness and the muscles tensing up because of the cold temperature. I know you're used to squatting, but doing over 100 a day consecutively is really not healthy. You will be sore because of the high repetitions, even if you have strong legs. In general, cold showers aren't healthy, either. I would suggest doing actual barbell squats instead of air squats, as they will be much more beneficial to you, and taking warmer showers.

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  • Can you provide evidence that cold showers are unhealthy? There is a large body of evidence that suggests there are benefits to cold showers. – JohnP Sep 3 '15 at 22:16
  • @John P Cold showers have been linked to frostbite, hypothermia, depression, blackouts, suicides, and heart attacks. In this guy's case the cold water would probably tense up his muscles, more, too, as I stated previously. Read this article: cold-showers.com/tag/frost-bite – Rob Sterach Sep 4 '15 at 1:21
  • Did you read the article? It's talking about ice baths, not cold showers. It also states that the typical ice bath is warm enough to not risk frostbite. And, the site you link is for cold showers and cold water therapy, not against it. – JohnP Sep 4 '15 at 4:39
  • @John P but if the shower is 32 degrees or under, it is harmful. Or if it is in the Winter time. – Rob Sterach Sep 6 '15 at 0:23
  • Winter time has nothing to do with it unless you are showering outdoors. And I'd like to see a shower that is below the freezing point of water. – JohnP Sep 6 '15 at 2:15

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