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  • Hot yoga?

    I realize this isn't very related to training but I trust you guys for your medical/scientific knowledge. A lot of people talk about the health benefits of hot yoga -- they say it makes for a more intense workout and higher heart rate. But my understanding is that external factors like heat make a workout feel more intense, but does it actually lead to a better adaptation in any way? Does that just apply to muscle adaptations not being any better in heat / hard conditions, or does it apply to cardiovascular adaptation as well? Relatedly, would running in 100 degree humid heat (as I'm experiencing here) help me adapt better and make running much easier once it drops to 60 and not humid, or is there no benefit over just consistently training in "good conditions" (apart from, presumably, training in heat helping with developing the ability to train in heat)?

    Thanks docs, love your content, it has helped me go from just wanting to train to get big to actually wanting to live a healthier, more active life, and you've helped me wade through all the bullshit bro science and health pseudoscience out there to figure out where I should actually be expending my limited energy.

    David

  • #2
    It does not lead to better adaptations outside of some related to heat. Interestingly, these don't seem to transfer well to non-yoga activities that are outside due to differences in ambient conditions (humidity) and cooling strategies used during static vs. dynamic activities.

    To answer your question, training in heat improves tolerance to heat and can reduce risk of heat-related illness. There are risks to training in heat that need to be considered as well.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
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    • #3
      My personal experience here related to training jiu jitsu. I started back up after a looong layoff a few months ago. Our gym keeps it pretty warm - its a small space with limited AC and when you've got 30 people wearing heavy pajamas working hard, it gets humid fast. It's hard, but I've adapted to it. When people from other gyms come it, it's a whole different ball game for them. It's a kick in the pants because its not a stress they've adapted it.

      Not sure how the difficulty is when things aren't as warm, it's a hard to judge b/c there's so many variables.

      Not providing any studies on this, but it's pretty common in grappling. Go to your local college's wrestling room, and it will be uncomfortably warm during practice, but tournaments will be normal.

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      • #4
        Yes, heat (and humidity) above a certain level reduces performance through centrally-mediated (brain) mechanisms. This is well-known across sport. However, making it warm during practice and "normal" during competition is not supported by evidence, as again, heat drives different adaptations- not "more".
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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