Explosive Training in the Cold

Up here in Pittsburgh, it's cold.  The other day it was 30 degrees, but sunny, so running felt oddly good.

One of our remote members sent me a message the other day:

"Is it better to something like plyos or sprints before or after doing cardio work?"

Under most conditions, you always want to do your explosive work before cardio work. 

And ideally, you actually want those to be on separate days to maximize your body's adaptation to the training session.

If you aren't afforded with a schedule that allows for 6 days of training or 2-a-days, like most people, the latter is probably unreasonable.  So yeah, explosive work before cardio.

It takes a lot of energy for your body to do explosive, coordinated work, and your body performs best when you do powerful work fresh.  Plus, fatigue can cause the coordination to lack which can increase injury risk.

What does that have to do with being cold?

Well, what increases injury risk arguably more than tired explosive work?  Explosive work in 30 degree weather.  

This young man's question was posed to me because it was 30 degrees where he lived.  That's a game changer.  Ideally, you just do the explosive work indoors, problem solved.  But that's not always possible. 

The solution is actually the opposite of my above recommendation:

In very cold weather, do your plyos and explosive work AFTER cardio work.


Because the cardio work will warm your joints & muscles up to allow them to be at less risk of injury in the cold.

It's also a good recommendation to slowly increase the volume and/or intensity of the explosive work you do in the cold.  Doing too much can lead to some unpleasant strain.

You should also dress warmly, stay very active during rest, and not spend too much time doing explosive work in the cold.  Fatigued mechanics + freezing temperatures is not a formula for success!

Make sure to do a very thorough warm up, more than you may in the summer months.

Happy Training!

Coach Donald


Global Human Performance
Global Human Performance

Life Changing Fitness

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