Ice bath challenges….

In this weeks sports science news, McGregor's ice bath challenge, 'Takeoff' book review, Swiatek trains with mouth taped

Eric Curry

By Eric Curry
Last updated: August 19th, 2023
3 min read

This week in the world of sports science, here’s what happened…

  • Conor McGregor’s ice bath challenge
  • Takeoff…is it worth the hype
  • Iga Swiatek trains with tape over her mouth

Conor McGregor’s ice bath challenge

Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler in Ice Bath Challenge

Mixed Martial Artist Conor McGregor certainly knows how to draw publicity. Whether it is good or bad, McGregor has been a mainstay in the public domain over the past decade. In a recent publicity challenge, McGregor took on fellow fighter Michael Chandler, in an ice bath challenge. Both fighters stayed in a 4°C ice bath for 30 minutes while partaking in a quiz against each other.

While it may seem like a harmless jovial challenge, UFC boss Dana White was far from pleased. In a colourful interview, White slammed the challenge. He described it as ‘dangerous, stupid, irresponsible and completely f**king ridiculous’.

It turns out White is right! From our guidelines on ice baths, the water temperature should be between 8-15°C for a duration of 11 to 15 minutes. Not 4°C for 30 minutes as McGregor did! To avoid the risk of shock and hyperthermia please stick to the guidelines supported by science.

If you are a combat athlete interested in ice baths check out our blog: SCIENCE OF ICE BATH RECOVERY FOR FIGHTERS: IN-DEPTH GUIDE

Takeoff…is it worth the hype?

Takeoff (Image: Athlete Framework)

I have finished reading the new book by Daniel Bove “Takeoff: A Visual Guide to Training and Monitoring Lower Power”. You may have seen this book being promoted and discussed across social media recently.

Takeoff provides an in-depth analysis of the countermovement jump (CMJ) and its association with lower body power. It shows there is so much more information than just jump height associated with the CMJ. Components of the CMJ such as unweighting, braking, transition, propulsion, and landing are all expertly discussed. My favourite part of the book is its simplicity and easiness to read. The author has done a fantastic job of simplifying complex topics.

The book may seem expensive ($59.99), but if you are fascinated with learning more about lower body power through CMJ analysis, I highly recommend this book.

For more information on the CMJ, check out our previous blog COUNTERMOVEMENT JUMP (CMJ).

Iga Swiatek trains with tape over her mouth

Iga Swiatek (Image: Tennis Tonic)

World No.1 women’s tennis player Iga Swiatek has recently been seen practising with tape covering her mouth. Bizarrely, when asked at a recent press conference, Swiatek was unable to explain the rationale behind her training method. Although she did mention it “has something to with endurance”.

Obviously, this training method encourages the athlete to nasal breathe as mouth breathing is restricted. However, the potential performance benefits from this training method are less clear. A fantastic article by The Age spoke to experts in exercise physiology who discussed Swiatek’s training method. This article is well worth checking out!

Increasing anaerobic and/or aerobic capacity, improving respiratory muscle strength, and enhancing psychological state of being, are just some of the suggested reasons for Swiatek’s training method. However, as mentioned in the article, there is very little supporting science for Swiatek’s training method.

From us this week:

>> New course: The Demands of Women’s Football
>> New podcast: Women’s World Cup Special: How And Why Women Footballers Train Differently To Men
>> New infographic: Basic Movement Patterns
>> New article: How much protein do athletes really need?

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup of the hottest sports science news, and as always, we’ll be back next week with more to keep you at the forefront of the industry.

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Eric Curry

Eric Curry

Eric is a Strength and Conditioning Coach from Ireland. Eric holds a MSc in Sports Strength and Conditioning and an undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise. Eric is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA. Eric currently works as a Strength and Conditioning Coach in Ireland predominantly with youth performance Tennis players. Eric also has experience working with athletes from basketball, martial arts, football, hurling, and Gaelic football.

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