Cold Immersion: The 7 Step Hack To Better Results

Has it happened to you, too?

In your mind, you’ve decided that you want to really go for it tomorrow. Perhaps do a morning workout. Break a sweat. Make a change.

You feel excited the night before, writing down your workout plan until it’s perfect.

And you think you’ll be ready to jump into it after waking up.


Shimmering with enthusiasm, you go to bed. Ready to embrace the challenge ahead.

But when you wake up, when it’s do or die, you feel lethargic.



You hit the snooze button once more.

You just don’t have the energy and you don’t like black tar coffee.

What can you do to ‘fire up your day’ and get the courage to continue?

Here is a simple ‘natural energy hack’ that works better than caffeine and will help your recovery.




The Natural Cold Immersion Hack


Perhaps you’ve seen it.

The Russians have done it for decades. The Chinese have done it for centuries. Wim Hof does it too.

Now modern day science it catching up.

What am I talking about?

Taking cold showers.


Athletes around the world have been using it for it’s wide range of recovery promoting and overall health benefits

Research amongst a group of 38 strength trained individuals for example showed that cold water immersion is effective in reducing physiological and functional deficits associated with muscle soreness (1).


This was also shown in a study amongst elite cyclist who showed increased recovery after cold water immersion (2).

And seems to help in overall resistance or a ‘hardening of the body’ to environmental stressors such as: disease, especially acute respiratory sickness.

Which was up to 40% lower in cold water swimmers (3).

By exposing themselves to the right dosages of stress, they became stronger in the process. 

This is something referred to as a hormesis (4).




Small amounts of stress -just like training- create resilience.

A right amount of stress, creates ‘eustress’, which is a state of being energised, focused and challenged.

Too little and you become bored, too much and you burn out.

As with every stressor, you need to manage the dosages correctly to prevent it from becoming toxic or inhibitory. 


If done correctly however, cold showers increase energy expenditure which aids in burning fat (5)

And if it’s not the benefits from a physical point of view there seem to be even immune control or psychological benefits in the form of reduced fatigue post workout (6).

More, induced hormonal changes in dopamine and adrenaline might make cold exposure a ‘possibly’ potent anti-depressant (7).

While at the same time, if done with the proper methodology can actually lead to ‘a degree of control over the sympathetic nervous system’ and reduce inflammatory reactions which are associated with most sever degenerative auto-immune diseases (8).

Participants in this study were injected with an ‘endotoxin’ which causes flue like symptoms.

The ‘participants’ in the cold exposure group were able to suppress this response.


Key Takeaway: Cold exposure has shown to increase rate of recovery and feel good hormones.

In combination with the right method it can lead to ‘control over the inflammatory response of the sympathetic nervous system’, while at the same time increasing fat metabolism.

What does this mean?

You recover faster after training, burn some extra fat, are more protected against disease and might ‘feel less depressed’.


So cold water immersion works on many layers.

But there is another, perhaps even more potent reason why you should do cold showers.





The Power Of Priming Yourself With Cold Showers


Have you every knocked down a domino stone?

Allow me to explain how you can use ‘cold showers’ as that first stone that knocks over thousands.

In cognitive psychology, priming is the benefit to processing one stimulus as a result of
already having encountered that stimulus or one similar (9).

What does this imply?

That what you do at a certain point in time can influence how you do other things.


You might for example see a ‘happy face’ with an ad.

Now while you might not think about it consciously, this happy face influences your purchasing decision.

It is basically priming you for good emotions, which in turn make you more likely to buy a product (10).

That’s why you should always smile when you try to get people to do something for you ;).

But how does this relate to cold showers?


You can use it the same way marketing companies use a smile.

But now you can use it as a prime to achieve your goals.

A cold shower in the morning will carry a sense of accomplishment throughout the day.

You had a challenge, you faced your challenge and you knocked it down.





Now you’ve primed yourself for ‘knocking down challenges’.

The domino effect.

Knocking down 1 challenge, gives you momentum and can increase your ability to overcome other bigger challenges to win the day.

You are ready for whatever the day may bring.

That’s why you should start with a cold shower.


Key Takeaway: Taking a cold shower can fire up your ‘overcoming-challenges-part of the brain’.

This creates a domino effect that creates momentum, allowing you to knock down other challenges throughout the day and in other areas of your life.


So what EXACT steps can you take to tap into these benefits?

I’ll explain below.



How To Get Started With Cold Showers




Make A Cold Shower A Daily Workout Ritual


Working out doesn’t just happen when you are hanging from the bar.

Working out happens when you are lying in bed.

When you brush your teeth.

When you stand underneath a morning shower.


It’s because the way you do ‘anything, is the way you do everything’.

Small amounts of stress, build resilience and make you stronger in the process.

Every single choice you make ‘primes’ you for another one.

A small feat of courage at the beginning of the day will end up making you ‘courageous’ for the rest of the day.


That’s how courage is born and cultivated. By putting it on repeat. Every single day.

You don’t need someone to push you forward. Repeatedly.

You do it yourself. With the domino effect. 


By embracing the cold for at least 10 seconds each day.


Beast mode ON!


Now I’d like to hear from you:

Did you like this post?

Or maybe you have a question.

Either way, leave a quick comment below right now.




20 thoughts on “Cold Immersion: The 7 Step Hack To Better Results

  1. Rich
    I look forward to your posts. The posts always have useful information and what is nice is you do not bury people with big words that most laymen do not understand. You explaine it is easy to understand and easy to remember. This to me means you understand what you are talking about not just pulling it out of a text, like many do and can not really tell you what it means. So thank you for your posts love reading them.

    1. Hey Michael,

      That’s a very big compliment right there and I’m truly thankful for it.

      I try to make it as easy as I can and I’m happy it resonates with you.

      Honoured by your message, keep up the good work.

      Beast mode ON!

  2. Taking cold showers in the morning is a powerful dose of grit to get you primed for whatever the day has in store for you! Trust me and Rich, nothing quite wakes you up like a cold shower! Eat your frog first thing in the morning (look this up principal up). Try the James Bond shower if you like, a slower progression from warm to freezing cold. Preferably, I like to take the extreme route from warm to ice cold! If your shivering, you know your doing it right. Once you have become adapted to the cold, you can turn it off. Great post Rich!

    1. Hey Jeremy,

      Big thank you for that one :D.

      Yes, that big ‘cold frog’, once it’s down the hatch ‘the rest of the day feels like a breeze’.

      Thanks for your addition my friend, always good to hear from you.

      Beast mode ON!

  3. I started with a few seconds and built up to just over a minute, using a waterproof egg timer. Now I both start the shower and finish with the cold ‘treatment’. For a few weeks I got a short headache at the end. That doesn’t happen now. I do the showers when I come home from work.
    I first heard of the idea from Rich. Thanks Rich!

    1. Hey T,

      Big thank you for that comment!

      Getting really professional with that ‘egg timer’ there, love it.

      That headache might have been caused by the contraction of your blood vessels, over time indeed the body adapts and you become more capable of controlling that response.

      Happy to hear it has been working for you.

      Keep up the good work.

      Beast mode ON!

  4. I’ve been doing this after an extensive exersize routine and it makes me feel great coupled with the endorphins from my workout.

  5. In the 4-minute body the author points out that focusing the cold shower on the back of the neck and between the shoulders is even more effective. This is the area adult humans have brown lipid tissue, the fat tissue responsible for regulating body temperature. I used a cold shower on my back and back of neck for 2 minutes a day and lost 4kg in a week.

    1. Hey Abe,

      Great addition!

      Love the Tim Ferris stuff ;).

      That’s pretty interesting to say the least. I’ll try to do some research into it.

      Keep up the good work my friend and once again thanks for the tip!

      Beast mode ON!

  6. Well, I’ve been doin this stuff most of my adult life, always with a long break after colds and stuff. Just for the fun of it. Dont know if it helps weight loss actually. Question is, its unclear if you just suggest to do it as a start of the day, or before exercising (what for unless you feel like you need it?) or after, the latter seeming to be the sensible choice, but the question if its good after exercising.

    1. Hey Stan,

      Awesome stuff!

      It does help with increasing body temperature, which requires energy, which subsequently aids in weightloss. Of course taking only cold showers isn’t going to get you ripped, but it’s a tool that can help ;).

      I’d recommend it at the start of the day to wake up, but it’s definitely also an option after training. Just make sure you don’t do it prior to going to sleep, because you are creating a stress response which will actually keep up awake.

      So before training to wake up, after training to increase recovery, but not before you go to bed (In that case a warm shower is better).

      Beast mode ON!

  7. I pretty much exclusively take cold showers. It was rough at first, but now I feel like a girl if I take a warm shower. Definitely wakes me up and feels great. When you start cold, you want to finish the shower quickly, so you’re more efficient!

    1. Hey Tom,

      Haha, love that attitude!

      It definitely does it for you in the morning. Indeed, when you start cold there is no ‘excuse’ to stay in for too long.

      Keep up the good work.

      Beast mode ON!

  8. I shower only in the evening, because in the morning I’ve got to go to school. But after taking a cold shower in the evening I can’t sleep anymore. What do I do?

    1. Hey Liesbeth,

      Great question.

      Solution is quite simple: “Don’t take cold showers before going to bed.”

      If it doesn’t work for you then it doesn’t, generally I would not recommend a cold shower before going to bed, rather do it when getting out of bed ;). It wakes you up.

      Beast mode ON!

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