Author Topic: Positive Effects of Sauna Use  (Read 5670 times)

Offline nywrestler4life

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Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« on: April 11, 2014, 12:55:28 AM »
http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2014/04/10/saunas-hyperthermic-conditioning/

Warning: long article, summary at the end

Warning 2: complete offseason topic


This is an interesting article on the benefits of Sauna use.  I hadn't realized the amount of research done on saunas, with much of it relatively recent (post 1997).  They are currently banned and ostracized in the college wrestling community, but most reasonable people realize they are not the death traps the NCAA has made them out to be.  Much of this research was not done on humans, but as the evidence of beneficial uses of saunas accumulates, does anyone think the NCAA will change their stance to become more lenient.  Gable has spoken of the weight-cutting rules as a pendulum, where it used to be completely allowed but eventually shifted to an almost stifling amount of rules. 

When/what do you guys think it will take for the weight management rules to shift to a more moderate stance?  Or do you think the NCAA will strengthen the rules even more?  Which direction is best for the sport?

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 03:44:40 AM »
On the sauna rule specifically, I don't think it was aimed at general, healthy sauna use such as that described in the article.  Rather, it was aimed at guys who would sit in saunas in full plastics (sometimes even working out in a sauna) for long periods of time trying to make weight.  While sitting in a sauna for 30 minutes after your workout may be good for you, the things wrestlers were doing were far beyond that and resulted in severe dehydration and heat stress beyond what the human body can safely handle.  So, as usual, the rule came out as a complete ban because it was far simpler than trying to split hairs between what is and is not reasonable sauna use.

On weight cutting, I don't think it will ever swing back towards allowing more cutting or more aggressive measures.  If anything, I think we'll go a little further in trying to reduce weight cutting.  I do hope that we never go to things like mat side weigh-ins as I don't think that is the answer at all.  I am also hopeful that the science behind descent plans, lowest healthy weight, and hydration levels will continue to progress so that those rules can be more effective and more accurate.  As the science progresses, we could get to a point where we know what a certain wrestler can safely do and what he can't.  That should be the goal and would end a lot of the speculation that we have now.

Offline Wire

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 09:12:21 AM »
Well after my wrestling career, I still used the sauna at my fitness club. I discovered that a oncoming cold could be defeated with a couple of trips to the sauna. When we get a cold, the sauna can raise your body temp to the point the virus is killed.... Just as a fever does naturally. If I felt a cold coming on, I would immediately head for the sauna at the club.

Having said that ... back in the 70's ... I abused the sauna to cut weight.

 
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Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 09:22:16 AM »
So, as usual, the rule came out as a complete ban because it was far simpler than trying to split hairs between what is and is not reasonable sauna use.

And the rule is merely very difficult to enforce, rather than impossible, as a nuanced rule would be.

I do hope that we never go to things like mat side weigh-ins as I don't think that is the answer at all.

I was planning to link to our last conversation on this anyway, and this is a good opportunity.  I think they are the answer, of course.

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2014, 10:19:13 AM »
Some day we will have an entire thread where we just link to old responses rather than re-hashing the same arguments.  Thanks for linking that, Ray.

Offline ban basketball

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2014, 11:37:16 AM »
It's kind of weird how we use them in the U.S., compared to Scandanavian countries, where they originally came from.  There, they are used for bathing.
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Offline MetsFan

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2014, 12:30:20 PM »
So, as usual, the rule came out as a complete ban because it was far simpler than trying to split hairs between what is and is not reasonable sauna use.

And the rule is merely very difficult to enforce, rather than impossible, as a nuanced rule would be.

I do hope that we never go to things like mat side weigh-ins as I don't think that is the answer at all.

I was planning to link to our last conversation on this anyway, and this is a good opportunity.  I think they are the answer, of course.

I have always been a pro-ponent of mat side (and cage side) weigh-ins.  I was gonna ask Okie for his reasoning of why he's against them.  But, I guess I'll have to read the linked thread instead.
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Offline fuhr

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 12:43:13 PM »
So, as usual, the rule came out as a complete ban because it was far simpler than trying to split hairs between what is and is not reasonable sauna use.

And the rule is merely very difficult to enforce, rather than impossible, as a nuanced rule would be.

I do hope that we never go to things like mat side weigh-ins as I don't think that is the answer at all.

I was planning to link to our last conversation on this anyway, and this is a good opportunity.  I think they are the answer, of course.

I have always been a pro-ponent of mat side (and cage side) weigh-ins.  I was gonna ask Okie for his reasoning of why he's against them.  But, I guess I'll have to read the linked thread instead.


I'm against them for a couple of reason.  1. I dont' think it will stop cutting, and will lead to less than 100% from guys on the mat/cage.   I want to see guys at the top of their game, not struggling and recovering from a weight cut, they were unable to properly re-hydrate from.    2. I think weight cutting is a part of the sport the same as conditioning, and technique.  If a person is better conditioned than his opponent, that is to his advantage and we do not try to balance that out to help the other guy.  Why should we punish someone who chooses, or is able to, make the cut better than his opponent?    3.  It's not always an advantage.  Guys make that cut and it can be to their detriment.  That too is part of the sport, the athlete learning where he needs to be at for peak physical performance.   
Since Jammen has told me twice to change my signature, I can only assume his wrestling knowledge is no longer something I can count on along with pizza and beer.

Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 12:58:02 PM »
1. I dont' think it will stop cutting, and will lead to less than 100% from guys on the mat/cage.   I want to see guys at the top of their game, not struggling and recovering from a weight cut, they were unable to properly re-hydrate from.

Okay, so we don't want them cutting weight, because we want them to be at 100%.

2. I think weight cutting is a part of the sport the same as conditioning, and technique.  If a person is better conditioned than his opponent, that is to his advantage and we do not try to balance that out to help the other guy.  Why should we punish someone who chooses, or is able to, make the cut better than his opponent?

But we do want to let them cut, because it's a part of the sport.  It's okay if one of the guys is at less than 100%; why should we punish the other guy, who is better at weight cutting?

3.  It's not always an advantage.  Guys make that cut and it can be to their detriment.  That too is part of the sport, the athlete learning where he needs to be at for peak physical performance.

So, mat-side weigh-ins are bad because they won't stop weight-cutting, which is an important part of the sport.  Athletes need to learn where they need to be for peak physical performance, and they can't learn that with mat-side weigh-ins, because... okay, I'm lost.


Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 01:00:57 PM »
I was gonna ask Okie for his reasoning of why he's against them.  But, I guess I'll have to read the linked thread instead.

Skip to his post, and imagine it starts with, "Sure, Mets, here's what I think."  It'll be pretty much the same experience.   ;)

Offline heelpick

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 01:10:09 PM »
Ray, you have significant international experience, how common is weight cutting in Russia, Iran, and other parts of the world with a rich wrestling history?  Is severe weight cutting primarily an American phenomenon?

Offline fuhr

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 01:10:24 PM »
1. I dont' think it will stop cutting, and will lead to less than 100% from guys on the mat/cage.   I want to see guys at the top of their game, not struggling and recovering from a weight cut, they were unable to properly re-hydrate from.

Okay, so we don't want them cutting weight, because we want them to be at 100%.

2. I think weight cutting is a part of the sport the same as conditioning, and technique.  If a person is better conditioned than his opponent, that is to his advantage and we do not try to balance that out to help the other guy.  Why should we punish someone who chooses, or is able to, make the cut better than his opponent?

But we do want to let them cut, because it's a part of the sport.  It's okay if one of the guys is at less than 100%; why should we punish the other guy, who is better at weight cutting?

3.  It's not always an advantage.  Guys make that cut and it can be to their detriment.  That too is part of the sport, the athlete learning where he needs to be at for peak physical performance.

So, mat-side weigh-ins are bad because they won't stop weight-cutting, which is an important part of the sport.  Athletes need to learn where they need to be for peak physical performance, and they can't learn that with mat-side weigh-ins, because... okay, I'm lost.


I think cutting is part of the sport, that a matside weigh in won't eliminate.  So rather than having proper time to re-hydrate from the cut, we'll have guys not at their peak.    The main point being I don't think a matside weigh in will stop guys from cutting.  If it does, then I could get behind it, assuming it improves the level of competition on the mat/cage. 
Since Jammen has told me twice to change my signature, I can only assume his wrestling knowledge is no longer something I can count on along with pizza and beer.

Offline heelpick

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 01:15:55 PM »
Matside weigh ins may not eliminate weight cutting, but those that drop severe amounts of weight and then drag their butts in a match will rapidly change their tune.  Weight cutting should not be "part of the sport" for the simple sake that it has always been that way. 

Offline fuhr

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 01:29:27 PM »
Matside weigh ins may not eliminate weight cutting, but those that drop severe amounts of weight and then drag their butts in a match will rapidly change their tune.  Weight cutting should not be "part of the sport" for the simple sake that it has always been that way.


Sure, but it is.  I don't think a matside weigh in will help anymore than the hour weigh in did.  Initially it will change things, guys will adjust, then continue. 
Since Jammen has told me twice to change my signature, I can only assume his wrestling knowledge is no longer something I can count on along with pizza and beer.

Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: Positive Effects of Sauna Use
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2014, 01:39:46 PM »
I think cutting is part of the sport, that a matside weigh in won't eliminate.  So rather than having proper time to re-hydrate from the cut, we'll have guys not at their peak.    The main point being I don't think a matside weigh in will stop guys from cutting.  If it does, then I could get behind it, assuming it improves the level of competition on the mat/cage.

The key thing to remember, here, is that the athletes want to be at 100%.  But more important (to them) than absolute capacity is their relative capacity.

If you put weigh-ins a month out from the competition, and have no other controls, you'll have extreme weight cutting.  Dropping two or three weight classes is a huge advantage, for those who can hack it, and they can expect to be fully-recovered by the time competition starts.

If you put weigh-ins 24 hours before the competition, you'll still get pretty heavy weight-cutting... but not as much, because there is the chance that athletes will not fully recover by the time competition starts.  By your reasoning, moving from one month to one day in advance wasn't worth it:  we still have weight-cutting, but now we may have guys not at their peak.  We certainly, then, wouldn't want to move weigh-ins yet closer to the competition, then.

With 2-hour weigh-ins, people certainly cut, but not near as much as they did with 24-hour weigh-ins.  But the recovery problem is worse.  With only 1 hour, it gets even worse.

The trick to this is:  the recovery "problem' is a problem for the athletes, not the system.  It's the basis of why the system works.  You want that problem to get worse.  In fact, you want it to be such a problem that the relative advantage in cutting drops as close to zero as possible.  If it was feasible to weigh them in every 5 minutes, all day long, that's exactly what you'd want to do.

What we can depend on is that athletes will continue to act in what they perceive to be their own best interests no matter what.  Your predicted outcome is based on the idea that the athletes who win will be those who cut significant weight and hold it through matches, so that their performance is noticeably worsened.  I strongly doubt that.