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How to Set Up an Ice Bath at Home

A big part of our recovery here at XPT surrounds the manipulation of ice and heat. There are so many reasons to incorporate ice and heat recovery therapy into your regular fitness or sports regimen.  Cycling between high heat and the cold produces many full body benefits, from preventing injury and avoiding sore muscles by reducing inflammation, to improving circulation, boosting human growth hormones and your overall immune system. 

There are many ways to achieve this experience on your own; saunas and ice baths, pools and jacuzzis or steam-rooms are good places to start, but what if you don't have any of these facilities at home or at your gym?  While heat can be managed in the shower, complete submersion into ice often creates a challenge.  Gabby suggests one alternative, which is relatively inexpensively and can be done at home.


Rubbermaid Stock Tank:  Available at your local hardware store or online; we recommend the Rubbermaid 100 or 150 gallon stock tanks, depending on the size of the person who are using them.  Designed for providing water for livestock, these tubs come with a side drain which makes for easy cleaning when you're done.
Ice Pod: ColdTub sells single units perfect for home or gyms. Just add ice and water.
3B Scientific: This 3B Scientific ice tub is a high end tub similar to what Laird and gabby have at their home.

If you don't have access to a commercial ice machine (and most of us don't), then we recommend about 200 pounds of ice for round 1 and an additional 100 pounds of ice for round 2 if split into groups, which should provide you with enough ice to last for two and a half hours. *Sound expensive? Then invite some friends once a week and have an 'ice party'. Everyone can chip in!
Commercial Ice Machine: If you do want to invest in an ice machine the Hoshizaki is a great one.

Start with 10-15:00 of heat (sauna, steam or jacuzzi) followed by 2-3:00 cold (ice) up to your neck and repeat two more times!
We believe you should not end on heat.  The preferred system is Hot-Cold, Hot-Cold, Hot-Cold. Once you've finished your cycle and before you get ready to come out, submerge yourself all the way under the ice water. 

*When ready to come out of the ice tub, please remember to get out slowly and hold on to the sides. If you have a friend with you have them hold your arm just in case you need support.
*Always consult with your Doctor before submerging in ice.
*If you are taking any type of medication you must check first with your Doctor for clearance.




Lastly, we love photos. If you, your friends or your gym gets an ice bath and has an ice party, please send your pictures to info@xptlife.com so that we can post on our social pages!

Enjoy, feel good and optimize your health.



For more information on the benefits of ice and heat therapy and how to go about it click here.


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6 Responses to “How to Set Up an Ice Bath at Home

  • How many times a week is ideal for this protocol?


    • Joe, start with just one to two times in your first week.  From there you level of comfort may lead you to make it three times a week but it should be something you acclimate to and can fit into your schedule.  

  • Oskar Payot
    4 months ago

    If I don’t have a Sauna or Jacuzzi how hot and how long should I stay in the shower before going in the ice. Does it work 

    • Stand in a hot shower, as hot as you can handle without burning yourself, for about 10 minutes. The total time will depend on how quickly your body temperature increases, but 10 mins is a good ballpark.

      You will not get the benefits of extreme heat exposure that you get from the sauna, but you will get the benefits of adaptation to massive swings in temperature from the hot shower to ice bath. You will also stimulate the benefits from contrast therapy for nervous system and muscle recovery, along with benefits from potentially being able to stay longer in the ice due to increased temperature before entering.


  • For ice machines is it important to have a flaker machine or will any type be good?

    • Hi Bruce, to my knwledge we have not used flakes before. Flakes may melt faster than cubes. If you have tried this type of ice and it works then great!

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