Palm cooling is a proven method for increasing your training volume, accelerating recovery during competition, and gaining strength faster. It’s odd (but awesome), so let’s explain.
We generate heat as we exert ourselves.
The heat produced in our muscles gets trapped because our body tissues are great insulators. Eventually this heat prevents our muscles from working as hard as they can.
It’s one of the main reasons our muscles “fail”. Additionally, our heart rate is linked to our core body temperature. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get rid of some of this heat to delay the onset of fatigue and speed up heart rate recovery?
Our palms are like radiators for our bodies
Cooling your palms extends your ability to perform.
Below the skin in our palms are special structures called arterio-venous anastomoses (AVA).
These are direct connections between arteries and veins which allow you to efficiently offload heat.
You can turbo charge this naturally occurring system by cooling your palms in between sets.
Cool is the operative word
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as holding ice. If you hold something too cold, those fancy AVAs will constrict and blood flow will be significantly reduced.
The cool has to be cool, not cold. 50-60°F (10-15°C) is optimal for palm cooling.
Also, a palm cooling device should provide continuous circulating cooling to whisk away heat, otherwise a thermal barrier will form between your palm and the device, reducing the effect.
Palm cooling protocols
In peer-reviewed research, 3 minutes of palm cooling between sets was ideal for increasing volume and gaining strength. But even two minutes works.
The result? You can push harder longer before fatigue sets in.
For example, in the studies and our personal experiments, we could do 10+ sets of max pull-ups, pushups and dips with very little drop off in the number of reps per set. And over just 6 weeks, we saw increases in pull-up volume of 50% with only one pull-up training day per week!
In the studies, the participants were doing two days of pull-up training per week and saw, on average, 144% increase in volume. In their strength studies, participants increased bench press strength by 22% in just 6 weeks.
Pretty cool, right?!
Meet The Narwhals: Long-lasting portable palm cooling devices
We created the Narwhals because we wanted a simple, portable device that could keep its cool, even in hot conditions. It's perfect for use at the gym, on the sideline, during timeouts... wherever you need to stay cool under pressure!