Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group, LLC Blog

This is your Brain, This is your Brain on RECOVERY

Posted by

Article from:



brain ice bath


Yep, that's what it looks like. The image comes from a new study from Romain Meeusen's group in Belgium, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. What does it mean? Well, that's a little trickier.

Efforts to map the brain in response to stimuli like exercise are still in their infancy, and it's always tempting to read too much into nice brain pictures where one spot magically lights up. For now, the main thing I find cool is simply that scientists are starting to do these experiments. I've written before about how hard it is, with things like ice baths, to separate the brain effects from the body effects. These new experiments offer a path to move from "it's (partly) in your head" to understanding exactly what's going on in your head.

This particular experiment was quite complex. Volunteers were asked to do 90 minutes of cycling in hot conditions (60 minutes at a constant load, then 30 minutes of time trial), then recovered for 60 minutes, then did another 12-minute time trial. They did this protocol on three different occasions, with either passive recovery, active recovery (easy cycling), or 15-C ice bath between the two time trials. Their brain activity was recorded with EEG before and after the first time trial, and again after the recovery.

The most interesting result was...

Click HERE to continue reading.


Learn more about the recovery process at the 2014 BSMPG Summer Seminar as Fergus Connolly delivers the most epic presentation on fatigue and recovery the world has ever seen.






Elite Performance Director




Topic: Managing the Recovery Process: Identifying Fatigue

Workshop: Managing the Recovery Process: Methods and Systems for Elite Performance

Fergus Connolly is regarded as one of the leading performance experts in elite team sport. His experience spans some of the most successful teams in NFL, NBA, Premiership Football, International Rugby, Professional Boxing and Special Operations. These experiences have refined pioneering protocols for the integrated optimization (IO) of performance in Team Sport and Elite Athletes. Specialized knowledge working with some of the most successful coaches, academics and practitioners and research in computer optimization and management, he is an original researcher in the development and application of unique effective monitoring, coaching, training recovery and regeneration approaches to winning in team sport.