The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. – Horace Walpole

Wow, has Dr. Jack Kruse ever kicked-up a firestorm with his Cold Thermogenesis hypothesis, and the associated claims.  Even to the point that I’m beginning to field questions about it from clients who are well outside of the Paleo “inside”, as it were, wanting to know if I think it “works”.  And of course what I have to tell these fine folks is that it depends heavily upon what they mean by “works”.  Training, diet — and hell, life in general — just seems to orbit around that little “it depends” clause.  Problem is, most people don’t want to entertain that notion; soundbite-free moderation just ain’t sexy enough for most.  But back to Jack and his firestorm — damn!  I haven’t seen this level of mouth-foaming-vengence vs. fervent apology since back in the Dr. Scott Connelly days.  Remember the heady Muscle Media 2000/MetRx era my friends?  How about the ol’ Cybergenics craze?  Yeah, well this just feels like 1991 redux to me.  Different magic and mojo, maybe — but damn if it doesn’t have that same ol’ WWF feel.  Let’s look at a couple of things.

Cold Immersion vs Core Cooling

So here’s the deal: I certainly do not claim to be an expert on Jack’s version of Cold Thermogenesis (CT from here on out).  I have been a time or two around the ol’ S&C block, though, and I am a former athlete who’s used cold immersion and cold contrast quite extensively as a post-workout recovery aid.  I’ve also received intravenous cold saline drips (old school core cooling) at a few points during my career as an immediate, during-competition, recovery tool.  To the extent that these interventions “worked” for their intended purpose, I’d have to say that, hell yes, indeed they did.  Enough so that I still partake in cold immersion/contrast when the opportunity presents itself, and I would certainly employ new-school core cooling methodologies (as opposed to a saline drip; see below) if I had access to such a device.   But did those interventions work to the point of bestowing superpowers?  No, certainly not…but then again nothing in-and-of-itself does.   At least, these interventions pale in comparison to the longer-term effects of performance enhancing drugs, namely (and if we’re talking enhanced recovery), testosterone, with  Winstrol and Deca being the most common in this class.  But I diverge…

I’m also looking at this from the point of view of a person who is (1) not metabolically broken/leptin and/or insulin resistant and/or (2) not overfat to begin with.  From what I can deduce, Jack’s CT protocol primarily centers around restoring normal metabolic function to those who are, at least in some form or fashion, “broken” to begin with.  Fair enough, and a topic (if we’re concentrating on Jack’s CT approach) that’s well above my paygrade.  My approach to someone in this condition would be to first establish a base of smartly programmed resistance exercise and proper diet, followed by medical/hormonal intervention if necessary — but only after the base has been solidified.  However, Jack does delve into the performance realm now and again, a realm in which I do feel competent to comment on, both as an observer and as a long-time practitioner.  So here it goes:

Cold immersion (and it’s kissing-cousin, cold immersion contrast) is an ages-old, S&C recovery tool.  Now, there’s a very simple reason why these techniques have been around for so long, and that’s because they work.  At a minimum, they work a hell of a lot better than doing nothing at all.  Or sitting idle on the couch, nursing a beer.  Do they work better than pharmacological intervention?  Yeah, right.  As to the whys and hows behind these intervention’s efficacy, well, that can be debated, but my guess is that they simply go a long way toward arresting localized (and systemic, too) inflammation.  And like I say, I’ve spent much more cumulative time up to my neck in ice baths than I ever did at frat parties (and that’s saying a hell of a lot!) during my college days, so I feel somewhat qualified to opine on it here.

First off, I can say that cold immersion (or contrast therapy) results in a totally different feel, and produces a decidedly different result than does core cooling.   Cold immersion/contrast produces a relaxed (after the fact, of course 😉  ) feeling of pending and enhanced recovery (maybe totally psychological?), whereas core cooling produces a “refreshed”, “yeah man, I’m ready to hit it again” feeling (definitely not “all in the mind”).  Fresh legs and a clear mind, as it were.  I can say this about core cooling: the effects are real, noticeable for sure, and quantifiable (see the linked clips below).  Halftime of a football game bestows no favors upon the players, as that 15 minutes of idle time simply serves to initiate the shutting down of a body in serious recoil from the trauma of the previous two quarters.  Weather extremes just exacerbate this problem, with extreme  heat and extreme cold both adding their own special brands of misery to the mix.  Most of my experience with a cold saline drip was during halftime of hot weather games.  And though I didn’t necessarily feel like superman coming out of the tunnel for the 2nd half, I damn sure had some new spring in my legs, and my body didn’t have that “just blottoed by a locomotive”, systemic ache that is natural after the first half.  My head was relatively clear, and I was, well…in a word — fresh.  Not first half fresh mind you, but not too damn far off that mark either.  The few cold weather drips I took still “worked”, though I don’t remember the effect being nearly as pronounced.  This lead me for for a long time to speculate that the positive effects of the intervention were due mostly to rapid and more adequate re-hydration.  There was definitely something else going on, though.  Placebo, maybe?

Now I’ve always been fascinated as to why the phenomena of core cooling worked, and I’ve often wondered, too, if it was by any means a “safe” (not that that would have dissuaded me from employing it at that time in my life) thing to do.  Does the cooling effect short-circuit some built-in, natural protective system designed so as to keep dumb-asses like myself from driving our bodies over a cliff?  I’m not sure, and after a good bit of following and researching this phenomenon, I’m still not exactly sure what mechanisms are at work (or are blunted?) here, and I’m not so sure that anyone really knows either.  That an intervention is field-proven is good enough proof for those in the S&C trenches; that said, this would seem to me to be a very cool (heh…) area of study for an up-and-coming exercise physiology PhD to latch onto.

This Stanford Alumni article speaks to the positive effects of “new school” core cooling.  I find the physiology behind how the body shunts heat via the palms and soles of the feet utterly fascinating, and the override mechanism — effectively, forcing the body into a continual “heat-dump mode” — employed in the design of  the Avacore device super friggin’ intriguing as well.  I think that Skyler Tanner ought to take a break from his foray into Molecular Gastronomy and help a bro design a ghetto version of this device.  I mean, seriously — how much can a vacuum pump, a cuffed sleeve, and a couple of cold packs run?

These Core Control videos (part I, part II, and part III) are certainly worth the watch.  One thing that is really interesting is that the performance gains realized over a succession of “cooled” training sessions seem to stick.  In other words, these PRs then become the new normal for “un-cooled” sessions — at least for the short term.  Notice how the differentiation is made between the performance effects realized by core cooling vs CT.  Something I can attest to as well.  Again, these are two totally different interventions.

As far as weight loss attributed to CT, well, I just never witnessed it — certainly not in my self and, maybe more telling, not in any of my “in the trenches” teammates.  I can tell you that the last thing a coaching staff would allow to happen is the wasting away of prime offensive and defensive line beef, and these beefalos spent some serious time dunked like a herd hippos in stainless steel therapy tanks.  Not a pretty sight, mind you — not at all.  And come to think of it, I’m still a little scarred from the experience.

So I don’t know.  Maybe the weight loss Jack attributes to CT has more to do with following a Paleo diet, utilizing the high-protein in-the-AM “leptin reset”, and the cold immersion winds-up being simply a red herring.  Or just another (of the many possible) ways to increase NEAT.  One way or the other, it would be interesting to see before and after DEXAs to see just how much fat vs muscle is lost during one of these interventions.  That these folks apparently don’t workout makes me think that they must be shedding muscle as well during the process, a condition that would be easily fixed with some moderate resistance exercise.  But hibernating animals don’t do this, though, so why should we?  Ugh, here we go down that rabbit hole…

Now admittedly, a hibernating animal does emerge from its winter hidey-hole come springtime all jacked and lean.  True, at least as far as I comprehend the phenomena.  Ergo, (and if I’ve got this right), if humans are looking for the same swole/ripped body composition, we too need to subject ourselves to periods of intense cold, preferably in a seasonal-appropriate manner.  One contradiction I see here, though, is that these same animals also spend all spring and summer getting fat as all hell so as to be able to endure that long, cold winter.  Kinda like their close relatives, the off-season bodybuilder.   And this is the problem I have with the types of anthropomorphism that would have humans mimic selected animal characteristics.  One of the things I’ve never bought into, for instance, was the idea that athletes shouldn’t have to warm up before working out because, hey, has anyone ever seen a lion “warm-up” before walking-down a wildebeest?   Exactly.  Now, head out to your nearest track immediately and bust out your best hundred meters.  That searing pain you feel?  Yeah, that’s a pair of pulled (if you’re lucky) hamstrings.  Have fun walking on those polio legs the next couple of weeks.  Cheer up though, bro!  You’re a friggin’ lion.

Problem is, of course, we are not these species, even though I agree that we did have some common distant ancestor.  However, we evolved, as such, to fill distinct and independent niches.  That I evolved from the same distant ancestor as the buffalo does not make me a herbivore.  Yeah, my Indian “spirit guide” may be a bad-ass cheetah, but my ass, in fact, needs to warm up a bit before I sprint balls-out.  Just sayin’.

So where does this leave me with respect to Jack’s version of CT, and it’s purported benefits?  Essentially, I remain an open-minded skeptic on the question of weight loss and health improvement.  Recovery enhancement?  Sure, along the lines of deep-tissue massage, eating sensibly, and seriously containing the other stressors in one’s life.  Looking for superhuman recovery?  Sorry, you’re gonna have to go the pharmacological route for that, my friend.  Core cooling on the other hand, is an intervention that I’d like to explore in much more depth, as I believe this is something that can seriously boost an athlete’s overall performance.

In a recent Fat Burning Man podcast interview of Dr. Kruse, host Abel James brought up the idea of “directional accuracy”, a notion that I always try to keep in mind as it’s the essence of being an epistemocrat.  That is, the totality of the message (theory, etc.) might be flawed, but there may just be certain nuggets within the message that do have validity.  Essentially, this means that if you’re in the business of panning for gold, you can’t effectively do so with a backhoe and an indiscriminate — or worse yet, a seriously biased — eye.  This is just another way of stating Bruce Lee’s maxim “absorb what is useful, discard what is not”.

Arthur Jones, of Nautilus fame, was mad as a hatter, and yet he did develop one of the most effective resistance training machines that I have ever used — the Nautilus pullover.  And though I never agreed with his single-set-to-failure idea, what Jones brought to the table regarding intensity in one’s training regimen I have found invaluable in my own journey as an athlete and Physical Culturalist.  So it may very well be that Jack has missed the mark on CT, but has inadvertently drawn attention to the core cooling phenomenon. Oh, the irony.  Time will tell.

In health, fitness and Ancestral Wellness –












  1. So Jack misses the mark on CT huh? It appears Keith does not see the target with arrow in the bullseye. That doe snot surprise me one bit. I am in the midst of slowly releasing my patient results with CT on my blog. The results speak for themselves. I find it a bit more than ironic that a guy involved in physical culture as yourself is not paying more heed to the word. The NBA, NFL, NHL are have instituted massive CT programs in the last two season. Anyone with a laptop can find those links. The Navy Seals are now using this technology and Vasper was just licensed to a California company (partially owned by a NHL player) from NASA. I guess we all must be wrong huh Keith? Now for the real irony. When I was at Paleo fx I saw you with coffee in your hand constantly. You even made several jokes about it while on a panel we were on together. If you big enough to to write a blog and trash something you know very little about lets get back to reality and talk about something you do have the ability to learn about.

    Lets talk about your labs and your dogma.

    If your compelled to talk about my theories how abotu we talk about how “directional accurate” your lifestyle is. Le us see if your theory to practice on you matches up. I’d bet your labs are completely jacked up and you more than anyone need more CT than anyone in Austin. (By the way, I’d love to see your Telomere test given your lifestyle.) After hearing you admitted at Paleo fx on a stage that you overtrain and under sleep and you rely on massive cafeine dosing to make through the day and is overly enthralled with workouts and relying on a ‘clean diet’ to fix things. I think your positioning in this blog does not doesn’t surprise me one bit. But it’s clear people in glass houses should not throw stones they cant back up. You carry more risk than most people in the paleo world and are blind to what you really don’t know. That makes you very myopic and dangerous. And for you personally, you need to back up what you believe and test yourself and come clean. I’m posting this response over at my site because I am quite confident it wont show up here.

    • I thought I made the point that it’s my belief that CT is “directionally accurate”, though just not the full story? And that cold immersion *is* a legit recovery tool as evidenced by it’s continued use in S&C communities (and, by extension, associated collegiate and pro sporting teams)? As far as my own health goes, I’ve made it abundantly clear that I fight a constant battle of attempting to balance health with performance — in fact, I think that I’m the poster boy for this type-A, former athlete “syndrome”. I’ve also acknowledged that walking the wild side (redlining the ol’ adrenal tach, as it were) will likely ultimately shorten one’s life. And I’m good with dropping off the cliff a little earlier than what would be if I lived in a protective bubble. To me, a fully lived life means much more than longevity for it’s own sake.

  2. I’ve been thinking of a way to maximize the CT without the abject discomfort. Sure the cold baths become less cold but they’re still not “I’ve got a hard-on this is so great” feeling. So the solution, if there is one, is to take a shoulder-sized ice pack, wear that while sitting in cold bath water. Don’t add ice, its already nearly barton springs cold.

    Now if I can just get my hand(s) on that corecool and use that I’ll be a frozen camper.

  3. Ahh, Cybergnics, the best $79 I ever wasted. That was the product that introduced me to deceptive advertising. I remember an article called “The fabulous abs of Ed Mella” I was intrigued that he got so ripped just drinking nothing but MetRx. Now they refer to that as “Protein Modified Sparing Fast”. Back in the day Ultimate Orange ws my favorite product. Ol Dan Duchaine really had something there. Amino acid rocket fuel! My only experience with ice baths were after catching a double header two days in a row. It helped relieve the soreness, but I still had jelly legs for a few days. Good post.

  4. Keith, you state says in the post that you “doesn’t claim to be an expert…” Just proves the old addage “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” The proof is in the data, when JK publishes and if it is peer reviewed and reproducible that should end mere speculation.

    • The thing is, I don’t think anybody is an expert on this. I think there are some interesting as hell hypotheses — Jack’s included — but no defined experts. And I’ve stated that I’m just reporting on what I’ve seen in the field, with realatively “healthy” people/athletes. I’m not at all a JK hater — hell, I can’t wait to see what he produces/publishes! The way these bio-hacks get refined is just by this process of trial, error, and trial again.

  5. Of course you are not going to cool your core, that is definitely NOT the point of CT. You only get your SKIN temp down. Your article talks about cooling the core, that would be death. Just go see the Titanic.

  6. So, for whatever it’s worth, thought I’d chime in … after a series of health problems last year, I began focusing pretty intensely on my health. I was diagnosed with endometriosis (they removed a cantaloupe-sized tumor along with my left ovary last February), adrenal fatigue, they found a nodule on my thyroid and wanted to operate (which I refused); my labs showed I was trending toward autoimmune hell. I was dealing with all sorts of mental fatigue, physical fatigue (and had been for years, though my “second wind” saved my ass every night around 9 pm; I just didn’t realize it was at the expense of my adrenals) … my entire adult life (think high school and beyond, in fact), when I awaken in the morning, I have had the hardest time dragging myself out of bed; I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.

    I’ve seen so many doctors about this since last February; I had a sleep study done. Every damn one of them told me that they couldn’t find anything wrong, with this cheery smile, like I should be happy at the news (and I was also a little bit crazy). But I knew better–I was waking up dead in the morning. (It should be noted I’ve always gotten 8 hours of sleep a night; starting first of July 2011, I moved my bedtime to between 10:30 and 11:30 pm to better-support my adrenals; no improvement in waking up dead.) I did Jack’s leptin reset in August and was full Paleo by October (ketogenic). Sleep still sucked.

    In February, I had a meeting with Jack and a new set of labs. First words out of his mouth when he saw my hormone panel, “Misty, your sleep must suck.”

    I was floored. We hadn’t talked much about sleep before, and yes, my sleep does suck, thank-you-very-much! First damn doctor to see it in my labs; I wanted to cry. I’m not crazy, dammit, and I want to sleep better! I NEED to sleep better.

    He told me to do CT. I started that day. Within 10 days, I was waking up in with the sunrise and the birds, refreshed. Alive. Ready-to-start-the-day.


    It’s been six weeks and my body has been going through some interesting detox. I didn’t lose weight by going Paleo (which, some might say I don’t have much to loose … mainly lower-belly chub), but with CT, my core (which I lovingly call my muffin) has started to shrink, finally … I think I have the textbook “toxic belly fat” that the body doesn’t want to get rid of because of the toxins it would throw into the bloodstream, and my liver has been pretty fatigued; I’m the typical Achiever-type who works hard, plays hard, runs half marathons, does-it-all … and I’ve flat worn myself out, despite eating the best way I knew how and getting good rest and hydration (have always done that).

    I’m a little surprised at the backlash over CT. It’s such a benign treatment protocol, and I’m not the only one with a story of huge wins doing it; they’re all over the internet.

    When I start running again, I’m curious to see if / how CT might affect my pacing… I have no dreams of being super-human in my feats, but I would definitely appreciate improved performance. I’m not CTing enough (about 45 minutes / night) or doing all-the-other-things to enjoy Michael Phelps-type athleticism. 😉

    I do think Jack raises a good point, Keith, about having your own labs done. It’s so easy to wax poetic about things and to to have an opinion, but there is NOTHING like seeing your own bloodwork and flat knowing what’s going on in your body and what you have to change to be in balance and fully healthy. When I had my first surgery, I felt “great.” I had no idea that all this shit was effed up inside. They found the cyst because I wanted my fertility checked (I was 36 at the time). They found the thyroid nodule because I wanted better sleep and after all my “changes,” still wasn’t getting it. (Frankly, if it weren’t for the adrenal fatigue diagnosis, I would have continued to accept that I just wake up exhausted; after the surgery, my full attention was on getting WELL and I knew sleep was crucial.) I’m fortunate that I get a cold about once every 5 years, haven’t had the flu in ten years, I just never get sick so God knows how far things would have deteriorated.

    I’m damn lucky that the Universe serendipitously got my attention before I got seriously worse on the autoimmune / hormonal tract. I know many now who have not been so lucky. I, for one, am grateful for Jack’s perspective and his protocols. He is the first doc on the conventional side who helped me to feel empowered to create my own health… anyone who’s endured the frustration of docs not knowing what to do and just prescribing drugs will likely experience Jack’s theories as hopeful, refreshing, encouraging … there are things we can do and Jack is illuminating a lot of crucial lynchpins.

    • A successful intervention certainly can’t be argued on the point of it’s effectiveness, only on the declared pathway. It’s kinda like the old weight loss via Paleo argument, where Paleo-haters said that the weight loss attributed to those following a Paleo diet was solely due to being able to drift into a lower calorie intake without the resultant rebound. But to someone who just lost 80 lbs on the diet, is that of any importance to them? Hey, they’re just pleased at the weight loss. Same thing here — and I’m very happy for you, btw, Misty. Now it may come to be that CT works in accordance to how broken one is to begin with. For those who are relatively healthy to begin with, it may not do all that much — as in the athletes I spoke of in my post. For someone in your predicament, maybe you received an expounded set of benefits. This aspect is what I find most interesting moving forward.

      Look, I am probably the most open-mined, non-dogmatic person you’ll ever run across. I’m all about “if it works, it works; current science be damned”. There are many things in the S&C world that are field-proven, yet science has yet to get a handle on. To question is not to disdain. Questioning merely prompts better refinement.

  7. Misty, I am thrilled for you that CT is working, that you are sleeping, now and that you found a doctor in Jack that finally made you feel heard and not crazy. Far too few doctors like that out there. Keith has done his labs and released the results on his blog post He hasn’t done CT nor has he done core cooling since his college days and I can tell you I don’t care what Jack’s results are, he’ll never get me in a cold tub,,,if my feet get cold, they don’t recover, I’m absolutely miserable, I cannot stand being cold for even a few minutes,I hate it. lol That’s why I live in Texas, where we have fairly mild winters.
    I think there’s a big misconception here, Keith believes Jack is definitely onto something, he’s not a hater and I think he’ll be one of the first to tell you, he’s interested as all get out in seeing Jack’s patient results, as we all are. Jack certainly brings out strong feelings one way or another and honestly, I’m not really sure I understand that. If you’re a hater, why not just ignore him? Why all the dissent?

    • Michelle, I was like you my whole life. I hated the cold. Live in SoCal, to me 50s was cold. I used to vacation in Vegas or Phoenix in the summer just to get warm. I resisted even reading the CT blogs at first, told myself I could never do that. But, lo and behold, I love it now. I love not being cold anymore. I had been cold all my life until I started CT. I started with the face dunk, thought I could handle that and it felt great, then the cold packs on the belly, okay too. The first cold tub was hard, got in first, then just tap water. It took me a long while to get warm, feet cold for hours, but after about a week of CTing, I find my feet get warm faster and I am not cold anymore. I even sleep with the windows open. I think a big part of it for me was getting my vit D level higher. But from a former cold hater, give it a try. It really is relaxing and I find I don’t want to get out of the tub.

      • Thanks for your comment Mischa. I actually have been following Richard Nikoley’s CT progress. He seems to be saying basically the same thing about his extremities. I just seriously think Jack could show absolute proof of living an additional 30 years and benefits being akin to a 20 year facelift & I don’t think I’d get on board. I cannot stand being cold that much but I also know that cold compresses are one of the only things that work well for me when a migraine hits and medicine doesn’t. So, I might have to think about it. I do love having the windows open at night to sleep, I prefer it being cold in the house at night when I sleep so who knows, thanks for your input.

  8. Keith’s article is so balanced and open-minded, that I don’t see how one could read the whole thing and come to a negative conclusion.

    And to echo what he said in the comments, there are a million and one logical errors that get thrown around on the internet dealing with health benefits. If someone discusses causality, it doesn’t mean that they are a disgruntled critic who doesn’t want to help anyone.

    The “post hoc ergo propter hoc” error happens very often (because health benefits happened after something, they were caused by that thing). The “straw man” argument might be next up on the list (whereupon you don’t specifically answer the person’s point, but misconstrue their argument into something that is easier to attack). Epidemiology 101 and 102 cover about 20 of the most common of these errors in studying health effects of anything.

    Nobody “owns” cold therapy. If there was a paleo patent on it, Art DeVany would be the holder. Jack Kruse has brought it to the forefront of his recommendations for medical issues and for people who are having trouble with the basic paleo template. Cold therapy is very interesting, as is heat therapy, as is really anything involving the basic elements or things outside of mainstream medicine that aren’t pure woo. Having read several pieces on Keith’s website over the years, and seeing his support of cold therapy ideas, he is definitely not one that seems worthy of attack.

  9. I have been CT’ing with positive results. My protocol is to eat ice cream on Saturday nights while watching Ice Age. The cold bowl sitting atop my belly as well as the cold ice cream sitting in my belly have produced noticeable improvements in well being and abdominal fat reduction. Oh wait, is this not the CT Ice Cream blog? Sorry, carry on.

    • And for sure there’s an ice cold longneck involved in this protocol of yours? If not, you need to rethink and revise 🙂

      • Ice cold long necks, frosty mugs, and chilled tequila round out my protocol. I did not want to be judged for my non dogmatic approach to CT and Paleo. I have thin skin like some and the mere mention of my name puts me on the defensive. I take everything the wrong way. If you do not agree with me I get mad. Sorry Keith, I thought the was my anger management forum. I don’t know how I keep ending up here on Ancestral Momentum.

        • Dude, might I suggest some GPS for your internet forums? Geesh! I mean, get a grip! No dogma? What the hell’s wrong with you? It’s time to start lock-stepping with some shepherd somewhere. If not here, I suggest someone on PaleoHacks! lol Hahahaha You’re killin me Corby! Oh and your Anger Management issues…well, I have a few suggestions there but I can’t mention those here….come on foot soldier, it’s time to get with the goose-stepping! 😉

          • I tried to get in line with everybody and drink the Kool Aid, but there was too much sugar and it kept screwing with my leptin reset. Also doing CT in Kool Aid makes for one sticky day. Paleo Hacks, seriously. Some of the crap I see on there makes me cringe. Surfer accent – “I’ve been doing like Paleo for like 4 days and I got this wicked pimple on my ass, like would it be like, um, Paleo to like pop it or something”

        • I think with this post, Ancestral Momentum has just become the Paleo anger management portal. A new business model is born! 😉

          • We can put a punching bag at “The Boocha Bar”. Anger Management forum solved, of course we would charge to hit it.

          • A punching bag at the Boocha Bar sounds like an interesting idea….we’ll just keep building on the business plan!

  10. I think this is a very good article. i agree with Kamal. Overall it is openminded and yet the question remains ultimately. Obviously the benefits that people have gotten practicing Jack’s protocols have worked and there isn’t much to argue about those who achieve results. It definitely is to be explored further and tried by each individual to conclude if it’s successful or not for the individual. I am open to all theories and practices to achieve my own optimal physique!

  11. I just started learning about Dr. Kruse and follow his work about cortisol regulation and stress reduction. I was disappointed that he was the first comment on this blog post – and that it was negative. He is an authority but to reiterate, no one is an expert. It’s the wild west. It’s a blog post Dr. Kruse – toughen up and deal with it.

    Keith, overall I loved the post. Love your real life experience and your response to it. I read the entire thing (I’m visual and reading is a pain in the arse).

    Kamal, are you single? You rock out loud. I love what you said. I live in Chicago. Keith can hook us up.

    Keep being yourself TTP, I appreicate your candor, thoughtfulness and ever evolving education – as well as humane approach to SC and life in general. Skyler Tanner ruined my post work out smoothie recipe – just isn’t the same with cooked eggs. Back to real food and cooking. Peace to all.

    • Hmmmm… Beck between this now apparently being seen as an anger management blog, we’ll have to check into this being a match making thing…Kamal, are you a free agent? She’s a great girl!
      I’ll have to give Skyler a good swift kick in the pants for you, on the cooked eggs in the smoothie thing…uh, yuck! Go back to the old recipe? That sounds utterly nasty! hahaha
      Thanks darlin for your comment!

    • Hey, thanks for the great words, Beck. And it’s nice to see you back in the ‘hood 🙂 And hey, Skyler’s cool with the whole raw egg in the post-workout smoothie thing — it’s me who has gut issues with it. Smoothie on, if you wanna! Don’t let perfect kill the good 😉

    • Hey now! I was defending the honor of raw eggs, with this incredibly easy to read statement:

      “To put it another way, would you rather have 65% of the possible available protein or 95% of only 46% of the available protein? ”

      …Yeah, I should clarify that a bit more!

  12. It just never ceases to amaze me that every time anyone says anything that even remotely challenges the omnipotence of the latest Paleo Messiah, the zealots come out of the wood work, claws out. It’s like “how dare you question the great and powerful Kruse!!??”.

    It’s funny how questioning a theory is addressed as “dogma”…which is a complete contradiction in terms. Everyone should question, and not blindly accept. Regardless of whether a hypothesis is correct or not, there’s certainly value to being a little humble, and keeping an over-inflated ego in check.

    I was told that I would “rue the day” by the good doctor, which I think is WAY overly dramatic, and rather “high-school” to be honest.

    Even if I subscribed to any of the beliefs pushed by doctor Kruse, I would give credit to someone like Ray Cronise, instead of Kruse, purely because of his lacking social graces.

    I think that there is definite merit in cold therapy, as does Keith, which was obvious from his post… seems that we both have yet to drink the Kruse Kool-aid, which is not a bad thing in my book. Belief without zealotry is preferable in my opinion.

    Great article Keith! Objectivity is key!

    • Well put, my man. And like I replied on Paul’s comment, following lock-step in that “believe me, I’m a doctor” mindset is what got us in this Godawful position to begin with. Surely Jack sees that? This is not an attack on his being, just polite questioning of a theory he has put forth. “Rue the day…”; how utterly absurd.

  13. And Jack’s reply is pretty standard Jack. Alluding to (but not providing) information other people don’t yet know, saying the links are available to anyone with a laptop (where as Keith provides the links directly). Keith generously says that Jack’s protocols MIGHT work, but it may not be for the reasons that Jack provides. That’s hardly dogmatic. That’s the basis for scientific investigation (which is not the same as injecting yourself with MRSA) What is dogmatic is insisting that because someone drinks coffee they have the worst bloods of anyone at the conference. Jack may believe he is helping people, but he is making the paleo movement look foolish with his unsubstantiated claims, sciencese talk of quantum theory, and absolute lack of scientific rigour.

    • Agreed. The “believe me, I’m a doctor” line is what got us into this God-awful healthcare situation to begin with. Authority’s throwing a hissy-fit over my polite questioning never dissuaded me from doing so at 13, it’s sure as hell not going to dissuade me now. This just makes me appreciate the Doug McGuffs and Hurt Harrises of the world all the more.

  14. Keith- being a big exercise guy (both figuratively and literally), are you at all a fan of Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon? Neither are paleo, and both can be tremendous jerks, but talk about some smartypants writing and great advice!

    If I ever have an exercise question, I can usually just google (question + their names) and get a straight forward and referenced answer. How much glycogen is burned during a typical anaerobic workout? “lyle carbs”. What is the current state of the evidence comparing HIIT to LISS? “aragon hiit”.

    Having been insulted by Lyle McDonald a couple times over the years on the wild west of internet forums, I still will read everything he writes because it’s so goshdarn good. Even if he calls you paleotard, or makes fun of your mom. That same incisive wit and clarity is at play with Hurt Harris (what an appropriate typo!). Pithy writing and critical thinking are made for each other.

    I tried to write a parody sort of article about “Fire Adaptation: The Ancient Pathway” ( and heard that some Kruse aficionados didn’t take it very well. Unfortunately, now whenever I see someone fervently defending the ice bath panacea, I imagine them commenting in the voice of Arnold S. as Mr. Freeze. “Allow me to break the ice. My name is Freeze. Learn it well. For it’s the chilling sound of your doom!”

    • Yeah, I certainly respect Lyle’s knowledge, but I just can’t stomach the guy’s attitude. That said, I just don’t read much of his stuff, good as the info is; though I think he’s brilliant, I just can’t get passed the flagrant assholery. My problem, I know — not his. Anyway, I just can’t get passed the jerk shtick. And I do like AA’s stuff, though I rarely read it due to the non-paleo-leaning bent. Emphasis on “leaning”, as that’s what I consider myself as well. This isn’t a dogma thing, but a time thing — just so many hours in a day, so I have to pick and choose wisely. Most of my out-side-of-the-Paleo-sphere reading includes folks like Charles Poliquin and Christian Thibidoux — more S&C than diet related. Truly, I think the diet debate is over and done. The wild wild west lay in S&C and recovery techniques. Training for health vs training for performance.

      Gee, Imagine JK & the minions not appreciating the humor in your piece. Oh, you’ll “rue the day” you ever wrote that, my friend! 😉

  15. Better yet his statement: “Dude, I am a neurosurgeon!” reminds of the Jeff Foxworthy’s southern brain surgeon bit “Aright…what we gon’ do is saw the top of yer head off, root around in ‘er with a stick, and see if we cain’t find that dadburned clot.” I have no problem with Dr. Kruse, except for constantly trying to defend himself by saying “your wrong.” His message would be better received if he were more willing to offer answers besides “I said so”.

  16. I think my momma refers to it as “you’d catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Corby…you just kill me with that shit! lol

  17. The negativity is exhausting. I think it is a fairly objective article but as I have said before, I can see why JK gets upset b/c he has been attacked so much lately. Anyhow, I am with Corben on the booch bar. No punching bag, just boocharitas all around!

    • Keith’s article was far more positive and in fact, not really negative, at all. The only opposing comment was, in fact not directly negative, it was questioning whether Jack even misses the mark it does not say Jack misses the mark, something Jack misses, ironically, in his haste to bash Keith’s coffee drinking, something Jack comes very late to the party on, I might add. It would’ve been better to embrace all the positive Keith laid out in this article than go after the one partial negative. But who knows maybe that’s Jack’s objective to keep the negative shitstorm kicked up for publicity”s sake. He is after all, getting a lot of press out of the negative and what’s the old adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” With all the gauntlets he’s throwing with “you will rue the day” maybe this is exactly what he wants, he wants all the negative so when he finally lays out all his ” patient data” it will be so amazing that he won’t look so bad, in the end for all the reportedly “crazy” things that’s he’s said and done. Maybe he’s not so “crazy’ after all. Food for thought.
      Who’s ready for the booch bar? I am, I am.

  18. I dont think people are giving Kruse enough credit for being from Tennesse and actually believing that evolution trumps creationism.

    • Heh…good one 🙂 Actually, though, I believe Jack is originally from New York. Tennessee can’t lay claim as to having influenced his outside-the-box, forward thinking.

  19. I read this blog everytime you post (nearly and maybe not immediately). I’ve been busy putting “theory to practice”. (Did she just do that? Yes she did).

    Sidebar For Skyler, I’m with you stride for stride on the cooked egg thing – eating raw is inefficient. I’ll adjust as I like. And of course, there’s the Rocky phenomenon!

    Keith- I like your posts. I think for myself and see where – or if – it fits with my goals. I find it a huge credit (and source of admiration) that you are not dogmatic,legalistic diet/exercise nazi. On the contrary.

    Personally, I know I’ve said stupid things over the years that have allowed me to learn and understand. I appreciate that your posts are not driven by ego. I like Dr. Kruse’s message and will take the good and leave the bad -it’s what we are allowed to do. I will not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Perhaps, Keith, Dr. Kruse doesn’t know the intelligence and maturity of your reading audience (*primps hair*). I’d read his comments anytime here. Even if I didn’t like it. But I’d speak up too, even at the risk of looking foolish, in order to learn. And that’s the rub with modern “physical culture” and cacophony of consumerism it’s created. Learn or buy? Arrrggh. I feel that way with Dr. Kruse. Is he gearing up to sell us something – hence his reaction to your assessment.

    • Raw is inefficient BUT easier than cooking. However, and this was why I looked it up, Keith was separating the white from the yolk when raw because of the reduction in total protein uptake whole. It’s still more protein, raw whole vs. raw yolk, was my point so not to worry about it.

      I eat mine raw post workout!

      • And I wish I could, too — but for some reason raw whites give me a major gut bomb. WTF is with that?? Yokes I’m fine with. I wonder if I’d get the same “GB” if I just shot raw eggs, sans the dairy? Hmmmmmm…..

  20. there’s a thread on the forum where some people who tried the CT protocol are less than impressed

    seriously, who has the time to spend up to 1 hour per day in icebaths for a month hoping that this CT protocol will do T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z and more? And if I don’t get optimal benefits it’ll be because what? you didn’t stay in it long enough, you didn’t drink enough ice cold water afterwards, you didn’t eat enough fat before the bath, you were out of ketosis one time too many (damn, that post work-out banana!), you didn’t have the right OM-6/OM-3 ratio to begin with, you did it at noon instead of dusk, you didn’t turn off the lights in the bathroom, you started with your feet instead of your face, you tried it in the middle of summer (wrong season, sorry), etc. etc.?

    I already take cold showers in the morning and I’m going to try short ice baths later in the day for a couple of weeks (to see if I sleep better because I need more quality sleep these days) but I’m certainly not doing 60 minutes of it per day. Sorry, I’m not drinking Mr.Freeze’s kool-aid.

    • Yeah, I agree with the guy here in that whenever a protocol is “mystical and multi-variant”, there will always be a “reason” behind why it doesn’t work. I’m a simpleton who’d rather avoid adding stress to his life for the pursuit of health. Paleo is simple. Pushing iron is simple, too. That works for me.

  21. I spent a good deal of money working out at efficient exercise. I made very small gains over that period. I was so looking forward to using the czt or what ever it is called now. It was all the rage and a major disappointment. I have also been super hyped about CT. I’m into my second full month and I have zero disappointment. I don’t work out any more. I swim and carry 60-80 pounds of ice upstairs daily. The positive changes are to many to list. I eat exactly the same food just at different times. I’m so glad CT has live up to the hype where the czt completely failed, atleast for me.

    Yall keep laughing it up. It will be fun to visit this thread next year. oh yeah the only cost involved is buying ice. After a couple weeks of CT barton springs feels like warm bath water.

    • Everybody’s entitled to an opinion and an n=1 validation of their experiences. Sorry the EE/ARX experience didn’t work for you; we have a legion of clients whose experiences are otherwise, with DEXAs to back-up their positive feelings. Good luck with the CT. BTW, 80 lbs of ice is about 16 bucks in my neck of the woods — and you CT daily? As in 7 days (or $112)/week? Well, I hope it works, as that’s more expensive than 2x/week at Efficient Exercise.

      • My pool was 64 this morning, I swim a couple hours a day. I do cold batch 4-5 times a week. Your math is correct on the ice. I completely understand my comment was n=1 thats why i qualified it with, atleast for me. I have tried to lose belly fat for 3+ years so you can imagine my excitement. Relax in Tub/Pool lose belly fat! All within a few weeks. I’m always rested ready to go. No muscle soreness improved sleep. Not sure I will ever go back to heavy workouts. Leslie and a few times Keith were my trainers at 45th location.

        • Approximately what dates did you do this training, Matt? We’re trying to determine which equipment you would’ve been using since we have a lot of new models in. Who was your primary trainer? Do you mind emailing me so I can ask a few questions?

    • Matt, which trainer did you work out with & which EE location? Can you give me approximate dates? I think you might find the newer generations of ARX Fit equipment, quite impressive. In fact, we haven’t found anyone who hasn’t been impressed so we’d love to get more input about your experience from you. If you don’t mind. It could be very helpful for us to continue our development, improvement and user experience. Please email me at [email protected] Thanks so much.

  22. Three items sum this up for me, however I am no expert, but do enjoy the majority of your blog;

    1) “at least in some form or fashion, “broken” to begin with” Keith have you ever been obese? I would think not based on what I have read, where as JK, I beleive, admits on his blog battling with weight. So maybe in your experience you didnt, and have never, needed to be fixed??

    2) “attempting to balance health with performance”, 100% you make this clear with your blog posts, labs etc etc.

    3)” a fully lived life means much more than longevity for it’s own sake” – Amen Brother!

    Insulting other’s lifestyle choices as direct as the post from JK is pure rude and arrogant.


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