Have you seen cold plunges everywhere and are wondering if you should give it a shot?
I felt the same way..But wasn’t ready to spend a few thousand bucks on a professional cold plunge.
Luckily I did a ton of research and was able to set up a DIY Cold Plunge for less than $110 bucks that I use every day in the winter.
Let’s save you some time..
Here are my key learnings and 4 easy steps to a DIY Cold Plunge…
What is a Cold Plunge?
Alright – So what exactly is a cold plunge?
Cold exposure is the deliberate exposure to near freezing temperatures for a short duration of time (a few minutes depending on how cold it is). This could include ice baths, cryotherapy, and even cold showers.
The idea of ice baths in the sporting world has been around forever, but in recent years Wim Hoff has brought cold plunging to the mainstream.
Wim Hoff (aka The Iceman) is known for his ability to thrive in extreme cold temperatures. The guy has climbed Mount Everest in shorts and holds the record for barefoot half marathon on snow.
But why should you be interested in cold exposure and potentially setting up a DIY cold plunge?
According to Dr. Andrew Huberman, deliberate cold exposure for just 11 minutes per week (total) is enough to provide the below benefits:
|Increase Energy and Focus 🧠
|Increase Metabolism 🥦
|Enhance Mood 😃
|Build Resilience and Grit 💪🏼
All of this with 11 minutes of effort per week? Sign me up..
But Here is the Problem:
You probably don’t have access to a frozen lake you can go jump in and most cold plunge options on the market are over $1,000 bucks.
If you want to get in the cold plunge game, you have to go all-in if you are interested (Literally and figuratively).
Here are the two options I was considering buying before I went the DIY Cold Plunge route:
The Cold Plunge
- Cost: $4,990+
- Pros: Water stays at specific temperature and is constantly flowing which increases stimulus
- Cons: Expensive, Luxury Option
The Ice Barrel
- Cost: $1,199.97
- Pros: Looks Cool, Unique shape allows entire body to be submerged, Comes w/ Lid & Stepstool
- Cons: You still need to fill it with ice for the water to get cold
4 Easy Steps to a DIY Cold Plunge
Rubbermaid produces a 100 gallon stock tank that is actually made for livestock, but comfortably fits humans as well 🙂
At the time of this writing, my local Ace Hardware sells this for $109.99 and is available for same day pickup.
Step 2: Put in Safe Outdoor Location & Fill with Water
Once you have the Rubbermaid 100 Gallon Stock Tank, you will need to find a safe location to put the tank outside.
Two factors when considering location to keep the tank:
- Should be near a hose (so you can fill with water)
- Should be in a location that the water can empty/drain every few days
Once you have a safe location, fill the tank with water!
It takes about 10-15 minutes to fill the tank with water and your goal is to have it about 80% full.
Keep in mind that once filled, the tank will be hundreds of pounds and you will not be able to move it without draining. There is a easy to remove plug on the tank that helps with quick draining.
Step 3: Make the Water Cold!
The whole purpose of a cold plunge is to submerge yourself in cold water..So the most important step is to make sure the water is cold.
Here are your two options for getting the water cold:
- Cold Weather (Free Plunging!) : If it is winter and you live in a cold climate..If you simply fill up the tank at night, the water will be cold by morning (near the temperature of the air).
- Ice: The next option if it is NOT cold outside is to fill the tub with ice. You will need 60-100lbs of ice to make the plunge worthwhile. Dump the ice into the DIY Cold Plunge and give it 10 minutes to melt.
After using my DIY Cold Plunge for an entire year, I now focus on doing my plunging in the winter when the weather is cold outside. This is purely do to convenience (free cold plunges) and the effort (and cost) it takes to constantly buy ice in the summer.
Step 4: Plunge!
Now that you have bought the Rubbermaid Tank, found a safe location, and filled with cold water..You are ready to jump in your DIY Cold Plunge!
I follow Andrew Huberman’s protocol listed below when plunging and would recommend you do the same..
Why is your DIY Cold Plunge better than a ice bath in a bathtub?
Using your bathtub is also a perfectly good option, but the main downside is that the ice water will only go up to your belly button (obviously depends on tall you are).
The DIY Cold Plunge I recommend here has the water go up to your neckline.
Why is your DIY Cold Plunge better than other options on the market?
The 2 most popular options on the market have their pros/cons, the largest con being the price. If you want to spend over $1k, here are 2 options:
- The Cold Plunge
- The Ice Barrel
How Do I Clean It?
The easiest way to clean the DIY Cold Plunge is to simply drain the water. I make it a habit to drain the water every few days, but it is probably best to drain after every use.
How Long Should I Plunge?
Andrew Huberman recommends 11 minutes of cold exposure per week to reap benefits.
Cold plunges are all the rage these days, but finding an economical way to get cold exposure is a challenge.
Most cold plunge options on the market are over $1,000 and Cryotherapy sessions can be $70 each.
I have found the best way to get into cold plunging is by setting up a DIY Cold Plunge using the Rubbermaid 100 Gallon Stock Tank.
Once you buy the tank for $110 bucks, you can cold plunge any time in the winter for free!