Lift More Weight Or Increase Reps Through Palm Cooling (“Better than Steroids”)

Published by Klint Ciriaco on

Dr. Andrew Huberman shared a study on his podcast showing how palm cooling can be just as good if not better than steroids. He was referencing a study conducted by Dr. Craig Heller. The protocol turned  out to produce amazing results.

The benefits of palm fooling are the following: 

  1. Faster Recover
  2. Lift heavier
  3. Increase weight repetitions by 20%
  4. Run longer
  5. The gains are permanent

So how does palm cooling increase performance at the gym? 

It deals with fatigue by dumping heat quickly

When working out, our temperatures rise. At that point, our cells feel like they’re getting cooked. They’re screaming, “Stop or you’re going to die.” That’s when fatigue sets in. 

But, our palms are structured in a way where we can cool our core faster than any other means. When your core cools, the cells feel comfortable again so you’re able to add more reps to your weight or run longer distances.

What does that structure look like? In general, blood flows from the arteries, then to the capillaries, then to the veins. You can think of the arteries and veins as big pipes while the capillaries are a network of small pipes. But, our palms can mostly bypass those capillaries which allows us to send cooled blood to our core. 

This means you can put more work towards your exercise with less rest. The more work you put in, the stronger, faster, and better you get. 

How to do palm cooling 

Since the cooling glove in Dr. Heller’s study is’t available to the public, soaking your hands in a cold water bucket in between work sets should work. Dr. Huberman even said that touching a cold floor works as well. Watch how I tested it out in CrossFit with a cold water bucket: 

If you’re running, you could use a small cold gel pack in your hands as long as it’s not too cold. That being said, let’s talk about temperature. 

How cold should it be? 

I couldn’t find the exact temperature needed, but according to Huberman, you can think of the temperature of a ceramic sink. It should be cold, but not too cold. Otherwise, your vessels are going to get constricted which will make it more difficult for blood to flow. 


This protocol allows you to get a lot of gains similar to steroid use. If you’re an athlete, this is especially beneficial because it’s completely legal. 

Give it a try.

Like this post? Check out my other experiment article on how I improved with the Mantis X Dry Fire System.

Categories: Experiments