2 Week Cold Water Challenge


The Challenge Specifics

  • Every day for 2 weeks spend at least 3 minutes (I’m doing at least 5) in cold water
  • You could use a cold shower, an ice bath, a natural body of water or whatever. If it’s uncomfortable for you, there are likely some benefits to it, even if it’s just the mental benefit of intentionally doing something challenging
  • How cold is cold? Cold water is really anything from freezing to about 70 degrees – Reference the right side of the chart above – I’d suggest practicing a few times in 55-65 degree water before you go even colder and use caution if you do. When I’ve gone below 50 it is actually painful to touch and it isn’t recommended for everyone

This week I added 40lbs of ice to the tub I’ve been using and it was a legit Ice Bath (pic below) …I hung out in there for 8 minutes working on 4 count square breathing


The Benefits


My Purposes For Doing The Challenge

  • To increase resilience to discomfort – remembering that it’s temporary, responding with calm thoughts (a form of mental training, hey if I wanna keep coaching this stuff, I gotta keep challenging myself too)
  • To practice remaining calm in discomfort –  focusing on breathing, relaxing any tension, smiling and staying relaxed
  • For fun  – doing something different and a little outside the box
  • To experiment – seeing if I feel any better, studying my body a bit more (pulse, reactions like goosebumps, how long it takes to come back to comfortable body temp), finding out if the benefits listed above are real for me
  • To continue trying new & challenging things as part of my #1MonthExperiment and for the bigger picture too
  • To improve my tolerance for the cold – I had a recent experience with cold water shock while swimming through a waterfall in the coldest water I’ve ever been in (a story for another day)…and although I don’t plan to ever do that again because I learned my lesson, I’d like to improve my tolerance. Now that I live in Southern California where I’m rarely exposed to cold temps, I feel so damn wimpy when I am – my fingertips go numb easily and I’d like to see if I can improve that


See me in the pic above? Thankfully, I remained calm and was able to recover from the initial shock…though it took almost 6 hours to recover after I got out!!!

Have you ever done a cold water experiment? Is it something you practice? Comment below

If you’re willing to try, tag me in your photos and videos on Instagram

Follow @mentality_wod for my updates on this challenge!


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I’m Dawn Fletcher, the owner of Driven Mind. I help driven-individuals perform better and achieve greatness in all that they do.

Reader Interactions


  1. trentmseed says

    I’ve been taking cold showers for years and love them. I take ice baths occasionally (having enough ice handy is a limiting factor for me), and I feel like they make me more mentally strong and reduce inflammation from hard/long workouts. If you live in So Cal, you should do some open water swimming. I visited La Jolla and just HAD to swim in the cove. It was 55 degrees but after the initial shock I was able to stay in and swim out to (I think) the quarter-mile buoy a few times. As a mid westerner who doesn’t get that opportunity often, I couldn’t not swim there just because the water was chilly. Took me a few hours to return to normal, but it was a fantastic experience.

    • Mentality WOD says

      Hey! I do live in SD and I have swam in the cove! So much fun – I recently did a swim from downtown to the island of coronado (1 mile across the bay) it was an awesome challenge. I’ve been in some cold water before, to the point of really feeling like I was dying…. that being said, I think cold water (to a certain degree) is incredibly beneficial and good for us. Thanks for the comment !

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