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After any practice during training camp, players are lined up outside a converted storage room in the corner of a training area at One Buc Place. Inside are three silver cylinders, each 7 feet tall, with digital readouts and nitrogen gas spilling out from the top, suggesting perhaps time travel or maybe teleportation.
“It’s like you’re standing there in your boxer shorts with socks and gloves on and you walked outside in Green Bay, Wis., on the coldest day of the year for three minutes,” said Koetter, who has tried it himself.
The science behind it is that your body can’t process the idea of something that cold and rushes blood to your central organs in full survival mode. When a player steps out of the cold, the extremities are flushed with oxygen-rich blood to help with recovery.
So 150 seconds replaces what has long been 20 to 25 minutes in a “cold tub” of ice water, not necessarily a comfortable experience itself. Players must be dry — any water or sweat would freeze instantly, as would any jewelry worn inside. Players slowly rotate themselves in the cylinder, trying not to think about the temperature shown behind them in big, red numbers.
“You get a feeling like you can’t keep doing it,” tackle Gosder Cherilus said, barely a minute after such a session. “But as you keep going you realize it’s not that cold. They ask me to keep spinning, because you don’t want it to hit one spot. It’s a good way to take care of yourself.”