ACSM Study – A sip of cold water helps fight heat intolerance for people with Multiple Sclerosis.

As many of you know, individuals with Multiple Sclerosis struggle with the heat, especially in Texas! A rise in core body temperature of less than one degree (0.36 – 0.9ºF) can cause heat intolerance for people with MS which causes rapid fatigue and exhaustion. In their ACSM study, Dr. Ollie Jay & Georgia Chaseling from the Thermal Ergonomics Lab at the University of Sydney, Australia investigated the role of heat perception on heat intolerance for people with MS. Their method was simple but significant: drinking cold water versus drinking room temperature water during exercise.

clean clear cold drink
Photo by Pixabay on

The study included 20 participants (10 MS, 10 non-MS matched by fitness level). On two separate trials, all participants did one hour of low intensity cycling on a recumbent bike in 86ºF with 30% humidity. Every 15 minutes each participant was given 250mL of water that was either very cold (34.7ºF) or room temperature (98.6ºF). Body temperature and heart rate were monitored throughout the exercise trials.
For the neutral trial (room temperature water), only 3 out of 10 MS participants completed the full 60 minutes of cycling while all 10 non-MS participants completed the full 60 minutes. All 7 MS participants that did not complete the full 60 minutes of cycling lasted longer for the cold trial (cold water), with an average of 30% increase in their times. However, there was no significant difference in absolute body temperature, change in body temperature during exercise, or heart rate.
These findings are interesting because while the participants’ bodies were put through more exercise for the cold water trial, they were able to tolerate it better with the very simple cooling mechanism of drinking cold water. The authors of the study noted that a rise in core temperature is not the only factor that leads to heat intolerance for MS patients. The perception of heat is a product of many different physiological and perceptual mechanisms, and more research needs to be done in these areas to further increase our understanding of what specifically influences heat intolerance for people with MS. Clearly, the thermoreceptors of the digestive tract have a more profound effect than previously thought!
This study provides a simple solution for fighting heat intolerance in people with MS. Other methods such as wearing a cooling vest or taking a cold shower/bath have been recommended in the past, but these options are not always necessarily practical options in everyday life. Drinking cold ice water when it’s hot seems intuitive, but the significance of being able to continue regular exercise for people living with MS is vital to their well-being. Anything that can help battle fatigue from overheating for individuals with MS is a huge plus, so having an easy tool that is backed by research is great!

HIIT it with MINDSET! By Avery Sullivan, CSCS

The American Council on Exercise sponsored a research study “Is HIIT Resistance Exercise Superior to Traditional Resistance Training? A Randomized, Controlled Trial.” In this study performed at Western State Colorado University, Dr. Lance Dalleck and Leslie Smith examined the effects of traditional moderate intensity resistance training (MI-RE) versus high intensity interval training (HIIT-RE) on muscular fitness, cardiometabolic outcomes, and the timing of training adaptations.


This study took 48 nonsmoking males and females (age 21-59) and measured their strength on several different exercises before, during, and after the different training protocols were implemented (1-RM, 5-RM). Other health and anthropometric measurements were taken before and after the training protocols as well (resting heart rate, blood pressure, height, weight, waist circumference, skinfold measurements, and fasting blood lipid and blood glucose).


The participants were split up into three groups: HIIT-RE, MI-RE, and control. The HIIT-RE group performed 1 set of 5 reps at 100% 5-RM (the most weight that can be performed for 5 repetitions) on each exercise. The HIIT-RE group worked out twice a week for the first three weeks of the study and three times a week for the final three weeks. The MI-RE group performed 1 set of 10 repetitions at 60% 5-RM twice a week for the first three weeks and 2 sets of 12 repetitions three times a week for the last three weeks. The control group did not perform any resistance exercise.


The results of the study were as follows:

  • For the HIIT-RE group, all measures of muscular fitness (1-RM & 5-RM) increased significantly from both baseline-to-midpoint and again from midpoint-to-6 weeks.
  • In the MI-RE group, almost all 1-RM and 5-RM measures increased significantly from both baseline-to-midpoint and again from midpoint-to-6 weeks; the exceptions can be seen in Tables 3 and 4 (i.e., those exercises without asterisks).
  • HIIT-RE elicited greater improvements than MI-RE for the following exercises and measures: seated row (1-RM and 5-RM), chest press (5-RM), leg press (1-RM and 5-RM), and lat pull-down (5-RM).


Important takeaways:

  • HIIT-RE is equally effective as (and in some instances more effective than) traditional MI-RE at improving cardiometabolic health and muscular fitness.
  • HIIT-RE improved muscular fitness in a more time-efficient manner, as it required less than half the time of MI-RE to achieve favorable adaptations. The average HIIT-RE session (including warm-up) was 20 minutes in duration while the average MI-RE session was 45 minutes in duration.
  • Preliminary evidence suggests that HIIT-RE improves muscular fitness in a more rapid timeframe when compared to traditional MI-RE. Indeed, for a few MI-RE exercises (i.e., chest press and leg extension) there were no significant improvements in 1-RM and 5-RM values until after six weeks of training. In contrast, all 1-RM and 5-RM values improved significantly at three weeks in the HIIT-RE group.



The population used in this study reported no resistance exercise regimen within 6 months prior to the study, so the improvements seen in muscular fitness for both groups were to be expected. The greatest gains in strength are always seen at the beginning of a regular workout plan when neurological adaptations are the highest. With that being said, the quicker strength gains seen in the HIIT-RE group is important to highlight, as seeing these gains in only three weeks may improve the motivation levels of many clients during the early phase of a new workout. As we all know, it’s much easier to quit working out within the first month of your New Years Resolution due to frustration or lack of motivation.


Personally, this study validated the two biggest advantages to HIIT that I preach: time efficiency and cardiovascular benefits. By simply decreasing your rest intervals between exercises you spend less time in the gym staring at your phone and you save time spent on the treadmill or elliptical machines. That’s a win-win situation! As long as you have some kind of timer or personal trainer to keep you on track it is easier to keep up with than counting reps and sets in my opinion.


Here at MINDSET, we do HIIT workouts in our F.I.T. room (Functional Interval Training). While we vary the intensity of our workouts throughout the week, we also adapt them for all of our clients’ individual fitness levels. We are constantly modifying exercises and ensuring that everyone is able to physically push themselves the right amount without overexerting or hurting themselves. By individualizing our approach instead of giving everyone the same ‘blanket’ workout, our clients are able to meet their personal goals and make greater gains in strength, cardiovascular endurance, and overall fitness.


Avery Sullivan, CSCS


5 Habits That Can Add 14 Healthy Years to Your Life, According to Science (reblogged from Blue Zones Project)

Fantastic Blue Zones article on adding healthy years to life – a must-read!

Blue Zones Article: Anti-Aging Benefits of Strength Training

From the Blue Zones Project website:

“Research from the Penn State College of Medicine, the University of Sydney, and Columbia University has determined that regular strength training has major benefits for longevity.”

Read more at:


Blue Zones Project

MINDSET is a proud supporter and admirer of the Blue Zones Project! We are so thankful to be in a city where residents and business owners are focused on improving our well-being, lowering obesity rates, lowering the risk of chronic disease and quitting the use of tobacco products.

The Blue Zones philosophy aligns perfectly with our way of thinking and living at MINDSET, so we have applied to become a Blue Zones approved organization. We are eagerly awaiting our acceptance and cannot wait to start sharing Blue Zone information and hosting Blue Zone events!

To learn more, please visit:

Welcome to MINDSET’s new blog!

MINDSET Fitness & Yoga is a place to train, heal & transform your body and mind. We are a boutique fitness/yoga studio designed to meet you where you are. We offer yoga, tai chi, strength, stretch, self defense, sign language, card crafting and dance classes as well as personal training, massage and a Functional Fitness Room that is open from 5am-7pm daily for a fast, full-body workout. We are proud partners with MS Society and MSAA and proud supporters of the Blue Zones Project. we strive to foster an environment abundant in positivity, social interaction and the enhancement of the quality of life.