Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman says the human body can’t help but dance about when the temperature hits minus-190 degrees Fahrenheit. So, naturally, his team made sure the NFL’s only electric cryotherapy chamber has a plug-in for players to select a song of choice off their iPhones.
“A lot of guys been playing Migos, a popular hip-hop group right now,” said safety Anthony Harris. “But there’s a wide range of music. I see Riley Reiff with a little country going on in there.”
One of the more popular features of the TCO Performance Center is the cryotherapy chamber. Unlike most cryo chambers that use nitrogen gas and don’t cover the head, this is a room big enough to frost three linemen or four littler fellas.
Just don’t expect a certain 62-year-old head coach to sign the waiver, drop down to shorts, cover his extremities, don a mask, step into a first chamber set to minus-35 and then stand in minus-190 for 2½ minutes while his skin temperature drops from 90 to 55.
“I’m not going in that thing,” Mike Zimmer said. “Too cold for me.”
Somewhere, Bud Grant frowns.
All-Pro safety Harrison Smith is a big believer in using cryotherapy to help his body recover from injuries and the aches and pains.
“I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know how it works,” Smith said. “But I know how it makes me feel. Really good.”
As Sugarman explains: “It blasts your central nervous system and pulls your blood to your core. When you get out, you get a big surge. Great for inflammation. Great for recovery.”
It’s not a self-service device. For safety reasons, players must be monitored.
“We’ve had guys go in for three minutes,” Sugarman said. “And anyone who’s ever gone in there has started to dance.”