The What The Heck Effect!?!?

Part One

By Jason Skeens

45898585 - young business man write question mark on blackboardI’ve been training consistently with kettlebells (cast iron balls with handles) for over ten years.  A couple of months into training I experienced the “what the heck effect” (WTHE).   This term is often employed in the kettlebell community when unexpected and seemingly unrelated results occur as a result of training with those funky looking cannon ball things.  For example, some folks increase their barbell deadlift from only training kettlebell clean and jerks.  Or some improve their run times from only doing snatch work.  You get the idea.

The WTHE for me began early on in my career in the Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division.  I started to climb ropes, while wearing body armor, without using my legs even though I had barely practiced any vertical pulling motion; instead, I had been focusing on double kettlebell swings and presses.  I remember getting to the top of the rope with my armor on the first time and saying out loud, “what the heck”!   So what relation does this have with Assertive Wellness and Durango Cryotherapy?  I’m glad you asked!

The WTHE is a common occurrence in the natural medicine and Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) community, not just the kettlebell community.  One can typically predict what the primary results will be from specific modalities, but secondary results are often surprising and seemingly random.  There are numerous reasons for this, but this is a subject for future discussion.  For now, let’s direct our attention to a surprising result from WBC.

I experienced the WTHE when I started WBC sessions.  I initially experienced a significant reduction in chronic low back and knee pain that was a result of years of jumping out of planes with parachutes that are designed to get you on the ground as quickly as possible.  I was pleased but not surprised by these results.  What caught me off guard was a noticeably increased ability to handle emotional and physical stress.

When I first started WBC sessions, my wife and I had a baby boy in addition to our adorable but wild toddler. We were both sleep deprived parents with a colicky newborn.  I was also studying biblical Greek and Hebrew simultaneously at a seminary, which is a dumb thing to do.  Like, dumb with a capital J. However, none of this took a significant toll on my body or mind.

I can’t exactly explain it.  I suspect my WTHE has to do with rapidly lowering inflammation, which translates to an increased ability to handle stress.  Or maybe it’s the endorphin and serotonin release that one gets during a WBC session.  Regardless, whatever the technical reason for my results, I’m committed to continuing WBC sessions for the rest of my life even if its just so I can keep saying, “what the heck.”

Find out more about Whole Body Cryotherapy and its benefits at

(Note: At Durango Cryotherapy, we use a cryosauna manufactured by Impact Cryotherapy.  Impact Cryotherapy manufactures whole body cryosaunas in the U.S. in ISO 9001 certified facilities. The Impact Cryosauna has been evaluated by the FDA under the 513(g) process. The FDA has concluded the Impact Cryosauna is not a medical device. Products manufactured or produced by Impact Cryotherapy are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or chronic illness. – See more at:

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