No pain, no gain, no point?
This is VERY interesting, a recent study at the University of Melbourne has produced findings which contradict the theory that an ice bath directly after exercise eases muscle pain and aids muscle recovery:
"... there was no difference in physical pain measurements such as swelling or tenderness, and in fact those who had been in the ice reported more pain when going from a sitting to a standing position after 24 hours than those who had the tepid treatment."
Hmm, interesting. I've never tried a full ice-water submersion bath after exercise but advocate a cold shower after particularly tough exercise. Maybe a tepid shower or bath is a better option?
Here's the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6287210.stm