By Ray Hamill – Local MMA fighter Cass Bell is taking advantage of some new-age technology available to him here in Humboldt County for the first time.
As he prepares for his second professional fight at Bellator 206 at the end of this month, the Arcata native is using cryotherapy to aid in his training.
And Bell says he can feel the benefits.
“It gives me a boost,” he said. “It’s like a burst of energy, like a couple of shots of coffee, and all my soreness goes away. You wake up some days feeling sore and exhausted, and I get in there and I feel great.”
Bell, a former standout Arcata High wrestler, made his professional MMA debut at Bellator 199 in May, defeating Khai Wu.
His second pro encounter will be on Sept. 29 on the undercard of the big showdown between Rory MacDonald and Gegard Mousasi at the SAP Center in San Jose.
This time Bell will face a more seasoned pro in Ty Costa, who is 4-3 and has been fighting professionally for six years.
Bell has been using cryotherapy at the New Level gymnasium next to the Samoa Cookhouse, which is not yet open to the public, according to the fighter.
Cryotherapy, which essentially means cold therapy, is a relatively new method training, where the body is exposed to extreme temperatures inside a chamber for a few minutes.
The ensuing rush of blood circulation purportedly rids the body of toxins and leaves you with, as Bell describes it, a “burst of energy.”
“It’s hard to describe, but I feel great,” he said.
He has used the cryotherapy as part of a high-altitude training regiment.
Immediately after the cryotherapy, which he undergoes five or six times a week, he then exposes himself to about 10 percent oxygen while on a treadmill or bike for five minutes, before flooding himself with 95 percent oxygen.
And he feels it’s paying big dividends ahead of his big showdown.
“My conditioning is getting so much better,” he said. “I feel like I can go, go, go.”
Many top athletes such as Lebron James swear by cryotherapy, although some medical experts say there are no proven benefits to it or what the long-term effects might be.
Still, Bell, who fights out of the Institute of Combat in Arcata, says it is helping him prepare for the biggest fight of his career.
And it’s not the only part of his training that has been beneficial.
“Training is going great. I’m getting my butt kicked right now,” he said. “Everybody at the gym’s working with me, and right now they’re putting the pressure on, making me grind, making me work.”