Spotlight on Ryan Stokes – Crossfit Athlete & Fitness Coach

The CrossFit community in Kelowna is tight. It’s a collective of athletes who aim to master functional life movement. It’s not for the faint of heart, but according to Professional Fitness Coach and CrossFit Athlete Ryan Stokes, it is for everyone.

Ryan is a passionate and assured strength and conditioning coach at Bodyshop Training Centre in West Kelowna. Here he coaches teens, seniors, skilled athletes and everyone in between to be the strongest and most powerful version of themselves. As an athlete himself, Ryan’s personal approach to health and fitness is inspiring and enviable. He regularly takes his body to the edge, and then actively recovers.


I recently sat down with Ryan at Gravity Float & Wellness to ask him about the coolest recovery tool in his tool box: Cryotherapy.

How do you approach Cryotherapy as a recovery tool?
“After an intense workout, I like to drive over to Gravity Float & Wellness. I really begin my recovery in the car on the way over. Then I ride the stationary bike here as the first active step, taking my body temperature to homeostasis (a stable equilibrium). And then I go into the Cryo Tank. I’ve found that -160° is the right temperature for me and I stay in it for about 2 minutes 45 seconds. It’s important to find your right temperature and time ratio, for optimum results.”

How does Cryotherapy work? Is it like a polar bear dip?
“It is not like a polar bear dip. The power of the Cryo tank, is that is shocks my body with extreme temperatures and draws my blood away from my extremities towards my core and my vital organs. That’s my body’s natural tendency – to protect itself against the cold. It’s the return of the highly oxygenated blood, the flush I call it, that breaks down the lactic acid, and helps to repair my body and recover efficiently. Then I like a warm robe, a cup of herbal tea and trip to the massage chair.”

How often do you shock your body like this? Do the results lessen over time?
“During a CrossFit competition, in peak season, I’ll come to Cryotherapy 3X in a weekend. For example, I’ll have a big workout on a Friday night, drop in to Gravity for a Cryo session. Have 2 workouts on Saturday, followed by a Cryo session and a Float (the magnesium in the water is another great tool). Then, 3 workouts on Sunday including the finals. It’s very demanding on my body, so I come back again for another Cryo session. I’m allowing my body, to create the best possible circulation of oxygen rich blood. In a regular, non-competition week, 1- 2 X per week is enough for me.”

When I ask Ryan about the psychological benefits of using every natural recovery resource available, he has a lot to say… in an upcoming, blog post.

For more information on the Cryotherapy /CrossFit connection contact Ryan Stokes at



Lorraine Miller
Lorraine Miller
Lorraine Miller is a lifestyle writer whose articles and blogs feature interesting people, places and businesses. A former educator, she is a community volunteer and loves living and writing in the Okanagan. [email protected]