Working with the Champs: SubZero Recovery CEO David Levi Talks Mayweather and Cryotherapy

Working with the Champs: SubZero Recovery CEO David Levi Talks Mayweather and Cryotherapy

With a record-breaking $400 million-plus prize on the line, you don’t leave anything up to chance. Floyd Mayweather, the world champion, entered the ring May 2 with Manny Pacquiao having complete confidence in his mental and physical preparation. Throughout his training, Mayweather made a daily visit to SubZero Recovery in Las Vegas to immerse himself into a tank of nitrogen gas that reaches temperatures as low as minus 220 degrees Fahrenheit. This full-body cryotherapy treatment is meant to improve recovery time for athletes and reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after a grueling workout.

I got the chance to sit down with SubZero CEO David Levi at his Las Vegas clinic to discuss treating Floyd Mayweather, the cryotherapy process and industry outlook.

What Is whole-body cryotherapy?

It is two to three intense minutes of exposure to freezing nitrogen gas. The brief exposure to extreme cold pushes a human body into a fight-or-flight response which boosts endorphins and causes blood to rush to the core and then out through the body once a client starts to warm up.

Why are we seeing more and more elite athletes using cryotherapy treatment?

Athletes are looking for that edge over their competition. Cryotherapy is the best way to help your body recover and you can do it in the quarter of the time as a ice bath or other cold therapy treatments. When you are performing at the highest level you need to use the best and most advanced technology that is available to you.

When is the use of cryotherapy most effective for athletes?

From what I have seen from many of the athletes and boxers, they really enjoy coming in after workouts because their body has taken such a beating during a training session. I have also had guys come in before their workout and they train much harder in the gym because their body is refreshed and they have more energy. Some athletes try to come in twice a day, before and after working out, but for the average person that is not training or working out at an elite level it doesn’t make sense to do it more than once a day.

The anti-aging market is projected to be worth $191.7 billion by 2019. How can your cryotherapy clinic and the industry penetrate this market?

The three-minute treatment reduces swelling and inflammation, boosts the immune system, improves sleep, smooths wrinkles, releases your body’s endorphins and burns up to 800 calories. From high-profile athletes to women looking to keep their skin healthy and hydrated there is huge opportunity for growth. Cryotherapy is still a relatively a new treatment option in the U.S. with a small number of clinics spread throughout the country, but with more hi-profile athletes and celebrities using it awareness will continue to grow. Cryotherapy extends outside of the athletic arena into the anti-aging arena to help with chronic ailments, skin tightening, cellulite and those issues that come along with the aging process.

Daron Pressley ( @daronpressley) is an entrepreneur and former Fortune 500 sales and marketing executive who has been featured on outlets including Fox45 News, Black Enterprise magazine, and The Washington Post. Knowledgeable in marketing and branding, Pressley works with professional athletes, organizations, and individuals to develop strategies to create, build, and grow brands. As a speaker, Pressley has reached more than 20,000 students. He also provides dynamic insights on leadership and branding via his website: