Thursday, December 17, 2015

Get Stronger Overnight


The hardest thing for me to get across to people is the fact that you do not get stronger in the gym. You get stronger during recovery. Your two hour workouts are a total waste if you don’t get sufficient rest after your workouts.

In fact, those two hour workouts can actually be making you weaker. If you continue breaking your body down without sufficient recovery time to rebuild, you are going to lose ground at best and, at worst, cause permanent damage or injury.

The workout is just the stimulus for growth. Rest and nutrition provide the growth.

I know, you work a demanding job. You have a long commute. You have to put in long hours, feed and bathe the kids, go to little league games, cut the lawn…….
I was the same way. I was accustomed to about six hours of sleep a night. I thought I had to stay up until 11 pm to watch the news, blah,blah,blah.
I had to “learn” to get more rest and I did. It took all of about two weeks. I still get up between 5:30 am and 6:30 but I started simply going to bed at 10:00 pm. Problem solved. You know, I don’t miss “Dancing with the Has Beens” one bit.

Let’s look at a few other recent tidbits of sleep research.

  • ·        Losing 30 minutes of sleep a day makes you 72% more likely to be obese. Endocrine Society, 2015
  • ·        Any less than 6 hours of sleep per night makes you 4 times more likely to catch a common cold. SLEEP, 2015
  • ·        If you sleep less than 5 hours per night compared to 7 hours, the possibility of increase in artery calcium build up goes up by 50%.  American Heart Association, 2015

Bottom line, get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night or you are squandering your time in the gym.

( I’ve used strength as an example here but the same applies to any other fitness goals)

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