You are a gym god. You lift EVERY DAY. You eat like a house and stay stocked up on all the best supplements…creatine, whey protein, glutamine nitric oxide, pre-workouts, test boosters…you name it, you got it! One problem, you’re making no progress and you feel like shit.
Let’s chat about the ultimate performance enhancer – sleep. The amount and quality of sleep you get plays a more crucial role in your fitness goals than any supplement you could ever purchase. So, even if you crush it in the gym, nail your nutrition and take all the best supplements, you will never reach your full potential if you are not logging adequate hours in the sack.
Why is sleep such a big deal for us meatheads? Well, you may be getting a gnarly pump in the gym, but you’re not actually BUILDING muscle in the gym. In fact, you are damaging it. You actually build muscle WHILE YOU SLEEP. That’s right, no sleep = no gains.
Let’s take a closer look at exactly how sleep affects muscle building and fat loss…
- Sleep helps prevent muscle breakdown and promotes fat loss (Science Advances 22 Aug 18).
- Sleep reduces cortisol levels
- Sleep increases HGH levels
- Sleep increases testosterone levels
- Enhanced physical and mental performance (Sleep and Athletic Performance).
- Improved immune system and injury prevention (Sleep and Athletic Performance).
Still not sold on the importance of quality zzz’s? Check out the results from this 2010 study from the American College of Physicians:
Researchers conducted a study with two groups of subjects – one that slept 8.5 hours per night and one that slept only 5.5 hours per night.
Both groups were put on the same calorically restricted diet for two weeks.
After the two weeks were up, both groups had lost a similar amount of weight. HOWEVER, they did not lose the same kind of weight. The group that only slept 5.5 hours/night lost 55% less fat and 60% more muscle than the group that slept 8.5 hours/night…
So…the takeaway, ladies and gentlemen, is that failing to get a good night’s sleep is literally making you FAT AND WEAK!
Sleep more, grow more.