BY COACH JUAN ROJAS
Is your goal to lower your body fat and gain muscle mass? Who doesn't want this ideal scenario!?
You might be one of those people who work extremely hard in the gym and make sure to get your nutritious meals in. You might even take it as far as knowing your macronutrients and ensuring that you are getting the adequate amounts of them necessary to create this fat burning/muscle gaining environment. You might be taking expensive supplements that can improve your health and performance. But, you might also be disappointed with your results and cannot pinpoint it as to why you are not progressing as well as you should. It seems like you are doing everything correctly right?!
One of the biggest underrated factors that I see many clients overlook is recovery; specifically sleep. When we sleep is when our body releases a cascade of hormones that will not only help us burn more fat but also build more muscle. It is when the body repairs tissue and ensures that our central nervous system has time to recover from our daily stress. If your central nervous system is overloaded, your progress in the gym will not go anywhere. You will feel tired, groggy, may experience discrepancies with sex hormones and perhaps even deal with signs of depression. You might even lose strength and the desire to train hard.
Now, let’s say you were getting 4-6 hours of sleep a night before reading this article and now you increased it to 6-8 hours of sleep. Does this automatically mean that you are going to be getting better results, feel more alert and be healthier? Not necessarily. Just being in bed or even having restless sleep, even if it’s more than 8 hours, will not be sufficient enough to improve your quality of life. There are different stages of sleep, and the most important one for recovery is the stage of REM. For anybody with average healthy sleep, REM sleep accounts for about 20-25% of your nightly sleep. If we are restless sleepers or are constantly waking up, we are not be maximizing our REM sleep. 6 hours of deep uninterrupted sleep a night would be much more productive than 8 hours of sleep where you are constantly tossing and turning.
Now that we know that deep sleep is key to maximizing our recovery and results in the gym, you may ask yourself, how can I maximize this state of recovery? It is crucial to have certain rituals in your day and pre-bed to maximize the quality of your sleep! Here are 8 tips that will help you get better sleep, thus greatly accelerating your fitness goals!
Our body was naturally made to effectively get restful sleep. Unfortunately, the pace of life in modern society along with many other factors has greatly impacted our ability to sleep as efficiently as possible. This is why it is crucial to follow these 8 tips and try to maximize your time in bed. Remember, rest is as equally important for results as training and nutrition are!
With the pursuit of achieving the best possible physique and helping hundreds of clients do the same, Juan Rojas has dedicated his life to finding the best strategies for transforming human bodies. Constant research, trial and error and continous education in the exercise physiology and nutrition field, Juan Rojas thrives off finding the most efficient ways to transform your body and live a happier and healthier lifestyle.