What you do outside of Club Julian in relation to down time is every bit as important as the way you work out, as CJ personal trainer Anthony Olick discusses in today’s edition of “Ask Anthony.”
“If you wake up at 5:00am (after only a few hours of sleep) to get a workout in, you’re stepping over $100 bills to pick up pennies.”
- Stan Efferding, Professional Bodybuilder & Powerlifter
Sleep/adequate rest is one of the three primary components to achieving results. The other two are diet and the exercise itself. However, sleep and proper rest is often mistakenly overlooked in importance.
As some may think, sleep and adequate rest are one in the same, but adequate rest specifies the amount of time you allow your muscles to rest before exercising the same muscle (groups) again and sleep is obviously the amount of sleep you get within a 24-hour period. That being said, let’s dig into why adequate rest is important.
Have you ever experienced muscle soreness? That is called DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. We experience DOMS because when we workout, we microscopically tear our muscles, then the muscles’ response to the tearing is to repair the damage. So, after an intense workout (whether targeted muscle group or full body), you probably notice that your muscles are sore the next day, and (even more so) the day after that, right? That’s DOMS.
Understanding that that muscle soreness means your muscles are torn (microscopically) and repairing themselves is key. Think about completing a full body exercise routine on a daily or bi-daily basis. Regardless of your intensity and whether you experience DOMS or not, you are still breaking down those muscle fibers when you work them with the goal in mind that they will become stronger and (for some) larger in size. However, if your muscles are not properly healed/recovered from the full body routine you did yesterday (or two days ago), then you are not allowing yourself the adequate rest you require to see the results you’re looking for. Therefore, you will see a lot of people doing split routines.
Split routines can be done multiple ways; however, the premise is usually the same. Split routines would be when people decide to split up muscle groups per day so that they are not targeting the same muscle groups daily. Popular splits would be the “bro split”, which is Mon- Chest, Tues- Back, Wed- Legs- Thurs- Shoulders, and Fri- Arms. Or the “push-pull split” which is all pushing movements (chest press, overhead press, triceps push down, etc.) on one day, then all the pulling movements (lat pull down, row, bicep curl, etc.) on another day (a lot will incorporate legs in the push-pull split on the push and pull days or have a separate leg day). Ultimately, most splits allow opposing muscle groups to work while the other rests and repair.
Then we have sleep. When we go to bed, our body goes into four stages of sleep:
NREM Stage 1 (Non-Rapid Eye Movement)
NREM Stage 2
NREM Stage 3 (Slow Wave Sleep)
REM (Rapid Eye Movement)
NREM Stage 3 is where the magic happens. This stage of sleep is where your body starts its physical repair by secreting a crucial muscle building hormone. Because our muscles go into a relaxed state during this stage of sleep, brain activity is said to show an identifiable pattern of what is known as delta waves, producing this secretion of growth hormone from the pituitary gland.
Ultimately, without adequate sleep or reaching the NRM3 stage of sleep as frequently as possible, you will produce less of the critical growth hormone and overall muscle growth will be inhibited. That is why I decided to start this article off with the quote I chose, because if you are not experiencing a good (long) night’s sleep on a regular basis, you are truly shortchanging yourself and your progress.
If you have questions about this post or suggestions for another, please do not hesitate to leave them on the blog site under COMMENTS at the end. Thank you!