So you train hard at the gym lifting heavy weights. You have a diet plan that contains enough lean protein each day, take supplements and eat enough healthy fats to keep testosterone levels up. You think that you have got everything covered to build a lean muscular body, right? Wrong! What about sleep?
One of the key aspects of working out that is often overlooked is sleep. The amount of sleep you have each night can have a significant impact on your success at the gym. It is important that we understand why sleep is important and how it impacts our gym sessions.
When you lift weights at the gym you overload your muscles, creating tiny micro tears in the muscle tissue. The repairing process begins when you are at rest and therefore in your sleep. When these micro tears are repaired you gain further strength and muscle gains. Therefore sleep is important to maximise this process.
When you’re at rest during the night, your body releases growth hormones at its highest concentration. As growth hormones are linked to muscle growth, you need to maximise the amount of hormones released.
Also, if you are sleep deprived then you will experience higher levels of cortisol in your body. The hormone cortisol has a negative effect on the muscle building process. Instead of encouraging muscle growth throughout the day, it encourages the breakdown of body tissue. Therefore higher releases of cortisol will make it harder to recover before your next workout.
Your testosterone levels are also lowered by lack of sleep. Testosterone is the main hormone that builds muscle faster, so higher testosterone levels means you have more capacity to build muscle.
Your insulin resistance is elevated when you don’t have enough sleep. Insulin is the hormone that helps cells in the body absorb nutrients. High insulin levels can lead to increased fat storage, diabetes and even heart disease.
To maintain a healthy metabolism you need the required amount of sleep. To build lean muscle without gaining body fat or to lose excess body fat, you need your metabolism to be functioning at its optimal level. This means maintaining a strong metabolic rate, having a good regulatory system of hunger and appetite and a healthy response to carbohydrates consumed. When you’re deprived of sleep your sugar levels are not regulated as well as they should be.
Also, lack of sleep affects the thyroid hormone, which regulates the amount of calories burned on a daily basis just for us to exist. To burn fat you need to ensure you maximise your metabolism.
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Sleep is important
It is clear that there is a link between sleep and building muscle. How much sleep you have can affect how successful you are at the gym. To get the most out of your workout and diet, make sure you have at least seven-eight hours sleep a night. To learn how to get a better night sleep read my post 10 Things That Prevent A Good Sleep.
Getting enough sleep will:
- Increase your body’s recovery rate.
- Increase muscle growth.
- Decrease chances of fat gain.
- Decrease muscle breakdown.
- Improve your mental state and physical performance.
- Improved testosterone levels.
- Lowered cortisol levels.
- Increased growth hormone levels.
- Lowered insulin resistance.
Now, time for bed!
To Our Success In Life,