Hennie Kotze

Importance Of Getting Enough Sleep/Rest Before Training


As bodybuilders we are used to pushing ourselves to the next limit, but in the process many bodybuilders experience overtraining syndrome (OTS) which is rather dangerous. One of the major causes of OTS is the lack of attention to the importance of getting enough sleep or rest before training.

The body needs rest and OTS occurs when one isn’t getting enough sleep or rest before training. More damage is caused than can be handled by the body. Muscle mass is not gained because the body doesn’t recover fast enough as a result of the lack of sleep and rest. To understand the importance of getting enough sleep before training one must understand the sleep pattern and what happens during sleep.

Sleep, as such, is thus essential for muscle and body recovery before the next training session. Bodybuilders often don’t get enough sleep and then also don’t get the desired results from their training. Sleep is essential for muscle growth. Busy lifestyles combined with intense training cycles, especially before important competitions, lead to sleep deprivation with disappointing results for the bodybuilders. If you want to gain muscle, be in tip-top shape, and ensure an effective immune system while reducing fat, then you should ensure that you will be getting enough sleep before training.

Sleep runs in a 25 hour clock cycle. Early mornings are characterized by an increase of dopamine and adrenaline which will help you wake up. At the same time melatonin and serotonin levels are reduced. It will thus be difficult to get the best sleep during this time. As such maintain a sleep pattern allowing for enough deep sleep before the morning hours.

You will notice that at night your body goes into a rest period characterized by a bit of drowsiness. It is the sleep preparation period. Avoid coffee, training, and any activity that will disturb this period. The muscles shut down during the second stage when the brain activity slows down. It is a relaxation period. The next two stages involve brain activity reduction, further muscle relaxation and slowing of the metabolism. The fourth stage is your deep sleep where growth hormone levels are high and it is also the stage which you need most before training. A further stage known as REM, involves rapid eye-ball movement and dreaming with heartbeat increase as well as more rapid breathing. The whole night involves several cycles of sleep repeated. It is, however, important to have these cycles if you want to be well rested before training, alert, and recovered from the previous session.

Sleep is an anabolic activity ensuring that critical neuron-transmitters can be replenished which are depleted through intensive training. Nothing other than sleep can ensure replenishment. Studies have shown that one day of not sleeping at all for 24 hours has the same effect on the body as being intoxicated to the level that you may not drive. It is thus dangerous if you are not getting enough sleep before training. You need to replenish dopamine, adrenalin, and acetylcholine through sleep.

Not getting enough sleep before training will destroy all your hard efforts and can cause serious immune system problems and muscle wasting. Heart problems can occur as well as problems with blood pressure. The anabolic hormone levels will be depleted and the result will be wastage of training. Overtraining will be the result and you may even gain fat because of such. Manipulate your environment to ensure a dark and quiet environment to ensure peaceful sleep. Avoid training before sleep and ensure that you get enough sleep. If needed, take supplements such as protein powder to ensure that you get all the required help for peaceful sleep. Contact Hennie today to help you train correctly for the next competition and for assistance in selecting supplements for getting enough sleep before training.


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Hennie Kotze would like to thank all his sponsors for their support over the years.

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