Sleep & Muscular Development

Sleep. Can’t get enough of it, am I right? What’s even worse is we can be so doggone tired, lay down to go to sleep and then it’s like the checklist you couldn’t get accomplished throughout the day hits you like a train! Now, you feel like you’ll never get to sleep … I’m sure we have all been there. As part of a healthy lifestyle sleep is important for many different reasons like muscular development and physical performance, improves memory, and also gives you a higher level of energy to take on the day! Since we, here at CSL, are geared towards fitness I am going to direct your attention to why sleep is important for muscular development and overall physical performance.

A little information on SLEEP

There are 2 categories that sleep is divided into, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. You spend a large portion of the night in NREM and progressively work towards REM sleep about every ninety minutes. The later stages of sleep that your body enters into are the most important when it comes to restorative function. The downside is that you can only get there by getting through the initial stages of sleep. Improving sleep quality is just as important as improving how often you sleep.

Human Growth Hormone

Most of your growth hormone is produced while you sleep and responsible for your physical growth.  Some benefits of HGH include but are not limited to:

  • Repairs muscles allowing optimal growth
  • Increases calcium retention improving bone mass
  • Promotes fat loss
  • Minimizes fat storage
  • Support optimal immune system function
  • Keeps your body running smoothly

HGH levels are high in childhood and peak in adolescence. HGH levels begin diminishing after puberty. HGH is constantly being produced throughout our lives and helps regulate the body’s metabolism aiding weight loss.

Recovery

Recovery, the period during which muscle growth occurs, will not take place without plenty of sleep. Rest and the duration of rest are important for each and every muscle group. The rest time varies according to each muscle group and the intensity at which you trained. It may take your legs 2-4 full days to completely recover where your arms may only take 1-2 days. Full recovery will allow your body to grow in strength and size.

Sleep Time

Sleep time is very individualistic. Generally between 6 and 12 hours of sleep will suffice. Although there are super-humans out there like The Rock who seems to function optimally on very little sleep (props to him!) Find the time that works best for you. For myself I have noticed that 6-7 hours allows me to wake feeling energized and refreshed, any more than that and I feel sluggish the entire day!

Sleep tips & tricks!

Below are a few helpful tricks to allow you to turn off your brain and improve your sleep!

  • Keep a notepad on your nightstand and jot down anything that comes to your mind. Jot down your “check-list”. Write it down, leave it, and rest! This method allows peace of mind in realizing that you no longer have to think about it any further (fingers crossed!)
  • Utilize calming music to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. I won’t lie, I have had to use this method on those nights where I just can’t seem to relax. Listening to the sounds of birds chirping, waves crashing, rain, or grasshoppers allows me to mentally focus on those sounds alone eventually leading to sleep.
  • Maintain a clean room. This might sound very elementary but it works! You’d be surprised at how many adults go to sleep with clothing and shoes thrown everywhere, papers and deadlines sitting on dressers, etc. By picking up after yourself and placing any work related paper or information in the dining room or living area, you are promoting a stress free environment that allows for optimal sleep rest. The atmosphere in which you rest in plays a huge role on you mentally and eventually physically.
  • Implement a casein protein or a blended protein like CSL’s Clinical Protein before you go to sleep. I am famous for getting in bed, falling asleep, and waking up in the middle of the night hungry (I know I’m not the only one!) Your body goes through a period of starvation while you sleep pulling from its energy stores. For people trying to build muscle this can be detrimental. Try supplementing with a blended protein that contains slow digesting proteins right before you go to bed. The slow digesting protein allows your body to take in nutrients throughout the night while you sleep keeping you satisfied and avoiding hunger. This also allows your body to fuel itself from those nutrients and not your muscles, bonus!

CSL’s Clinical Protein also contains mct’s (medium chain triglycerides) that provide cellular energy for repair. These mct’s aid in muscular recovery while you sleep! Avoid muscular cannibalism and enhance muscular recovery with Clinical Protein! Click the link below for more information.

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/product/clinical-protein-vanilla-ice-cream/

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You’re getting warmer! Why you should warm-up, stretch, and cool down!

Attractive woman stretching legs after run on beach

I have to ask …

Do you warm-up, stretch, and cool down before and after your workout?

Unfortunately, many people will agree that they DON’T. If you are one of those people, this article is exactly for you!

You’re Getting Warmer!

Warming up is absolutely critical when it comes to being successful with your training. It allows your bones, muscles, and mind to warm-up, get loose, and get the blood flowing. This allows your body to train efficiently and accurately minimizing the threat of injury to muscles, joints, and ligaments during your workout. Though the main purpose of warming up is injury prevention it is also super beneficial for your mental state as well!

When you go into the gym and immediately start lifting or working out you don’t give your mind enough time to comprehend your workout and get you motivated for the stress you are about to put your body through. During the warm-up phase of your training you will be able to focus on the exercises you want to hit and you will be able to jump-start your motivation!

Here are a few great ways to warm-up before you train!

  • 5 – 10 minute warm-up on the treadmill, stair climber, elliptical, or arc trainer.
  • Perform light weight warm-up sets for the muscles you plan on training, bump up the weight to a moderately heavy weight and complete a few warm-up After this moderately heavy warm-up set you want to rest until fully recovered, then start your workout!

What you get from warming up!

  • Increased flexibility
  • Injury prevention
  • Lubricates the joints
  • Achieve optimal results

Stretch it Out!

Along with a good warm-up before your workout you should follow-up your workout with a stretching session. Just like warming up, stretching is preventative care. By implementing stretching into your training regimen you are less likely to experience injury in future training sessions.

There are many great ways to stretch each and every part of your body!

There is a big debate about what whether or not you should stretch warm or cold muscles. I am a huge advocate for stretching after a light warm-up. This allows increased blood flow to the muscles which in turn creates better mobility and avoids injury while stretching.

Imagine that your muscles are like a rubber band, a cold and brittle rubber band will snap but a warm rubber band will stretch and bend and return to its original shape.

What you get from stretching!

  • Increased blood flow
  • Improve flexibility
  • Prevents injury
  • Optimum training

Cool Down

Cooling down after you workout or cardio session is actually very important even though most people don’t normally incorporate a cool down after training. I would say it is most important after cardiovascular training. Think about it, you just completed 15 minutes of 30 seconds on and 1 minute walking rest of sprints. You immediately turn the treadmill off and leave. You’re gasping for air, sweating bullets, shaking, and your heart rate is higher than the empire state building. This is exactly why you need to allow your body a chance to cool down and let your heart rate return to normal.

I would say if you complete a 5 minute warm-up you should also complete a 5 minute cool down after you session.

What you get from cooling down!

  • Helps your heart rate and breathing to return to normal
  • Will help avoid dizziness or fainting
  • Helps prepare your muscles for the next exercise session

Protect your body from injury by incorporating a warm-up and cool down session along with stretching before and/or after training. Hey, we only get one body! Might as well take care of the one we have.

-mk