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Secret Muscle Building Weapon: Sleep

by Alfred on May 31, 2012

Did you know sleep has a direct connection to getting more muscle? You can seriously sleep your way to building muscle or losing weight. I’ll be very honest, I don’t get ANY sleep and it shows in my workouts and it shows in my results.

I know it’s an absolutely terrible habit, but here’s what I’ve found out from my personal mistakes.

From personal experience, every single night I’ve gotten decent sleep (8-9 hours), I’ve discovered three things:

  • I have much more energy for my workouts, which produces more muscle development and faster fat burning.
  • I get up earlier and have more time in the day to accomplish more instead of squeezing in time for workouts.
  • I feel a significant decrease in how sore I am from my previous workouts as opposed to moaning and groaning from my sore muscles the next day. These are just a number of things I’ve noticed with increased sleep, but there’s FAR more to this concept.

>>> Sleep: How to Get on a Schedule and Routine

>>> Amino Acids May Solve Sleeping Problems

>>> Sleep Better With These 10 Strategies

I’m going to give you five awesome reasons why you need more sleep, and by the time you get to the end of this article, you’ll probably choose to go to bed by 9 p.m. tonight. Sleep makes a dynamic difference in your results, and if you’re serious about losing that belly fat and getting bigger and more toned muscles then you’ll take your sleep seriously and make the necessary changes. I’m willing to make a change and tell you that I’m also going to destroy my bad habit of terrible sleep, so if I can do this, anyone can.

The Increased Muscle Building Factor

One major advantage with healthy amounts of sleep, is that your body naturally builds more muscle. Think of your sleep as your recovery period, or as a time for your body to rest up for a big workout the next day. You put yourself through a hard workout and pounded your body so you definitely deserve your rest. So considering that your body deserves good sleep and requires it to perform at it’s peak, why would you prevent yourself from getting good amounts of healthy sleep?

Your recovery period is when your body produces the most muscle-building, because those individual muscle fibers are compensating for how hard they worked by becoming stronger. So if you aren’t getting a good recovery period, you really aren’t doing your body a favor to promote bigger muscle growth. This is especially important for getting lean and building mass, as the only way they become bigger and more toned is when you build those muscle fibers.

Sleep Affects Fat Loss

What I’ve discovered is that sleep has a dramatic affect on your ability to burn fat as well as how your body deals with fat, and you have the choice to use this as your advantage or disadvantage. There’s a hormone known as cortisol, and I won’t get all “scientific” on you, but I will say that it has a distinct connection to fat build up, and basically is a main fat building hormone.

Your body produces more of this hormone, cortisol, when you are under a lot of stress, which is why you seem to gain more weight when you’re going through a stressful situation for a long period of time. When you don’t get healthy amounts of sleep, you don’t only hurt yourself energy-wise, but your body treats this as a form of stress.

Certain research has been done that proves you have more success burning fat during your workouts, when your body has received good amounts of sleep beforehand. This isn’t just tested and proven in research, but I’ve seen this key effect in my own personal lifestyle. Trust me, this stuff really means something, so if you want to be rid of that excess fat and prevent anymore build up of it, get healthy amounts of sleep.

Optimal Energy For Workouts

This is a simple connection, but I thought you’d want to hear it anyway. We all know how more sleep gives us more energy for the upcoming day, but how does this transfer over to increasing results? Basically, you have more energy for your workouts, which means you have more energy to work harder as well as gain increased results from your workouts. When you have more energy, you’re able to push yourself harder during workouts, burn more fat and build more muscle, and gain one step closer to the body you want.

True Recovery Period

Again, this is no major secret like the first two tips, but this plays a dynamic role in your fitness plan. After tough workouts, your body needs rest because you worked so hard, and it needs energy for the following day’s workout.

Sleep is basically your body’s recovery period and without recovery, your body doesn’t get optimal results from workouts, whether it be fat loss or muscle-building. The more sleep you get, the longer period your body has to recover. The longer recovery period, the more energy you have for the next day and the less sore you are for your workouts.

When you have more energy, you’re able to push your body and mind to an entirely different level. Along with decreased soreness and increased energy, you build muscle and repair individual muscle fibers to become bigger and stronger during your recovery time.

Sleep, sleep, and then you sleep some more. Of course this is in healthy amounts like 8-9 hours each night, not 13-14 hours because that just becomes laziness and hibernation.

The Final Secret

The more sleep you get, the more protein is utilized and broken down to develop your abdominal muscles more. Think of all the protein you ate throughout the day and those awesome protein shakes you drank, and now think of how protein develops muscle.

Now, think of when that protein is broken down to be turned into muscle. This happens during your sleep.

Get some sleep and you’ll have more energy, will properly utilize protein, and will build more quality muscle.

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Alfred
Alfred is an expert when it comes to culinary skills, combat medicine, hand-to-hand combat, and tactical analysis. His mission is to provide service content that will make you smarter and more skillful.
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