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As a health professional, you have to do everything in your power to help your client reach his or her goals.

It is your responsibility to inform them of every possible detail to increase quality results.

Some of the personal training methods you may be accustomed to giving your clients may involve training frequency, proper diet, and cardiovascular fitness.  But have you ever thought of how lack of sleep may affect muscle growth results?

This overlooked factor could be the difference between average results and maximum gains.  As a trainer, knowledge counts, and providing your clients with accurate information about how sleep impacts muscle growth may be the hidden gem to your client’s success, and ultimately, your success.

Your clients may want to be in the gym as much as possible, and they may think the more they are in the gym, the more results they may experience.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Rest is paramount to experience increased muscle mass.  Your clients may have the drive to reach their desired results, but not getting an adequate amount of sleep can hinder quality gains.  Let’s take a look at how lack of sleep may affect muscle growth.

How Sleep May Affect Muscle Growth
Glucose is a type of sugar that is stored within the body that is used for energy.  Without an adequate amount of sleep, your client’s energy levels will suffer, because the glucose will not be stored as effectively.  This will, in turn, lead to poor results.

Human growth hormone is an important hormone within the body, as it helps with recovery and muscle growth.  Having a quality amount of human growth hormones in the body aids the ability to consume amino acids from protein foods, which will help enhance muscle gains.

By getting the proper amount of sleep, your client will have the necessary levels of growth hormones for optimal results.

We can now take a look at a study conducted by Dotello, Antanes, Medeiros, Neto, Souza, Tufik, and Mello in 2011.  This particular study validates how sleep deprivation may affect muscle gains and recovery.

The study involved individuals who lacked sleep for 72 hours, and it resulted in muscle atrophy or muscle loss.  This study pertained to a 14-day calorie-restricted diet that compared individuals that slept a total amount of 5.5 hours, and 8.5 hours.  Here is what they found in regards to muscle mass:

5.5 hours of sleep-60% less muscle mass

8.5 hours of sleep-40% more muscle mass

What does this indicate?  This is a direct result of how lack of sleep can be detrimental to muscle growth.  The evidence also indicates that sleep deprivation is a key element that negatively influences proper muscle recovery.

It is noted that lack of sleep hurts muscle recovery, as it interferes with protein pathways that is needed for muscle growth.

Due to sleep deficiency, the body is unable to stay afloat with hormonal balances, which causes loss of muscle.  As you can see, a comparison between individuals who slept 5.5 hours versus individuals who slept 8.5 hours demonstrates the effects of sleep in relation to muscle size.

The Hidden Secret For Healthy Sleep
According to the 2008 study by Dr. Bert Jacobson, lack of sleep will hinder energy levels and your client will be susceptible to mood swings.  This will cause them to perform poorly during training.  With proper sleep, your client will enhance his or her workouts, boost endurance, and enhance the frame of mind for quality results.

With the increase in endurance and energy levels, your individuals will experience faster muscle growth.

Now on to the golden secret to getting adequate sleep.  Did you know that sleeping on a newer mattress will improve sleep as opposed to an older mattress?

This new 2008 finding by Dr. Bert Jacobson, reveals how a newer mattress will help your client sleep better, and boost energy levels during weight training sessions.  The study demonstrated that individuals who slept between seven to eight hours of sleep slept on new mattresses participated in more physical activities.  Here are the findings are below:

(Graph goes here)
As you can see the participants showed an increase in physical activities due to the sleep benefits of a newer mattress.  The evidence showed an obvious difference in activities such as running, lifting weights, and aerobics.  This suggests that your client’s sleep patterns are crucial to increase muscle mass—and better sleep means better results.

If exercises are not performed to your client’s maximum potential due to poor sleep habits, then muscles aren’t worked properly to enhance muscle gains.

Though sleep may seem like a simple task, as a trainer or bodybuilder, you may overlook proper sleep, and may not advise your clients accordingly. As life gets busy, getting by with just a few hours of sleep may seem like the norm in today’s society.  But to reach maximum muscle gains, sleep is essential.

The combination of proper sleep, nutrition, and high-quality training will dramatically increase results.

What are some tips for proper rest and recovery?
As tempting as it may seem for your client to work out the same body part two days in a row, allow a 48-hour window between sessions to help your client recover from strenuous workout sessions.

And yes, your client may have a life outside the gym that may involve performing other high-intense activities.  But the key is to advise them to do this within 3-4 hours before bedtime or earlier.  Why? If your client performs high-intense activities just before bed, it will make it harder for your client to get the proper amount of sleep due to the boost in energy levels.

If you think your client has the right to get an adequate amount of sleep by sleeping late and waking up late, think again. His or her night owl tendencies will affect the body because the 24-hour cycle or circadian rhythm must be consistent.  This simply means to go to bed at a decent hour and wake up at the same time every day.

Teach the Power of Sleep
Personal training requires you to play many different roles.  You’re a motivator, psychologist, and teacher.  Your clients may have been taught to increase hypertrophy with weight training, nutrition, and supplements.  And now you can teach your client to build muscle with one of the most basic human actions—rest.  Going above and beyond as a trainer is part of your job.  Your clients put their trust in you—so make them believe in the power of sleep.

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