It is so hard for many of us to see a WOD and not start instantly drooling about how awesome that one will be. I can’t wait to get in there and try it…. even though I just worked out for the past 5 days straight and our children, job, or computer have been preventing us from getting adequate sleep.
Talayna Fortunato is one of the world’s top CrossFit athletes and here is a little blip from an article she wrote on CrossFit. This specifically addresses sleep and rest days and it hit home as I am incredibly sore and tired today. Enjoy and take care of your self!
Skimping on Sleep and Skipping Rest Days
Nearly as important as what you’re doing in the gym is what you’re doing outside of the gym. The ability to recover is instrumental to seeing consistent gains in athletic performance.
Growth Hormone (GH) is an essential part of that recovery. It allows the body to repair itself after intense exercise through muscular hypertrophy and plays a significant role in the maintenance of lean body mass. Nearly 50% of GH secretion occurs during the third and fourth NREM sleep stages.
If you are regularly skimping on sleep by 2 or more hours, you are missing the body’s prime production time of GH, and thereby not recovering as you could or should be. Basically all the effort you put into your squat cycle was just thwarted by a significant percentage if you were sleep-deprived during it.
Another important aspect of recovery is taking needed rest days. Continuing to workout through a certain level of fatigue or soreness can actually be counterproductive long term.