After a month of learning how to clip in and clip out of a buddy’s bike; getting past the fear of falling (on my first ride); and becoming comfortable with not being the lead; I set out for yet another ride with a group. We’d cover 25 miles that day. In doing so; we would also travel at a faster speed than my previous “initiation rides” (come to think of it I’m still being initiated!) The joy experienced happened for only a short minute during the ride that inspired me to address wellness seekers who have submitted themselves to the leadership of a coach!

This month I am participating in my own “Sleep study”. The goal is to work on getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night and experience increased performance in workouts, activities of daily living, and maintaining physical results.  Of course in all the challenges created at LIFT FITNESS and WELLNESS, the hope is for members to participate in the challenges as well!

Here’s some truth coming from a coach you all may run to the park with: If you aren’t going to get sleep at night you may as well drink tons of alcohol and expect little benefits from your workouts! Think back to prohibition month and about alcohol and its effects on metabolism as the effects are close to the same for different reasons.  From a big picture standpoint, lack of sleep slows down your metabolism and invites fat cells to keep the party going in your body!

Here are a few things some research studies are saying about sleep:

1.     Increase in cortisol
a.     Cortisol is the hormone admitted in your body when you are under stress. One of the benefits of exercise is that you decrease this hormone; which is why people leave workouts feeling better. But from a performance standpoint you’d like to have as little of this prior to your workout so your body can manage other aspects of your health.
2.     Decrease in growth hormone
a.     Growth hormone does just what it says, aids in growth response from training. So you work against yourself when you have limited GH prior to workouts because you lessen your ability to recover and get the most bang for your buck out of your workout.
3.     Decrease in testosterone
a.     Testosterone isn’t just a male thing although it’s necessary for men from a reproductive standpoint. It too aids in helping muscle recover and grow.
4.     Increase in appetite (cravings)
a.     Some of us have found ourselves at Good fellas for pizza or Indy’s for chicken (fried) after having a few drinks. Lack of sleep does the same thing causing us to crave things and think we are hungry.

Here’s our formula for the month:

decrease in cortisol (stress hormone) + decrease in Growth Hormone + decrease in testosterone = decrease in metabolic rate + increase in appetite

So while your cravings increase your metabolism can do nothing about it! Sounds horrible?? Feels horrible too so get some REST!!!

For a short time during my last 25-mile ride I drafted with 4 other cyclist. It felt amazing!! I didn’t even have to peddle as many strokes because the guys in the front and guys behind me pulled me along making us as a unit more aerodynamic. As a coach it is a joy when we see individuals follow our lead and let us take on unhealthy mindset about things that can impact your workouts positively or to your detriment. Lets finish the year strong TOGETHER drafting!!!

June 18th, 2013

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