the biggest mistake people really make

The Biggest Recovery Mistake People Make

In this clip from EP 016 of The Okay Podcast , Starting Strength Coach Grant Broggi talks about how sleep in crucial for recovery from your workouts in the gym, and he gives some practical advice for how to get better sleep.


The Overlooked Pillar of Strength Training: Sleep

In the world of strength training, where the focus often leans heavily towards diet and lifting techniques, there's a crucial element that frequently gets overlooked: sleep. Understanding the impact of sleep on training can be a game-changer for many athletes. Here’s why sleep is essential and some practical tips to enhance sleep quality.

The Impact of Sleep on Training Performance

Sleep is perhaps the most significant recovery variable that many athletes neglect. Despite its importance, it's not uncommon for discussions about training to skim over the topic of sleep. However, the quality and quantity of sleep directly affect physical performance, recovery, and overall progress in strength training.A poor night's sleep can significantly diminish the quality of a training session the following day. For instance, if you're running on just a few hours of fragmented sleep, don't expect to hit new personal records or perform optimally. Recognizing the need to adjust your training intensity on days following poor sleep is crucial for long-term progress and injury prevention.

Practical Tips for Better Sleep

Improving sleep quality doesn't have to involve complex strategies. Here are some straightforward, actionable tips to help you sleep better, ensuring you're well-rested for your training sessions:

1. Darken Your Environment: A dark room contributes significantly to good sleep quality. If you can't achieve complete darkness through curtains or blinds, consider using a sleep mask. Blocking out light helps signal to your body that it's time to wind down and rest.

2. Manage Your Electronics: The blue light emitted by phones and other screens can interfere with your natural sleep cycle. If checking your phone at night is unavoidable, use features like 'Night Mode' to reduce blue light, or better yet, avoid screens at least an hour before bed. If you need to know the time at night, use a watch or a clock instead of your phone to prevent the temptation of getting sucked into notifications or messages.

3. Keep the Room Cool: A cooler room can enhance sleep quality. The ideal temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). Experiment with your room's temperature to find what works best for you.

4. White Noise: For those who find silence unsettling or live in noisy environments, white noise can be beneficial. Apps or devices that simulate soothing sounds like rain can help mask disruptive background noise.

5. Caffeine Intake: Be mindful of your caffeine consumption. Consuming caffeine late in the day can interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Try to have your last caffeinated drink before noon to ensure it doesn't affect your sleep.

Adjusting Expectations

Understanding that not every training session will be perfect is vital. Life's demands, whether it's work, family, or unexpected events, can interfere with our training routines. On days when you haven't had enough sleep, it might be wise to adjust your training expectations. Reducing the intensity or volume on such days can help manage fatigue and prevent injuries.In conclusion, while sleep might not be the most talked-about topic in strength training circles, its impact on performance is undeniable. By prioritizing good sleep hygiene, you're not just investing in better training sessions; you're also enhancing your overall health and wellbeing. Remember, consistency in training is crucial, but quality sleep and recovery are what make consistency possible.

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