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’s ability 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." - Talayna Fortunato
One of our favorite things to do on a rest day is just a light row to get the blood flowing, and then go through our foam rolling and mobility exercises. To each their own, but remember that rest and recovery is crucial to long term success and injury prevention.