Your success in bodybuilding depends on a combination of 3 factors: Sleep, Diet and Exercise
Have you ever wondered why your hard work at the gym is not paying off well? All those hours you spend sweating out seem to be doing nothing for you? You might be one of the people making a common blunder with their fitness regime.
I see guys at my gym exercising for hours, doing 100’s of crunches daily, but still looking the same even months after. People think that exercising long and hard is the only thing that matter. If you are one of those gym rats who think that you’ll achieve a great physique just by solely spending long hours at the gym, then forget about getting big and fit. Yeah that sounds harsh but it’s actually true that by working out more you are decreasing your chances to grow bigger as you’re not giving your body time to recover. I am going to explain in this article that how sleep and diet are more crucial to overall fitness as compared to working out.
When talking about a balanced workout schedule, maintaining an ideal sleep-diet-exercise ratio is very important. The golden rule as advocated by all the famous bodybuilder is 70:30. The importance attributed to sleep and diet amounts to a whopping 70% as compared to 30% for exercise. Most people end up doing exactly the opposite, ie exercising, exercising and more exercising. It’s time you makes some changes your overall gym plan in order to get the gains you’ve been looking for.
Now let’s go in detail and understand what the sleep-diet-exercise ratio is all about:
No one can deny the importance of sleep and its calming effect on mental and physical levels. Your mind won’t work with the same effectiveness if you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Same is the case with your body. You’ll end up feeling tired and groggy all day, if you haven’t slept properly the night before.
There is a misconception among people that they build muscles while they’re in the gym. The truth is actually the other way around. You don’t build muscles in the gym, rather you break them while working out by putting stress on your muscles. No, that doesn’t mean working out has a negative effect on you. Breaking them with a workout makes them bigger and stronger, but for this you need to give your body time for recovery and this happens only when you take a good amount of rest and eat a proper nutritional diet.
For bodybuilders, sleep is also very important as it helps to restores brain function and attentiveness, which determines the effectiveness of your training session. Sleep also boosts the muscle recovery through protein synthesis and through the release of human growth hormone. Sleep is crucial for your general well-being also.
Okay let’s cut to the chase and talk about how much sleep is sufficient sleep. Well, it actually depends on person to person, but 8 hours of sleep is good enough. If you can get 10, then nothing like it.
In a nutshell, you need to make sure that your body gets the required amount of rest. So now that you know the importance of sleep, always keep in mind – “Sleep and Grow”.
Most of the people seem to be very confused about this crucial aspect of bodybuilding. A lot of them don’t have the proper knowledge regarding the nutritional requirements of their bodies’ and the macros of the foods that they take in. You all must have heard of GIGO (Garbage in Garbage out). How can you expect too see results when you’re not giving your body the stuff it needs to grow? Your diet should contain a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The golden ratio in case of diet is 40:40:20 (Protiens : Carbs : Fats). And how much protein should you take? One gram of protein per pound of body weight.
Here are a few foods that you must try and incorporate in your diet:
- Boiled egg whites
- Peanut butter
- Brown rice
- Fruits (Orange, Bananas, Berries, Apples etc.)
The pre-workout food you eat is also very important as it provides you with the energy required to carry out the workout. The above paragraphs are just to give you a brief about the importance of clean diet. I’ll be posting a separate article talking in depth about the type of diet one should take for muscle building. Eat clean and train dirty.
Are you also one of those who believe that more is better? If so, then there’s a chance that you might be suffering from no result syndrome. Focusing solely on heavy workouts can be a disaster. As explained earlier, sleep and diet are more important. If you’re not seeing any muscle gain from your workouts, it may be because of the following factors:
- Excessive time spent at the gym
- Inadequate sleep
- Poor Diet
Exercising for hours and neglecting diet and sleep goes against muscle building and puts your body in a catabolic stage and hence it results in no gains.
How long should you workout?
Unless you’re a professional bodybuilder, your workout should be for around 40-50 minutes including warm up and stretching of around 10 minutes. It’s hard to workout for more than 40 minutes if you’re training intensely. Lack of intensity may permit you to stay longer at the gym, but it’s almost a waste of time. Another important thing that I also mentioned in one of my previous articles, you need to feel the movement of your muscles while you’re working out. If you’re not feeling it, you’re not doing it right.
Make sure you stay away from social bees for those 45 minutes. Concentrate on your training. Most of the people are not able to complete their exercise within this period because of two basic reasons:
- Taking excessive rest i.e., resting for more than 30 seconds between two sets of an exercise
- Doing more than 4 or 5 exercises for a body part
Try avoiding these mistakes and while you’re at the gym, focus only and only on your workout. Train hard but train fast.
The golden rules of sleep-diet-exercise ratio:
– Sleep for at least 8 hours
– Eat clean and have a balanced diet
– Train intense for 40 – 50 minutes, with a maximum of 5 exercises for each body part
– Taking minimum rest between two sets