"The Importance of Sleep Review"(3.24.2015)

Training, Recovery, And The Importance of Sleep
Mike Kesthley
An element of recovery that most folks will under-estimate is SLEEP.  An athlete can have everything dialed: nutrition, training, preWO/PWO intake, but if sleep is not there, all progress is halted, and recovery suffers.  I’ve even seen this in athletes on aggressive PED/AAS cycles.  THAT’S how important sleep is.  But why?
Hormonal regulation and secretion of cortisol, melatonin, serotonin, dopamine, DHEA, testosterone and growth hormone, to name just a few, are all dependent on quality sleep.  Many studies have been done on sleep deprivation, and from 20 years of personal experience, I can tell you the effects are acute and drastic.  Couple mixed-modal training + sleep debt, and you massively and chronically hammer on your endocrine system; this leads to an accelerated phase of over-reaching, possibly overtraining, and potential adrenal dysfunction.
Key Points & Strategies for Optimizing Sleep:
  • Shoot for 8 hours; prioritize this, make time in your life.  Training increases this need.  Google “How Much Sleep The Pros Get” for a quick infographic.  Avg = 8-10hrs.
  • Alcohol affects stages of sleep; while it’s a CNS depressant and can help you FALL asleep, it reduces SWS (slow wave sleep), aka Stage 4, where the most gH (growth hormone) is released.
  • Bright sun exposure during the DAY will improve sleep quality at night by maximizing endogenous melatonin secretion.
  • Bedroom = Cave.  Dark, cool, quiet.  Blackout blinds, white noise can help reduce REM sleep, and lower body temps help induce sleep.
  • Reduce electronic use 1hr prior to bed.  iPhones, computers, TVs are all back-lit with blue-wavelength light—the same as the morning sun.  This suppresses melatonin production.  If you have to use a laptop, install F.Lux to alter the hues of the screen to more red-wavelength tones.
  • Naps: Hard to fit in, but worth every penny (minute) you can get.  Brief naps, <30min, can be restorative mentally and emotionally; you cannot “make up” sleep debt. 5hrs sleep plus a 3hr nap (who can even do that?) is not equal to a solid 8 hrs. Why? Length and completeness of sleep cycles.
  • Naps, Part 2:  Naps have the potential to speed recovery, based on the fact you naturally release gH (growth hormone) as you sleep, and naps will improve immediate performance in sleep-deprived athletes. We know that sleep extension improves performance and recovery; I don’t think it’s a stretch to hypothesis adding naps to an already optimal sleep-wake timeframe (8hr) will also improve recovery.
  • Reduce Caffeine; half-life is approx. 5-7 hours.  Cut-off for intake should be early afternoon.
  • Supplementation:  Complex topic, the above ALL needs to be in order, but items like ZMA, GABA, Glycine, Melatonin, L-Dopa can all help.  This needs to be individualized on a case-by case basis by someone familiar with these supplements.


I. Dynamic and Mobility Prep Warm-Up:
3 minutes of z1 work
6-8 Minutes of Group Review:
Hang Clean Review w/ Lifestyle + Fitness
2 Sets of the following:
30 Seconds of Airdyne/Row
Rest 10 Seconds
30 Seconds of Burpees
Rest 10 Seconds
30 Seconds of Hollow Holds
II. Cool Down After Workout:
3 Sets of the following:
60 Seconds of Zone 1 Assault/Airdyne
60 Seconds of Banded Hamstring Stretch/each side
III. Phases Strength and Conditioning:
A. Lifestyle Phase
Maximum Aerobic Power Sessions
15 Minutes of the following @ 85%:
30 Jump Rope Singles
15 Walking Lunges
10 Cal Row
Rest 5 Minutes
15 Sets of the following:
30 Seconds Row @ 80%
30 Seconds Row @ 50%
B. Fitness Phase
Maximum Aerobic Power Sessions
15 Minutes of the following @ 85% aerobic effort:
Airdyne 20 Calories/Assault 12 Calories
10 Box Jumps @ 24/20 inches
8 Kettlebell Swings Russian @ 70/44 lbs
Rest 5 Minutes
15 Sets of the following:
Airdyne 30 Seconds @ 90%
Airdyne 30 Seconds @ 50%
C. Competition Phase
Jerk Intense + Gymastics Component + Intense High
A. Jerk Complex Off Blocks: Push Jerk(+2 reps) + Split Jerk(+2 reps) x 3 sets, rest as needed between sets—80-85% of best Clean
B. Muscle Snatch, 5 reps x 3 sets, rest as needed between sets.
C. 4-5 Sets of the following:
1 Legless Rope Climb
15 Hang Power Cleans @ 135/95 lbs
*Rest 3-5 minutes between sets*
D. For Time of the following:
500 Meter Row
15 Shoulder to Overhead @ 175 lbs /115 lbs
500 Meter Row
10 Shoulder to Overhead @ 195 lbs/125 lbs
500 Meter Row
5 Shoulder to Overhead @ 225 lbs/140 lbs
500 Meter Row
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