Thursday, April 29, 2010

Does Getting Up at an Ungodly Hour to Workout Like Rocky Balboa Work?

Who could forget the iconic image of Rocky Balboa getting up at some ungodly hour eating raw eggs in his quest to try and go the distance with Apollo Creed. There's only one problem.
If you are not getting your 8 hours of sleep particularly when you are
hammering in your training cycle your are not optimizing your body's recovery cycle.
Most of our healing and muscle building occurs while we are sleeping. It affect your body in so many ways. If someone comes into my office with warts I ask them if they are getting about 6 hours of sleep. About half of them will give me this look at me like I'm from another planet. Knowing that many people will answer yes thinking no problem because they are in denial that that they need more sleep versus simply asking them if they are getting 8 hours of sleep. Because a wart is a virus your sleep debt will make it more difficult for your body to get rid of it. Think about more severe illness like when you developed mono in college because you were burning both ends of the candle. If you have a disease that lowers your immunity like uncontrolled diabetes then sleep takes on an even bigger role. There are some Olympians that end up sleeping more than 8 hours on some days because of the stress they are putting their body through in training. Working out at reasonable hours in in the morning seems to fit our natural rhythm more. Working out too late can actually inhibit normal sleep patterns. If you can consistently get to bed early then getting up super early is not a bad thing. Remember, though , even Rocky broke training on his apartment couch with Adrien in the midnight hour so easier said than done.You may or may not get Salmonella if you eat the raw eggs but I guarantee you will not have your body performing optimally under a a demanding training cycle if you are not getting your 8 hours.

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