Importance of rest for muscles


Rest is so important that there is now even a World Sleep Day to raise awareness of the importance of getting a good night's sleep. Enjoying a good rest is essential for both our physical and mental health.   

Sleeping well has a close relationship with health and quality of life, since it is the time when our body recovers, so when sleep fails, health and quality of life decrease and can lead to some sleep disorders. But rest is also essential if your goal is muscle gain. 

We give you the keys to this invisible part of training.

We must differentiate between several types of rest within the field of strength training. They are all equally important, but each one has a very different purpose: 

The rest (of the muscle) between sets, which depending on the number of repetitions will go from one minute to 5 minutes as a general rule, always depending on the type of training you do, for example, if you are training resistance, these rests will be shorter.  
The rest after a workout, that is, the period of time of muscular recovery that occurs instinctively between 48 and 72 hours later at a general level.  
Regular rest, in other words, our usual hours of sleep, which are even more essential after a workout, to ensure the benefits of the work done.

Well, if you don't sleep well, you may be overtraining without getting results, since lack of sleep can lead to a catabolic environment in which your body starts to break down some of the muscle mass that you are precisely trying to gain.  

So, if you're still wondering if sleep matters for gaining muscle, the answer is resounding: yes, it's crucial.  

In the current pace of life we lead, it is very difficult to prioritize the night's rest and we tend not to give it the importance it has for our health. But you should know that no supplement, hyperproteic nutrition or "working out" with high loads will make you as strong as a good night's sleep.  A good night's rest will give you the recovery that will help you improve your health, your mood and, above all, help you continue to improve your fitness.  

The goal of many people who perform strength-focused training is muscle hypertrophy, that is, direct muscle gain. But you should know that, after this work, the cells outside the trained muscle fibers repair the "damage" created by the training, mostly while you sleep.  

In addition, sleep is when your body replenishes glycogen, a source of energy for your muscles, which naturally decreases with each workout, so it is vital to replenish these energy sources for each workout.

But how much sleep is needed for muscle growth? An adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of nightly sleep and this recommendation is especially important for those who want to increase their muscle mass or gain muscle. It is not necessary to sleep more hours than recommended, but: do you sleep what you should sleep? 

Do the math and I'm sure you get less quality sleep than you might think. It's not worrying, but it's time to start improving your rest.  

There are small tools that can help you improve your sleep capacity, although one of the most recommended is to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Achieving a pattern of deep rest will help us to a complete repair.  Take note of these small tips to sleep better: 

Avoid alcohol and caffeine: at least six hours before bedtime, it would be advisable to avoid their intake.  
Do not do intense exercise before going to bed: sometimes it is impossible to train in the morning, but if you are an evening trainer do not worry, training in the evening also has its benefits.  
Disconnect at least 1 hour before going to bed: dim the lights, replace the chapter of your favorite series with a reading in bed, put your cell phone on airplane mode an hour before and give priority to create the best climate to rest.  
Polyphasic sleep and hypertrophy: If you train in the morning and after lunch you can take a nap, you will recover much better! And if you have not been able to sleep more than 6 hours, try to recover at least 90 minutes during the day, it will help you reach your goal.  
Allow yourself to reduce stress and cortisol levels and be able to perform physically the next day. Sometimes it is not better to have one more set, but to rest properly.


May 08, 2023