If you’re participate in strength training, you’re most likely told to always push yourself to the limit. While there’s nothing wrong with that, once you start putting too much strain on your body without giving it time to rest, you’re bound to do more harm than good. A healthy balance of exertion and recovery is key. So, there are two things that are integral to sustaining your strength training – proper diet and regular sleep.
Cheri Mah of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory revealed in a study that athletes who get good sleep improve their reaction time, daytime happiness and overall athletic performance. Her studies also indicate that the amount you sleep impacts peak performance.
Eight-time Pro Bowl Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald testifies to the role of sleep when it comes to his successful football career. He once shared with the Huffington Post that he gets 10 or 11 hours of sleep the night before a game. He added that sleep is great for his recovery and “helps [me] wake up with a renewed mental and physical outlook.” It certainly contributed to him bagging 40 franchise records and achieving the 3rd all-time in receiving yards and receptions.
The saying “you are what you eat” is also literally true, especially when you’re straining your muscles on a regular basis. Adequate protein taken in moderation is necessary to build muscle mass and increase your lifting capacity. It is also important to fill your daily vitamin and mineral needs by eating fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Los Angeles Laker’s Power Forward LeBron James is known for his dedication to his nutrition, which has helped him become the icon that he is today. Ladbrokes states that the four-time MVP is a household name in the world of sports, with many experts noting he is considered second only to Michael Jordan. He once told Sports Illustrated that he was once on a sugar-free, dairy-free and carb-free diet and how it helped his performance. He also revealed his usual pre-game meal, which consists of carbs, protein, veggies and fruit. James complements his healthy diet with yoga, Pilates and the usual strength and conditioning.
Strength training is best done in the context of a healthy lifestyle. If you incorporate rest, diet and training into your daily routine, as we discussed in a previous Downtown Mag post then these will be effortless and even fulfilling. After all, what’s the use of your extra strength if it will just leave you grumpy, starving and miserable the entire day?