STREE + REST = PROGRESS.
In the gym, we often fixate on the best movements, or methods, or intensities, that drive adaptation in the body.
It's thought that if we create a little bit of tissue damage in the gym, and we go home to rest, the brain/body will marshal its resources to repair and improve the system to better handle stress down the road.
Getting fitter, or stronger, or faster is therefore the recovery response to a training stressor, not the drill, exercise, or workout itself.
So, your ability to recover will determine your rate of progress.
And, what you do outside of the gym determines how well you recover.
Sleep is anabolic. There are critical restorative functions in the body that occur only during the sleep cycle. Sleep deprivation has been linked to decreased levels of hormones needed for muscle maintenance – such as growth hormone and testosterone – as well as higher morning cortisol levels, which can lead to fat accumulation. Just an extra 30min of sleep a night can improve blood sugar levels and performance levels.
Tissue building and repair is a costly process. It's metabolically very expensive. Ensure you're getting enough calories, macro, and micro-nutrients. These are the building blocks of progress. If you're not providing the body with the resources it needs, construction stops.
The brain doesn't know the difference between physical stress, environmental, psychosocial stress. It reacts with the same hormonal cascades (cortisol, adrenaline, etc.). Without a relative sense of wellbeing, or feeling of safety, your body is unlikely to allocate its resources to rebuild and improve. The brain is wired for survival, not performance. Dealing with immediate threats are at the top of its agenda. If it thinks that you're running from a bear 24/7, then that's priority number 1, putting on a little muscle mass comes in a distant 2nd place.
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