It is commonly held knowledge, that you cannot out train a poor diet. I mean you can put in all the work you want, but, if you fail to eat enough, or eat poorly your progression will stall or disappear completely.
What is less often considered is the impact of sleep on training. It might be something that you think about occasionally, especially if you are like me and you train at the crack of dawn!
However, it is rarely considered essential such as diet. If you have any knowledge of Olympic weightlifting training. You will know that during training camps, most competitive weightlifters will factor in several naps during the day to allow for recovery from their hard training. (Another reason why you have to be considerate when using the Bulgarian method.)
Recent studies of sleep deprivation on weightlifting performance have demonstrated that sleep deprivation has a significant impact on maximal performances in the competition movements “There was no significant effect of sleep loss on performance of maximal biceps curl (p < 0.05) but a significant effect was noted on maximal bench press, leg press, and deadlift (p < 0.001).” interestingly the simple single muscle movement was not impacted as much. But, that does not account for the recovery of the athletes. For reference, the sleep was a 3hr baseline for 3 days. This certainly impacted performance as demonstrated in the study.
The study goes on to say “Trend analysis indicated decreased performance in submaximal lifts for all the 4 tasks: the deterioration was significant after the second night of sleep loss.” In my opinion, this clearly demonstrates the importance of sleep to successful training especially with closer to maximal loads in the compound lifts.
Additionally, the study also mentions that confusion and vigor were more significant after sleep deprivation. That is an even further negative associated with poor sleep, hard training is hard enough to get to! let alone while been confused and fatigued.
The rest of the study can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8112265
Ultimately, the takeaway from this post: SLEEP! Get 7-10 hours a night, the more the better but, just do the best you can. More often than not I sleep 7 hours a night but just aim for as much as you can and try to make it a priority. I promise that you will reap the benefits of a few extra hours a week! Definitely give me some feedback if sleeping more has made a difference for you I would definitely like to hear some examples!!