13 February 2013


"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!"
Psalms 37:7 

Active Recovery
LSD run or fin swim


Cold water immersion 10 mins.

Why Sleep Matters More than Your Training: Part I

In the business world many say the key to success is location, location, location! Well in the training world, for those that truly know it, the key is recovery, recovery, recovery! In this three part series, I will bring to light and uncover why good quality consistent sleep is indeed king, and why it is in fact more important than your actual physical training. Bold statement you say? Well read on my friends…

Training or Recovery?

Most people think that working out hard consistently is what makes us “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” - this is a common misconception. Smart, balanced training is most definitely part of the equation, but believe it or not, it’s a smaller factor than most think. In reality, we get fitter, stronger, and healthier by exposure to a stimulus (smart training) followed by the proper recovery, post training. All of the positive physiological effects we desire from exercise actually happen when we recover, not when we train! Proper recovery means taking care of your body when you’re not training i.e. a solid foundation of sleep and nutrition. Without proper sleep and nutrition you can kiss your weight-loss/fitness goals goodbye. 

Human Growth Hormone (HGH)

Which brings us to HGH. Human growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for promoting growth in children and adolescents. It also assists in regulating body composition and fluids, muscle and bone growth, and metabolism. Your body produces small amounts of HGH approximately every two hours. By far though, the largest amounts are secreted in the deeper cycles of REM sleep at night (Derrickson & Tortora, 2010). Human growth hormone does numerous “magical” things for us. All of the positive physiological adaptations that we desire from exercise really happen when HGH is released, thus signaling specialized cells in the body’s tissues and organs to perform including:

  • Cell and tissue repair (re-building those micro-tears in your muscles from training)
  •  Improving muscular endurance
  •  Increasing cardiorespiratory fitness
  •  Maximizing fat burning and increased metabolism
  •  Strengthening ligaments and connective tissue
  •  Strengthening bones with increased density - weight bearing exercises specifically, are CRUCIAL for women especially since they are much more prone to osteoporosis in their latter years than men (Derrickson & Tortora, 2010)

Without good quality, consistent sleep your body simply will not positively adapt to the stressors of your training. So remember that it’s really about what you do the 98% of the time when you’re not training that really drives success. That being said, our egos most definitely factor in to this work/rest equation. It may be/seem easier for some to put in hard work than it is to say “Today, I’m going to take it easy.” So listen to your body if you’re truly not recovered then do something fun, light and low impact, or work on some skills. You’d be better off taking a day of active recovery and coming back stronger and well rested the next day. 

-Tyler Holt
Derrickson, B., & Tortora, GJ. (2010). Introduction to the human body the essentials of anatomy and physiology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons Inc

Tyler is a proud father and family man to the core of his being. He is a fellow Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Instructor, more importantly - a great friend, and also a long time enthusiast for all things physical and challenging. Interestingly, Tyler was not involved in sports in high-school, but rather spent his time running and weight lifting. At age 19, after deciding to become a Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer and not knowing how to swim, he began training with a purpose. 

Since then he's become an enthusiastic advocate of "Intuitive Training," a methodology that involves assessing one's energy and motivation levels on a personal level and then developing an appropriate and corresponding training session. This technique which requires the individual to be greatly in-tune and aware of himself has yielded some impressive physical/performance gains for Tyler, which he hopes to showcase in this year's CrossFit Games Open. 

With certifications through CrossFit, Cooper's Institute, Athlete's Performance and nearing completion of his BS in Health and Wellness Tyler has found a passion in training children. Passing on his knowledge in functional strength training and movement efficiency to the next generation is only one outlet Tyler has begun to expound upon. He will also be a contributing member to this site sharing his knowledge and experience for the benefit of the rest of us. Thanks Tyler! 

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