Thursday, October 7, 2010

Overload and Recovery

All of the athletes I coach know that I'm constantly harping about getting proper rest after a workout.  After all, your body (muscles in particular) ONLY gets stronger after you stimulate it with a load and then let it rest and recover afterwards.  Up until now, there was no way that I am/was able to monitor how much rest (sleep in particular) my athletes were getting.  Sure, I could ask them.  But, do you think they're going to tell me they were up til 1 a.m. drinking after a long day of training or racing?  I don't think so.  Or maybe an athlete really thinks they're getting 7-8 hrs. of quality sleep each night when in reality they are only getting 5 or 6 hrs.  Maybe they don't remember when they're wife/gf (or both) woke them up when they came to bed late, or when they got up at 1 a.m to pee (after all that's what happens when you drink), or the dog barking at 2 a.m., or the newspaper delivery at 4 a.m., or the trash truck at 5 a.m.  Maybe that glass of wine they drank or cup of coffee they drank before bed negatively affected the quality of sleep. there IS A WAY for me, or athletes themselves, to monitor how much "quality" rest/sleep they're getting each night with a new device called "Zeo".  I first heard of Zeo from Dr. Allen Lim (one of my mentors) at Interbike 2010.  Zeo can tell you how much "quality" sleep/rest you're getting. For more information on Zeo, go here:

Oh, so you don't think there is any correlation between the "quality" of bedtime sleep/rest your'e getting and physical performance?  Well, according to the 2008 Better Sleep Month (BSM) national survey, sponsored by the Better Sleep Council (BSC):

-  Respondents getting nine hours of sleep or more are more likely to engage in higher-intensity workouts (biking, running, weight lifting, etc.).
-  Seven in 10 (70 percent) report that they are not getting the recommended amount of sleep needed each night (7.5 hours or more) to perform at their best each day.

"Sleep deprivation impacts us physically, which can negatively affect our coordination, agility, mood and energy," says Dr. Bert Jacobson, professor and head of the School of Educational Studies at Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the lead author of the new study Grouped Comparisons of Sleep Quality for New and Personal Bedding Systems. "Research shows that sleeping better and longer leads to improvements in athletic performance, including faster sprint time, better endurance, lower heart rate, and even improved mood and higher levels of energy during a workout."

I think it would be pretty cool to buy Zeo and see how much "quality" sleep I'm getting each night.  Well, I don't have to buy Zeo, I can tell you right now...NOT MUCH.  Sometimes I drink coffee, wine, beer after dinner and I'm usually working in my office until midnight.  Not to mention getting up each day at 0600.  So, what's with that?  A coach that doesn't practice what he preaches?  Do as I say, not as I do?  Well, that's all about to change.  I'm going to practice what I preach.  I think I am going to buy Zeo.  After I use it, I think I'll have the athletes I coach use it as well for a week or so.  I'd really be interested to see how others are sleeping..more importantly how much "quality" undisturbed sleep they are getting.  If you're interested in trying it..let me know and I'll loan it to you...that's after I try it.

Power ON!  Coach Rob

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Coach Rob! Love it!

I'm Derek and I work for Zeo. Dr Lim recently was in a YouTube video discussing this too...

Also, the case for sleep is growing among performance athletes... Check out these very solid studies from Stanford's Cheri Mah about the effects of more sleep on college athletes when you get the chance...

Here if you have any questions about sleep or Zeo!