Updated: Sep 7, 2020
How To Push Past Your Peak Physical Performance Using the “3 Rs Method”
How strong are you, really?
When we watched Jessica Ennis-Hill in Rio 2016, we witness the performance of a highly-tuned heptathlete – at the very top of her game.
Her training program is the gold-standard.
For people like me and you — juggling ‘everyday lives’ with gym time — training to her level is near impossible.
But there are better ways to train available to us. And better ways to approach training. If you want to carve out lean muscles all over your body, develop your fitness, and actually get stronger – then what I’m about to share in this post is for you...
If you’re new to working out or returning from a long time off, then this piece is probably not the best place to start. There are definitely things you can take away from here, but the ‘3 Rs Method’ is best adopted by strength exercisers, who are already 6 to 8 months into their training, want to discover their peak performance, and push past it.
“It all starts in the bedroom.”
Rest: Why We Should Get More Sleep (and how to get it)
A quick question for you:
Do you ever force yourself to stay up late, just because night-time seems to be the only gap in your day that you get to yourself?
If you answered ‘yes’ – welcome to the club.
Adulthood is stuffed with work, responsibilities, chores … and traffic. When the stars come out and the house is quiet, you finally have the opportunity to catch up on Game of Thrones, spend some money online, read a book, play your PlayStation, or just share some time with a loved one.
You can breathe.
But every hour you spend awake here is owed back to your body the following day.
And your body is relentless in chasing that debt.
Some of us are up late for other reasons, like looking after a teething baby, working irregular shifts, or even two jobs.
This is the 21st century, first-world life.
Just know that if we all slept right, the snooze button wouldn’t exist and we’d avoid the following dangers:
11 Risks of Sleeplessness
Poorer short term memory
Poorer long term memory
Heightened chance of depression
Heightened chance of viewing relationships negatively
Poorer handling of stress
Weaker immune system
Hindered athletic performance
Greater loss of lean muscle mass
Reduced ability to gain lean muscle mass
When you list the risks like this, it’s nightmarish stuff – and I haven’t even thrown the science in there.
So, to lighten the mood, let’s take a look at some benefits of healthy sleep:
11 Benefits of Healthy Sleep
Better memory capability
Enhanced ability to solve problems
A more positive outlook on relationships and the world
Better tolerance of stress
Stronger immune system
Enhancements in athletic performance
Heightened awareness and coordination
Greater levels of energy
Enhanced level of cell regeneration for building more lean muscle
How to Get More Sleep
It’s easy for me to sit here and say things like ‘cut down on your TV-watching time’.
So, I’m not going to pedal that advice.
Instead, here’s a few things you can try in order to get more quality sleep:
Try to sleep with no alarms, at least of a weekend Our ancestors didn’t rely on a smartphone to force their eyes open – wake up naturally, every chance you get
Nap more Don’t worry about losing time for output, you’ll make up for it in energy and productivity afterward
Relax at the right time
Use calming rituals before bed like reading, bathing, or listening to music – it’s easier to sleep when you’re already relaxed
Control your exposure to light It’s natural to experience bright light during the day (awake time) and darkness at night (sleep time) – so take control of that and it helps
Invest in your bed
You spend about a third of your entire life in bed – well worth making sure it’s the comfiest match for your body
If you want more info on getting better sleep, here’s some bedtime reading (you’re best printing them off so you’re not reading from a screen, which is bad for sleep): Top 10 Tricks for Getting Better Sleep ~ Whiston Gordon, lifehacker.com