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Hey Vic City,
We all know the importance of a good sleep - it's been drilled into us from health media of every type. Yet so many of us are seemingly still reluctant to actually put the wheels in motion to improve sleep quality and duration.
Maybe it's time to switch the idea of proper sleep patterns from "recovery" to "training". You should approach your sleeping with the same focus and preparation as you approach your workout.
If it's done right, a good night's sleep is just as potent of a stimulus for making fitness progress as a tough workout is. It is even MORE important for your overall health, hormonal balance, and daily productivity than any WOD could be.
Much like a wod would include proper equipment, a warm-up, and a time goal, so should your approach to sleep.
Equipment is a funny one but in this case it's about what is NOT around you ... namely limiting electronic/wireless devices as much as possible. If you use your phone for an alarm, put it on airplane mode. Avoid having a tv or internet modem in your bedroom.
Warm-up for sleeping involves dimming your lights and shifting towards reading paper as opposed to reading screens. Screens emit blue light and can trick your body into believing that it is full daylight (and not time to go to sleep). You can download a program called Flux that adjusts the color spectrum your screen emits or even wear glasses that protect your eyes from blue light however the best idea is to simply not look at a screen close to bedtime!
By tuning your environment to a "dusk" type scenario, you trigger built in biological processes that start your body's process of winding down.
The second part of the warm up is setting up your bedroom itself. Open a window to encourage a cool (even cold) room, which is known to decrease sleep disturbances. Make sure your curtains or blinds are as closed as possible to make your room fully dark.
Lastly, the time associated with your sleep can help you feel refreshed and balanced upon waking. The specific number of hours of sleep required for optimal function can vary by person but there are certain goals that will help anyone. Firstly, aim to have your bedtime vary by less than an hour. The more consistent your bedtime is, the more your body starts to assimilate it's biological patterns to that time of the night.
Likewise, aim to wake within the same hour on a daily basis. The exception to this is if you tend to undersleep during the week, you can try and catch up a bit on the weekends, but try to avoid oversleeping more than about 2-3 hours.
That's it gang. I guarantee you if you focus on the rules above and treat your sleep as another VERY IMPORTANT part of your training program, you'll feel better, leaner, stronger, and be healthier too.
TRAINING FRIDAY - SATURDAY
WARM UP: Partner shuttle runs - both people run E90s, alternating reps until you hit the target. Start each run on your belly, pop up and run.
Round 1 - 1 run each
Round 2 - 2 runs each
And so on up to 5 runs each.
SKILL: 5 rounds through the following sequence, working up each set towards wod weight:
1 clean pull with fast shrug at full extension
1 power clean + oh
This wod is a blend of several fitness qualities, and in some ways is the quintessential crossfit workout. Not only do you have to be able to lift some decent weight, but you also have to have gymnastic ability and the engine to get through the wallballs.
This wod is meant to challenge you guys a bit. Look at the barbell as being deliberately heavy and work on singles paced out as needed. Split the ctb and wallballs up each round to not go too deep into fatigue early on.
If you don't fit into a weight category exactly, make your own weight. Generally speaking, this weight should not be heavier than 75% of your maximum.
Rx: 8-6-4-2 of power clean and jerks (125/185), 16-12-8-4 ctb pullups and 10-20-30-40 reps wallballs (20/24)
FG2: 105/155, regular pullups
FG1: 75/115, assisted or jumping pullups, scale wallball weight
TG: scaled as needed
CP: Bar weight 75% of max