You have probably heard us saying that the three most important methods for recovery are sleep, good nutrition and hydration. We still think this is true.
A real life example of this was when I played a game of professional rugby on a Saturday night for the club, but we had an international camp in Poland, assembling as a squad on the Sunday.
The international coaches asked the players involved in the club match who were selected for international camp, would we want to fly straight to Poland after the game, which meant we could utilise an additional cryotherapy treatment on Saturday evening (albeit late – probably early hours Sunday morning) and the Sunday morning again around 10am, or, we could go home Saturday night and fly to Poland Sunday lunchtime in readiness for training on Monday.
It was unanimous that we stayed home and flew out the next day and sacrifice two cryotherapy treatments. Don’t get me wrong, cryotherapy I thought was an excellent tool, and there is research and case studies which support it, as well as my own positive experiences. This is why SW7 Academy have linked with CryoCube in South Wales to bring members exclusive discounts on Cryotherapy treatments. However, in our opinion, it didn’t trump a full nights sleep without travelling into the early hours of the morning.
Its recognised that you need a certain amount of sleep to recover and stay healthy. Sleep duration at night time of 5 hrs or less, was shown to increase the likelihood of the common cold when exposed to the virus to increase by a multiple of 3 compared to 7-8 hours sleep (Prather et al in sleep 2015). Another study stated that 8 hours sleep or more reduced the risk of injury by 61% (von Rosen et al, SJMSS 2016).
What about the effects of sleep restriction on training?
Muscle protein synthesis (muscle building) decreases as a result of sleep restriction (Saner et al. J Phsiol 2020). Also, less than 8 hours sleep was said to increase the chance of injury by x 1.7 compared to those who get 8 hours or more. Sleep on less than 7 hours lead to poorer cognitive performance. Tests for alertness, decision making and reaction time were conducted to prove this. Did you also know that motor leaning processes continue into and throughout subsequent sleep? Exposure to light from electronic devices for 2 hours pre bed, can reduce melatonin levels by 22%. Melatonin is a hormone in your body that aids sleep. All these observations were made by Le Meur, Skien & Duffield In Recovery for Performance in Sport, Human Kinetics, 2013.
So, less sleep means, poorer decision making, reaction time, supressed immune system, increase in likelihood of injury, decreased motor learning and reduction in protein sysnthesis?
So from personal experience, and from reading the data, it seems the sweet spot is somewhere around 8 hours per night. This should not be seen however as a one size fits all, but it should be a good guideline for the majority.
I think you will now understand why we think sleep is one of the single most important methods of recovery!
The importance of recovery
Recovery is a huge part of the game. If you want to train and play for years to come its essential you take note of these articles.more info
here are some of most asked questions
We hope these help with any questions that you may have. If these don't answer yours in particular then feel free to reach out on Instagram or via email, we are here to help.
What does the nutrition programme consist of?
First off if you want to change your body composition (gain muscle or lose body fat) then it’s essential that you know how many calories are going in. When you sign up you will fill out our on boarding questionnaire. From that we will have all the info we need to calculate your calorie intake for you and your goals. You can select how many meals you would like to eat across the day and how many snacks. You can also select any eating preferences and foods that you would like left out of your programme. We will then create you a personalised nutrition programme with meals that will fit your likes and also provide you with a shopping list so you know exactly what you need to buy to fit your programme. Every month you will fill out an update questionnaire for us and this then allows us to track your progress and alter your calories etc if needed.
Is there just weight lifting programmes?
As well as our comprehensive Strength and Conditioning programmes we also have sprint sessions, conditioning sessions both on pitch and off feet, home workouts with minimal kit if you’re on holiday or don’t have access to your gym for whatever reason. As well as those we have recovery sessions that consist of Yoga class which are run by one of the best in the game Alecs Donovan and Mobility class again by an industry leader Richard Hughes. The recovery classes are scheduled in some programme but they are available to all members to use any time and we recommend you do so for longevity and to avoid injury.
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