Ever wondered how Hollywood actors like Hugh Jackman or Chris Hemsworth go from looking like your neighbour to, well, a superhero.
The transformation of Chris Hemingsworth when he first played Thor was incredible.
He went from being your typical average-sized actor to, well, looking like Thor.
And Jackman was the same for Wolverine.
And when you look at their training programmes they’re mental.
But, and it’s big but…
All they had to do was turn up and train.
All their food is prepared for them…
Their daily routine is mapped out for them (Basically eat, train, sleep).
All of which goes to show when it really comes down to it
The foundations for successful training aren’t laid down in the gym or on the road.
But in the supermarket…
And the bedroom (get your mind out of the gutter)…
If you get your food and sleep nailed down you’ll achieve a degree of success regardless of the programme you use.
Skip these basics and no amount of killer training sessions or well thought out programmes will give you the success you desire.
With food, getting your 5-a-day is the absolute bare minimum you should be doing.
And I’d recommend doubling this over time.
Ensuring that you have a large volume of veggies in your diet does a few different things but the big thing for me is processing power.
Lots of veggies mean lots of nutrients.
Which are essential for hormone production.
This means faster tissue repair of the damage caused by training and a more effective conversion of food into energy.
And therefore super important for recovering from training.
Which neatly brings us to sleep.
Sleep is where most of your recovery takes place.
Anabolic hormones flood your body an hour or so after you fall asleep
And these are essential for tissue repair.
So failing to get a good night’s sleep is to self-sabotage your chances of success.
And even one poor night’s sleep can have a big impact.
Less than 6 hours of sleep has the same effect on your cognitive function as being over the drink driving limit.
Continued poor sleep makes this worse. And the effects of a period of poor sleep are sneaky.
Because you only notice the difference between today and yesterday.
Not between today and how you felt 5 days ago.
You don’t feel much worse but you’re gradually feeling more tired and cranky.
And along with this your performance and ability to adapt continue to decline.
You then need not just lie in but an extended period of time where you’re sleeping well to get back on track.
So do yourself a favour and think more of doubling your 5-a-day and watch how your recovery and performance improve.