Issue #29


by Juan Carlos Lope

2007 Colorado Pro - AM

2007 Colorado Pro - AM Review

2007 California Pro and NPC Cal State

2007 California Pro and NPC Cal State Review

2007 NPC Contra Costa

2007 NPC Contra Costa Review

2007 FAME West Review
by JP Erickson

20 Questions with Cover Model and Tri-Fitness Competitor Darla Benfield

Pictorials Darla Benfield, Danyell Leavitt,
Juliana Malacarne, Tammy Jackson and Shina Mitchell

Pocket-size Buff Beauty Interview with figure competitor Anniina Krökki
by Kaisa Piippo

Video Interview with IFBB Figure Pro Liane Seiwald

Road to 2007 Jr. Nationals
by Brandie Gardner

Final Testing
by Jean Jitomir

Video Interview with NPC Figure Kelley Greene

Ask Misty Green
by Misty Green

Importance of Sleep
by Rebecca Slatt

Video Interview with NPC Bodybuilding Roseanne Desmarais



The Importance of Sleep by Rebecca Slatt

Rebecca Slatt

Sleep equals RECOVERY!  No matter if you are off-season or training for a show, sleep is essential for muscle repair and growth.  I often receive emails from individuals who have plateaued in training or cannot lose anymore bodyfat.  They change their workouts, increase cardio, eat less, train with higher intensity and nothing will seem to break the plateau or reduce bodyfat.  The problem lies in the fact that they are not getting adequate sleep and recovery.  Everyone talks about dieting and exercise but no one pays attention to the importance of sleep.

Sleep equals BEAUTY! 
You've all heard of “getting your beauty sleep.”  That statement is so true!  When you are tired, your skin looks dull, eyes are droopy and you may have black circles under them.  Skin, hair and nails are a tissues too and need to repair when you are asleep.  Whether you are competing in figure, fitness, or bodybuilding, you know that the judges reward a flawless and glowing complexion on stage.

Background Information on Sleep:
American adults have cut their sleep time by nearly two hours in the past 40 years.  At the same time, the average weight of Americans has increased.  Only one out of four adults was overweight in 1960 and one of nine considered obese (bodymass index of 30 or more).  Now, two out of three adults are overweight, and nearly one of three is obese!  Personally, I believe there is a connection between sleep and weight loss.  It is proven that during sleep your muscles repair and grow.

Recent studies have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that have proven that a loss of sleep will increase hunger and affect the body's metabolism making it more difficult to lose weight.  Other studies have proven that a chronic sleep deprivation will trigger hormones that lower the “appetite control” hormone leptin.  Lower levels of leptin are associated with obesity.  Research in the Journal of Applied Sports Science has documented that being awake 24 hours has the same physical effect as a blood alcohol content of 0.096 (above the legal driving limit in most states).  Obviously, working out in this state is not a wise decision!  You will experience a major lack in muscular coordination, which may lead to injury.  You should wait until the next day to workout, after you have slept.
Lack of sleep will result in the following:

  • An increase in the hormone Ghrelin, which is responsible for feelings of hunger
  • A decrease in Leptin levels (Leptin tells your brain when it is time to stop eating)
  • significantly reduced levels of growth hormone
  • An increase in cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and may result in an overproduction of insulin,  leading to bodyfat storage, and an interference in carbohydrate metabolism, reduced muscle, impaired memory, impaired immune system, osteoporosis, water-retention, and increased abdominal fat.

There are many factors which may contribute to sleep disturbances:

  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Noise
  • Light
  • An Overcommitted Schedule
  • Caffeine
  • Stimulants
  • Depression
  • Fear

*My guess is that almost every competitor will deal with MOST of these issues at sometime.  Still, you MUST get the sleep you need to be successful!

How Much Sleep is Enough? 

Rebecca Slatt

Most doctors and trainers recommend 7-9 hours each night depending on the individual.  Those on a lower carbohydrate diet probably need more.  Heck, they probably can't stay awake anyway!  Each individual's sleep requirements will differ based on lifestyle, exercise habits, eating habits, genetics, supplementation, recovery time, etc.  Sleep is one of the most valuable tools for muscle growth.  If you are new to lifting weights, your body may need up to 48 hours between workouts! If you do not sleep enough, your body will not be able to repair itself, resulting in a need for more sleep than you can afford!  Sleeping enough for proper recovery will ensure that your muscles have had enough time to recover and replenish energy stores for the next time you go to the gym. 

Supplements Which May Help Include:
Kava kava

(you can find information on all of these supplements on the www.bodybuilding.com website)

What Else Can You Do?
Try to exercise at least 3 hours before bed
Don't take caffeine supplements or drink caffenated beverages near bedtime
Do not take a nap during the day if you have trouble sleeping at night
Find a relaxing bedtime ritual and stick with it (read a book)

Make sure you are including sleep in your training regimen.  Many times an extra hour or two of sleep will pay off faster than a double-cardio session!  Remember, sleep equals recovery and repair.  To lose bodyfat, build muscle, improve mentality and decrease injury, make sure you are getting your 7-9 hours each night!

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