T Nation

Training on Little Sleep


I have been hitting the gym for 2 years now. I know that sleep is very crucial to muscular development. My problem is that my job has placed a strain on my workout routine. I now get up at 0430 and I am not off work until 1830-1900. I then have to change, and get to the gym. After I am done with everything, its late. Most nights I get about 4-5 hours of sleep. I know this isnt enough. I have noticed that my endurance is dropping slightly. But my question is: Should I lower the intensity until I can get the proper sleep my body needs?

Why not change your training routine around to compensate for the long days?

For example, you could do two workouts on the weekend (one for upper body, one for lower body) and then only do one full-body workout during the week.

This way, you can continue to train hard and get more rest while still working long days. I’d recommend this rather than lowering intensity.

A lot depends on your nervous system and its ability to recover.

I get sick if i train hard consecutive days without adequate sleep.

I work from 5:30PM to 4:15AM. Some days until 7:00AM with OT. I do this 5 days on/5 days off. Normally with 6-7 hours of sleep, I’m fine. The problem is when I work the OT, I can’t sleep any longer than about 3-4 hours. I just suck it up, get to the gym and get out and try to take a nap before returning to work. These workouts may not be as productive, but I’m still working out.

Less sleep isn’t optimal but you should still make gains, especially if you are eating right.

I haven’t slept well since my son was born 6 months ago, but I am still making gains.

I also think the body adapts to getting less sleep, well at least mine has.

Thats a good idea Nate Dogg, thanks. That sounds pretty good. I’ve been getting really irritated with this. I just dont feel like I’m giving it my fullest with this scedule, but I think that sounds like it may work. Thanks to everyone else who commented, also. Yep, just gotta suck it up. Keep drivin on. Thanks again.