https://www.flickr.com/photos/arabani/4297346083/in/photolist So most of my followers at some point experienced a particular pain point, which…
Recently, I was asked on Twitter (not word for word):
“I’m 47, have four kids, and because of this I only sleep 4-5 hours per night. What do you recommend? Should I go to the gym more, say 4-5 times per week?“
Now I appreciate that this guy is not only in the Men Over 40 category, but he also has four kids(!) So there’s two big factors at play here making life a lot more difficult for him.
But as I’ve mentioned before many times on Twitter and on this blog, sleeping less than 7 hours per night is the fastest way to:
- Losing muscle
- Feeling like crap
- Murdering your testosterone & long-term health
- Sky-rocketing your stress levels
- Never recovering from workouts
- Gaining body fat
Which is a horrendous cocktail of negativity.
Instead, you MUST sleep like a lion, and if you’re over 40 it’s more important than ever that you stick to this religiously.
Younger guys tend to have higher testosterone and energy levels by default (although looking around me these days there’s plenty of exceptions to that), and can get away with being less disciplined.
It’s not fair, but life isn’t fair.
Back to the question: Should he go to the gym more? As much as 4-5 times per week? I think you’re probably starting to get a feeling for what my answer is going to be. The answer, is of course NO!
If you currently sleep for six hours or less, your number one, two and three priority, is to fix that. It’s going to be impossible to gain or maintain muscle on that sleep, and it’s going to be very difficult to lose fat without major difficulty.
Especially for Men Over 40.
Going to the gym more should be the last thing on your mind. Why? Because you’re simply not going to recover from 4-5 sessions on 4-5 hours of sleep per night. Your stress levels will be too high, and you’ll be making things worse.
Instead, stick to three full-body sessions per week like in the James Bond program. Train hard, always. But get in, get the job done, and then get out.
If you’re already in a catabolic state (age + lack of sleep), the solution is not to add more stress. The solution is to shift yourself into a more anabolic state, and the best way to do this (outside of TRT) is to sleep more.
So how exactly is he going to sleep more?
It’s difficult to say exactly how, as I don’t know what his timetable looks like. However a time audit would be incredibly useful here – really breaking down and analysing every hour of every day, all week long.
I would be looking for ways to outsource the ‘drudgery’ to family members if possible, and if not, a little expenditure may be required. And if that makes you wince, then I’d have to remind you that fat loss & muscle gain aside, this is your long-term health we’re talking about here. A lack of sleep is very dangerous as far as your health goes.
If someone is asking about increasing their gym frequency, then they definitely have more time to sleep. Hitting the gym, driving to the gym, showering, changing etc. all takes time. Use that time to sleep.
Don’t fall for the typical ‘workaholic/grind’ culture which implies that sleep isn’t important.
If you’re in the Men Over 40 category and you’re serious about increasing your fat loss and muscle gain results with Intermittent Fasting, get into the Intermittent Fasting Fast-Track (IFFT) program. It’s where I have all my premium IF content, including podcasts, Q & A newsletters, monthly private newsletters (comprehensive guides), extra workout programs, and loads more IF content.