“Taking supplements if you don’t sleep enough is like stepping over $100 bills to pick up pennies.” – The Great Stan “The Rhino” Efferding

Anything but Sleep.

People are willing to take just about any new fangled magic potion to get gains, but they just won’t sleep. The sad part is, those supplements aren’t doing a thing if you aren’t sleeping enough – and even if you are, I’m sorry to break it to you, they still aren’t doing much, if anything.

People will do just about anything I ask them to reach their fitness goals. Train 3-4 per week? Check. Eat better? Check. New training shoes? Check. They won’t bat an eye. But when I mention sleeping 8-9 hours per night, it’s like I suddenly asked them to latch their children to their backs and swim to Catalina island.

Please Listen to me

Please listen to me when I say this: NOTHING you do will work if you don’t sleep enough. No amount of training, eating, supplements, or prayers will help you reach your fitness goals if you don’t sleep enough.

Maybe you can find slight progress in the beginning, but the progress won’t last because YOU won’t last.

People don’t have nearly the will power when they’re tired. Try convincing yourself to eat healthy and meal prep when you’re exhausted everyday. Try convincing yourself to go to the gym and physically exert yourself to the point of forcing your body to change on 4 hours of sleep. Here’s the kicker: even if you do, you’ll probably get injured and/sick in short order.

I was the king of “Team No Sleep”. I prided myself on extreme mental toughness. So I did the meal prep. I did crazy training. I took all the supplements. I did everything except sleep. And guess what. I was sick and injured with no progress for several years. When I made sleep my priority, everything changed drastically.

So What Do I do?

Start sleeping more! Force it to be a priority in your life. Every little bit helps, even if you can’t immediately get to 8-9 hours. Everything in your life will get better – not just your training. Sleep is an integral part of human evolution.

Realize that your time in the gym is ineffective at best, and completely counter-productive at worst if you don’t sleep enough. When you set out on your fitness journey and you set your goals to bench more, get a bigger butt, lose weight or add muscle, set sleep goals for yourself the same way and keep yourself accountable!

Most just don’t realize how important sleeping is. 

Eating a healthy diet without training is like shooting yourself in the foot.

Eating a healthy diet and training without sleeping is like pointing that same gun at your face.

Most people can easily sleep more by making simple decisions, like not staying out as late and going to bed 1 hour earlier. Get some fit friends to help you with this!

Now that you know how important it is, sleep. Sleep a lot. When you get that down, you can think about supplements.

Supplements: Maybe They Work, Maybe They Don’t

The reality is simple: we don’t even know supplements work. For one, how do you know your supplements work? Did you start taking supplements and all of the sudden you woke up in your dream body? I don’t think so.

We know factually that The Big Three: training, eating a healthy diet, and sleep work. The data and research is beyond conclusive.

The “research” on supplements and their “conclusions” are superficial at best and faith based at worst.

But let’s say for sake of argument that supplements work beyond your wildest dreams. If you take them without sleeping, THEY STILL WON’T WORK. Without enough sleep your body can’t utilize what you’re putting in it anyway.

Supplements are Extra

We need to spend more time on the basics, the things we know work, like The Big Three.

There is something very attractive to people about doing the “extra” stuff – the “new” stuff – the “fancy” stuff, when all of that does little to nothing, at best.

When you have mastered the basics, I can almost guarantee you will find no need for “extra”. People are shocked at the results they get by just doing the boring work – you might not crave “extra” when you see how well The Big Three work.

But if you do crave more, at that point, go ahead, as long as you know you’re picking up pennies.

Thanks for reading.


Learn More

To learn more about how we can help, click here to set up a Free Intro and follow Parkside CrossFit @parksidecrossfit and owners Connor Green @connorgreen24 and Pamela Matew @pambition.