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My workout is divided as follows:

Chest/Biceps, Legs, Back/Triceps and Shoulders.

I workout 4-6 days a week, depending on my week's schedule. I have been off work lately for these past 15 days and working out with full swing. Although I have noticed that even when I get 8 hour sleep at night, I am very sleepy even after I wake up. What is causing this?

Muscle soreness occurs after a day of first 3 workouts, but its tolerable, only slightly more than before because of increased weights. I am getting the same nutrition, only a bit better than before. What should I do to avoid this sleepiness and feel energized once I am awake?

Thanks

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It could be that you you are low on iron. If you are having adequat recovery and eating well, maybe visit gp and see if you can get a blood test –  Tracy at 2bactive Jun 5 at 11:43

1 Answer 1

When you increase your strength training, you have more demands on recovery. Recovery includes the following:

  • Sleep (Number 1 recovery tool)
  • Nutrition (Number 2 recovery tool)
  • Myofacial release/stretching
  • Light movement to get blood flowing

Since you are saying that you are still fatigued after you get 8 hours of sleep, there are a few possibilities:

  1. The sleep is not restful. It could be the fatigue preventing a good restful sleep, or other outside stress factors.
  2. You need to change your nutrition. With increased demands on your body come increased demands for the raw materials (i.e. food) to rebuild your muscle into a stronger self. You might need to increase your food, or at least certain portions of it. If you aren't taking a multivitamin, it might be worth starting.
  3. You might need to change your approach to training. If the training is pushing your further and further into a fatigue deficit, you need to build in some recovery options.
  4. Do a cool down after training. 5 minutes of walking at a light pace to bring down your heart rate and keep blood flowing with more oxygen can help clear out some of that fatigue.

In all likelihood you have more than one of these things at work at the same time. 8 hours of sleep is a good starting point. You also may want to increase the food a little--just be careful to make small changes at a time here. In all likelihood you'll need three types of training days:

  • Volume: this is where you use moderate weight (75-85%) for longer sets. 3-5 sets of 6-15 reps.
  • Speed: this is where you use light weight (60-70%) for a number of short sets trying to keep the speed of your movement as fast as possible.
  • Heavy: this is where you lift in the 90% range for 3-4 sets of 2-3 reps.

The volume day will be the toughest to recover from, but it's where you really build a foundation of strength. The speed work is an active recovery day, so you'll do as many sets of 2-3 reps as you can while keeping the bar speed the same. As soon as the bar speed slows down you stop. The heavy day is where you get to to test out your strength a bit, and get used to heavier weights.

This general approach helps you recover better from your exercise over time and really helps you progress in strength at a steady pace. If you stagger the work so that you have three main exercises, in any one week your volume, speed, and heavy days are on the different main exercises.

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Thanks for such a good answer! Just to be clear on a few points about this program, will this in any way affect my goal of gaining muscle? I weigh 58 Kgs and am 180cm tall. Secondly, say I go with volume on chest/bicep, then do I need speed for legs, and heavy for back and bicep? And repeat this cycle? Also just 2-3 reps for Heavy? Isn't that very less? –  Prakash Wadhwani Jun 5 at 14:36
    
It's a general approach, not a program. So basically each time you do chest/biceps you'll alternate one day volume, one day speed, and one day heavy. NOTE: for heavy you would only be able to do 2-3 reps at a time, but you make up for that by doing 3-4 sets. This approach should help you make your volume days a little heavier--which in turn helps in your quest to build muscle. –  Berin Loritsch Jun 5 at 15:24
    
If you are trying to gain muscle, you probably do need to eat more than you are right now. If you eat enough to gain 1 kg every 3 weeks, you should be adding more muscle than fat. (1/3 kg per week, or .75 lb per week if you prefer). –  Berin Loritsch Jun 5 at 15:26
    
Will aim to eat more from today! Thanks for your answer! –  Prakash Wadhwani Jun 5 at 16:47

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