Most guys know that to get six pack abs, they need to lose the fat so that their abs are visible, and then exercise to build up their ab muscles.
Common sense, right? But what many guys don’t know is that there is actually a THIRD factor that’s just as important for getting abs. It’s equally as important as nutrition or exercise – but hardly anybody pays any attention to it.
So what’s the hidden third factor? It’s SLEEP!
That’s right…the quantity and quality of sleep you’re getting will have a HUGE impact on your ability to gain muscle and lose fat. It’s far more than most guys realize.
In fact, if you’re not sleeping as much as you should be, it’s going to be extremely difficult to ever get six pack abs. Here’s why:
Lack Of Sleep Causes Fat Gain
In a recent large study, researchers found that people who got 5 hours or less of sleep per night were 73% more likely to be overweight or obese, compared to those who got 7-8 hours.
73 percent! That’s a number that’s difficult to ignore. Obviously, if you’re not getting enough sleep it TREMENDOUSLY increases your chances of having belly fat that covers your abs.
The main reason why lack of sleep causes fat gain is that it effects the hormones that regulate your appetite (leptin and grehlin).
Grehlin is the hormone that stimulates your appetite, and makes your crave high calorie foods. Leptin is the hormone that curbs your appetite, and makes eating a healthy diet easier.
If you don’t get enough sleep, your leptin levels plummet while your grehlin levels skyrocket. This means you are basically hormonally compelled to eat unhealthy foods the next day.
If you’ve neglected your sleep in the past, I’m sure you’ve experienced this. You wake up tired…and it just seems like too much work to get a healthy breakfast. So you grab a coffee and donut. Then during lunch you walk by a food court, and that fast food smells really good. You figure, “what the hell,” and you grab some because you’re really craving it. And since you already blew the first two meals, you over-eat at dinner as well because you’re feeling bad about yourself and because you already screwed up anyways.
These types of days happen ALL THE TIME when you don’t get enough sleep. If you’re serious about losing fat, then your sleep is a very important factor you need to pay attention to.
Lack Of Sleep Makes It Harder To Build Muscle
Muscle is built while you sleep. Workouts themselves don’t build muscle – they just provide a stimulus that causes your body to build muscle when you’re in bed.
If you’re neglecting your sleep, then your body is going to find it VERY hard to build muscle regardless of how hard you’re working out. Even if you’re working out with incredible intensity, you’ll basically be just breaking your muscles down without giving them a chance to repair themselves and grow.
Not only this, a study of men 18-27 at the University of Chicago recently found that men who are sleep deprived metabolize glucose less efficiently, and have elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Translation? If you’re sleep deprived, your workouts are going to be flat because your body literally can’t summon the energy for intense exercise.
And since your levels of the hormone cortisol are elevated, your muscles will actually BREAK THEMSELVES DOWN at a faster rate. Cortisol is known as a hormone that inhibits tissue repair, and causes your body to break down your muscles and use them for emergency energy. The more of it you have, the more frustrating your muscle gaining efforts are going to be.
Most importantly – lack of sleep affects you MENTALLY
As I’ve said many times before, getting six pack abs is 50% physical and 50% MENTAL.
I truly believe that if you have the mindset of a guy with six pack abs, you will get six pack abs yourself. But nothing prevents you from developing that mindset like a lack of sleep.
Think about the last time you slept less than 5 hours, and were tired the entire day. Did you have lots of energy to work out? Were you eager to make great food choices? Or were you just trying to drag yourself through the day?
The fact is, if you’re just dragging yourself through the day on a regular basis you can’t get six pack abs. You need to be motivated, mentally sharp, and focused on your goals at all times – not just trying to survive the daily grind.
Strategies To Help You Sleep
Now you know about the importance of sleep in getting six pack abs. Sleep is NOT an afterthought for getting a six pack – it’s a factor that truly deserves as much consideration as exercise and nutrition
That’s why in Six Pack Shortcuts, I include a variety of strategies you can use to improve the quantity and QUALITY of your sleep. You can use them even if you’re busy to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night.
This means you’ll build more muscle and lose more fat – without working out any more than you do right now.
Check out the course here, and start building your six pack today:
The Next Issue
In next week’s issue, I’m going to give you five tips that you can use to start getting more sleep tonight. Adjusting these 5 small things made a HUGE difference in my life and my success in building six pack abs – so make sure you stay tuned for that.