Fourth-place finisher at the 2021 Mr. Olympia contest Hunter Labrada returned to his YouTube channel for another edition of his “Tuesday Tip” series, wherein he shares his expertise in bodybuilding, fitness, nutrition, and anything else his social media followers inquire about. On Sept. 27, 2022, he tackled a subject that applies to all athletes regardless of sport, division, weight class, gender, or goal: sleep.
Sleep is of absolute paramount importance to your recovery.
In Labrada’s view, sleep being paramount to recovery means it is essential to muscle growth, as he defines recovery as “the rate-limiting factors to how quickly we can grow.”
It’s not what we do in the gym. It’s what we can recover from when we’re out of it.
Check out the entire Tuesday Tip in the video below:
[Related: Bodybuilding Icon Ronnie Coleman Thinks Big Ramy Can Remain Mr. Olympia for the Next “Three to Four Years”]
You should prioritize improving your sleep quality if you’re looking to optimize recovery. Labrada recommends anyone who snores or generally feels lethargic or “shitty” throughout the day get a sleep study. That was the case for Labrada, who eventually got one done and found out he has relatively intense sleep apnea.
Labrada was fitted with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, enabling him to get more restful sleep. The benefits were not far behind as he packed on five to seven pounds within the first month of using the CPAP and felt “so much better” during that period.
My quality of life has improved tremendously.
Labrada also advocated for reserving the bedroom solely for sleep and sex. He advised removing anything that would hinder or obstruct the bedroom from being exclusively for relaxation.
View this post on Instagram
[Related: Legendary Bodybuilder Ken “Flex” Wheeler Named 2023 Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient]
Labrada also recommends turning the temperature way down when getting some shuteye. He sets his bedroom to 66 degrees and says maintaining a lower core temperature while at rest will enable a longer time in a deeper sleep.
That same notion applies to decreasing the time spent looking at electronic screens before bedtime.
Limit your exposure to blue light.
In terms of supplements to help with sleep, Labrada recommends magnesium as a muscle relaxant in conjunction with melatonin.
We’ll see how well Labrada’s sleep routine improved his physique at the 2022 Olympia, scheduled for Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.
Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. When starting a new training regimen and/or diet, it is always a good idea to consult with a trusted medical professional. We are not a medical resource.
Featured image: @hunterlabrada