Drafting and Sleep

Race Drafting picture

Drafting and Sleep

Coach Larry Jackson, AT-C, LMT

DEFINITION: Drafting or slipstreaming is a technique where two vehicles or other moving objects are caused to align in a close group reducing the overall effect of drag due to exploiting the lead object’s slipstream. Especially when high speeds are involved, as in motor racing and cycling, drafting can significantly reduce the paceline‘s average energy expenditure required to maintain a certain speed and can also slightly reduce the energy expenditure of the lead vehicle or object.

After a month of learning how to clip in and clip out of a buddy’s bike; getting past the fear of falling (on my first ride); and becoming comfortable with not being the lead; I set out for yet another ride with a group. We’d cover 25 miles that day, in doing so; we would also travel at a faster speed than my previous “initiation rides” (come to think of it I’m still being initiated!) The joy which I experienced drafting happened for only a short minute during the ride but it inspired me to address wellness seekers who have submitted themselves to the leadership of a coach!

Keep working hard! There is a method to the madness!


This month I am participating in my own “sleep study.” The goal is to work on getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night and experience increased performance in workouts, activities of daily living, and maintaining physical results.  Of course in all the challenges created at LIFT FITNESS and WELLNESS, the hope is for members to participate in the challenges as well!  So join me!

 When we limit our sleep at night, it has similar effects as drinking alcohol which impacts our workout capabilities.  It’s pretty much going to create some of the same responses in the body, which from a big picture standpoint slows down your metabolism and invites fat cells to keep the party going in your body!

 Here are a few things some research studies are saying about lack of sleep:

 1.     Increase in cortisol

  • Cortisol is the hormone admitted in your body when you are under stress. One of the benefits of exercise is that you decrease this hormone; which is why people leave workouts feeling better. But from a performance standpoint you’d like to have as little of this prior to your workout so your body can manage other aspects of your health.

 2.     Decrease in growth hormone

  • Growth hormone does just what it says, aids in growth response from training. So you work against yourself when you have limited GH prior to workouts because you lessen your ability to recover and get the most bang for your buck out of your workout.

 3.     Decrease in testosterone

  • Testosterone isn’t just a male thing,  although it’s necessary for men from a reproductive standpoint. It too aids in helping muscle recover and grow.

 4.     Increase in appetite (cravings)

  • Some of us have found ourselves at Good fellas for pizza or Indy’s for chicken (fried) after having a few drinks. Lack of sleep does the same thing causing us to crave things and think we are hungry.

Here it is in formula form:

 Lack of sleep = Increase in cortisol (stress hormone) + Decrease in Growth Hormone + Decrease in testosterone +  Increase in appetite



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