Optimal Performance

As I’ve discussed in the past, there is a delicate hierarchy of interacting factors which all need to be in place in order to achieve the positive feedback loops in our development that allow us to consistently keep pushing back the boundaries of our confidence, social skills and physique – A Model For Success.

Each level in the hierarchy is based upon a number of foundational factors at the previous level, all of which have to be in place to keep the loop running. Take any one away, and the whole thing grinds to a halt, and you can even start going backwards.

That’s pretty much what happened to me over the last 7 days. Everything had been going brilliantly, I was reaping the benefits of my TRT, hitting new PBs in the gym, and striding around with such commanding presence that almost every single person I walked past in the street was just staring at me, as if to say “Who is this guy?”. And then, incrementally, my sleep started going to pieces.

We’re in the middle of a heatwave in the UK at the moment, and the country simply isn’t geared up to deal with it. I’m naturally very prone to overheating at night at the best of times, and each successive night, I was sleeping less and less. Sleeping with a fan and the window open provided temporary relief, but it let in the noise of planes going overhead every 5 minutes (I live under a flight path for Heathrow) and bird song starting up at 4am, which I just can’t tolerate as a very light sleeper. Your body requires at least one 3-4 hour bout of solid deep sleep each night to fully recover, and I simply wasn’t getting it. Drifting in and out of light sleep, drenched in sweat, haunted by feverish dreams, I just became more and more fatigued each day.

By yesterday, I was at my wits’ end. I had a deep-seated ache of weariness in my face, and could hardly put one foot in front of the other. It was impossible to concentrate on anything at work, and I felt deeply anxious with a racing heart – through exhaustion, my body’s ability to regulate itself was beginning to suffer. I didn’t train, and I started purposefully withdrawing from social interactions, knowing that I lacked the clarity of mind to be able to speak coherently, and felt as though I’d regressed about two months in my development. The most foundational piece of my hierarchy of factors had fallen away, and the whole edifice of my ego was crumbling.

Unwilling to allow it to continue, I finally took the action I should have taken days ago. I hired an AC unit for my room, cut out all caffeine (which is a lot for me!) and got prescription sleeping tablets from the doctor. After my first solid night’s sleep last night in what feels like months, I’m slowly coming back to myself again. All the momentum I’d gained has currently lost, and I’ve got to build back up from scratch again.

Lesson learned – I shan’t again allow myself to get into this situation, and neglect the most fundamental piece of the puzzle – health. Make sure you are doing all you can to maintain the delicate balance of factors required to sustain optimal performance, or risk setting yourself back weeks in what should be your continual journey of self-improvement.

7 thoughts on “Optimal Performance

  1. Pingback: Optimal Performance | Viva La Manosphere!

  2. Dunno if you do this but try getting an ice cold shower for 5-10 min before going to sleep every day. Specially the face, neck and shoulder blade. Does a lot of good, better sleep being one.

    • I take cold showers in the morning, but to help myself wake up. I’d have thought it wouldn’t exactly make me feel sleepy if I did it at night, but I’m game to try

  3. You’re not adverse to supplements, so try:
    * Vit D first thing in the morning (5,000-10,000 IU) – this is essential in the winter months but helps regulate sleep during the whole year.
    * Melatonin + ZMA 30-60 mins before bed – you only really need the magnesium from the ZMA as it’s a muscle relaxant.

    • Already on both of those mate. I’ve posted about them previously. My sleep is typically good, I’m fascinated by trying to optimise it. Just went through a bad patch recently

      • It all comes down to ‘sleep hygiene’ then, there’s articles aplenty but the main thing is making the good habits routine so you don’t end up chronically deprived again.

        Do the test injections have an impact on the amount of sleep you need? I’ve never slept better than when I’ve been killing it at the gym.

      • Everything I’ve read seems to suggest that your quality of sleep improves with higher testosterone levels. I can’t say I’ve experienced much of this yet (apart from last night, where I inexplicably slept like a log), but my T levels are still stabilising – it takes about 2 months from starting the shots.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s