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How To Use Rest To Gain More Muscle

Are you frustrated with not gaining any weight while you keep putting in the hard yards in the gym day after day week after week. It might be because you are not getting enough quality rest and sleep and this could be what’s holding back those big gains you are looking for.

While you are on any weight gain program you have to be careful, you have to stop any intense cardio work, as it will mar your strength training progress by taking a big bite into the energy needed for your recovery.

Remember that your body adapts best to a stimulus when it only has to adapt to a single stimulus, and the main priority here is strength training so please keep all incidental activity low. In a sense you have to become “Lazy” By this I mean:

Instead of running “walk”.

Instead of walking “sit”.

Instead of sitting “lay down”… Get my point?

Another point is that if you want to gain more muscle, you will have to try to get more sleep. Go to bed early whenever possible and sleep late whenever you can.

Here are some other reasons why you should sleep more:

  • Insufficient sleep has been linked with increases in fat tissue in the body and a loss of muscle strength and muscle mass.       
  • Lack of sleep causes a decrease in bone density, particularly in women because it can lead to osteoporosis. 

Good sleep is as important as a service is for your car. It recharges your batteries, changes your oil and tops up your fluids so you can operate at peak function.

Sleep also repairs the body after strength training workouts and strengthens the immune system.

If you're having trouble sleeping, it might just be that you are lacking certain vital nutrients in your diet, leaving you feeling depressed or anxious and causing you to wake during the night unable to return to sleep. 

Try and include the following foods in your diet for a better nights sleep:


Unprocessed cereals contain starch and complex carbohydrate to fuel energy reserves and give a comfortably full feeling.

Starch is known to greatly increase production of the endorphin serotonin, which is the body's natural feel good drug. It acts to control moods, reduce anxiety and promote normal sleeping patterns.

Try a bowl of cereal just before bedtime; bread is also a good choice.


The oat flakes from which porridge is made are an excellent source of vitamin B6, which is needed to promote serotonin levels in the brain. Alkaloids in the grains can also have a relaxing effect.


Tuna and other oily fish are an excellent source of calcium, a lack of which is said to cause anxiety.

So increasing the intake of these in the diet may well relieve stress-induced insomnia. Oily fish is also an excellent source of Omega 3 oils, which are essential for general health.


A good source of protein for those who are lacking this nutrient and its endorphin-stimulating amino acids.

Pasta has a very low salt content, and is low in fat. It’s rich source of complex carbohydrates to fill you up and because it releases energy slowly, helps you feel pleasantly calm.

A perfect food choice for relaxation before bedtime.


Bananas are a rich source of potassium, a vital mineral for nerve function and a lack of which can cause you to feel depressed and in turn lead to insomnia.

Bananas also have plenty of serotonin stimulating starchy carbohydrate to relax you and are a good source of the amino acid tryptophan, also needed for the production of serotonin.


Nuts are rich in B vitamins, proteins and selenium. Brazil nuts are the richest source of selenium.

Nuts are also high in protein, a lack of which can cause anxiety and depression. They contain both amino acids tryptophan and L-phenylalanine, which helps the body to produce those relaxing endorphins.


A source of vitamin C, which helps to produce endorphins and a good source of potassium, a lack of which can cause stress.

The red color is due to a flavonoid, which seem to function as a biological response modifier or in other words they can change your mood for the better and help you relax.

In conclusion, to have a fully rested body every day is a giant step towards making big progress in the gym. High intensity workouts can then be maintained for longer periods and you’ll have much more energy available during a workout to push out that extra rep.

“Increase your SLEEP and increase your GAINS”


Gary Matthews is the author of the popular fitness eBooks Maximum Weight Loss and Maximum Weight Gain.