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How a good night’s sleep can mean beating someone to the punch
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Francis Lafrenière


How a good night’s sleep can mean beating someone to the punch

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Francis Lafrenière is a 31-year-old professional boxer born and raised in Quebec, Canada. Known to the public as “The People’s Champ”*, he has been boxing for 15 years and is a CPBC Middleweight Champion and IBF International Champion – ranked 6th in the world.

With a combination of over 100 national and professional matches under his belt, this is a guy who knows his way around the ropes.
As a boxer, it is so important to take sleep and rest into consideration on a daily basis.

Getting enough sleep is vital to performing well, especially in terms of building strength and repairing muscles. Boxers can train two to three times a day and being in peak physical health and having mental clarity is no easy feat. Training for a boxer can consist of a 20km run, functional training, sparring, and boxing training all in one day.

To call this training regimen active and intense would be an understatement. It should come as no surprise that being well-rested is the only way to survive.

When it comes to an intense contact sport like boxing, being able to react in a split second can mean all the difference. Physically fighting an opponent or even training with a coach in such close proximity means that Lafrenière needs to think quickly on his feet.

Ideally, athletes should be clocking in seven to nine hours of sleep per night to perform at their best. If you want your body to function at its optimal strength, sleep (in addition to hydration, nutrition, and physical exercise) can’t go unaccounted for.
Studies show that not getting enough sleep as an athlete can profoundly impact one’s performance and can mean the difference between a win and a loss in the rink. Being an athlete in it of itself is a physically demanding profession.

Being a boxer means building and training muscles and putting your all into your craft. Whether you are a professional boxer or just getting started in your career, sleep can profoundly impact the way in which your muscles grow and recover.

Lack of sleep or improper sleep can also affect your body and mind in a multitude of ways. It can be harder to focus on tasks, more difficult to think quickly and under pressure, and cause a bit of mental fog. An okay sleep can even impact your diet, your fat retention, muscle mass, and nutritional decisions.

On top of this, not being well-rested makes you more susceptible to illness, whether it’s the common cold or a more severe health condition.
On the flip side, being so physically active so often throughout the week is likely to tire any boxer out. An intense practice or a long match probably means this boxer has no issue when his head hits his pillow. In this case, being aware of the other factors that can impact your sleep cycle is beneficial. Choosing the right mattress, room temperature, bedtime routine, and proper health regimen can all impact your Zzzz’s.

Francis Lafrenière’s top 5 takeaways on how sleep impacts athletic performance

  1. Recuperating with mid-day naps and a full night’s sleep is vital to restore the body.

  2. Being mindful of your body and listening to what it needs is important to be at your physical peak.

  3. An uninterrupted 7-9 hours of sleep is vital to a good day of intense training.

  4. Hydrating consistently and eating a well-balanced diet also impacts your sleep quality.


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