As the strength and conditioning coordinator for the Japan Rugby Football Union, John Pryor can simply point to the consistent overachievement of the athletes he trains as evidence of the efficacy of his strength training principles. While much of the focus regarding general athletic training principles tends to remain on the specific activities designed to develop muscular strength and endurance as well as power and speed, Pryor has made a point to note the critical role of proper rest and recovery in delivering the best possible fitness gains from a training program.
Many recent studies have reviewed the importance of getting adequate sleep each night in order to achieve peak athletic ability. Researchers have consistently found that athletes who fail to get adequate, restful sleep each evening will not yield the same training results as athletes who consistently focus on getting enough sleep each evening. In the same way that nutrition influences fitness gains, it is becoming increasingly clear that sleep is of similar importance when it comes to training.
Strength and conditioning coaches like Pryor have long advocated for a dedicated focus on proper rest and recovery, especially for elite athletes who must remain attentive to even the most seemingly minor details relating to fitness training. This is why professional teams all over the world are emphasizing the importance of sleep by starting practice later in the day and advising their athletes to sleep in rather than show up early.