Tactical Fitness with Stew Smith: Working Out While Sleep Deprived

Painful situp at the gym.

Hey Stew,

What's your general rule of thumb on working out on less than five hours of sleep per night? (Or whatever your threshold of sucky-sleep is?)

Thanks! Steph

I usually do better sucking it up and having some productive hours afterward.  In fact, I did it the other day.  Son woke me up throwing up so I cleaned vomit for an hour and had trouble going back to sleep, so I actually only slept four hours. I still did a butt-kicking workout from 6am to 8am involving running, lifting, and swimming. But, by 11am I was barely functioning. I had to take a nap during lunch and I did  feel better.  

I actually took the next day off from working out even with an eight hour sleep that night. So, you can do it, but you will pay for it and eventually have to pay it back.


Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles onMilitary.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books:  Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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