Lift Heavier, Run Faster and Get Leaner…With a Sleep Coach?

 Equinox, the high-performance lifestyle leader, today unveiled a study led with researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA linking behavioral sleep coaching to wide-ranging exercise performance benefits. A first in clinical research, the findings indicate that sleep coaching has the power to impact athletic performance, and specifically suggest that guided sessions enable subjects to increase aerobic performance, decrease body fat percentage and increase endurance.

Equinox pursued the topic of sleep coaching for its latest clinical study to further support and inform its holistic approach to fitness, which integrates Movement, Nutrition and Regeneration.  The brand-which also vets offerings through its dedicated Health Advisory Board has long employed clinical research to ensure that programming and recommendations at its clubs are science-backed.

"Coaching members to maximize their potential is the core of the Equinox mission," said David Harris, Vice President, Health and Human Performance at Equinox.  "With little to no existing clinical research out there on the topic of behavioral sleep coaching, we endeavored to lead this conversation as a contribution to the broader health dialogue-and to further enrich our lifestyle coaching programs."

Timed with the release of the study, Equinox has debuted dedicated sleep coaching sessions at 22 club locations across the country as part of its Tier X Personal Training Offering.

"For more than 26 years, Equinox has embraced an all-encompassing approach to fitness, with regeneration, and specifically sleep, playing a key role," said Niki Leondakis, CEO, Equinox Fitness Clubs.  "While we've always driven the conversation, now we're thrilled to have made a significant scientific contribution to this important dialogue.  The findings of the study have wide-ranging implications for the lives of members and nonmembers alike, and we look forward to further introducing sleep coaching to our members as an essential component for further maximizing their results."

"The results of our trial are unequivocal," said Jennifer Martin, clinical phycologist, Associate Adjunct Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA and member of the Equinox Health Advisory Board. "Sleep has been the missing part of the health and wellness conversation for decades and we're proud to shed light on a topic that many people can benefit from."

Participants in the study who received sleep coaching demonstrated improvements in regards to the following physical performance measurements when compared to a control group:

    • Aerobic performance improved significantly. VO2 Max increased 14.1% compared to the control group which improved 7.7%.
    • Metabolic threshold improved 29.8% in the sleep coaching group compared to 16.2% in the control group. In other words, subjects saw improvements in their ability to exercise for longer periods, at higher intensities to burn calories more efficiently.
    • The percentage of maximum oxygen uptake at which metabolic threshold occurred increased by 13.2% in the SC group compared to 9.0% in the control group, circulating more oxygen and allowing them to burn more calories.
    • Body composition also improved for both groups, with greater improvement amongst the SC group. Body fat percentage decreased 17.2% in the SC group compared to a 7.1% in the control group.

Methodology: The study was conducted by Brett A. Dolezal, PhD, Jennifer L. Martin, PhD, David M. Boland, PhD, Eric V. Neufeld and Dr. Christopher B. Cooper, Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory, Departments of Medicine and Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA incorporated, 32 healthy Equinox members (19 men, 13 women), engaged in 12, 10-min education sessions with a trained fitness professional, coupled with weekly, individualized sleep improvement assignments and one hour of coached resistance training and remotely guided aerobic exercise 3x a week for 12 weeks.  The control group received the same athletic training and general health coaching, but no sleep coaching was administered.

To learn more about Equinox Sleep Coaching, visit

Image: William Murphy | Flickr 

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