Training when working shifts!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 09, 2012 11:26 AM GMT
    Quick question, I love my job, but my hours are brutal and I literally work 24 hours around the clock. Typically each month I will work 3-8 nights, a few days off then some 3am alarm calls for some early shifts followed by a few days off and maybe some normal-ish working days. Total working days amounts to 15-20 each month but the hours vary from 5-14 per day. My question is this, does anybody else work these patterns and, if so, how do you manage to A) Get the best rest in between B) Manage your workouts and C) Get some decent food plan going! In short, needing help with my training programme when it comes to this!
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    May 09, 2012 11:46 AM GMT
    Wow, your work schedule's as erratic as mine.
    I'd like to know the answers to your thread.
    Please help us!
  • Tritimium

    Posts: 261

    May 09, 2012 11:49 AM GMT
    Going by your pics, you look as though you've managed to organise your training and nutrition pretty well so far! icon_wink.gif
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    May 09, 2012 2:20 PM GMT
    I think it's all about getting yourself on as good a schedule as you can muster. I don't think it matters that you workout at the same time every day but rather that you're putting in the work you need to do to be as fit as you can be. It does look like you're doing just fine.

    For me, I work at least three days a week from 0530 until 1800/1900. I head to the gym right afterwards. Yeah, I'm tired but it's my favorite part of the day so I focus fine and get in my workout. The other days I start work later in the day so either workout before work or right after.

    To me, the lesson learned is that work does come first. You've got to get it done but outside of work time is when you put in your max effort to workout and eat healthy. It isn't ideal but it's doable.

    If you've got long slogs of 24/hr days but then whole days off, think about managing your off days to do two-a-days. You can put in some really good work that way. When I do it, I try to do skill work and cardio/metcon during one workout and then a really heavy strength workout in the other. As long as I'm getting some good food and a few hours rest between, I'm fine.
  • allatonce

    Posts: 904

    May 09, 2012 5:08 PM GMT
    Based on your pics, keep doing whatever you are doing. And tell us about it.
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    May 09, 2012 6:40 PM GMT
    Thanks for the replies guys and the cool words, just some lucky lighting and shots to thank for that, still a fair way to go to hit my goals. I hear you ref managing time, I try to do that too but what is a killer is adjusting your body clock to nights and therefore never getting some good rest when sleeping during the day to then have to pull yourself the other way in your time off when all you want to do is sleep and then prepare for the early shifts. I find I'm burning out pretty quick if I try to put in a work out before a night shift (I am too beat after), that and eating at the right times is hard work. I will take note though and thanks for taking the time to write!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 09, 2012 6:46 PM GMT
    Tritimium saidGoing by your pics, you look as though you've managed to organise your training and nutrition pretty well so far! icon_wink.gif





    allatonce saidBased on your pics, keep doing whatever you are doing. And tell us about it.


    Exactly what these two said, it does sounds like your having more difficulty getting your body's circadian rythm in sync. How to fix it no clue. To help sleeping during the day place thick black trash bag over your bedroom window.
  • Tritimium

    Posts: 261

    May 09, 2012 8:29 PM GMT
    rendon said
    Tritimium saidGoing by your pics, you look as though you've managed to organise your training and nutrition pretty well so far! icon_wink.gif





    allatonce saidBased on your pics, keep doing whatever you are doing. And tell us about it.


    Exactly what these two said, it does sounds like your having more difficulty getting your body's circadian rythm in sync. How to fix it no clue. To help sleeping during the day place thick black trash bag over your bedroom window.



    ....or get a black out eye / face mask, such as used for flights and stuff.
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    May 09, 2012 8:32 PM GMT
    Well my school schedule is crazy sometimes and when I had to spend a month doing long hours all the way to one on the morning, I had to change my workouts to be lighter because it was affecting my body as well as my work in both the gym and school negatively.

    But I did that because I knew it was a limited amount of time, since your job is probably permanent I'd suggest improving time management where you have everything down perfectly.
  • Tritimium

    Posts: 261

    May 09, 2012 8:34 PM GMT
    afl35 saidThanks for the replies guys and the cool words, just some lucky lighting and shots to thank for that, still a fair way to go to hit my goals. I hear you ref managing time, I try to do that too but what is a killer is adjusting your body clock to nights and therefore never getting some good rest when sleeping during the day to then have to pull yourself the other way in your time off when all you want to do is sleep and then prepare for the early shifts. I find I'm burning out pretty quick if I try to put in a work out before a night shift (I am too beat after), that and eating at the right times is hard work. I will take note though and thanks for taking the time to write!



    I did read somewhere that we tend to sleep in 4-hour cycles; if you get 4 hours straight, or 8 hours straight we feel refreshed (if we don't have a sleep deficit), but if it's 3, 5, 6, 7, or 9, for instance, then it means that we wake part-way through a whole sleep cycle. So, perhaps try to aim for 4 or 8 hours of sleep at a time, and aim to get 8 hours in any 24 - which might be two separate blocks of 4 hours if that's better for your schedule. Perhaps a couple of 30-min power naps might also help to keep your energy levels up.

    It's a tough one, and you're not working with optimum conditions at all, so experiment with different approaches until you can get something that works.
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    May 10, 2012 5:40 AM GMT
    Tritimium said
    afl35 saidThanks for the replies guys and the cool words, just some lucky lighting and shots to thank for that, still a fair way to go to hit my goals. I hear you ref managing time, I try to do that too but what is a killer is adjusting your body clock to nights and therefore never getting some good rest when sleeping during the day to then have to pull yourself the other way in your time off when all you want to do is sleep and then prepare for the early shifts. I find I'm burning out pretty quick if I try to put in a work out before a night shift (I am too beat after), that and eating at the right times is hard work. I will take note though and thanks for taking the time to write!



    I did read somewhere that we tend to sleep in 4-hour cycles; if you get 4 hours straight, or 8 hours straight we feel refreshed (if we don't have a sleep deficit), but if it's 3, 5, 6, 7, or 9, for instance, then it means that we wake part-way through a whole sleep cycle. So, perhaps try to aim for 4 or 8 hours of sleep at a time, and aim to get 8 hours in any 24 - which might be two separate blocks of 4 hours if that's better for your schedule. Perhaps a couple of 30-min power naps might also help to keep your energy levels up.

    It's a tough one, and you're not working with optimum conditions at all, so experiment with different approaches until you can get something that works.


    Top tip, thanks bud, I have not heard that before but it makes sense, I'll let you know how it goes!