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Any shift workers out there?

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  • Any shift workers out there?

    I work rotating shift work: two days (07:00 to 19:00) followed by two nights (19:00 to 07:00) and then four days off.

    I am training to enter my first meet this June and was looking for advice how to maximize training, diet, sleep, etc. What has worked for you?

    I'm currently on a three day a week training block but I should be doing a GPP day too, but I always seem to run out of time or I'm not recovered enough.

    My preferred gym closes at 21:00 and is closed on holidays, I've moved to a gym with 24 hour access but I really don't like it there.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Depends on if you will continuously be working shift schedule for a long time or if it’s a short term thing. I’ve been on a shift schedule for 10 years now and have had to learn multiple avenues of approach on how to handle this. I work from 2100-0900 but I also have to be at work by 2030 and usually am stuck at work until 0915. I also drive an hour both ways to and from work.

    That being said, are you going to get as strong as quickly as someone with better sleep? Maybe. Does your job require you to be alert and mentally sharp for prolonged periods of time? (I’m a first responder so that’s a big one for me). I preach this a lot to people. If it comes between being capable to do my job in a safe manner or being able to pull the biggest number at a meet, 10 out of 10 times I’m going to be more concerned about the job because that pays the bills.

    My advice to you if you are seeking “optimal” results given your schedule and wanting to compete, make sure everything else that you can control is on point. Your diet needs to be spot on, your training needs to be adequate etc.

    long term I have found that I have needed to intuitively listen to my body. If there is a day that I know I am completely just “bone on bone, RPE 10” tired, I’ll sleep. There is research that shows the negative health outcomes associated with chronic long term sleep deprivation and although Jordan’s philosophy is “what are you going to do, not train?” Is geared towards short term sleep loss. He does not the impacts long term. Ironically he discussed this a little in his Q&A posted today.

    I will add that you have to not get to the point of taking to many off days for obvious reasons but sometimes you just need sleep. Especially if it is impacting your work performance.


    TLR

    sleep when you need sleep, train smart, and don’t forget that your job is what pays your bills not lifting weights.

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