T Nation

Less Than Optimal Sleep?


So I just took another job. Essentially I'll be doing my grad program full time and working "full time" (two part time jobs). So it looks like I'll probably not be getting enough rest for the next few months. I'm not sure how I should train throughout this period.

I've been trying to drop some fat recently and seeing some good gains by using the Anabolic Diet. I'd like to continue that, but I'm not sure how lack of sleep and a low-calorie diet will fare with my mental state. Maybe I should just up the calories a bit and lose more slowly?

I honestly don't know what would be optimal/possible. I'm thinking along the lines of 3x/week going full body without any sort of cardio save all the walking I have to do everyday (about 15 min to the train station, then another 10 or so on the other end, of course going both ways plus a bit more from place to place).

Any suggestions? I've been enjoying my gains (losses) recently and I'd like to continue, but I'd also like to remain a sane individual and happy and all that. Training is too fun to give up, but I don't want to kill myself and burn out either.

Anyone go through a period like this? Any tips on how to get through it? Optimal training stuff? Recommend an article from this (or another) site?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


How much less sleep than usual are we talking about?


good question. Honestly I'm not sure. I'll be damn busy though. I'm just starting everything now, so I'm not sure how bad it'll get


Ronnie Coleman i believe only gets 6 hours a sleep a day so yeah you should be alright. Stress will be your downside though make sure to stay focused while at the gym, real life stress could get in the way of you making gains.


A few things I can recommend from personal experience:

Full body is the way to go. You never know if you will have to skip a workout later in the week if your schedule is very tight and something unforeseen occurs.

One training session per week is 100% better than none. Don't feel that you should stop training altogether just because you have limited time. (I know that is not your intention, but just remember that when things get really hectic.

Don't plan on setting any records. Work to maintain; if you improve than that is a bonus.

Avoid training to failure: you will be stressed out enough already.

In between semesters, try a high frequency approach like Chad Waterbury has written about on this site.

If possible, try to save time by doing things like training on campus before class.

Take a half hour nap whenever possible.

Best of luck.


Keep your nutrition and training consistent, and pick up some zma so you will get some quality sleep at night!!!!!!


Thanks for the advice everyone, and special thanks for the above post.

I'm thinking I'll try 3x/week total body...maybe try to jump on Waterbury's TBT for the easy periodization. Anyone recommend other 3x/week training articles?


Also, anyone know any supplements that help keep the mind clear and working when tired? (I know next to nothing about supplements)


Barr would be the guy to ask about this.........


As long as it's not TOO much less than you're used to you can probably adapt for a while. However pushing through exhaustion will not be your friend.


The goal for the last 5 or 6 weeks has been weight loss. I'm thinking about trying to continue with this.

I was thinking about trying to combine heavy lifting with total body complexes added in, but I'm not sure if that would be better than just doing Waterbury's TBT. How does this look:

One of the Big 3, 5x5 (Bench, Deadlift, or Squat)

B1 Bench
B2 Front squat
B3 Rows
B4 Good mornings
B5 Crunch

3-4 sets, no rest between sets

How would this work? Would


less than opitmal sleep = less than optimal recovery = less than optimal training reults


Flameout. (Fish Oil) Buy it from this site.


I agree. Also really take the time to think through your allocation of time as far as it's in your power. Nobody can control every circumstance that might befall them, but a scheduled routine that can be followed fairly closely will make it easier.


Yeah, I'm trying to get my schedule in order, I've no choice really. And of course I realize that I'll be experiencing poor results if any, that's what this thread is about (I hope) how to best train knowing that you'll be walking against the wind.

Thanks for the info about Flameout. It's about time for me to place a new order...


Well, I've got a few weeks down. I've got my self on a regimented schedule and have been working in my workouts without much of a problem. I switched to CWs 10 x 3 for fat loss as I only have to be "in the gym" twice a week and I can do the other stuff at home.

I am tired most of the day though and I feel like I'm falling behind a bit, hopefully it'll all work out with time. thanks again everyone for the advice. Oh and I did buy that Flameout.