T Nation

Lifestyle Changes

I recently got a new job which has me doing 12 hour shifts through the night, like 6pm to 6am.

Now this is causing some havoc on my training, and my body since I am not used to this. Sleep isn’t a major problem, I’ve put cardboard up on my windows and my room is pretty close to pitch black in the middle of the day and can still manage 7-8 hours even though its fucking hot and noisy.

I’m not sure how I’m going to fit in training and I know there are others who work these sort of hours and still manage. I usually wake up around 2-3pm, and have to start getting ready by 4-4:30 to start at 6. I could work out first thing from waking up, but I’ve always been one who lifts late, as it takes me a long time to get going and from past experience, lifting close to waking up has never worked well for me.

Or after my shift, when I’m pretty fucking tired, and have eaten pretty crappy for the last 12 hours because I haven’t figured out how to eat good meals out of a cooler. Just been drinking milk really. And whey.

I feel in either senario they would both be crappy workouts. Actually I know they would be. Hell, my day off today, I tried to do a workout but was so tired I could barely deadlift a weight 50 pounds lighter then what I lifted last week.

Anyone been in a similiar situation and worked around it? Any tips on eating out of a cooler would help. I’ve been bringing protein shakes and milk but I’m not getting in near enough food.

Look up the logs of Matt Kroc on elitefts. That should give you an idea. He does the same thing and then drives 2-3hrs a day and then takes care of his kids. But then again, he’s kind of a Superman. I don’t really know what to say about long shifts other than that.

When working, I pretty much live off of frozen veggies that I don’t even bring in a cooler so that way they thaw while keeping everything cold. I just do the whole “cook 8lbs of meat on Sunday afternoon” and carry around nuts, bars, and jerky. Portable fat sources are easy (like avacados or coconut oil) along with most carbs.

I was in a similar situation several years ago and it was very challanging. I chose to workout in the morning after work and found I had to adjust my training ‘down’ for the first two or three months before I adjusted.
From the cooler: Canned tuna; cottage cheese; whole milk, pre-cooked chicken & ground beef. Carbs & fats are easy.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
I was in a similar situation several years ago and it was very challanging. I chose to workout in the morning after work and found I had to adjust my training ‘down’ for the first two or three months before I adjusted.
From the cooler: Canned tuna; cottage cheese; whole milk, pre-cooked chicken & ground beef. Carbs & fats are easy.[/quote]

Yea I was thinking of just trying after work. Hopefully I will be able to sleep so soon after exercising.

The hard part is that my body won’t really be able to adjust since my next 2 shifts finish at 6pm, then the 2 after that finish at 6am.

The best tip there is cook in large amounts when you have the time. I hated night shifts and the worst thing is if you work 12 hours during the day like 6am to 6pm its ok but the other way round and it feels like you have none of the day for yourself. Training wise, I’d give it a while until your in a better and more efficient rhythm then you will find time. Good luck.
DJ