Thanks for the feedback. My schedule is predictable. That’s the good news. The bad is that I work 4 nights, on call 3, 3 days, on call 1, 3 nights, call 3, 4 days, off 7.
I actually find it easy to get to the gym before a night shift. I like the idea of high density when I’m off work and no gym when I’m working but there are times when I work 5,6 or 7 days straight. Like you said, experimenting is key.
I read Dan John’s One Lift Per Day article. So I realize I can indeed get a training effect with just one exercise. I realize that intensity is all relative, but it surely does suffer after a long day. Before a long day is a different story. To get more size gains I could use Bulgarian split squats as my one exercise, but we’re running into time issues by essentially turning one exercise into two.
Mark, I would like to see your program. I would also like to know how you fit eating and sleeping into your schedule. That’s my issue with going early. Feeding myself.
I admit it’s fun to experiment, but a little frustrating to feel like I’m spinning my wheels and not have the physical drive to push through a heavy set of squats.
For what it’s worth as it may pertain to how I should program, I’m 31 years old and kinda beat up from years of baseball with no strength training. I’m 155-158, and after checking maxes a month ago (right before the new schedule) I squatted 305 and pulled 345. So after a year of dedicated strength training, I think I’m fairly strong for my weight. Not elite, but most of my strength is from neural adaptation instead of increased cross sectional. That’s the modality I want to continue. Mark, shoot me a PM on your program if you don’t mind.[/quote]
With pleasure. I can’t access my dropbox from work, but I’ll post the link later today. There’s a bunch of files, each for a cycle I’ve done and they’re all dated so you get an idea of which I did first.
That’s a funny rotation, but I reckon you could fit something into it. it’ll just take some thought.
For example, starting with your 7 days off:
off 7, on 4 nights, on call 3, off 3 days, on call 1, on 3 nights, on call 3, on 4 days
training would be mirrored as much as possible:
Block 1: train 2, off 1, train 2, off 1, train 1 (last day off), short train 1 (before first night on)
Block 2: 3 days off (nights 2-4 working)
Block 3: short train twice (where you can fit in on 3 on call days)
Block 4: train 3, off 1 (on call day), short train 1 (before first night on), off 2 (nights 2-3)
Block 5: short train twice (like for block 3, as you’re on call)
Block 6: short train once (before first night on), 3 off (nights 2-4)
I hope that makes sense. You’d get 15 training sessions out of 28 days, of which 7 would be ‘short’ and 8 ‘full’. If you look at it cumulatively that’s very close to training every second day, with the advantage of getting regular three day blocks of rest (I know you’d be working, but your body would still be recovering).
It only remains to figure out what to do when. Now, assuming you’d be happy with a semi-powerlifting approach you could do something like:
Block 1: squat day - hypertrophy, bench/DL day - hypertrophy, off 1, squat day - work/volume, bench/DL day - work/volume, off 1, squat day - work/volume (last day off), conditioning day (before first night on)
Block 2: 3 days off (nights 2-4 working)
Block 3: squat day - assistance, bench/DL day - assistance (where you can fit in on 3 on call days)
Block 4: squat day - heavy, bench day - heavy, DL day - heavy, off 1 (on call day), conditioning day (before first night on), off 2 (nights 2-3)
Block 5: squat day - assistance, bench/DL day - assistance (like for block 3, as you’re on call)
Block 6: conditioning(before first night on), 3 off (nights 2-4)
That’s just an example, but I’ve had some success training assistance on separate days to main lifts. I put in an extra squat day because IMO it tends to drive a lot of other lifts, although for me I’d probably have an extra bench day because its my weakest.
In terms of sleep, food, recovery, etc, I think working shifts can actually be beneficial because in a way it enforces regular time away from training. That is a major factor in recovery, because if you’re not training a shorter sleep will have less negative effects on recovery and it isn’t so hard to get enough to eat when at work. A good thing to do is to look at it along the lines of your rotation as a tool you can use,instead of an obstacle to training.