T Nation

Third shift advice needed

I’ve recently taken a third shift position and am having a hard go with it. Aside from trying to maintain a constant sleeping schedule, even on off days, does anybody out there have any diet/supplementation/recovery advice? Thanks.

I used to work third shift a while back. I tried to work out after work but it was just too hard. So I’d go to bed as soon as I got home, get in some decent sleep, and hit the gym after I woke up. Third shift is hard on your body unless you’ve done it long enough to get used to it, so try to get lots of sleep. Melatonin should help get your sleep schedule in order, or you can take some ZMA before you go to bed (which seems to knock me out cold). Drink some Gatorade during your workout to keep your energy levels up if you work out right after you wake up.

jeff,

I worked third shift for about a year. I would train just before going in. I felt good not worrying about getting my work out in while at work. Eat before finishing your shift and try to get to bed once you get home. You may want to consider using ZMA to help you sleep.

When I was in the military, I had to work rotating shifts. Three swing shifts, followed by 24hrs off, followed by three graveyard shifts. Sucked. Could not go to bed at the same time for more than 3 days in a row. I would train at 10:30pm after swings, then at around 7pm before midnite shift. Had to deal with this for four yrs. Just do the best you can. With today’s supps like ZMA and such you can hopefully minimize the negative effects of shift work. If you have sleep difficulty, cut down your workouts till you can get better rest. Unless this is a great career op, if you value your training and want to make decent gains, get another gig or at least get off that shift ASAP!