First post and looking for some advice with regards to my current situation and some outside perspective would be great. basically Iv started college and am still currently working full time nightshift. looking for peoples opinion on how i could work around the long hours and lack of sleep that my new schedule is gifting me.
basically my week looks like this: wed/thurs/fri 9am-5pm college
Work 4x12hr nightshift rotation of 4 on 4 off (so one week itll be mon-thurs, week after tues-fri and so on)
Study 5hrs on sat/mon/tues
I’m 5 weeks into this cycle and would like to start training again. Was thinking about training once per week on a Monday. On the days I’m at college I walk about 4 miles a day. My biggest concern is training when sleep deprived because on the days when work and college overlap I’m only getting 3-4.5 of broken sleep (an hour when I get in from work in the morning and an hour after college, sleep most of my 1.5 hr break at work and also try to catch as much as I can when I can in between). Have always been intermittent with regards to training but really feel like this is taking a toll on my physicality and would apprieciate any advice or suggestions you guys might have.
Btw Height : 5’11"
Weight : 88kg
Age. : 28
Waist. : 34in (don’t know body fat %)
So I guess what I want to know is what you guys would do in this situation. Is it feasible to train twice a week?any recovery tips for mitigating the sleep? Anything really.
Thanks in advance.
Hard to tell when you start your work shifts. Usually it is something like 7pm?
At any rate, your recovery will be severely hampered for a while–you can overcome this. It’s been done before. It just takes working into a routine carefully and gradually is all.
Advice: Train at a time you are normally awake–whether it is during hours you are typically at class but on days off from class, or whether it is at a time you are normally at work. If you put your activity during periods of time when your body is already kinda used to doing stuff it will make it easier on you.
Also, train briefly. Yes it is possible to train 2x a week. Not optimal, but it’s better than nothing and a lot of athletes do this while in competitive season (football esp) for the same reasons–limited recovery and a lot of stress and travel and tackling. Ideally you’d do 3x a week if possible.
Training sessions should be purely compound movements. Any time spent with isolation exercises, unless as a pre-fatigue or post-fatigue superset, is a waste of valuable gym time in such a schedule. The things going to make the biggest impact on your strength and physique are the things where you can involve the most muscles at a time–squats, barbell and db benches, chins, rows, deadlifts/rack pulls, push presses.
Training sessions MUST cover the whole body. Minimum pick 1 leg, 1 back, and 1 pushing (bench or push press variety) exercise and hit those three movements with something like 5x5, after a warm-up at lighter weights. If you could train 4 times a week and upper body/lower body split would be great, but that doesn’t look to be in the cards. If you can train 3x a week you might try the push/pull/legs split or the upper/lower/whole body split, but I believe the whole body training is the most efficient use of your very limited time. Ideally it would be nice if you could pick 5 exercises–2 back, 2 pushing, and 1 leg. However, to start slow I would say just do 3 exercises for a few weeks and see how you do.
Tips for sleeping–it is absolutely invaluable to get zinc and melatonin and take them before bed on an empty stomach (if you need you can take them 30 min prior to bed and then have a shake or something 30 min later right as you hit bed). They’ll help your sleep quality and you have to make the absolute most of that to recover from your schedule and training.