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Upcoming Meet, Work Switched to Night Shift. Advice?

Hey all,

I’m just over 12 weeks out from a meet and found out I am getting switched to night shift for 4ish Weeks (7th-3rd Week out from meet). I’ll be working from 9pm-7am. I just started this job a few months ago and have no night shift experience. Anybody with experience what would you recommend is the best time to train? I’m etiher looking at right when I get off Lift 7am-9 and sleep like 1pm-8. Or lift right before work 6pm-8 and sleep 7a-2p.


I have always found it better (for me) to train before work. I have found that when I wait until after work it takes me quite some time to relax enough to go to sleep. I’ve been on nights since 2009 and I have the same issue you have but with incorporating training while working day shift.

I also work night shift (7p-7a). I recommend working out after you wake up and before your shift. I think that the mental and (neural) fatigue that you feel after being up all night will not be conducive to lifting heavy weight. Overall, working night shift is no reason to throw you off of your program/ pursuit of your goals. Some one on this site recommended that I eat a little extra to combat the extra cortisol (cortisol is catabolic) which your body creates in response to the stress of not sleeping when you ought to be. This was really good advice that I still follow and appreciate. Don’t use it as an excuse to snack on junk all night long, just remember to pack a solid meal or two and be in a caloric surplus.
Lucky for you, you will be done with nightshift by the time your program is really peaking so I think you can expect to do well at your meet.

TL;DR workout before work and don’t skip meals or fill up on junk at night.

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So, I would advise before night shift if you can. And that’s what I did when I used to work 7pm-7am - until I couldn’t anymore. After 6 months on nights, when I fell asleep, I could not, for the life of me, wake up a couple hours before work to workout. I started bringing preworkout to work and downing it right before my drive home, and I would go to the gym then. Besides, you’re on 10 hours, not 12- those last 2 hours make all the difference in terms of physical pain.

Basically, before shift is probably better, but I found I could only do it after, and working out at all is better than not. I wouldn’t worry too much about how to optimize my workouts on nights, because night shift absolutely destroys every vital process you have going on anyway. Just get the workouts in.

AND EAT HEALTHY. Gaining weight on night shift is so easy it’s scary. But it can easily all be fat.

You’ll be fine. Finish work, sleep and then train. Or have breakfast after finishing work, train and then sleep. I’ve done both, both work.

Getting plenty of good food will be key to recovery. Don’t sweat sleeping less and getting less quality sleep for a month or so. If you’re eating plenty and we’ll you’ll be fine.

Thanks everyone I appreciate it! Took your advice and got solid gameplan down.
Work 9p-7a
Sleep 8/9a-3ish
Smack a big meal upon waking up
Take some pre to the dome and hit my lifts from 5-7

Going to pack some good meals and keep some protein bars and what not stocked up at work as well.

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You might not even need the pwo. A strong coffee often works well.

You don’t get any stomach issues from drinking coffee before training? I get heartburn if I do that, I drink coffee at other times though and never have a problem. Several other people have told me the same thing.

Pre-workouts are a waste of money. You are paying several dollars per serving for caffeine, creatine, and tiny portions of this and that which usually aren’t enough for any effect. I figured this out a long time ago, you can get caffeine pills for a fraction of the price and take that along with creatine and an actual effective dose of whatever else you want (citrulline malate is pretty much the only other supplement that makes any sense to take before training because other stuff doesn’t do anything) for way less than any pre-workout.

Absolutely zero @chris_ottawa

I agree with the before work time.

I can’t do FA after the shift is over.