When to Train, When to Rest?

This might be a dorky question, but I’m interested in what y’all think: Since I started working nights I sometimes become so exhausted during the day that I’m like a zombie. My brain becomes slow & my limbs feel very heavy. Last week I could barely move but wanted to train so I went in anyway. The exercise we began with was: I close my eyes & my partner takes me down from any direction & tries to mount me & keep me down. My only job is to get them off me & get up (escape) however I can.

I was surprised by how weak I was & how slow I was moving. I got her off me & everything was fine in the end, but, wow, I was kind of embarrassed by my weakness. After class I came home & collapsed into bed.

Yesterday I made the opposite choice. I stayed in & slept so now I feel good but have missed a training opportunity.

How do y’all decide when to suck it up & train & when to rest/recover?

As someone who suffers from insomnia occasionally, all I can say is that you do the best you can. There’s been times that I haven’t slept in 26 hours straight but still went and did 14 rounds in the gym, and there’s times that I’ve called out and been a bitch.

You just gotta gauge it as best you can - sometimes a workout will pick me up if I’m exhausted, sometimes it wipes me out.

One thing I will say is that it’s good to train when you’re totally exhausted. If you’re training for a real-life situation, whatever that might be, it’s not always going to happen when you’re fresh and ready for it. I’ve had confrontations happen to me when I was shot to shit and hadn’t slept, and it’s really disconcerting that you think to yourself, “All that training and this is REALLY going to go down when I feel like I can barely make a fist.”

If you look at the history of warfare as well, it’s filled with tales of armies marching 15-20 miles in a day and then fighting for two days straight at the end; look up Stonewall Jackson’s “Foot Cavalry” or really anything that the Army of Northern Virginia did during the Civil War and it will make you feel better about fighting when you’ve worked all night :wink:

If time allows it, start introducing naps in to your day.
A lot of people say take 15 minute naps, I can’t do that. I’m sleeping at least 2 hours.
Look in to it, and see if it works for you(r schedule).

How long have you been working nights? How long is it likely to continue? How many hours of sleep are you averaging?

I worked stacking shelves at night when I was younger for cash in the holidays, and it took a toll on my training for the first week or two. At the end of 6 weeks or so of forcing myself to train on top of my new schedule, I was well adapted to it, just in time to go back to a normal routine.

Thanks for the replies, guys. London, I’ve actually been at it for two whole months. This is why I’m asking - I thought I would be fine by now. I worked nights in my early 20’s & it was a breeze, but I’m 46 now and the difference has been shocking. It’s definitely better than it was. This schedule could continue for anywhere from 4 months to a year. I sleep anywhere from 4 to 7 hours. Strangely, I’m hyperalert at work (I’m a corrections officer in constant contact with the inmates), just on half-speed everywhere else.

It’s interesting what you say about the benefits of training tired, Irish, I’ve been wondering about exactly that, since it looks like that’s the only training I’m going to get right now.

Blaze, you’re right, I’ll nap more aggressively.

I don’t really understand the question… I think in your case it’s just a matter of getting your biological clock around working nights. Coming from someone who gets up at 03:30 to work 12 hours shifts 6 days a week (a total of 48 miles a week on bicycle), trying to get my Muay Thai classes in around that WAS pain, but it all boils down to getting used to the punishment. Your body will eventually adapt; for as long as you are well fed and well hydrated, it’s just mental discilpline to push through if you really want it.

Then again, i’m by myself and the last thing I wanna do is ‘push through to near failure’ and come home to kids/ a husband that needs my attention. Sacrifice what you can and do what you need to.

/end screwed up mess of words

edit: 1 day dedicated to rest and relaxsation is a must

That’s not a screwed up mess of words, Andy. My husband is part of the equation, certainly…I think I’m really asking simply because I’d expected to fall into a rhythm by now & it hasn’t happened.

What it’s really going to come down to is I need to suck it up. As was stated above, I can’t expect an attacker to wait til I’m fresh & perky, my training shouldn’t either.

You train so that you are prepared for when shit hits the fan. You make your best gains when you feel refreshed and are rest.

This is also true, Blaze, and juggling both those ideas & coming up short for definitive answers is what led me to write y’all. In an effort to find a time when I was rested & refreshed I only trained twice last week, and one of those was just technique stuff like handcuffing, not a workout.

I will regress if I keep that schedule, so it appears I’ll be training tired more often than refreshed.

On the upside, I learned at work last night that I left a bruise on an instructor’s jaw where I punched him, so that was pleasant news. He’s such a sweet man, too, he was telling me “good job” later.

Miss Parker,

Making adjustments to sleep schedules can be difficult. Using dark/black out curtains when you go to bed and supplementing with vit D, ZMA, and Omega 3’s/fish oil all seem to have a pretty high “bang for your buck” success rate. If you don not currently do so, you may want to consider it.

For days when you are tired both physically and mentally I think the Spike tablets Biotest sells are fantastic. They work far, far better than anything legal has a right to and they do not seem to cause jitters, or a “cloudy” kind of energy unlike most energy drinks. I would absolutely order some. I would not want to make them a daily ritual(no health reasons as much as just “needing” them every day is a sign of other issues), having a few Spike tabs available for days where you are dragging seems like a good bet. I think I recall you are a Sheriff’s Deputy now. If so, than that may be a job where the consequences of being mentally and physically “off” can be higher than others.

RE: Training when tired

First, I am on record with saying that you don’t learn much in terms of new technique or information when you are exhausted. However, you can absolutely keep your existing skills sharp and this is important. Even verty brief, solo exercises for 20 minutes each day can do wonders. The idea is to get a few reps of “key” or “fundamental” movements.

As far as making organized training classes, I consider 2X a week to be a reasonable “minimum” to shoot for. Just adjust your expectations to being Miss Parker-student, as opposed to Miss Parker-instructor/ bad ass role-model for every woman in the school. If you have to function as an instructor to the class, that is a bit different.

IF you are dead on your feet, AND you can train it is fine to do so. The big question I would ask myself is “Will this training make anyone but me more miserable(husband/family) or put others and myself at risk because I will not be able to do what is needed at work?” I have had jobs where being exhausted or hung over really wasn’t that big a deal. I have also drawn pay where being less than crisp was borderline dangerous and certainly unethical. You are going to have to judge your own situation there.

Now, in the interest of comedy:

I am not buying it. Didn’t you just start work as an LEO. I am guessing you just haven’t acclimated to the off-duty alcohol consumption yet. The answer, as with most things, can be found in Archer:

Also, sometimes reading can be good for relaxation. A woman was telling me how amazing this book called “50 Shades of Grey” was. I couldn’t be bothered to look up what it is about, but it sounds like it has to do with light/refraction so she probably figured out I like science-fiction novels. There is even an audio version if that helps:
NSFW

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
As someone who suffers from insomnia occasionally, all I can say is that you do the best you can. There’s been times that I haven’t slept in 26 hours straight but still went and did 14 rounds in the gym, and there’s times that I’ve called out and been a bitch.

You just gotta gauge it as best you can - sometimes a workout will pick me up if I’m exhausted, sometimes it wipes me out.

One thing I will say is that it’s good to train when you’re totally exhausted. If you’re training for a real-life situation, whatever that might be, it’s not always going to happen when you’re fresh and ready for it. I’ve had confrontations happen to me when I was shot to shit and hadn’t slept, and it’s really disconcerting that you think to yourself, “All that training and this is REALLY going to go down when I feel like I can barely make a fist.”
[/quote]

I agree with all of this, which should surprise absolutely no one.

However, and mostly in order to be difficult:

[quote]
If you look at the history of warfare as well, it’s filled with tales of armies marching 15-20 miles in a day and then fighting for two days straight at the end; look up Stonewall Jackson’s “Foot Cavalry” or really anything that the Army of Northern Virginia did during the Civil War and it will make you feel better about fighting when you’ve worked all night ;)[/quote]
True enough, of course that army ultimately succumbed because it lacked the ability to re-supply. They were magnificent in the short term, but can also serve as a cautionary tale to those who would “give it there all” when there may well be future battles ahead.

Regards,

Robert A

Hahahahahahahahaha! Dear Robert, clearly A is for awesome. I’m all over your suggestions, thanks.