T Nation

working nights...help

ok guys im going to be starting a new job where i will be working from 10 pm to 6am. i have never worked these hours before in my life. obviously, it is going to take some time to get used to the change in sleep patterns, eating habits, etc… so my question is would it be better to train at night before work or in the morning after work? have any of you guys had any experience with working these hours and training? any tips would be great thanks.

When I worked nights, I would train after work. Its hard enough just going to work, but to go work after a kickass workout, no thanks. If you do it after work, you’ll be tired, and ready to get some sleep.

I have a different perspective than ko, so you may just have to figure out what works for you. I took a year off of school. During that year, one of my jobs was as a 3rd shift (10pm-6:30am) stocker for a grocery store. At the time, that’s all I did as far as work is concerned. So what I figured out that worked best for me was to go to work at night, get off in the morning and then head home for some “breakfast”. After that, I would head to the gym, and let me tell you, I had some of the most kick-ass workouts at that time in the morning. Not sure why, but it worked. The pump was there, the weights felt lighter - it was perfect.

I also played a lot of basketball at the time. I would get off of work, eat, hit the gym, then, since I was using university facilities, I would head over to the gym and shoot around for 20 minutes or so. Then I’d go home, eat, shower, and go to bead. I’d then get up in the afternoon/evening and head to the gym again to play an hour or so of full court games before I went back to work.

At the time, I was in the best condition of my life. I was 6’2’’, 230lbs, body fat was well under control, could dunk two hands easily, and felt as if I could step on the court with anyone. My lifts were also higher than they had ever been. I also noticed that between sleeping during the day and a roommate that would get in from his job and wake me up in the afternoon I wouldn’t get too much sleep, but it all seemed to work.

i’m a correctional officer and as part of the job we work nights, however i get stuck working more than my share of nights as i’m on-call, they are also 12 hour shifts. at first i would go in the afternoon when i woke up but i found this to be too hard(groggy,feel hung-over for a couple of hours). i started to go after my shift in the morning and it seems to be better. make sure you drink lots of water and don’t eat too much until about 5 am, ( ifeel bloated and shitty if i eat alot at these times)try and stay away from the coffee for as long as possible(try and limit to 1 or 2 cups), pop some caffeine and ephederine before you go to the gym.i think i covered everything but make sure you get alot of sleep before you go to work.good luck

hey, thanks for the tips guys. i guess ill just have to experiment and see what works best for me.

I do it totally different. I work out on my days off, a coupla hours after getting up. Other days, on my 8 hour shifts, I would work out a few hours before work, drink a protein shake, shower, then later eat a meal, go in to work, and work off the workout. After work, I could shower and right to bed! It works great for me!