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Old 03-08-2008, 03:37 PM   #1
Aaron Bennett
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Shift work and working out

I find it very difficult to work 12hrs aday and travel time making it 16hrs away from home, not being able to workout during the days/nights I work because of sleep deprivation. I drive Haul trucks for the mining industry. Does anyone relate and what do you about it?
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:42 PM   #2
Aileen Reid
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Re: Shift work and working out

I relate because my partner works shift work. Up till now he's been in a physically active job but now he's desk bound and I'm waiting for him to come home now after starting work at 5pm last night, its now 20 to 8 in the morning!
There's no way he could train on work days. Even I have trouble because my sleep gets interrupted! How many days off do you get? He gets 4-5 in a row so that would be his only chance for training.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:06 PM   #3
Aaron Bennett
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Re: Shift work and working out

My off days vary from 1 to 7 provided i'm not doing overtime. I have been working out during days off, atleast with what I have.
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:14 PM   #4
Aileen Reid
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Re: Shift work and working out

I think you just have to do what you can. Sleep has to be a priority because without adequate sleep you won't grow and recover etc. But I know how irritating it can be - not beng able to have a regular routine because the shifts are constantly changing. There is a benefit to not having to think about training - just knowing that eg Wed you do "this". And even though I'm not the shift worker there are still days when I don't get my sleep quota because I can't get to sleep after Rob gets up super early - or comes in super early so I often end up not running in the morning because when I finally get to sleep its time to get up for my run!
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:20 PM   #5
Byron Jones
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Re: Shift work and working out

I can also relate. I work 12 hour shifts, 2 days, 2 nights, 4 off. I also have a 6 month old baby and part time University study. Trying to work out a training schedule is a nightmare. If I set aside times and dates to train, I can do them, but I'm struggling to find a schedule that works well without wearing myself out on my days off, or resting too long during the work days.

I would be interested in hearing what others who have successfully integrated a program into their shift work have done.
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:48 PM   #6
Terry Brazeal
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Re: Shift work and working out

This happens to be my first post here, I intended to say hello first but this I can relate.

I also have this problem. OK a litlle background...I work 12 hour shifts and I found this website surfing at work. I work every wed-fri and every other sat.

Today I did my first crossfit WOD, I am off work and I did Cindy. I completed 10 rounds BTW.

But I have been making up WOD's based on what I have learned here and I do them at work. While I am on break. Example of one.

10 Bodybuilders
10 Air Squats
10 Mountain Climbers'
10 Burpees

3X for time

It has worked for me, although I'm gassed for the next 20 to 30 mins at work. But after I recover I feel real good.

I know it's not the best but I'm just starting and I am liking it.

I hope to get some equipment and get quality work on my off days. In my case I'm off 3 days one week and 4 the next. So you may have to delay doing the WOD's on the days as RX'ed and do them on your off days... thats my plan.

I have learned looking at this website, I'll never be able to contribute near as much. TY
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:08 AM   #7
Alex Europa
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Re: Shift work and working out

Aaron, I understand your concerns about not getting enough sleep due to your schedule. There are many of us that are military stationed overseas that work 16+ hour days yet still manage to get in a WOD. Yes, sleep is important. No, you won't get optimal progression on 5-6 hours of sleep. But if you don't workout, you'll only get regression. If you decide to only workout on your days off, I'd be surprised if you make much of an improvement at all.

I recall reading something that one guy wrote, maybe 8 months ago, about his routine on deployment in Iraq. I've been trying to find it with no success, but basically he described doing the WODs whenever he could between patrols and routinely getting 4-ish hours of sleep. IIRC, he made some serious PRs while over there.

To be blunt, if you want to workout, then you'll workout - sleep be damned. It's important to listen to your body though, and maybe switch to a 3/1/2/1 WOD schedule (or something similar).

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Old 10-24-2008, 10:08 AM   #8
Terry Brazeal
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Re: Shift work and working out

Too be a little more clear I found this site on August 27th. I had a car wreck and broke my ribs last November 23rd and had not done any workouts between the two dates, and wasn't in very good shape anyway.

I'm 47, 217, 6 ft' BF 24% as measured by a tool that you grip and it sends some type of current through you. Not really sure how it works or how accurate. Or I was on August 27th, haven't measured BF (I'm waiting so I can be pleasantly surprised!) but my BW is down to 203.

I am still learning this crossfit and trying to figure out how to fit it in to my schedule. I am off the same amount of days every week that I work, I work exactly have the year. I have been reading and watching videos on this site and am very impressed and feel lucky to have found it.

Here is what I have progressed to...

Oh yes forgot to mention the DB's is the only equipment I have for now.

Monday took 35lb DB's to the local track and used the standard 21,15,9 rep range.

21 thrusters
lap
15 thrusters
lap
9 thrusters
lap
21 db swings
lap
15 db swings
lap
9 db swings
lap
10 burpees
lap
8 burpees
lap
6 burpess
lap

Time: 34:35 first time I ever did anything like that so it was a PR!

Tuesday I thought I would try Cindy, so I did and finished 10 rounds and had 22 seconds left but failed to attempt anymore Pull ups. I am not good at them and don't know how to kip. They killed my time. But I have to start somewhere. I can complete 10 reps now and could do 5 on August 27th.

Had to work on Wed and Thurs and I practiced pistols and HSPU's on my breaks. They are both hard for me I mainly just do static holds on the handstands, but I have progressed to going down about 3 inches for 3 reps. On the pistols I hang onto a doorknob and I have just got to 7 with each leg like that...but it is really hard and I can feel it all over, well everywhere but my arms.

Today I took off from work and ran 4 miles around the neighborhood in 35:58. Unfortunately I didn't run earlier except 400's on the track so I don't have anything to compare this too. But I felt good and just guessing I would have been gassed back in august and struggled in in about 45 mins.

OK after this run I started thinking maybe I should just go for it and do the WOD's!? I've had 2 months now using things I've learned here. Just go for it and fit it into my schedule. On my work days I get about 6 hours of sleep. And that is whitout doing a WOD thats just coming home and going straight too bed.

So you see my time constraints... any help, advice and support is greatly appreciated!

Thank you if you read this long winded post!

Terry

Last edited by Terry Brazeal : 10-24-2008 at 10:13 AM. Reason: to mention equipment setup
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:24 AM   #9
Wes Palmer
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Re: Shift work and working out

I had a job last year where I worked 13+ hour days 5 days a week. I started working out during my lunch hour whenever it was possible, either by bringing my set of powerblocks with me in my car or going to the gym that was close by. Usually I could get in about 45 minutes of a workout when I went to the gym, and packed a lunch that I ate in the car. Tough times but I slept good at night.
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:59 PM   #10
Stephen Smith
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Re: Shift work and working out

I have the same issue. Right now I'm working a plant outage where my hours are 1900-0700 6 days a week, with a 1.5 hour commute at either end of it. I'm still managing to mostly stay on a 3/1 schedule, although my 1 day off does throw me off a bit because it messes up my sleep. It also gets confusing counting days when you wake up and it's the same day as when you went to bed.

Anyway, I do make it to the gym some mornings or afternoons, but other days I come up with bodyweight workouts to perform at work during my lunch break. It's not optimum, and I can't follow the main site WOD very well, but I'm able to work out regularly and still usually get at least adequate sleep. Bottom line, if you want to work out badly enough you can make the time. For your situation I'd say to do short metcons on your work days (<20 minutes, maybe <10), and save the long workouts for your days off.
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