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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 07-21-2007, 02:35 AM   #1
Albert Carr
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Hello all, I am a registered nurse and I work 12 hour night shifts. I have been attempting to complete my WOD after completing my shift(7p-7a)in the am. Most of the time I survive the workout just fine on other days I feel a little disoriented from lack of sleep so my performance is not as great. My question is- will I benefit from CF as much without enough rest before working out? Will I recover from the workouts with only the immediate post-workout meal and then sleep? Also, if anyone else has ever tried training after working a night shift- does your body ever get accustomed to it? Thanks for any input. BTW, I usually wake up at 4:30, so I have been awake for approx. 15 hrs before working out.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:41 AM   #2
Shawn Taylor
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Well, it depends. How old are you and how much of your youthful recovery ability have you retained as you have aged?

With the exception of some that are from the deep end of the gene pool and age super well,
most of us need more sleep and recovery time as we age. A lot has to do with how old you are and where you fit in the spectrum of how well you recover, etc. I am far stronger now even when I am not lifting than I was when I was younger and was lifting a lot more. I am slower and fatter now even when doing more aerobics than I was when younger and doing less aerobics. My strength to weight ratio was way better when younger, but total strength, tonnage, and power is better now. The overall all sleep and rest needed when working out hard is longer now than when younger. The recovery time from injuries now is longer than when younger. But some other people are in better shape at 40 than when they were at 20 or 30. Some guys are pretty much the same strength and speed as when they were younger.

When I am working out hard I need lots of sleep or my times go up and my maxes go down as I get more behing on my sleep. I am way more prone to overtraining when I am cummualtively not getting enough sleep. The same happens when I am not rested before a single work out, and I end up dogging it.

Nowadays, military units send in guys for blood alcohol tests for "being drunk on duty" or too hung over for morning PT. In the 80s it was a point of pride in hard corps military units to stay out until 4AM getting hammered and then doing high intensity smoker PT in the morning. The smell of alcohol came out your pores with the sweat, your breath and heavy breathing, and, at times, vomitting. I do not think this is a good idea. I did not know any better in my late teens and early twenties and we thought it was normal and a riot. NOTE that this kind of physical abuse to yourself is pretty easy to recover from with youth or even older if your are a genetic animal. If you are 22 or something like that, working out after a night shift will not be a problem.

If you are older than that, and not lucky enough to be gifted with your youthful abuse and punishment tolerance, I would not do it.

I end up working a lot of nights, and am not up to an AM workout after working all night. Heck, I am not usually ready to go first thing in the morning after a full nights sleep half the time!

I go home, sleep, get up, get things done, and then work out shortly before the night shift. I am totally up for a hard workout at that time, and feel energized for the night shift. I am someone that needs to workout before the late afternoon or I have trouble getting to sleep. I also get a better workout in the late morning or early afternoon than first thing in the morning. If I am going to be up all night I get a great workout in the evening. So a workout before night work really helps me with having alertness and energy all night.

I have investing in home weight equipment since the mid 90s. I had awesome weight lifting and bag workout gear in my basement. I have shifted some by adding a Concept2 rower, rings, etc. and use the weights and racks for crossfit now. I already had a lot investing in home gym equipment over the years, and it was farily painless to shift to setting it up for crossfit. Gone are room/space for curls, preacher curls, tri pull downs, flyes, calf raises, etc. Homemade parralettes, medicine balls, rings, and a rower took up the space. I was already set up for bench, squats, deadlifts, pullups, etc. I have half an unfinished basement that is relatively cool and comfortable in summer and winter. A lot of people urge doing a home theater or great stereo equipment, or a recc room and stuff with a basement. I think the money, time and space invested in a home gym is the way to go. Dumbells, plates, and bars and heavy duty racks, of good home gym or lower priced commercial quality should last a life time.

A great side benefit is my three kids wanting to be lifted on the rings, pull up bar, doing wall balls with a smaller ball, doing the fish game on the rower, etc. I am so happy they have that instead of a big movie system or play station room.

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Old 07-22-2007, 05:23 PM   #3
Andy Shirley
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Albert,
Fellow night shift RN here, also same age, 30. I'm also a traveler(Neuro ICU). I usually try to workout before work. Getting to the gym to lift usually doesn't happen if I'm working, but with a decent little home gym you can get a lot done in a short amount of time.

My current home gym: Concept2, 1.5pd KB, 2pd KB, jump rope, power rings, 20# d-ball. Add in a few trips to the gym here and there for ME work and I'm good. A lot of times I'll just hop on the rower for either a 5k, or some intervals before work.

I'm looking to add a bar/bumpers since I recently supersized my transportation(f250 crew cab) so I can carry more crap with me on assignment.

If I'm not back the next night I will workout at the gym after work, as it tends to be hard to fall asleep after hitting it hard.

Off to the gym now, as work canceled my OT shift tonight. Bastards.
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:34 AM   #4
Albert Carr
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Andy, Do you transport that equipment with you from location to location? I prefer working out before going in to work but the only gym here at my current job assignment is a Golds. It is so packed in the evening so not really convenient for some of my CF workout. At my home in WV I have been assembling a decent gym for my CF style workouts. Would love to get a Concept2 rower soon. I work Neonatal ICU and I am currently at UVA. Any good hospitals that you recommend traveling to?
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:56 AM   #5
Andy Shirley
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I have worked a handful of places, and I think the experience would vary on a unit by unit basis within the hospitals.

Johns Hopkins: Baltimore, Neuro ICU. enjoyed my time there immensely. My company had sweet housing(Tindeco Wharf, on the water, in Canton). The was a crappy apartment gym, but also a 24 hour commercial gym(card access, pretty cheap). Had a C2 rower, weights/racks, treadmills. I remember doing Diane there on a night off at 0300. All alone, it was awesome. There was no Crossfit gym there at the time.

UCLA: Worked neuro-trauma ICU. Not a fan of UCLA. But somewhat close to Petranek Fitness, and Crossfit LA. They put me up in a sweet apartment at Sunset&Vine. Across the street from a 24hr fitness. Not bad. Not great.

OHSU: Oregon Health and Sciences University. Portland Oregon. Been here almost 9 months, got another month on my contract. I love it here. 2 CF affiliates. CF Portland, and Crossfit HEL. I've been to CF PDX on occasion and always had a great workout and a great time. Crossfit HEL somewhat turned me off with the attitude/elitism of their website, never checked it out in person. Close to Mt Hood for skiing, hiking in summer. Close the the beach, Columbia River Gorge. Fun city, lots to do.

Also worked a few years as a staff nurse at Vanderbilt(Nashville TN) in the Neuro unit. I would also recommend it, and Nashville. I think there are now two affiliates in Nashville, there were none when I was there.

I think they all have NICU's. In order of my impression of hospital and town:
OHSU>Hopkins>Vandy>UCLA
But I would recommend all but UCLA(but others I know loved UCLA, FWIW)

I do take my equipment with me. The c2 is new to me since I've been in Portland. It is one of the reasons I upsized from a sedan to a F250 Crew Cab. I figure once I get the bar/bumpers my "portable" home gym will be complete.

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