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Old 07-03-2014, 07:49 PM   #1
Chris Brigham
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working 12hr shifts

I have an inquiry for the medical/health community about the ability to grow/preform a product workout whilst being in a line of work that demands a 12-13 hour work shift... picture LE and Nurses and Fire, long work days with minimal sleep, and then long periods for rest days. Would it be worth while to attempt to work out rather then sleep and recover on a work day?

additionally I pose the question to a schedule that is 5 on 5 off... know that I will being working a full 5 days of 12 hours, taking out time to shower and eat and the occasional family time and drive time to work, is it worth it to wake up earlier then needed to get a workout in? or would it be better off to then wait until off days and then hit it hard when recovery and rest is optimal?

honestly it comes to I don't want to waste the days I am working... insight needed i have been seriously CFing for just over 2 months
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:02 PM   #2
Andrew G Parker
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Re: working 12hr shifts

I see a physician, emt, and nurse all following a regular workout routine, in that they are not skipping days. They do occasionally have to go with an earlier or later class to adjust to their work schedules, but as long as your box has the classes available during off-shift times and there is flexibility in when you can go... If you have to miss because there are no classes when you are off, then you will need to do something on your own. A little extra recovery time isn't a bad thing either. It may depend on what your fitness goals are as well.

We have guys working the oil fields that are two weeks on/two weeks off. They come to the box when off, and improvise when on to work or don't do anything (depending on the individual). Some is better than none.
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:23 AM   #3
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: working 12hr shifts

EMT's and Fire guys can often sleep while on shift if they aren't being called out or work out (if they have the equipment). OTOH, sometimes they will be running calls and if they have to work some evil ****ing shift like 24 or 36, it brutalizes them.

LE might be able to fit in training toward a 10/12 hr shift but I don't think Nurses and Docs would ever have that opportunity or even the ability to take a nap unless they are on a long shift or OT and held over.

This is just from my experience of talking to friends who are in the EMT/Fire and Nursing vocations.

Chad Augustin ( going to Master's CFGames ) in our interview with him said he would often try to fit in mobility work or short workouts since he never knew when he would be called out. Doing the mobility work would keep him fresh if he did get called out.

In the short run, it's not worth it to cut sleep to get a workout in. OTOH, many in those professions do it anyways since their schedule is so ****ed up as it is. Jolie Gentry is LE and often said she never had consistent training times because of it.

We had a girl who was in the Forestry service so on our down time she would make the long drive into Sac to train but out in the fields (like Sonora County) she would just make dude with what she had at the station.

If you adjust your schedule to workout earlier and not lose sleep, that's not too bad. If you are doing 5 straight, that might be doable on the first workday and maybe 2nd, but starts getting taxing when you are creating a sleep deficit on the third day.

Also depends how old you are.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:06 PM   #4
Tim Crane
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Re: working 12hr shifts

I work 4-12's one week, then 3-12's the next. Sometimes I can get my workout in the last hour of my shift, sometimes I can not. I train hard on my "days off work", and not so hard on my "work" days on.

I no longer do the three days on, one day off suggestion from the main site. No one can live like that and work 12 hour days and expect not to get injured or diseased, unless they are taking steroids.

You have to listen to your body. Take the extra rest days when needed, and don't train so hard that you are ineffective at work, or unable to defend yourself or others if you work with such a group that is expected to do so.

Cheers,
TC
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:27 PM   #5
Ben Janetzki
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Re: working 12hr shifts

I work in the an underground coal mine in Australia and work a 5 on 5 off roster working 12.5hr shifts. Due to the travel involved with work, my work day generally starts with me leaving home at 6am and getting home from work at 8pm...and we dont get to sleep at work...

The box i go to has a 4:30am class every weekday and i make it to that everyday before work. It does get hard but the benefit i see from keeping my training consistent outweighs the tiredness/fatigue IMO. You do have to manage your sleep in the sense that i basically get home, eat, spend half and hour or so with the kids and wife and am in bed generally no later that 9:30pm.

I do look forward to the weekends as it means i get to "sleep in" until 5:20am instead of getting up at 4am!!

I think you also have to be realistic in the sense that you are obviously not going to perform to your absolute best given that you will be fatigued after a few days of long hours and early starts and that (for me at least) i am training at 4:30am after being awake for 30mins....

But like i said...it also means i dont have to miss training!!!!
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:16 AM   #6
Dakota Base
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Re: working 12hr shifts

While working 12's tends to suck (although I'm not sure I'd complain much about 5 on 5 off, since I generally end up pulling 5 on 2 off of 12's), it's really not that different than other gig's. It's all about time management.

24hrs a day, 8hrs of sleep, 13hrs of work (12 + shift change), 1hr commute, that's 22hrs, leaving you 2hrs to work out, eat, and shower.

It's not easy, but it's not insurmountable. People have been doing it for decades.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:44 PM   #7
Mark L. Anderson
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Re: working 12hr shifts

hi on an unrelated note, how do i post a question, can only seem to be able to reply?
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:53 PM   #8
Richard Colon
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Re: working 12hr shifts

You can always work on something. You don't need to always think in terms of a Filthy Fifty or Max Deadlifts. You can do mobility, some row intervals, work on skill stuff in an EMOM (each minute on the minute) fashion. Work on DUs, Handstand work, do a pull-up program. Knock out some toe to bar and/or ring dip practice, etc.

The point is, get in the habit of training anyway and listen to your body. You know when you need a rest day, and it may even be on a non-work day. My wife works 60+hrs a week easy on some weeks and when on call doing heart transplant stuff, there are 24-48hr periods when she has 3-5hrs sleep total. All of this and she still pulls a near 300lb DL, does 5-7 training sessions per week, spends time with me, cooks, cleans, plays with kids, enjoys life, goes out, watches her favorite tv shows, etc.

Don't skip days just because of work. Its only 12hrs or so. Thats only 1/2 of your day. Use the rest of your time wisely. Watch the 'Chad McKay', day in the life video. Or read up on Julie Foucher day in the life stuff. There is no such thing as time management and 'not enough time'. We have the same hours as Jordan, Froning, DaVinci, etc. It is entirely about priority. Make your training a priority and it'll happen.

One of my favorite sayings is from one of the Gracies (BJJ guys). You have time to do almost anything. You just have to stop doing something else.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:40 PM   #9
Tim Crane
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Re: working 12hr shifts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Colon View Post
My wife works 60+hrs a week easy on some weeks and when on call doing heart transplant stuff, there are 24-48hr periods when she has 3-5hrs sleep total.
I hope she has more sleep than that if I, or a loved one should ever need open heart surgery. -I want the people working on the heart of the matter to be well rested!

TC
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:42 PM   #10
Bryan Selent
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Re: working 12hr shifts

I'm a firefighter and work 24 hour shifts. Most of our firehouses have gym equipment, however it can be difficult to get even a stretch in some days due to call volume, training, etc. I treat the days I'm at the firehouse as "active rest" days. If I can get a quick met-con in or some accessory work in, thats great, but I don't over do it, since I need to be pretty ready for anything at all times.
My days off is when I focus on my actual training (currently The Outlaw Way programming). I have all the time and equipment I need at home, and don't have to worry about getting interrupted.
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