Other/Mixed Training and Shiftwork

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)
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Matts

Level 3 Valued Member
@Geoff Chafe I'm a generation ahead of you, and reading your list of 'life challenges' wears me out, having been there and done that. My advice would be not to underestimate how much energy it takes to really be attentive for the family and give them your best, emotionally and all, especially when your wife needs special attention, and the shift work is a major stressor, even when you're coping with it well. So make an effort to be good to yourself and take extra care of yourself. On strength training, it seems like you want to hold on to all the strength you've built over the years (duh), but I think you'd be surprised how little strength you'd lose if you went to the right minimal plan, and how quickly you'd get it back when you're back in a less challenging life situation and can get serious about it again. I'd recommend something like a truly minimal program, like S&S with easily managed weights, a 3-5 times a week for maintenance without cutting into reserves, and then cycle through a couple heavier barbell exercises every so often when you're feeling good and have the energy. Good luck with it all!
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
@Matts I am no stranger to hard work, and I deal with stress positively, but my wife is having a difficult pregnancy, with twins, that we are struggling to cope with. I need my training for mental health more than physical health. That is how I deal with stress, and frustration. I go downstairs and leave everything at the door and put focused aggression into the iron. It's my therapy, and how I recharge.

I get anxiety when I miss training, and when I miss training I get anxiety. It's self perpetuating. I need an outlet. Lifting will always be a part of my life, I just have to make it fit and be fun again.
 

Matts

Level 3 Valued Member
@Geoff Chafe No question about your capacity to work, etc. If anything, I'd guess you're totally the type, like a lot of us, who has an incredible capacity to work and deal with stress, and if there's a problem, it's on the other side of the equation. In general, that capacity's a huge plus, until it goes on a little too long in a situation where it's a little too much, then it becomes a huge negative.

Main thing in life is to recognize the ebbs and flows, and adjust to them appropriately. Lifting is a good outlet, and keep it, but adjust it to a level that lets you be chipper and 'there' for her, and keep up the shift work, etc. You will lose a little strength, but not much, and you'll get that back soon enough. Are the twins your first children?
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
@Matts Yes, we are having our first children. I am glad we waited. We have our house, careers, and financial stability. We have traveled and had fun for the last ten years, and now it is time to start our family. The downside is she is high risk because of our age(34) and twins.
 

Matts

Level 3 Valued Member
@Geoff Chafe - Congratulations! You're going through a major life change...you won't believe the difference in everything after your twins are born. It's one of life's greatest experiences! Your training will just be one of many adjustments- just keep feeling your way and adapt and be strong for others. Good luck!
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
I appreciate the well wishes, and advice for training and shift work. I am not one to let life get me down or complain, and I rarely open up about my personal life. I value the "Strong Silent" type.

It's great to exchange information with like minded individuals, who share a love for exercise. We can share information on training and life from different knowledge and experience to help each other.

I have started simple and sinister. I will do S&S 3 days a week as a minimum, and try to add PTTP deadlifts and barbell military press or bench press 1-3 days a week depending on time and recovery. I am dedicated to 1 hour maximum, 3 days of S&S minimum. That is an easily achievable and sustainable goal.

The long gruelling training may come back someday. I have never given minimalist training a fair test before.
 

paths92

Level 1 Valued Member
For what its worth I work 3 12 hour night shifts a week at my current job. In the past I've done night shift before and I've done 24 hours on 72 hours off.
I find it helpful to make sure I get some sunlight everyday even if its just for a few minutes because lack of sun can really affect your mental health. I also try to take my dog on a little longer walks because its easy to become sedentary when you're always tired. Sleep is an uphill battle but dothe best you can and what you eat is always most important.
Our bodies never totally adjust to shift work. Its very unhealthy but the things I mentioned seem to help me. Good luck to you and your wife.
 
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