Most people who go to gym work in the morning shift but there are some people who work in a night shift and they find it really hard to have a workout plan which they can stick to.
Look at the Sample Night-Shift Worker’s Workout Plan
Day 1: Upper Body: Chest/Back/Shoulders
Day 2: Lower Body: Quads/Hamstrings/Glutes
Day 3: Cardio/Core: Some high intensity cardio with few abs exercises
As you read further, you will read the exercises, sets/reps that you should do in order to have proper effective workout for your goal.
Having a systematic workout plan and other strategies will be really helpful for the people who want to train regardless of their night shift.
In this article, we’re going to show what you need to optimize, diet plan, how night shift affects your fitness goals and ofcourse workout plan for you, Night Shift Workers.
Why is it Difficult to Maintain Your Routine?
No matter what your goal is, if you’re in the fitness industry for a while, you probably know about the exercises, sets and reps you should do for different goals.
But there are very few articles and videos on the internet who will tell you why it is difficult for you to maintain your workout routine as a night shift worker.
Let’s analyze the situation, so we can find the problem!
Most of the night shifts in the US are between 7PM-7AM, 8PM-8AM or 9PM-PAM. Another factor worth considering for the night shift job is the number of days you have to work.
In this situation, we’re going to choose 4 days a week as a Job and 3 days a week as a rest day.
Now what happens most of the time with you(night shift workers) is you feel like you’re being exhausted as you’re doing 12 hours of shift and then may be 6-7 hours of sleep.
But the problem comes when you have rest days, most night shift workers prefer to train their body on the rest day so they can train effectively.
However, when there is a rest day they feel super-tired after the 4 long night shift and they don’t really want to train, all they want to do is REST!
Apart from this your schedule is not optimized for your body as you do intense 12 hours of work at night(against your body) And then try to train your body on the same day or on the rest day, which is quite difficult for most of the people.
Because of this your body is in confusion all the time and you feel exhausted at the end.
Most of you land on this article because you want a workout plan for yourself but trust me until you optimize your body cycle you won’t be able to train your body.
So, what’s the solution!
We know that our body feels confused as it is hard for the body to understand what’s going on really?
Let’s get back to example: Suppose you’re going to night shift 4 times a week and your timing is 8am-8pm.
Before getting in the optimization, make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep everyday and 8 hours of sleep on your rest days.
Let’s set the schedule for Working days
- 8PM-8AM: Night Shift
- 8AM-9:30AM: You reached at Home
- 9:30AM-10:30AM: You freshed yourself and eat your meal
- 11AM-6PM: Sleep
- 6PM-7PM: You eat your meal and go to Job
- 7PM-8PM: Spend some time with family and then go to Job
It’s time to see the Schedule for Rest days: Keep in mind that we don’t cause our body to have any confusion. On the rest day we will sleep at the same time we sleep on the working days.
- 10PM-6AM: Sleep(8 Hours)
- 6AM-7:30AM: Workout
- 7:30AM-9AM: Post workout and getting Fresh
- 9AM-12PM: Household Work + Lunch
- 12PM:5PM: Sleep(6 Hours)
- 5PM-7PM: Household + Entertainment
- 7PM-9PM: Dinner + Family Time
- 9PM-10PM: Side Hustle or Entertainment
As you can see the schedule, on the work day, we don’t do workout because if we do, we end up with less sleep hours.
On the rest of the days, we have 90 minute for workout and more than enough time to sleep and do other activities.
There is one problem with the rest days, which is we only get 3 days and 90 minutes to workout.
However, I believe if you use your time properly and have a proper workout plan with exercises/rest/sets and reps you can easily complete your workout in 90 minutes.
One more thing with the workout days is you have to have enough exercise volume in order to muscle growth.
According to Volume Bible by weightlogy.net, the recommended exercise volume is 6-8 hard sets per muscle group per session if you take long rest, for the people who take long rest the recommended number sets would be 12-24 sets per muscle group per session.
What happens when you take a long rest(greater than 2 min), you have to divide the number of sets to train on other days. In other words, you have to increase your workout frequency.
Although it has been proven that training more than twice per muscle group per week is more effective in terms of muscle growth than the training once per week per muscle group.
However, if your exercise volume is the same at the end of the week, regardless of your workout frequency, you don’t have to worry about the frequency.
Let’s dive in and see the sample workout plan for you!
Sample Workout Plan For Night Shift Workers
What we Know:
Exercise Volume: 6-8 hard set/muscle group/ per session
We’re training 3 muscles on one day and another 3 on the next day, so it would be a total of 24 sets to train on one day.
You must be wondering about the number of reps?
Most people will tell you to train between 8-12 reps for muscle growth but I would say, start with this range and then change it to other rep ranges as well.
The Workout Split, we’re going to use is Upper/Lower workout split and the one day is for cardio/core or for any flexibility training.
Day 1: Upper Body Exercises
|Exercise||Bench Press||Parallel bar Dips||Cable Fly|
|Exercise||Pull-Ups/ Lat Pull Down||Any Row Variations||Back Extension|
|Exercise||Overhead Barbell Press||Cable/Dumbbell Lateral Fly||Face pull|
Day 2: Lower Body Exercises
|Exercise||Any Squat Variation you like||Any Leg extension variation you like|
|Exercise||Romainan Deadlift||Any Leg curl variation you like|
|Exercise||Hip trust||Any Hip Abduction variation|
Day 3: Cardio/Core/Flexibility
On this day you can do any type of cardio you like, just keep in mind that don’t do more than 30 minutes and 30 min of core exercises.
On day 3, you can take long or short rest as you like as it’s not resistance training exercises.
Workout Details and Guidelines
- As you can see we’re doing 8 sets for every muscle group for 8-12 reps, some exercise has less reps and more sets and vice versa. The reason behind doing that is the high sets and low reps exercise is the most common compound exercises that you can do and highly effective ones.
- Try to have proper mind muscle connection, if you don’t know how, give this article a read!
- From the workout plan, you may notice that there are NO exercises for arms. The reason for that when you do BIG compound movements like bench press and rows, you train enough arms. So we don’t want to train them separately.
- This workout plan is very similar to the workout plan of people who do a job in the morning. You can customize, reps, sets as per your liking but I believe this would be the best for the people who are looking for weight loss and muscle growth and also work as night shift workers.
What is the Best Time For a Night Shift Worker to Exercise?
This is the number one question that makes you think like crazy. There are tons of articles on this but I believe that if you do not optimize your body cycle, no matter what time you choose for exercises, you will feel tired and exhausted.
I already explained one scenario for the night shift workers who go to work between 8AM-8PM 4 times a week. If you’re not one of them, just get inspiration from what I said and make one routine for yourself.
It will be hard for the first month but after that your body will adapt to that routine.
The reason why I’m telling you to follow the schedule I mentioned above is because, you’re not giving stress to your body and you also have proper sleep hours.
By following the above schedule, your body won’t get tired when it times to workout.
What is the Best Diet for Night Shift
I said from time to time in all of the articles that are written on this site that there is no best diet in the entire universe, no matter what is your goal, where you work or for any circumstances.
The best diet is the one which works for you for a long period of time.
If you try to follow the best diet for a night shift made by someone on the internet, I’m sure that you will not be able to follow it for a longer period of time.
And that’s what’s important when it comes to any fitness goal.
If you want to have a tailor specific diet plan for your goal, you can contact me on IG but if you don’t want to do that, it’s fine, you can read this article of mine and get inspiration on how to make a diet plan and make one for yourself.
Is Working Night Shifts Bad For Your Health?
I believe there is no reason for which working a night shift will be bad for your health.
The only reason it will come out to be bad for your health is, you’re not getting proper sleep, which is the number one problem for most night shift workers.
I already told you the solution above in this article, all you have to do is follow it for a month maximum, along with your diet and workout plan mentioned in this article.
And that’s it, working at night will not be bad for your health.
Now, you have everything you need, in order to workout at night, give this article a short and see where you headed after a month.
There was a time where I suggested this one to one of my friends who works in ER and it works perfectly for him with little changes by himself.
Doubts? Questions? Thoughts? About the article, drop them in the comments!