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Staying fit while studying medicine

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Medicux, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Medicux

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    Does anyone else have a hard time with this?

    I'd consider myself a fairly physically fit individual, but as I've progressed through my years, I keep finding it harder and harder to stick to my fitness schedules. I really do try to give some time to the gym, but being someone who prioritizes, I've realized that I'm devoting much less time to maintaining my physical health in order to stay on top of my studies. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but after years of hitting the gym, I find that I'm dependent on it for maintaining my mood and overall mental health (that's a good thing? I guess?). As a result of this, when I begin to "slow down" with the gym, my mood begins to deteriorate, and this begins affecting my studies. To alleviate, I devote more time to the gym, which also gives me less time to study! A real conundrum..

    So I'm just wondering, for those of you who still gym regularly, how do you properly (realistically) manage your time?

    Less, but more efficient workouts? (less days/week, shorter workouts, etc)
    More efficient studying (with study aids, maybe?)
    etc
     
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  3. operaman

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    Workouts definitely suffered; just had to fit it in whenever I could. Some weeks are worse than others, so try and go more when you have time.

    Personally, the best thing I've found has been focusing more on the diet. I don't know how optimized your diet is, but this may be an area you can tighten up and see some gains or at least maintain what you have even when you aren't able to workout as much. For me, cutting gym time by 80% while improving diet by the same amount yields better results than crappier diet with more gym time. But that's just me. Ymmv.

    Whatever you do, the name of the game will be efficiency.
     
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  4. maxxor

    7+ Year Member

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    What year are you?

    When I was studying for boards, I had class 8-12, then 1 hour for lunch/errands, and 1-9 as an 8 hour cycle as 6 hours of study and 2 hours of whatever. Gym was part of those 2 hours. Find what works and do it.
     
  5. PL198

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    starting strength for a year. 5/3/1, madcows or TM for a year. decide how you want to train for the rest of your life.

    2 years of training 3 times a week and you're in the 99th percentile for fitness and strength. you're welcome
     
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  6. Apoplexy__

    Apoplexy__ Blood-and-thunder appearance
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    inb4 thread devolves into bodybuilding.com

    I honestly don't know how any of you regularly work out. It genuinely baffles me. I get so stressed out when I take any significant time away from studying.
     
  7. Brain Bucket

    Brain Bucket Oh man, I forgot to bring the marshmallows.
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    You get plenty of time to work out, unless you're in dedicated for the Step. Make some friends among the guys who like to work out. I always used to work out alone, but now it's nice to work out with those guys. We don't have much in common other than this and flag football on the weekends, but I end up hearing about something that I wouldn't have otherwise, and it's a nice break from my close friends as well.
     
  8. Medicux

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    Thanks for the advice. I definitely don't give as much attention to diet as I need to, and I'm guilty of that. I usually don't diet during the year as it requires way too much effort, effort that I cannot spare unfortunately. Working out for me has just become an outlet where I can just spend an hour focusing on working out and nothing else, like an hour or two for myself where I can forget about the world and focus on something I love.. Sort of an outlet for the everyday stresses of life. I believe that is why it balances me emotionally.

    In contrast, another important drive and motivational factor in working out for me is seeing improvements in myself, so I guess dieting could be a possible solution to my problem. Thanks for the feedback!
     
  9. PL198

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    ? What year are you? If I don't lift I get like hulk angry. I train 4 times a week and lower performance people should do 3 probably which isn't hard to fit into preclinical for sure, probably a little harder to do during clinicals.
     
  10. link2swim06

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Even in residency I have time to go running for 30-45 minutes a day. You don't have to drive anywhere, just go outside and run, then take a shower and you are done (less than an hour total).

    If you are really into strength then do some push-ups and pull ups at the end of your run at home.

    You really do not need the gym for fitness. Working out makes the rest of your time more efficient and doesn't really 'take' time from your day.
     
  11. EMDO2018

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    What specialty are you in?
     
  12. link2swim06

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    EM, but even off-service things like MICU or Trauma where you are pushing 80 hrs per week you can do it if you make it a priority.
     
  13. Apoplexy__

    Apoplexy__ Blood-and-thunder appearance
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    Haha, MS3. I still never worked out in MS1-2 though. It's like...the last thing I want to do after being exhausted from studying all day is to work out.
     
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  14. GH253

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    The conventional wisdom on exercise is wrong. If you understand the correct principles, optimizing your results from exercise requires very little time—well under an hour per week. Realize that saving time isn't the goal of proper exercise; instead, spending little time exercising is an actual requirement for optimal results. Read the book "Body by Science" by Doug McGuff, MD. It does an excellent job of explaining both the methodology of proper exercise and the science behind it.

    http://bodybyscience.net
     
  15. PL198

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    I'm lukewarm on this. This guy advocates high intensity strength training as the best form of physical training, which I agree with, and he also says that "balance" training is dumb (squatting on a bosu ball, BS like that), which I also agree with. But then his exercise routine has like 8 different things, and he says some completely moronic things like "just because you can squat 315 doesn't mean you can leg press 1000."
    a) leg press is foolish for people that aren't strength/fitness athletes, because those are the only people that understand how to use them without screwing themselves up.
    b) squatting is about 100000x functional of a movement than leg press
    c) leg press destroys your lower back, something that is terrible for students who sit at a desk seeing as their lower back is already fried.
    d) stabilization is a way bigger deal than he makes it out to be. hence why athletes train compound lifts and the "bro" you see sit on the chest machine all day with boobs as big as a porn star, he's terrible on the basketball court.
    e) he compares olympic lifting to kipping pull-ups. are you joking me? have you seen how athlete oly dudes are? there are literally SHW oly lifters that weigh 300 lbs with 36 inch standing verticals. uh yeah I'll do what they're doing
    f) mobility training is necessary to hit bio-mechanically sound positions for most people. if you sit in a chair for 12 hours a day, I'd bet my life you can't squat well without mobility work( because your hip flexors are going to be tighter than ****)
    g) Look at his quads, and then his advocacy of leg press. enough said. he's got an ok build, but he suffers from the average BBer syndrome of "skipping leg day."(his biceps are as big as his quads) I've never seen someone that can squat 400 lbs that doesn't have muscular legs. There's a reason behind that. he's got the legs of someone that squats 225 high and is shaking the whole time .
    h) His workouts are like 7-8 exercises of isolation with super specific movements such as : MedX Compound Row with SS cam, SS Systems Neck Extension. I don't even know what that is, but it's clearly isolation(youtube) something he advises against. if you did what he did, you'd be lucky to be in the gym for less than 2 hours/session, unless his whole workout is a never-ending dropset.
    i) I'd wager a pretty good amount of money that he has a financial interest in the movements he pushes. If he didn't, idk why he'd list the brands of machines he uses,
    you could say I'm pretty passionate about training. ^ lolz
     
  16. GH253

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    A) It is easier to learn to leg press than to squat or deadlift.

    B) The concept of "functional" exercise is pseudoscience. There is no such thing as "functional" or "non-functional" exercise, nor are there degrees of "functionality."

    C) As the leg press takes the lower back altogether out of the movement, it is very safe if done properly.

    D) See point B above.

    E) Olympic weightlifting is worthless for most purposes and dangerous regardless of purpose. Elite weightlifters, like all elite athletes, owe their ability to genetics, not training. If you think copying their training will make you jump as high as them, go right ahead and try it. I can tell you in advance what the results will be.

    F) "Mobility" is not an attribute of muscles. Like the term "functional," it means nothing and does not correspond to any physiologic fact. It's just a stupid play on language that charlatan coaches use to convince people that the garbage they advocate accomplishes anything. There is no such thing as "mobility" or exercises that improve it.

    G) By far, the biggest factor influencing one's muscularity is genetics. McGuff has attained HIS genetic potential, and that's the definition if successful training. If you don't understand the significance of genetics, you know literally nothing else about physical training.

    H) Most of his exercises are compound movements. He is using jargon understood by people in this genre.

    I) I'd like to take the other side of that bet.
     
  17. Kahreek

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    ...
     
    #16 Kahreek, Sep 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  18. IncognitoGuy

    IncognitoGuy life of leisure
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    Part of this is to temper your expectations academically if you want to devote more time to the gym. The reality is you do lose hours that you could spend studying, and at the end of the day it's up to you to reconcile that with the fact that it may or may not affect your grades.

    Personally, I've learned to live with it because exercise is fun for me and a welcome break from sitting in a chair all day. Currently a MS2, and I lift 3-4x a week, run 3x a week (currently training for a half marathon). I bust through my studying knowing I have something to look forward to either at the end of the day or as a break from a longer study session, instead of viewing it as a chore.
     
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  19. SouthernSurgeon

    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    It has officially devolved...

    I wouldn't say I found it easy, but I definitely found time for exercise in med school. I also played on 2-3 rec sports teams per year on average (not during third year...). I felt like it helped keep me less stressed actually to have something else to do.

    Residency has been a much bigger challenge. Third year (our busiest clinical year until chief year) I pretty much completely fell off the wagon and have spent the last year trying to get back into shape.
     
  20. wadewilson90

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    Crossfit. 1 hour a day, 3 times a week.
     
  21. OMFS21

    OMFS21 OMFS
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    if all you can do is pushups in the supply closet and drink tube feeds than so be it...
    Get shredded or die trying
     
  22. PL198

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    not even going to address these as you're so wrong and out in left field it's clear you're someone that doesn't know anything about what they're talking about. literally every statement you just made in the quoted post is wrong. p.s. mobility is more about connective tissue than muscle dumbsh*t.
     
    #21 PL198, Sep 8, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
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  23. SourD21

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    "Don't prioritize your schedule, but schedule your priorities."
     
  24. tmn

    tmn Dr. Blake Downs
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    wtf does that mean
     
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  25. TheShaker

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    I'm thinking about doing my workouts in the morning now. I'm on madcow right now and my damn routine keeps getting thrown off because I miss days due to exams or just general fatigue. I think I should just start my day with the workout when I still have energy, because I sure as hell don't trust myself to nut up and go after dissecting for 4 hours.
     
  26. jdh71

    jdh71 epiphany at nine thousand six hundred feet
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    Bottom line: there will no longer be a "good time" or "enough time" to train like you want until *maybe* you're an attending and even then, probably not. At least between clinic and MICU I never have a perfect schedule, though I do get about half the month off, so I make the best with what is given to me.

    The bottom line: prioritize. What is more important an hour of studying or an hour working out. I know what you're 50 or 60 which will be more important. You all need to wrap your minds around the concept that there will likely NEVER be a good time train again and then just fooking do it. I lift twice per week and run five times per week MOST weeks, and I started that intern year. There will be times when you literally won't have the time. Get used to it, or get fat and lazy. It's your call. The weights won't lift themsleves.
     
  27. DermViser

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    I think that's hard for med students to grasp. They're waiting for the perfect time when they aren't exhausted or tired to finally work out.
     
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  28. PL198

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    When I was in undergrad I'd get up at 4:30 to train. I now train at night(9-10ish), but you gotta do what you gotta do. Another thing most people don't understand is the mental effect. If for some reason I haven't trained in a week, I'm about half as productive and twice as cranky.
     
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  29. SourD21

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    its basically saying: if working out is that important to you, then make time for it.
     
  30. mckinsey

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  31. tmn

    tmn Dr. Blake Downs
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    41059118.jpg
     
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  32. TheShaker

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  33. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    Desk treadmill


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN Mobile
     
  34. rfvbnmju

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    30 min cardio 3x a week on Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays (Wednesdays is lighter schedule so I can workout Tuesday evening.)

    You should at least be able to get in 2x a week.
     
  35. Espadaleader

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    Remember you can get a serious workout done in your room. I do x220 sit-ups and x220 push-ups everyday in my room and stretch. I can do the workout while studying. I would love to run and go to the gym like I use to but this is solid. My body type is lean ripped vs. bulky ripped though so I guess if you want the latter you need the gym
     
  36. Prodromo

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    I lifted 4-5 times a week pretty much at all times during medical school except maybe surgery when it dropped to 2-3x per week. Now an intern and doing around 4x per week lifting plus cardio 2-3x per week.

    Did this while maintaining all honors, steps 260+, AOA, a wife, yada yada. It can be done.

    There is always time to work out. You will thank yourself when you are 60 and can still lift and run while others your age are having trouble with a flight of stairs.
     
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  37. EMDO2018

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    Amazing your can destroy your knees, back, etc in such a short amount of time.
     
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  38. PL198

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    huh
     
  39. sinombre

    sinombre carboloading
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    Wow, great response. I can't even think of anything to add to this.
     
  40. PL198

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    If you want to read about some cool stuff I'd check out this link: http://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6817&context=etd

    Pretty long but it's worth it

    It's pretty similar to how I train now.
    Cliffs: DUP(daily undulating periodization), focuses on strength,hypertrophy and power, with a day for each every week training the main lifts. Some benefits about this study is that it's the first one I've honestly seen done by someone that actually trains. What do I mean by that? Well for starters, it's creator understood the concept of noobs gains and thus used training power-lifters that have trained for 6 years on average. Little things like that are huge. Anybody can make a study using noobs and show it improving their strength, because literally anything they do will improve their strength. When you do that with people that have trained for a decent amount of time, it makes me much more confident in the actual validity of the method. I'd never recommend this for people starting out, but for people over 3/2/4 at least it's doable.
     
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  41. DrEnderW

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    I think he's referring to the high rate of injury seen at many crossfit programs (many but not all). A lot of the technique training is inadequate and when you couple that with a bunch of average, non-athletes thinking they now "play a sport" and are lifting high weight or crazy high reps with no technique, you're going to have injuries. Most of these people shouldn't be beginning with compound and olympic lifts and don't have to experience or expertise to know how to push their bodies and when to back off.
     
  42. PL198

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    that's not a problem with crossfit itself or compound lifts, it's people doing something without proper training. if I jump out of a plane with a parachute on my back with no training, it's probably not going to go so hot for a decent amount of people. there's no reason beginners can't do either from the start, if they actually learn how to do them.
     
  43. DrEnderW

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    Completely agree with that principle.

    The point is, many crossfit gyms and trainers their push that type of program with a lack of training in technique. The lifts aren't bad with the proper training, but it's a culture and model that pushes either the high weight or high reps without the proper background, strength base, or technique training. There are specific gyms that are exceptions to this, of course.

    You're also a logical person that wouldn't pay $200 a month to jump out of a plan with no training. Unfortunately, most people, especially when it comes no diet and physical fitness, are not.
     
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  44. jonnythan

    jonnythan Some men play tennis, I erode the human soul
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    Make time for it. I'm only like 6 weeks in or whatever, but I have plenty of time to go to the gym a few times a week and spend time playing tennis/racquetball/whatever. And watch football.

    You can't study literally all day every day. What do you do with your downtime?
     
  45. SouthernSurgeon

    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    I think the problem lies in the principle versus the execution.

    In principle the exercises used in cross fit are by and large safe and effective.

    In execution - getting certified as a cross fit trainer and opening a "box" requires little effort and has little central oversight. So the centers themselves have wide variation in the quality of execution of the workouts and the degree of effective teaching from the trainers.
     
  46. IncognitoGuy

    IncognitoGuy life of leisure
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    [insert I have no time, I have nobly given my life over to medical school argument]
     
  47. jqueb29

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    For efficiency purposes, I didn't read anybody's replies before posting ;) but do you have required attendance and do you have lecture videos posted online? All my courses other than Human Structure don't require attendance (with sporadic exceptions) and our lectures are online, so I typically workout during class time, then watch the lectures later at double speed.
     

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