Staying in shape with Desk job

fulltiltaudio

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Nov 25, 2018
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Eastern OR
I have recently ended up moving from my outside, walking a ton job, into a desk job 10+ hrs a day with 2-1/2 hrs of commuting a day on top of that (Lots of time for Podcasts!!!!:p). I don't have a ton of time for workouts, although I used to do crossfit 3x a week. It got to affect my "family time" too much since the only time I had for crossfit was the only hour and a half that my kids were still awake. Family time is a big deal for me and my wife and I am not willing to give up more than I already am. Especially with home projects that need done and helping out around the house to make sure I get a ton of days in the field come Fall! Long story short, I am looking for something I can do at my desk to help keep me in shape (Yes,I realize it won't be as good as an actual workout/gym etc)....but I am looking into under desk cycles or under desk elliptical machine.
My nutrition is decent, but i'm sure it could be dialed in some. I don't drink Soda or have a ton of added sugars etc. I also track my macros and log my food etc so I know what is going in my body.
I would like to start the MTN tough 45-70 (already purchased) workouts as soon as I can convince myself to be up an hour earlier and miss out on even more sleep (which would put me down to an average 5-1/2 hrs- which isn't very good considering the recovery side of exercise)

Has anyone used an under desk machine, and if so which would be better for mountain training? Elliptical style or cycle?
Also, any tips for functioning on less sleep (My body usually runs pretty good at about 7 hours a day) or what you do with a busy life to help make sure you get a good workout in 3-5 days a week. I could possibly get in something after the kids go to bed for a short bit, but I've read/heard it isn't as good for recovery and sleep to workout right before bed either as it gets the adrenaline pumping and makes it harder to fall asleep and get a good nights rest.

Thanks!
 
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I understand the need for family time, the demand work takes, and the seeming inability to have time to get a workout in. I've been there...my mind slips back there every now and then. For me, it is about priorities. I believe that you can adapt to your needed amount of sleep within reason. Everyone is different. Some people function and recover just fine on 5 hours sleep and some need 8. I just don't know if an under desk machine is going to do much more then convince your mind that you are doing something. You have the mountain 45-70 program...adapt it to your schedule. Get a 30 minute workout in in the morning and take your pack with you and do another 30 minutes before you start your commute home. That way you are up before the family doing half of your workout in the morning and the other half is done before you get home.
 

Brendan

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Boston, MA
Here's another idea. A full 5 set leg blaster workout takes me ~12 minutes, and is a great leg workout. Do that once or twice a day for a break (might need to break it up so you don't sweat through work clothes), throw in pushups, pullups, planks on non leg days. All doable within the constraints of quick workday breaks.

 
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fulltiltaudio

fulltiltaudio

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Eastern OR
I understand the need for family time, the demand work takes, and the seeming inability to have time to get a workout in. I've been there...my mind slips back there every now and then. For me, it is about priorities. I believe that you can adapt to your needed amount of sleep within reason. Everyone is different. Some people function and recover just fine on 5 hours sleep and some need 8. I just don't know if an under desk machine is going to do much more then convince your mind that you are doing something. You have the mountain 45-70 program...adapt it to your schedule. Get a 30 minute workout in in the morning and take your pack with you and do another 30 minutes before you start your commute home. That way you are up before the family doing half of your workout in the morning and the other half is done before you get home.
I do like the idea of splitting it up and doing half before, and half after work, as I think I can get away with that. It just doesn't seem like splitting it is as effective....but something is definitely better than nothing!
I have been trying to do at least 20 air squats every time I get up or go to the bathroom. I don't think an under desk machine will do a ton and I don't want it to be a replacement for my workout, but again I think it would be better than just sitting here doing nothing all day. At least it gets the blood flowing in my legs! I totally get the priority thing....but what is my priority, is not usually the same as my wife's priority. Nothing bad about her as she is pretty amazing and lets me spend a bunch of time hunting and camping as a family, but she is a stay at home mom, so she is ready and deserves a little break when I get home.

Stairs available at the office?


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only about 3 to get into the trailer! It is a 1 level construction site, we are just in a double wide temp trailer! I try to walk the site as much as I can but its never enough!
 
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fulltiltaudio

fulltiltaudio

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Nobody in my family is up before 6...I do a lot of 5 am workouts....if it's important you will find a way..if not you will find an excuse.
I understand that, and nobody is usually up before 530-6 at my house either....but I am already on my drive to work by 445 AM. Try to insert an hr workout plus time to shower and get ready for work and you are pushing it back to 315-330 without much trouble! If I could function on 5-6 hours of sleep a day I totally would, but to only get that much sleep consistently and sit in my truck for the ride to work for an hour being that tired is dangerous!
That's also what I am here for is ideas to help me "find a way" and do what I can when I have time!
 

Desk Jockey

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Apr 5, 2015
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Yeah...so...I know a thing or two.

Sleep thing is a bad idea. Get what you need. Health implications both long and short term will overweigh any benefit of cutting out an hour of sleep a day.

Under desk stuff is weird. Tried an erg and it was distracting and noisy. You won’t use it as much as you think. A standing desk is worth it though IMO. A standing desk treadmill is interesting but I never had the option. At the very least keep moving. 50 mins at the desk. 10-min on the feet.

Find some body weight routines or equipment light stuff you can do at home. Whatever you have. Short runs if you can get outside. 1-2 miles or some interval work are usually easy to fit in. AM was best for me. Before the kids get moving. After they go to sleep.

Lunchtime trip to the gym?

Can you pick one morning a week to come in late? “Oh. I have physical therapy [at the crossfit gym]”

Travel? Use the hell out of hotel gyms.

Do big workouts on the weekends. Long AM cardio. Epic lifting sessions for full body.

I drove a desk for a long time. Managed to get 2-3 work outs in during the week and then do a long cardio session plus a workout on the weekend. Gotta change you mindset to realize you don’t need a 2-hour block of uninterrupted time to hit a crossfit gym across town. Work it in where you can. Small bits. You can get it done.
 

Sccritterkiller

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Apr 8, 2019
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I understand that, and nobody is usually up before 530-6 at my house either....but I am already on my drive to work by 445 AM. Try to insert an hr workout plus time to shower and get ready for work and you are pushing it back to 315-330 without much trouble! If I could function on 5-6 hours of sleep a day I totally would, but to only get that much sleep consistently and sit in my truck for the ride to work for an hour being that tired is dangerous!
That's also what I am here for is ideas to help me "find a way" and do what I can when I have time!
If you have done crossfit you should be able to come up with some 12-15 min AMRAPs with minimal equipment or a google search...get one in on lunch and another when the kids go to bed...I have driven a desk going on 14 yrs now...my kids are older now so I have more time...but I used to do the stairs up and down to the basement when they were young..add 10 push ups at the bottom and 10 burps at the top...ways to get in your workout are only limited by your imagination.
 

TxxAgg

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Dec 27, 2019
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Not to be a jerk, but 10 hr days and 2.5 hr roundtrip commutes sound soul sucking. Is this 5 days a week or just 4? Any chance you can move closer or find a new gig? Your health and family dynamics are super important.

If you can carve out 30-60 mins at lunch that's be pretty helpful.
 
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fulltiltaudio

fulltiltaudio

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Eastern OR
Not to be a jerk, but 10 hr days and 2.5 hr roundtrip commutes sound soul sucking. Is this 5 days a week or just 4? Any chance you can move closer or find a new gig? Your health and family dynamics are super important.

If you can carve out 30-60 mins at lunch that's be pretty helpful.
HAHA no offense taken here. We only have 30 minute lunch breaks. It does suck, but that's where the money is at and it helps keep my wife from having to work, so that when I am off we can go on longer trips and up to the mountains as a family too. It also helps me so that I live only about 30 minutes from the mountains. We tried living a little bit closer to work and it just wasn't worth it. All our family is in the same town so I would rather be the one that has to drive every day. Typically it is 5 days a week, often 6. rare occasion-7. But come hunting season I usually get 4-6 weeks off too, so that is helps some.
 

sd375

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Dec 30, 2019
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I'd do everything you can to include them in your workouts. Push, pull, carry, lift or have them tag along with whatever you do (age dependent of course).
 

brettdunn7

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Sep 8, 2019
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Can get some bands and dumb bells and have plenty of exercises to do at home that will keep you in shape. I did Insanity for a while and it works excellent also for HIIT training. Just go at your pace though but while also pushing yourself. Don’t try and stay at their pace first starting out. There are tons of at home exercises you can do and also in the office. Doing some air squats pushups sit-ups etc at the office every so often during your shift will help with that desk job trust me. I have one also.


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bozeman

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Honestly.....might should have thought about this before taking the new job/role.....as others have said, no offense intended, but straight talk. What's more important, chasing the $ or maintaining your health? Tough position to be in. Your workouts may have to be limited to a quick 12 min 'blast' or HIIT workout twice/day.....but you will REALLY have to watch your diet now with that much 'sitting' time. I moved from a role in our plant where I was on the floor all day to a desk job and gained 15 lbs in the first year as I kept working-out, but my diet didn't change and it caught up with me............Best of luck!
 

coloyooper

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Feb 10, 2017
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CO
Here's another idea. A full 5 set leg blaster workout takes me ~12 minutes, and is a great leg workout. Do that once or twice a day for a break (might need to break it up so you don't sweat through work clothes), throw in pushups, pullups, planks on non leg days. All doable within the constraints of quick workday breaks.

Big fan of these. Tried them for the first time tonight.
 

swampthing

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Mar 9, 2019
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prince george british columbia
I went from a very physical job that kept me in mountain shape to a desk job as well! My conditioning immediately dropped. I went on a goat hunt a year later and struggled immensely. The final straw was when I ended up 50lbs heavier than when I was on the tools! Kuius largest pants barely fit! I moved to a low carb diet and began hiking one hour per day 5 days a week. Old age has crept up on me as well so I will never be in the shape I was but the hiking has allowed me to drop about 30lbs and I can get around in the mountains but considerably slower than before! I hate gyms and lifting weights.
 

JayTx

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Sep 24, 2018
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Texas
Been working a desk a long time. The best thing I did was start working out at lunch. Your 30 minutes isn't a lot but you can get a quick 20 minute workout in then run when you can, not for distance but fast enough you hit your CO2 max limit for as much time as you can make. We all make sacrifices to stay in shape. Find something you can do thats constant it doesn't need to be all out year around. 3 months out from your first mountain hunt you may need to crank it up and really make use of your day off and any free time you have.
 
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