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Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:59 am
by yankees12345!
How successful have folks been at maintaining a regular workout schedule (say, four times a week) while working Big Law? What type of schedule has worked for you? Any other tips?

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:03 am
by UpandDown97
yankees12345! wrote:How successful have folks been at maintaining a regular workout schedule (say, four times a week) while working Big Law? What type of schedule has worked for you? Any other tips?


An important topic to me. I've heard of people working out in the mornings, during the day during down times, and at night if they have a gym in their building.

It seems that for the mornings/during the day, it depends on your firm/personal schedule. Some people have to get to the office early, so its not possible. Others have a difficult time straying from their desk during the day in case a partner calls.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:21 am
by SFSpartan
Personally, I work out in the morning because I can pretty well trust that nothing is going to blow up at 5 or 6 AM. I've had a lot more success with this than working out in the evenings (I actually prefer working out before dinner, but things blow up in the evening often enough that this isn't a viable option).

If I were to work out during the day, I'd try to pick a time where I typically have downtime, would go everyday (to train the people I work with not to expect things from me at said time), and would have my office phone ring through to my cell.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:27 am
by rodmanhust
No time for workouts at all...

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:42 am
by SomewhatLearnedHand
Depends on the firm. DPW, Skadden, etc have laptop stations by their machines/racks so you can bill while you workout.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:22 pm
by dixiecup
It's entirely possible but for whatever reason, stress and hopelessness maybe I don't know, people are far more likely to gain weight in biglaw.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:43 pm
by worklifewhat
yankees12345! wrote:How successful have folks been at maintaining a regular workout schedule (say, four times a week) while working Big Law? What type of schedule has worked for you? Any other tips?


I workout 6-7x a week. We have a small gym in our building, so I get to the office before 7am, workout, shower, and I'm working again before 9am. On the weekends I just workout like I did pre-biglaw.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:03 pm
by s1m4
I was a fitness freak back in the day, but am not a morning person and often work late evenings, so I found I stopped having time to workout except on the weekends, which made me miserable. I ended up booking a personal trainer for a very very intense HIIT workout, twice a week early mornings - the workout is fast (30 min), then I shower and drive to work. It has helped me stay on top of my workout. Weekends I go for runs / hit the gym same as before. Also make sure to stay away from the office donuts and bring healthy snacks (fruits + veggies) - I'm in fantastic shape.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:20 pm
by Hopefullitassociate
I have a gym open late near my office, and unless I have something due specifically at that moment, I'll leave the office around 8:30 9 to work out and then head home and log on to do more work if needed. It eats up my weeknights, but allows me to have a regular gym schedule and I figured I wouldn't have many free weeknights in biglaw anyway.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:25 pm
by Lacepiece23
I think it's completely possible if you're comfortable with swapping that hour of tv, reading, etc., for the gym. Some people can't do that; hence, why they don't workout.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:30 pm
by worklifewhat
I honestly don't know anyone who is truly too busy to workout regularly. Will there be periods where your workouts might go out the window in favor of sleep? Probably. But this is definitely not the norm. MOST people have the time if working out is a priority; you just might have to cut the time from somewhere else. If you usually go out for lunch, then maybe eating at your desk is a better alternative so that you can use that time to catch up on the work that you're not doing while working out. A shorter shower, a simpler getting ready routine in the morning, waking up a bit earlier...these are all ways to save a bit of time that you can use toward a workout. I used to workout for wayyyy too long in law school and I don't do that very often anymore but I can always make the time for a 30 minute HIIT session.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:57 pm
by Lacepiece23
worklifewhat wrote:I honestly don't know anyone who is truly too busy to workout regularly. Will there be periods where your workouts might go out the window in favor of sleep? Probably. But this is definitely not the norm. MOST people have the time if working out is a priority; you just might have to cut the time from somewhere else. If you usually go out for lunch, then maybe eating at your desk is a better alternative so that you can use that time to catch up on the work that you're not doing while working out. A shorter shower, a simpler getting ready routine in the morning, waking up a bit earlier...these are all ways to save a bit of time that you can use toward a workout. I used to workout for wayyyy too long in law school and I don't do that very often anymore but I can always make the time for a 30 minute HIIT session.


Agree with all of this.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:13 pm
by Toni V
Our firm has a very nice gym. I often see associates working out. So there is time to workout. Of course, having a gym at the firm does make it convenient.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:18 pm
by oblig.lawl.ref
I spent my first 1.5-2 years of biglaw working out pretty consistently. The last 0.5-1 year I have found it very difficult to do so regularly at all. My firm/market/practice has been very busy. When you start regularly hitting 200+ hour months it can get difficult. I think most of the time the hours over 200 start coming out of gym time. At least for me, because gym time is taking a hit before sleep.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:07 pm
by hlss09
To add to this, how do you guys in biglaw eat to stay in shape? I think that's like 98% of the battle. Just curious what works for others :)

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:22 pm
by Vianco
Haven't gone to law school yet, but my father worked in big law and worked out every day. He would get up at 4:30am on the weekdays and work out in our gym in the basement or go for a bike ride. On the weekends he would still work out, but it didn't have to be so early in the morning. He maintained this routine for more than 10 years, so it's doable.

Having a gym at the firm sounds really nice. We lived in the suburbs and I do recall him saying that he didn't have enough time to work out at a gym on the way to work (he drove).

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:38 pm
by JHP
For this reason I moved into a luxury apartment building with a gym so that I can go straight to the gym, run and lift for a bit, then go upstairs to my apartment, clean up, and pass out in a dreamless sleep for a grind the next day.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:49 pm
by axel.foley
Anonymous User wrote:To add to this, how do you guys in biglaw eat to stay in shape? I think that's like 98% of the battle. Just curious what works for others :)


Meal prep for lunch is helpful. Firm cafeteria food is often less healthy and harder to portion. I also try to eat small meals throughout the day. Finally, don't feel like you need to use your entire Seamless budget. Getting a 3 course dinner when you literally sit in a chair all day is a sure way to gain weight, and I see associates do it all the time.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:02 pm
by ternarydaemon
Always carry your work out gym bag, every day, even if you do not have plans to work out. Ideally, you should go mid-day, during lunch time. You can eat something healthy in the way back from the gym. Another good time is to work out 9pm+, which will actually help you to sleep. All the stress hormones from the day, washed out by the good hormones that come from a quick work out. Even just 30 min in the elliptic help a lot. Since some days you will not be able to control your agenda, having your gym bag ready helps you to maintain an average. Also, hit the gym during the weekends. This means cutting off the drinking and smoking during the week, which you should do anyway if you want to be fit/healthy in your late 30s and 40s.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:15 am
by ckb614
Just because these things should matter to lawyers:

"workout" is a not a verb

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:29 am
by worklifewhat
Anonymous User wrote:Just because these things should matter to lawyers:

"workout" is a not a verb

Noted. What a great service you’ve done to the legal profession.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:35 am
by Npret
Anonymous User wrote:Just because these things should matter to lawyers:

"workout" is a not a verb

I’ve been on this forum a long time and this is one of the funniest posts I’ve ever read.
Thanks for that.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:04 pm
by Npret
Npret wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just because these things should matter to lawyers:

"workout" is a not a verb

I’ve been on this forum a long time and this is one of the funniest posts I’ve ever read.
Thanks for that.

I just noticed it was anonymous. Hahahahaha.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:02 pm
by paradiselost9
Anonymous User wrote:Just because these things should matter to lawyers:

"workout" is a not a verb

His username is SomewhatLearnedHand. If you keep teaching him things, he’ll have to alt.

Re: Working Out and Big Law

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:50 pm
by melloyello
It really comes down to priorities and hours. I find that at the "normal" 170 hour/month range, I can definitely make time to work out regularly, have dinner with the fam, spend time with my kid, etc., but once I go over 200/month, working out goes out the window. Family > sleep > working out, hygiene, me-time, anything else. I'll sacrifice sleep to spend a few hours with my kid in the evening, but then would not be able to wake up early to work out on top of that.

There are also the ridiculous folks who are able to train for triathlons while in big law - my observation is that either they are single or without kids, or have a stay at home spouse.