Like most fairly normal, 30-something year-olds, I tend to find I have an angel on one shoulder and a big old devil on the other. Despite the fact I train 3-5 times a week, I often find myself going out a similar number of times. Slamming medicine balls usually precedes slamming tequilas, and I’m as proficient (if not more) at lifting pints as I am at lifting weights.
Getting up at 6am after going to bed at 2am can be a real stinger, and yet it’s something I force myself to do. People often ask me how I do it, and the honest answer is, it’s a real bloody challenge.
The truth is, if you’re aiming to see some fitness results, the party lifestyle is going to hinder progress. But it doesn’t mean you can’t make progress. For me, it’s about a healthy balance of the devil and angel. Whether you’re trying to reach your fitness goals, or simply training to maintain, I have a free round of advice from my extensive experience of burning the candle at both ends.
Image source: @sibower
Such a boring first point, but super important. Booze dehydrates you, so try and squeeze in a few glasses of water throughout the night. You’ll be thankful for the 15 trips to the toilet when you wake up in the morning feeling a little less shit. Also, try and down a pint of water and some painkillers before you go to bed.
Choosing your weapon
I often feel like a kid in a sweet shop when I’m at the bar, and more often than not, work my way through a variety of drinks throughout a night. When it comes to choosing the lesser of many evils, try to stick to drinks with fewer calories. Skinny bitches (vodka, soda and lime) are probably the best. Generally speaking, try and avoid beer and sugary cocktails/mixers.
Mixing it up
For starters, mixing every drink under the sun usually ends in tears/embarrassing dancing/texting the ex/etc. A few different drinks here and there is fine, but working your way through every possible drink throughout the night will end badly. Granted, it usually makes for some funny stories, but trust me, any form of movement the next day may result in vomit.
If you’re anything like me, you absolutely have to be the last man standing at the end of every evening out. On approximately 1% of evenings, this has been a non-regrettable decision, the other 99% there has been no point. If it gets to that stage where your friends have bailed, and you’ve lost the power of speech, go home. Nothing (usually) good happens after 1am, and the extra hour’s sleep will work wonders.
Fight your crippling disease
FOMO is my most frustrating and crippling diseases, and I’ve slowly started to realize that it’s mostly placebo. While I’m a believer in the eternal phrase “this could be the best night of your life”, it never is. If it’s just a normal night out on a Friday night, try giving it a miss every now and again. I guarantee you’ll miss absolutely nothing, and better yet, your presence will probably become an event in itself!
3 guesses why we sleep. That’s correct, to recover. Whether it be from drinking, dancing, or deadlifts, your body needs its sleep to recover. Make sure you get a minimum of 6 hours, which is substantially easier if you don’t suffer from the crippling effects of FOMO.
Food, glorious food
At the stage of the night where your friends are beginning to bore you, and you haven’t met the love of your life, there is only one thing left to do. And it’s my favourite…
Food. If you’ve been drinking a lot, it’s always a good idea to get some serious stodge in. This will soak up the booze and pay dividends in the morning. However, try and avoid fried food and calorie-filled sauces (this will be the hardest thing you have ever done). Try swapping that fried chicken for a chicken shwarma wrap, and those standard fries for some sweet potato goodness.
Bars vs clubs
Anyone that knows me can testify that I’m more of a talker than a dancer. You’re more likely to find me at a bar chewing someone’s ear off, than in a club imitating my dad dancing at a wedding. However, dancing can be a serious workout. If you haven’t done your cardio this week, it may be time to think about hitting the club instead of the bar.
Breakfast of Champions
Whilst nausea might be a big issue the morning after (not related to my previous point I hope), it’s super important to get some food in the stomach first thing. Eggs, toast, oats and bananas are all good, so don’t use the hangover as an excuse to guzzle down unnecessary sugary or fried food. Stay disciplined peeps.
Isotonic drinks, coconut water and fruit juice also helps, but avoid orange and tomato juice as the acidity can play havoc with your stomach.
Turns out smoking isn’t cool
As someone who occasionally smokes when they‘ve had a few drinks, I can testify that this is more prohibitive to physical progress than drinking. It’s also usually driven by those around me, so if you have a choice of going out with a friend who smokes vs one who doesn’t, bin off the smoker.
Any progress you’re aiming to make with your fitness goals will be slowed down by the party lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make progress. For me, it’s about having a “healthy” balance, and hopefully some of the above points will help you keep the devil and the angel playing nicely with each other.
Civil status: Single
Favorite Yoga Pose: The Slug
Strongest muscle: Tongue
Favorite fruit: Beef
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