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Health and Fitness During Shooting


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#1 Joe Perri

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 05:37 PM

Hey Everyone,

I just started working as a production assistant on a couple of big reality shows and i have been getting really busy. I'm usually working 5-6 12 hr days per week and ive been really slacking at the gym because i have no time or im just simply to tired to go. I love being in this field of work but i really don't want to get fat in process of pursuing my dream. i know its very easy to get a big belly in this line of work , but ive seen some crew who maintain a fit physique. So, my question to you seasoned professionals who are able to keep a toned body is how do you keep a healthy diet and workout regimen during these busy times? Such as what you eat, when you eat, what exercises to do after a long day, any answers will help a lot!

Thanks!

Edited by Joe Perri, 21 May 2011 - 05:39 PM.

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#2 Justin Hayward

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 06:47 PM

It’s a really good question and a problem we all battle. First, I’m pretty good about eating relative to my exercise – meaning I eat pretty well when I haven’t worked out in a while, but if I’m consistently working out, I’ll eat the morning, butter, ham, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich ;)

I’ve signed off on working out in the morning. Suddenly jogging or lifting weights when you were literally sleeping fifteen minutes ago is too hard. I need time to wake up with coffee and the internet. So it’s down to night. If I want to go to the gym, I wear or bring gym clothes to work so I can stop at the gym on the way home. I can’t go home first to change, because I won’t go back out, no way. Running outside is different cause I kind of enjoy it when I’ve had a stressful day at work. There’s something about listening to music (or movie podcasts if you prefer /film) and sweating it out that really relieves stress… for me that is. So, if I plan on running outside at night (make sure you take all safety precautions), I’ll eat before I leave set so I’m not hungry when I get home, otherwise I’ll eat and stay in. I run upstairs, change, grab the ipod and run back out. You’re only adding an hour or so to your night that would have been wasted on TV anyway. Also, when I come home from a run, take a shower and get into bed, I’m more relaxed than ever because I’ve had one heck of a hard day and topped it off with a workout! I sleep better.

I know a film guy that gets up around three or four AM depending on the call time and does a killer hour workout EVERY DAY. Not me. No way.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:26 PM

I wish I had a healthy exercise regimen... but I don't. But I try to watch what I eat, and I'm generally an active person, I walk fast, take the stairs, etc. The main thing for me on a shoot is to try to sleep enough, that's the most important thing.
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#4 Justin Hayward

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:39 PM

I wish I had a healthy exercise regimen... but I don't. But I try to watch what I eat, and I'm generally an active person, I walk fast, take the stairs, etc. The main thing for me on a shoot is to try to sleep enough, that's the most important thing.


I've noticed the hard core workout guys that also work in film tend to be the kind of people that have a hard time sleeping and they actually look older because of it... me included. Although I have as hard a time sleeping at night as I do getting up in the morning.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:45 PM

I respect anyone that can get themselves to the gym or go jogging every day while in production. Some older Steadicam operators I know are pretty good about hitting the gym because they feel they couldn't keep doing what they do if they didn't. One of the best and most fit Steadicam operators I know is about 50.

Best I can do is take a lot of walks. I'm one of those persons who would rather walk from set to where crew parking or lunch is, and then back to set, if it's a reasonable distance. Besides, van rides make me car sick...
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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 08:25 PM

Ten or fifteen minutes of Hathayoga in the morning can work wonders to improve endurance. Getting your joints and muscles limber shortly after awakening helps all your body systems to work with, not against, each other.

I find the sticking to the vegetarian end of the diet spectrum also helps. I'm by no means a strict vegetarian, I eat beef, chicken, and fish for protein but only in moderation. I try to avoid fast food at all costs, I'll stop at a Walmart and buy some Greek yogurt, whole wheat something, fruit, and maybe some sardines or kippers before I let some corporation attempt to poison me.
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#7 Justin Hayward

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:03 PM

I have my first baby due in about a month, so let alone time with my wife, I really have to ask the question; what’s more important, health, career, or family time? In such a short time allotted on this earth, it’s really hard to tell. Trouble with me is, filmmaking never escapes my thoughts and there’s been nothing else I’ve wanted to do as far back as I can remember, but I'm nervous I'll put such an arbitrary thing such as a hobby/career above real life priorities like raising a child to survive this planet until he’s a reasonable age to survive... and keep healthy... and tone down my creative side to maintain sanity. I need to tone down and that really scares me.

I don't know.
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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:19 PM

Stay away from Craft Service. :)

No, really. It's easy to over-eat when things get slow on set and there are so many yummy things at craftie and from the caterers in the morning and at lunch. Unless you're digging ditches all day long, you really don't need that many calories so being disciplined in what you eat on and off set is a very vital part of staying in shape.

Also, working in film and TV is not conducive to maintaining a regular workout regimen. It's one thing for office-jockys to hit the gym every morning or evening but they don't do the hours we do with the inconsistent calltimes and lengths of days. But you workout when you can... even in your hotel room if need be with something like P90x to motivate. It's often the last thing you want to do, but it's just about dedication and maintenance. It's way easier to STAY in shape and maintain that, then to let yourself go and try to fight back, particularly as age kills the metabolism. I've seen a number of people use their lunchbreaks to go run or to a gym on a studio lot. You just "do it" when you can.
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#9 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:29 PM

I have my first baby due in about a month, so let alone time with my wife, I really have to ask the question; what’s more important, health, career, or family time? In such a short time allotted on this earth, it’s really hard to tell. Trouble with me is, filmmaking never escapes my thoughts and there’s been nothing else I’ve wanted to do as far back as I can remember, but I'm nervous I'll put such an arbitrary thing such as a hobby/career above real life priorities like raising a child to survive this planet until he’s a reasonable age to survive... and keep healthy... and tone down my creative side to maintain sanity. I need to tone down and that really scares me.

I don't know.



Those are questions that plague almost everyone at one point or another. The truth is that because of the demands of establishing and maintaining a career, you will generally find more success when you are free to take ANY opportunity that comes along and to pursue new ones at your own discretion. Adding "obstacles" to your life, such as a spouse, children, credit card debt, a mortgage, car payments... frankly just do get in the way of being 100% free to pursue every possible opportunity.

So, if you make the choice to get married or have children or take on lots of debt, just know that those things require attention too which will take attention away from the career aspirations. How much of your time to dedicate to each element of your life is dependent upon what kind of person you are. This isn't to suggest that you give up the career if and when it takes you away from family. A friend of mine told me a couple summers ago, "Well, somebody has to buy the bat!" after I was lamenting that both he and I missed watching our sons hit home-runs at their little league games. I get to all the games and events the kids have that I can, but they know that my work does often take me away for days or months at a time. Is it ideal? No, but I also think that there is no "ideal." You just do what is right for YOU and let that be okay. I suppose IDEALLY, we'd all be Billionaires and could just stay home and be full-time parents. But unless you're a banker or a Koch Brother, that's not likely so we have to work.

But that's not necessarily a bad thing either, for your kids to grow up seeing their daddy achieving something that he and they can be proud of. Sitting at home being a parent isn't very inspiring to anyone.

Edited by Brian Dzyak, 21 May 2011 - 10:30 PM.

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#10 Hal Smith

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 02:22 PM

...sitting at home being a parent isn't very inspiring to anyone.


Except to your kids.
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#11 Justin Hayward

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 02:49 PM

How much of your time to dedicate to each element of your life is dependent upon what kind of person you are.


That’s very true and I’m awfully selfish. The hard part for me is making sure my family is never second fiddle. The movie stuff? That’s easy ;)

I'm usually working 5-6 12 hr days per week and ive been really slacking at the gym because i have no time or im just simply to tired to go.



This probably goes without saying, but with all the different locations your job will take you, finding a gym as close to your house as possible is a huge help.
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#12 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:42 PM

Except to your kids.


I disagree. If all a kid ever saw was a parent sitting at home, instead of being out in the world accomplishing things, then what has that kid learned? What will that child be able to look up to the parent for? There are only so many board-games you can play.
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#13 Jon Amerikaner

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 03:47 AM

Good shoes and comfortable insoles for extra support. Makes a world of difference
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