Muscle Loss

Has anyone experienced muscle loss while working in IB? I'm just an intern now and my gym schedule has already been cut down significantly (although I'm also in school full time). Has anyone found a way to manage this? 

Comments (17)

Nov 29, 2021 - 5:42pm

Honestly, I dont see how youd lose muscle unless you pretty much stopped training completely. I can go 2-3x a week and keep everything so long as I eat enough. Are you sure you're losing real muscle and it's not just intramuscular water/glycogen etc.?

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 29, 2021 - 7:32pm

Your goal for your stint in IB should just be muscle maintenance. It's really tough, given the hours, to maintain a consistent gym schedule and build muscle. I went from working out 5-6 days a week in college to now 1-2 days (weekends). Random spurts of muscle activation can go a long way during the week. Do a few sets of push-ups before you shower in the morning (helps wake you up too) and do sit-ups or whatever when you get home. In a career of unpredictability, you have to do what you can when given any amount of free time.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 1, 2021 - 2:56am

This - during WFH was more flexible. I have ADHD so to break up my work i'd set a 30 minute focus timer. Would hit 50 push-ups and pull ups throughout the day until bed. Calisthenics will be your best friend

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 30, 2021 - 10:00am

If you're still WFH, the only equipment you really need is a set of dumbbells for curls/bent-over rows. So many exercises can be done in a timely manner without equipment or with dumbells. 

You should focus on a push/pull workout split (ideally 2x each throughout the week, so 4 workouts in general). Each workout should take you max ~45 mins at home. You can shorten it if you don't have that much time. This workout volume also varies depending on how strong you are to begin with. I'm going to assume you're mid-level. 


Chest: 70x regular pushups, 60x decline (put your legs on an elevated surface, ideally 6-12 inches off the ground). 3 sets of lateral raises with dumbbells until failure. 2 sets of shoulder press (sit in a chair and lift up weights). 2 sets of tricep extensions until failure. 


Biceps: 6 sets of curls (3 normal sets, 3 sets where you sit backwards on a chair as if your hands are very close to the ground to begin with.) Focus on form and hold the weight for extra seconds once you feel a strong burn. Back: 4 sets of bent over rows with dumbbells. 2 sets of "snow angels" (essentially lay on the ground and try to lift your back up with your arms)

Nov 30, 2021 - 10:15am

It's all about maintaining when you're an analyst and not gaining the analyst 15 (or 50 I've seen). Eat salads for lunch, low carb dinners. I played football in college so it was hard to adjust to not lifting everyday. I now lift 2-3 times a week and run at least a mile or two everyday to maintain my physique. Everyone can run for at least 10 minutes a day to stay the right size, along with eating healthy 

Dec 1, 2021 - 11:58am

What this guy said (played college football too). Don't listen to homeboy talking about buy a pair of dumbbells and do curls at your desk (probably built like an 8th grader). You're not going to put on size with any of that bs.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Dec 1, 2021 - 2:06am

If you get stronger on the main compound lifts while maintaining the same weight, you will gain muscle guaranteed. Try to stick to a few core lifts and maintain or improve your strength on them. These could be barbell (or dumbbell) flat (or incline) bench press, weighted dips/pullups, barbell rows, deadlifts, squats, barbell rows, standing overhead press etc. Throw in some isolation work if you can, but try to hit 2-3 main compound lifts each workout and gain strength on them. You really don't need to be in the gym more than 2-3 days a week if you do a full body routine. If you gain strength, sleep right, and eat right, you will gain muscle or maintain it. You don't need a shit ton of volume to grow as a natty if you're training close to failure and gaining strength. If you keep your workouts focused mainly on compound lifts, you should be able to get valuable workouts in a reasonable time. You might have to throw out some of the fluff and pump iso work, but that doesn't contribute to much of your growth anyways.

Dec 1, 2021 - 11:54am

It's very simple: find time to get a 45min - 1hr workout in and crush food 3-5x a day(healthier unless you're tryna put on the analyst 15/bulk). Sprinkle in as much sleep as you can and you will grow.

Source: former college athlete who used to be a "unit"

  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Dec 2, 2021 - 11:16am

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