What is your workout routine in IB?

Hi WSO, fitness and physical health have always been a big part of my life. I lift 6-7 times per week, eat relatively healthy and get 8-9 hours of sleep (usually). But this summer I will be interning at a BB in a group that is notorious for long hours and poor work-life balance, and I recognize that this might be the first time in my life when I have to make some sacrifices in regard to time spent taking care of my body. Obviously I don't expect to look like a champion bodybuilder while working IB hours, but it would really hurt my self esteem if my body started looking like shit. I'm hoping to get at least 2-3 lifts in per week and do everything else possible to stay lean and at least keep my abs, even if I lose some strength and don't build any additional muscle.

Also want to add in that I have always been "skinny" until I started lifting. My metabolism and involvement in sports have prevented me from ever having to diet for weight loss. Even during prolonged sedentary periods I never gained weight or began looking out of shape. Who knows is this will change in the next 5 years...

How often do you get a chance to work out? Does sleep deprivation prevent you from using the spare time you do have to work out? Are your workouts shortened (30-45 minutes)? Is it at all possible to maintain your physique as an analyst? Appreciate any insight.

Comments (22)

Jan 8, 2021 - 1:15pm

You're smart to be thinking ahead. Developing good habits now is key. I think the biggest thing people don't realize about a work schedule like yours is that you will essentially be chronically stressed. Sleep deprivation can throw off your cortisol curve so bad that progress in the gym can stalemate. Exercise is perceived by the body as stress so when your chronically stressed it's like just adding more stress and cortisol. So to combat this you have to place a high value on sleep, take a close look at what your putting in your body, find a stress management technique that you enjoy and will keep up with ( daily meditation). And lastly, my secret weapon are various adaptogens you can experiment with.  

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 8, 2021 - 2:05pm

I'm a AN1 that played a sport on college (think FCS football type time commitment). It has been a huge transition from working out/training almost every day of the week to maybe getting in 2 lifts a week. Since my activity level has changed I've had to be extremely conscious of what i'm eating and my portion sizes as I used to eat as much as possible to maintain weight. In reality 3-4 days a week is possible even when getting pushed hard if you're willing to sacrifice sleep or free time. Also I work at a MM known for being a sweatshop.

Jan 9, 2021 - 4:21pm

I usually prefer working out in the evening after dinner - do you think that's feasible? Worried that it may be less feasible than an early workout in the morning before heading into the office

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2021 - 11:22am

The fact that you said "trying" when mentioning an evening workout and not for a morning workout is a key thing to pay attention to, if you are dedicated to fitness you don't want to hope you'll be able maintain a healthy lifestyle. Working out in the morning is your best bet for a number of reasons. 9 times out of 10 no one is going to be bothering you that early so you won't be "trying" to squeeze in a quick workout, you'll actually be able to have a proper workout. It also guarantees you'll actually be able to workout (assuming you didn't pull an all nighter), there are too many variables with afternoon/evening workouts. And for me, working out in the morning really jump starts my day, if I miss a workout because I slept through my alarms or something (almost never happens) the rest of my day suffers.

There have been a lot of posts about fitness with an IB lifestyle, and time and time again I've read how people have gone from working out almost everyday to barely 2 days a week, but it doesn't have to be this way though. I workout in the morning 6 days a week and I think I've only ever missed a handful of workouts because of work. Many people are used to afternoon/evening workouts which is fine when you're in college but that really isn't practical when you have a full-time+ job. Yes, waking up at 6am sucks especially when you worked until midnight but at the end of the day it really just depends on how important your health and fitness is to you. Working out in the morning takes some getting used to but it's typically the best bet in a career like IB if you want to maintain a certain level of fitness.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 10, 2021 - 5:06pm

Yeah.. I think the most vocal people on these types of threads are always the people not finding ways to get workouts in. Barring very rare exceptions, the morning is pretty much always available. It's certainly harder to do when going to bed late, but definitely doable if you put the effort in.

Jan 8, 2021 - 4:17pm

Be strategic in getting an apt near the gym or a building that has a gym.

Some days you might not have time to go to the gym so develop an at home routine where you can still stay fit.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 9, 2021 - 10:52pm

Lifting before work is the way to go. Also WFH has made lifting whenever you want pretty easy with a home gym setup. Just bring a laptop to your setup during a quiet part of the day and crank out reps.

  • Investment Analyst in HF - Event
Jan 11, 2021 - 8:11pm

I used to workout 2x a day in college (sports and then a workout). It was hard to adjust to the schedule and find time to workout initially, but now that I've managed my schedule efficiently, I find enough time to workout. Working out in the AM would be a good way to start the day - I wake up ~5.30-6am to go on a run. Then later on the week (wednesday onwards) I usually find the time in the middle of the day to take an hour or 2 off to play a sport and come back to work. And if I need I can workout later in the evening as well. I'd say it's more about time management. I've met a bunch of guys who kept telling me the same IB hour thing but often wasted a lot of time doing something else. 

If you really find a time crunch I'd buy a kettlebell. Depending on what weight you want to lift you can get one from ~100-150 bucks and can do a full body workout with one. No need to really go out then - just workout when you find the time in between

My ex boss who also was a college athlete and did 3 years of IB, 2 years of PE then worked at a HF stayed in the same shape all the years because he made sure he took out the time to workout. I'm sure your boss' would be understanding if you takeout just an hour to take your mind off work. Anything else and you're probably not working efficiently

Jan 11, 2021 - 10:30pm


Then later on the week (wednesday onwards) I usually find the time in the middle of the day to take an hour or 2 off to play a sport and come back to work.


"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Jan 11, 2021 - 11:21pm

Mind if I ask what your hours are like? I'm assuming while it's still no 9-5 it is probably at least slightly better than IB hours if you have the time to run in the morning as well as free time in the evening to workout. 

Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

Girlfriend vs PE
+87PEby Investment Analyst in Private Equity - Growth Equity">Investment Analyst in PE - Growth
I’ll never take WSO for granted again
+51OFFby Principal in Venture Capital">Principal in VC
What's so good about Evercore?
+41IBby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
I'm tired man
+29IBby Intern in Corporate Finance">Intern in CorpFin
First year analyst, still feel incompetent and like I haven’t learned anything
+23IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Friends in IB are chilling hard, how can I get this?
+20IBby 3rd+ Year Associate in Private Equity - LBOs">Associate 3 in PE - LBOs

Total Avg Compensation

January 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (31) $349
  • Associates (141) $232
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (18) $155
  • 2nd Year Analyst (87) $152
  • Intern/Summer Associate (90) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (346) $134
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (298) $83

Leaderboard See all

LonLonMilk's picture
Jamoldo's picture
Secyh62's picture
CompBanker's picture
redever's picture
frgna's picture
NuckFuts's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up
Addinator's picture
Edifice's picture