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Maintaining fitness on the job

Anonymous A asked on Mar 18, 2019

Hi

To those of you who have worked at MBB, did you find that you had enough time/willpower to consistently adhere to a strength training and diet plan?

Thanks

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Nirmit
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replied on Mar 20, 2019
I will get you an offer|McKinsey Senior EM|Offers from MBB|100+ interviews at McKinsey|Recruiting Lead|Experienced hire specialist
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Hi,

It was tough for me at first. But then, I started setting realistic goals and had discussions with my Team Leaders in the Team Learning exercise (Most teams in McKinsey have a Team Learning in Week 1 to understand work preferences - morning/night person, things they want to get out of study, etc.)

My goal was to exercise 2 out of the 4 days at the client site. I would choose my days around important meetings like steerco. Panic buttons, if any, are usually hit only the night before the important meetings. If my next day was relatively clear, getting a workout in was not difficult

Diet is tougher. You have to be careful. Make sure that the team room snacks have healthy options. I would do a Whole Foods/Target run on Monday each week to get my ration of healthy food - greek yogurt, trail mix, etc. 1-2 unhealthy meals with teams and clients per week is expected, but if you can limit yourself to those, you've done a good job.

Hope this helps!

Nirmit

Egor
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replied on Mar 19, 2019
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Hi A,

To be honest, it all depends on projects and leadership. During 70-80h per week it might be difficult for you to follow the consistent diet and fitness plan. However there is a solution - talk to leadership at the beginning of each project that you want to do sports at least 2 times per week in the evening.

For projects under 70h per week, you will find time for sport.
As for a diet - bringing food from home/ordering some prepared meals for the week will help to follow a diet.

I hope it was helpful.

Kind regards,
Ego

B replied on Mar 19, 2019

During the weekends you can manage to do 90 min per day of gym/running. It's difficult because you will be tired however You will have the time if you have the will and determination.

Ryan replied on Mar 18, 2019
Former McKinsey now preparing for BCG 1st round

My experience at McKinsey was not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Client type can be determinant. My only lunch options were often from vending machines, dinners often only chain food available. But even when working in areas with better food options, I was not one of the few who had the energy to consistently exercise while also putting in 12-16 hour days whenever at the client site. If you work hard on weekends, maintaining is definitely reasonably possible, but consistent gains would be a challenge.

Guennael replied on Mar 18, 2019
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Diet will be hard at first (so much amazing food available, always free...) but you can get back to it quickly. Fitness isn't hard enough (just get into a rythm, "I go for a run every evening when I come back to my hotel).
Strength training however... a bit harder. You can obviously do maintenance during the week + solid workouts on the weekend. I managed to stay reasonably fit & strong during my time at BCG, and even did a few 12 hour events during my tenure. It is all a matter of scheduling and focus. You can definitely do it, just don't expect to "improve" during that time.