T Nation

Blue Collar Muscle?

I’ve got a question that I have wondered about for a while. Exactly why do some people that perform a certain type of job get such large muscles? Examples of this, that I have seen, are the forearms of a mechanic or mason, a soccer player’s legs, a dirtbiker’s triceps…I can understand them becoming stronger in a strength/endurance way because of the extensive repitions, but the size? Seems they should be more lean than they sometimes are, and the mass stays with them for quite a long time, even after they quit the sport or job that got’em that way. Explanations??

I’m a Union Laborer and I’ve been lifting on and off for 15 yrs. The MOST muscular people I work with have usually NEVER lifted in their lives, or so they claim.

One in particular comes to mind. He’s 50 yrs old, 6’1" about 230 lbs and SHREDDED. He’s never even set foot in a gym, just 25+ yrs of heavy highway work. He’s also got the energizer bunny’s endurance at work, I’ve never seen him tired. Damn freak of nature, wish I had his genetics.

It’s just specificity of training. Think of it as forced adaptation.

As for the size increases, they’re largely to do with sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (proliferation of non-contractile elements in the muscle cell). Ever seen the aerobics instructor with the huge calves? Bingo.

[quote]Janoski wrote:
I’ve got a question that I have wondered about for a while. Exactly why do some people that perform a certain type of job get such large muscles? Examples of this, that I have seen, are the forearms of a mechanic or mason, a soccer player’s legs, a dirtbiker’s triceps…I can understand them becoming stronger in a strength/endurance way because of the extensive repitions, but the size? Seems they should be more lean than they sometimes are, and the mass stays with them for quite a long time, even after they quit the sport or job that got’em that way. Explanations??[/quote]

Size and strength are not independant of one another. That is the best explanation I can give you. Except to agree that you can almost always tell a wrench head immediately by his forearms.